Our Unfitted Farmhouse Kitchen

Part 1: An Idea was Hatched + The Antique Windows

We have lived on Green Acres for seven years. Originally, I had planned to remodel the kitchen right after we moved here. As with most big construction projects, we had to be patient and wait until the timing was right. When we first arrived at our farmhouse in Central Texas, we had three really busy children so we spent a lot of time traveling to see them at college and high school events. Before we could start work on the house, we had to build pens, shelters, and buildings for our menagerie of animals. Finally, seven years later, I was able to add a small addition to our existing kitchen to create the perfect farmhouse kitchen.

My decorating style has always been a bit “outside of the box”, but when COVID-19 caused a supply chain shortage and, subsequently, caused prices to surge on building materials, it pushed my creativity up a notch and helped me create a kitchen that I absolutely love. Because the cost of cabinetry and wood went up and the availability of laborers went down, I started brainstorming ways to create our farmhouse kitchen around some favorite antique furniture pieces I already owned to build the dream kitchen for our family.

I have ALWAYS loved antiques, farms, animals, and shopping. As my kitchen dreams started shaping up, I realized I already owned several large pieces that would anchor a true farmhouse kitchen. Our kitchen is a collection of many, many antiques I have bought over the past twenty years. Many of them are gifts from my husband for our anniversary. The step-back cupboard and the Hoosier cabinet were both bought for anniversary gifts and I am thrilled for them to shine in our home. The step-back cupboard was built in the late 1890s or early 1900s and my husband picked it up and drove it precariously balanced on the rails of our trailer for many, many miles in order to get it home safely in honor of our first anniversary!! It was purchased from an antique dealer from New York State who had a booth at the only somewhat well-known Round Top Antique Days. The step-back cupboard is antique white and looms large at eight feet long and seven and a half feet tall. It has glass fronted cabinets on the top and all original hardware. The second piece was also purchased in Round Top and came from a store in South America. It is a glass front display case painted in a soft mint green. Just so you know, I purchased those two pieces and several others waaaayy before Round Top became a huge, national obsession back when you could still get rock bottom prices on fabulous finds!! I also have a farmhouse table and a harvest table from Round Top. When I lived in League City, Texas, I frequently traveled to Round Top, Texas for their semi-annual Antique Weekend to peruse the goods. I found most of my beautiful anitque pieces in Round Top during the years between 2004-2007. The step-back cupboard, the huge glass-fronted store display cabinet, and the harvest table all have wonderful patina. They are all gorgeous, solid wood pieces with wonderful interest.

Those three beautiful antique pieces inspired my kitchen plan. I had never heard the term “unfitted kitchen” before I started my project. In fact, I heard the term last week, for the first time, when my mom was talking to me about a video she watched of an “unfitted” kitchen. When I got off the phone, I looked it up on Pinterest and, voila!, there were pictures that were similar to what I had just created in my own farmhouse!!

Before I began our kitchen addition project, I sketched out some ideas on blank computer paper. I did some measuring of the existing space. Since our house is pretty small at around 1,600 square feet, I drew out a modestly sized addition that wouldn’t overpower the existing kitchen or even the house, for that matter. It ended up being, basically, an 8’x20′ rectangle built onto the far end of our home. I have always liked the view towards our ravine so I decided I wanted to look that direction while I was washing dishes at my kitchen sink since, like many of you, I feel like I live there at times. Well, along with many, many of my original plans, I made changes as I went and ended up turning the kitchen to look over our large pond in the back pasture instead of overlooking the ravine. As the kitchen addition started shaping up, it became obvious that I had failed to understand how high up off of the ground it would sit upon completion! The view out the windows facing towards the ravine was, basically, smack dab in the middle of the two huge cedar trees outside the kitchen windows! Much like a treehouse! Obviously, details aren’t my thing. I’m a big picture kind of gal. That can be good concerning life in general, but bad concerning a kitchen addition or any other addition, to be honest. To get the project going, I hired two local builders who work hourly to add on an approximately 8’x20′ space to the end of my tiny kitchen. I decided on a shed roof for the kitchen addition because I just think that look has a lot of farmhouse charm and a an endearing whimsical feel about it. The roof slants approximately 4″ as it goes towards our ravine.

The highlight of the addition is that I gained a large pantry. I didn’t have a pantry in the kitchen at all and this added a 4’x8′ space that seems HUGE since I haven’t had a pantry in almost fifteen years!! For the pantry, I opted to have a framed opening instead of a door so I could decorate the inside the pantry and made it a part of the ambiance of the kitchen. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. **Pictures coming soon!**

For months before our renovation, I scoured Facebook Marketplace for antique tables, islands, corner cabinets, and kitchen cabinets. I spent hours looking, messaging, and making decisions about pieces of furniture. With the image of my dream kitchen in my mind, I set off on a six-month expedition with The Outdoorsman to gather all of the pieces I would need to create a true farmhouse kitchen using only antiques and vintage finds from Facebook Marketplace. Because of the astronomical price of wood windows, I decided to start with windows. I found an antique window dealer outside of San Antonio, Texas and contacted him after I saw his post on Facebook Marketplace. In March of 2022, we went to his storage unit to look at the windows and saw he had FIVE STORAGE UNITS full of windows. I was in heaven, but had to make some fast decisions with a lot of options. I finally decided upon lead glass windows that didn’t have much color since I had not chosen the color for my kitchen yet. I found nine windows that had similar styles and purchased all nine windows for about $1,300. (I can’t remember the exact amount, to be honest, but it was about $125-150 per window!) These beauties are pictured below before they were installed!

I will write more later about some of the furniture pieces I bought for my kitchen addition! I’m planning to write a little at a time and put pictures of the finished project sometime later this month. November is my favorite month so I thought it would be fun to focus on our beautiful, new kitchen and, hopefully, inspire some of you to recreate a space in your own home using antiques, vintage, or recycled furniture!! I hope you enjoy the journey with me!

Part 4: The Unfitted Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal +The Pantry

Well, Friends, here it is!! The moment you have all been waiting for! (Actually, it’s the moment I have been waiting for! 😉 Our unfitted farmhouse kitchen is (almost!) complete!!! We have some bigger projects and some smaller projects that need tweaking, to be sure, but it is completed enough to share with you all. … Continue reading Part 4: The Unfitted Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal +The Pantry