I have a couple of thoughts that I need to share. This “unfitted kitchen” term is bothering me to no end. It isn’t quaint. It isn’t warm and cozy. It doesn’t truly capture the idea at all. ALL kitchen from the beginning of time until about 100 years ago were “unfitted” which means they were created from a plethora of beautiful, unique designs that were made by artisans in the form of cabinets, shelves, tables, corner cabinets, and more. The kitchens of today should be called “Fitted Kitchens” and all other kitchens should just be called “Kitchens”, right?! Why do we rewrite all history from the standpoint of today? I’m refusing to call my kitchen an “unfitted kitchen” because it is THE ORIGINAL KITCHEN DESIGN. Okay, there, it’s done. Now I can move on without clutter in my brain! lol!
Let’s talk about antique furniture. There is nothing like it. Figuratively and literally. There are hardly any pieces that are exact duplicates and, even if they are duplicates, the time and wear on each piece creates a patina that is truly unique. I own about 537 antique items. Unfortunately, my tiny farmhouse cannot hold 537 items so I have several storage buildings. Yes, it’s insane and I am planning to work on my antique hoarding problem as soon as my kitchen renovation is finished. I promise.
For my kitchen renovation, I focused on three of my favorite antique pieces of furniture as I mentioned in my introduction in Part 1: An Idea was Hatched + The Antique Windows. My huge step-back cupboard is my favorite piece of furniture. Period. It is grand. It is beautiful. It is interesting. It is functional. It holds several sets of dishes, all of my cookbooks, many of my baking pans, and about a hundred candles as well. (Did I mention I also have a candle hoarding issue? Yes, it’s true.) I built my last kitchen in League City around this gorgeous piece of furniture and was really bummed when we had to leave that beautiful kitchen when we moved to the farm. However, I wasn’t about to leave the step-back cupboard behind when we moved even though it was a huge part of the kitchen in our house located in the Historic District of League City. So, it has been sitting forlornly waiting for a kitchen to deserve its presence and now, voila!, we finally have a match made in heaven! The cupboard actually sits slightly outside of the main kitchen area because it is perfect where it sits on a wall between the kitchen and the living room. My antique display cabinet and my harvest table are the other two pieces of furniture that I used as creative springboards. The harvest table is being used as our family table even though it is slightly higher than a normal table since it was used for harvesting and shucking corn and other crops. The display cabinet holds a ton of grocery items and also holds most of my homemade muscadine jelly after it is canned.
When I decided to create a free-standing, movable kitchen from antique furniture, I began scouring Facebook Marketplace for unique finds. It didn’t take me long to find some amazing things and meet some amazing people along the way. Over a six month period, The Outdoorsman and I traveled thousands of miles picking up antiques from all over Texas. On most weekends, we would work hard on the farm all day Saturday to get everything done we needed to do concerning our animals and general maintenance of the farm. Then, when Sunday rolled around, we would wake up that morning, drink coffee and eat breakfast, watch our church service online, hitch up the trailer, and drive across Texas picking up pieces of furniture. We made it our “date day” and would usually eat at a little local restaurant or a favorite Whataburger drive through on our way back home. I’m sure I forgetting some of the locations we visited, but The Outdoorsman and I ventured to Terrell, Weatherford, Bastrop, Fort Worth, Universal City, Bryan, Jerrell, Carmine, Hockley, Fayetteville, Cibolo, Schulenburg, Adkins, and Frisco to pick up our antique treasures from Facebook Marketplace. We met so many sweet and thoughtful people on our adventures. I believe people who love antiques are truly a special breed of individual. Most of them are warm, caring, and thoughtful and truly care about who will own their special heirloom pieces that they no longer have space or inclination to store. Many of the people we met are getting older and trying to whittle down their massive collections. We really enjoyed meeting each family and individual we met along the way.
Our kitchen collection includes a green kitchen island, a smaller yellow island, a secretary desk with a leaded glass cabinet, a butcher block table, a wooden table from Scandinavia, a small table top dresser, a double drainboard sink, a huge wooden mantel, a blue dish rack from France, a small kitchen cupboard, a gorgeous chimney cabinet, and a huge armoire shipped from Czechoslovakia (now known as the Czech Republic) in the early 1900s. The pieces are beautiful, special, amazing, and perfect for my Antique Farmhouse Kitchen. I can’t wait to show you how they all came together to create a beautiful space for our family.
Today, I will focus on the double drainboard sink I was able to score from Facebook Marketplace. I looked for one for months, but kept missing out on the ones I inquired about or I just was not really “feeling it” concerning some I was seeing advertised as vintage. There were some pretty ones out there, but many of them had either been refurbished or had big sections of rust that would jeopardize the integrity of the sink. The rust would, naturally, be located around the drain holes or the faucet holes and I was worried about getting a true fit with new hardware when the rust had caused some deterioration. One day, I was about to order a new sink from Home Depot and had it in my cart and thought I would look one more time on Facebook Marketplace. I opened it up and right there was a new listing that was only 45 miles away. I jumped on the opportunity and contacted the seller and within 24 hours, had the sink back here at Green Acres.
The next step in the process was to have my “cowboy-renaissance” husband, The Outdoorsman, make a sink cabinet for our kitchen. Lucky for him, I had several pictures saved on my virtual best friend, Pinterest! 😉 I combined two ideas to get the design I wanted. We literally walked around our farm and found two 4×4 posts in the puppy kennel that were used to block an escape route and took them out and washed them off to use for the main posts. The Outdoorsman had already had some treated corral boards for some farm projects so he used those to build a sink cabinet of all sink cabinets. If a hurricane or tornado comes our way, we know where to hide. Right there on those shelves! That cabinet weighs a ton and the cast iron sink sitting on top of it makes it unmovable. We are slightly concerned about our kitchen sinking into the ground at the back edge due to this massive piece of furniture.
Anyhow, I absolutely love the sink cabinet! It is perfect in a not-so-perfect way. It is heavy, rustic, and whimsical. I did my very first job of staining on this piece and, to be honest, you can tell!! It is a bit splotchy, but I’m also blaming it on the fact it is treated wood. We thought it would be a good idea to use treated wood since it would probably get wet due to its function in the kitchen. I also had The Outdoorsman add a middle shelf so that I could store my heavy cast iron pots and pans on the shelves and really add to the possibility of it tipping our house over with the weight of it all!
I hope our farm and kitchen projects inspire you to figure out some solutions for your own home. I wanted a double drainboard sink. I found one, but didn’t have a way to mount it to anything pre-existing, so we looked at pictures, made some adjustments, and went for it!! It is perfect for our needs, but not perfect aesthetically by any means. In fact, I’ll let you in on a secret. When the plumbers came to connect it to the drain pipes, we had to leave the moving sliders under it so that the plumbers could move it while they were cutting holes in the shelves. At the end, we totally forgot to remove the moving sliders and the sink cabinet is an exact fit to the drain pipes as is! We have to leave the moving sliders on it FOREVER so we are just going to tuck them directly under each post and it will always “hover” mysteriously above the floor. These are the kind of details that The Outdoorsman and I just don’t catch and have to laugh about afterwards. We need a super-detailed person to come visit us daily. Actually, we don’t need that at all because we are perfectly happy with our hovering sink cabinet. 😉