A Renovation Refresh for 3 Colonial-Style Kitchens
These classic Colonial kitchen renovations show interiors ready for modern-day life
(Above) The 1919 Colonial of Sweeten homeowners Amanda and Cory
The quaintness of Colonial-style homes is undeniable. Usually marked by two or three stories and brick or wood facades, these dwellings are traditionally found on the east coast. They are typically characterized by a simple almost minimalist shape. The floor plan keeps the kitchen and dining room on the first floor with bedrooms on the second. And while some have open-concept layouts, it is more common to see separation between rooms. They are also easy to remodel by adding on to the side or back.
Here, we look at three Colonial kitchen renovations by Sweeten—examples of their older interiors redone to bring in modern style and conveniences.
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Bringing a Tudor Colonial into the next century
Built in 1912, Nilda and Brian’s Tudor Colonial in Westchester County, NY, desperately needed a remodel. The 4,400-square-foot home featured a kitchen that was last updated almost 60 years ago. It was time for a change. “The floor was three inches off-level,” says Nilda. “You could peek through the floor to the basement.”
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The couple hired a Sweeten contractor for the remodel. To honor the historic style, they maintained some separation between the kitchen and the other living spaces. New cabinets, flooring, and lighting updated the look. They also opened up the back wall to install a patio door.
They kept a traditional feel by opting for Shaker cabinets in a modern gray color. The butler’s pantry also keeps the turn-of-the-century vibe but with a contemporary twist.
A Colonial Revival home gets rejuvenated
Fiske Terrace, Brooklyn, is a quiet enclave built at the turn of the 20th century. Interestingly, the Flatbush neighborhood is filled with Colonial Revival homes. So when Nydia and Jonathan bought their 3,240-square-foot home in 2012, they decided to renovate. But at the time, they put off the larger renovation of the outdated kitchen.
Eventually, they turned to Sweeten to find the right contractor for their old-home renovation. They wanted to take advantage of the natural light the house afforded. However, like in many other Colonial home renovations, the small windows blocked out the light. As a solution, they replaced them with white-framed ones. In addition, they updated the kitchen with gray-blue cabinets and brushed gold accents. These design choices make the aesthetic modern yet still warm and inviting. The bonus? The exposed brick from the chimney area brings even more character.
From challenged to Colonial charming
Dated salmon-colored Formica didn’t stop Amanda and Cory from buying their 1919 Colonial home. For a while, they actually found it charming. However, they knew eventually it needed to be renovated. They hired a Sweeten contractor to update the kitchen to accommodate their family’s needs.
On their list of goals was creating a better flow of traffic and light. A challenge of renovating Colonial homes is their notorious separation of rooms. The main entrance to the kitchen by way of the dining room was too narrow. As a result, it isolated the kitchen. But taking down the wall felt disrespectful to the house’s character, so instead, they simply widened and centered it.
Like a lot of Colonials, there was some asymmetry in the house. One example was the sheetrock box-beam in the kitchen. They assumed it encased something hard to move, so they left it. However, they fixed the problem by giving it a matching beam which created symmetry.
“Our new space makes us feel happy,” says Amanda. “It feels so harmonious with the rest of our beautiful old Colonial home.”
Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.