Ashley and Patrick Palmer’s Tulsa, OK home is a 1953 ranch-style house. While they loved the mid-century style and open floor plan and proximity to Mockingbird Lake, there was one thing that could certainly be improved upon — their kitchen. Patrick is a software developer and Ashley owns with her friend Ashley Daly and together they style, buy and sell vintage home goods and furniture, have a plant-bar with succulents and air-plants, and carry goods by local artists and makers. Naturally, a kitchen makeover by someone who owns a vintage store is likely going to incorporate a few fabulous vintage finds.
From having to cook holiday meals at her mom’s house because Ashley’s oven was too small, to dated materials, and simply having a kitchen that didn’t work for them (or simplify their time in the kitchen at all), it was time for an update. One of the scarier finds was, “When we did the demo, we discovered that the huge, high vent hood was actually venting into our attic via a cardboard box. I always knew that vent hood was no good!” The Palmers ideally would have loved to have hired a general contractor, but ultimately opted for the more budget-friendly route of managing the renovation themselves. They talked to family and friends who had done the same, and carefully researched for about a year before jumping in for the six-month remodel.
Function was the name of the game when it came to reconfiguring some of the kitchen. “We relocated the pantry to a wall that used to be complete dead space, which allowed room for drawers and countertops on both sides of our stove/oven. We also pushed the peninsula out towards the eat-in area to allow room to the left of the dishwasher so that you can actually put up dishes. Before, you had to unload the dishes onto the counter, close the dishwasher door, then put up the dishes. So much better now! We also removed the stove top/vent hood from the peninsula making it just a long, useful stretch of countertop.”
Ultimately, Ashley is glad that they waited a few years living in their house to know what did and didn’t work for them so they ended up with the best kitchen for their family’s needs. Ashley made sure to incorporate thoughtful and meaningful details and vintage pieces into the space to reflect both their family and the rest of their home. “Thrift store finds (like the pedestal table), family heirlooms (salt and pepper shakers that belonged to my great-grandmother), and pieces handmade by friends and family (my mom made the yellow bench cushions and two potter friends made mugs, spoons and other beautiful pieces) make the kitchen feel warm and personal.”
Ashley’s also proud that she stuck to her gut in painting the walls the bold green she chose. Despite some people telling her she wouldn’t be happy with the color in the end, Ashley loves it and was so happy that it still allowed her to maintain the overall feel of a light and calming space. “I feel extremely lucky to have a kitchen that is both beautiful and functional. I’m thankful that my family spends time together in this space nearly every day. Even if doing separate tasks (cooking, eating, coloring, painting), we all seem to gravitate to the kitchen these days.” —
Image above: Good style and utilitarian function meet in the Palmer kitchen. “I love how the built-in bench seating runs right up to the cabinetry. It feels like it was meant to be. Plus, the proximity is great for passing food to my three-year-old.”