Historic Kitchen Remodel

Myers Park, Tallahassee
  • 1940’s Historic Kitchen Remodel
  • Added Storage and Counterspace
  • Same Footprint and Authentic Style
  • Total Cost: $72.610.67

McManus Kitchen and Bath provides a single place where you can work with interior design and construction professionals who can help you create a happy, healthy home. We start each project with a Design and Budget Consult. It will help you clarify your design ideas, understand the remodeling process and create a Good Better Best Budget for your project. Click here to schedule a consult.

Project Overview

An historic kitchen remodel or older home update can be a challenge. Things like old wiring, thick plaster walls and floors that have shifted over time can complicate the project. These also homes have a unique look and feel that is worth preserving but also need modern features.

For this historic home we orginally created 2 concepts. One expanded the kitchen into the dining room by removing a wall and adding a penisula with seating. The second, and ultimately the one we went with, kept the original footprint but centered the back door so we could add more counter and storage space.

Before and After

Drag the slider in the image below to see the transformation!

The before and after photos for this historic kitchen remodel really emphasize how a new design can completely transform a space!

Our Favorite Things

Frameless cabinets and a new porch door were key to making this project work. The undercabinets lights, bright backsplash and new drywall also helped brighten the small kitchen. 

New Patio Door

A great secondary benefit of this historic kitchen remodel was the back porch update that we did with it. Because we had to move the door in order to create more cabinet and counterspace in the kitchen we went ahead and updated the back porch entry with some board and batten siding, new steps and sonce lights.

New Fisher & Paykel Appliances

The homeowners chose Fisher & Paykel appliances for their fridge, dishwasher, microwave and range. They look incredible.

Microwave hoods are not our favorite and we prefer a separate hood and microwave whenever possible. But in a small kitchen its hard to deny the space saving efficiency of a microwave hood!

Rollout Pantry

This counter depth Fisher & Paykel refrigerator is a great way to save space. Coupling it with a tall pantry cabinet and fridge panel gives the fridge a cool build in look.  

This is a great example of the benefits of frameless cabinets. An inset or framed cabinet would not be able to fit in the small space next to this fridge (the frame of the cabinet would take up an extra 3″ making the space unusable). 

Rollouts are an essential feature for tall panty cabinets. The really help maximize the storage space and full access to the cabinets contents. 

Shelf Over Sink

The shelf over the sink is mostly decorative, but we think it adds so much to the space. The shelf pairs perfectly with the two tall wall cabinets to frame the window with a cohesive sense of flair.

New Flooring

The new flooring in this space is wood-look tile from Daltile. Hybridizing the durability and feel of tile flooring with the aesthetic of wood means that this kitchen has a modern look but doesn’t completely lose it’s warmth.

Because this home is off grade and has a wood subfloor we install Dittra underlayment before installing the floor tile. This not only waterproofs the floor but prevents the tile from cracking as the home shifts over time. 

Before Photos

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Design Concepts

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After Photos

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Scope of Work

The whole kitchen is only about 200 square feet and the original design had some limitations. The location of the door limited how much cabinetry could be installed so they had almost no counterspace around the range and every little storage.

The homeowners wanted to keep the original footprint and respect the homes original design and style. After a few concept drawings we decided the best option was to move the door to the back porch to the center of the room. This would allow up to add cabinets and storage next to the range which would make the kitchen a lot more functional and enjoyable to use.

This kitchen originally had inset cabinets, which were common in better homes during the era this kitchen was created. But for the remodel we chose frameless cabinets, which have a similar look but offer more storage and accessibilty that the inset version.

We added a tall pantry next to the fridge for added storage and to allow the fridge door to open completely. (Pro tip: never put a fridge against a wall) We also chose to install a counter depth fridge, which is about 6 inches shallower than a traditional fridge. It makes a big difference in this small kitchen.

Because of the age of the home we advised the clients to have their wiring updated before the project started. We referred them to our electricians for the work. Getting the rewire done before the remodel started would help reduce the amount of time the remodel woudl take so they would not have to be without a kitchen for an extended period of time.

Finally, new drywall, paint, floor tile and undercabinet lighting helped brighten the space. On the outside of the house we added sconce lights next to the new door and added some new steps going down to the porch.

Timeline, Challenges and Solutions

Project Start

April 11th, 2022

Estimated Completion

June 15th, 2022

Actual Completion

July 19th, 2022

This job ran close to the original project schedule except for two issues. The first was a change order requested by the client to add new steps and trim to the back porch. That change only added a couple days to the project.

The other delay was more significant and was caused by a delay in the countertop installation. This added about 2 weeks longer than expected. No one is happy when this happens, least of all our countertop installer, but pandemic related supply, shipping and manufacturing issues have been causing a lot delays like this in the countertop industry.

We installed a temporary sink and countertop so the homeowner could use thier kitchen while we were waiting on their quartz countertops.

This was one of the first projects we had that was affected by these issues and since we have started building additional lead time for countertops into our scheduled.

Project Costs

Initial Budget: $61,784

Fixed Price Proposal: $70,832.68

Change Orders: $2,227.99

Final Project Cost: $72,610.67

Cost Details

The initial Good-Better-Best budget for this project was $61,784 while the final total was $72,610.67.

Labor costs were about $1200 more than budgeted during their GBB meeting mostly due to some work that was added to the project during design.

The materials selections increased by about $5800 in design. This was mostly due to changing the cabinet line for the project. They had originaly had chosen to use our ‘good’ cabinet line but during design designed to upgrade to the ‘better’ cabients. 

Finally the change orders after the final contract had been signed such as the new patio steps, lighting, and door trim, led the cost to rise to the final total of $72,610.67.

Cost Breakdown

  • Installation Labor 33% 33%
  • Fixtures and Materials 41% 41%
  • Design and Project Management 11% 11%
  • Overhead and Profit 11% 11%
  • Shipping and Sales Tax 4% 4%



In the kitchen, this homeowner went with the Evoke door style from Bellmont’s 1600 line in White paint. The cabinet pulls are Richelieu’s Contemporary Metal Pulls.


The countertops in the kitchen are Silestone’s Seaport Suede.


The new wood-look tile flooring in this kitchen is Daltile’s Resemblance in Natural finish.


The refrigerator, range, microwave, and dishwasher in this kitchen are all Fisher & Paykel appliances.


Trade Partners

We’ve been developing relationships with quality trade partners for years. We tend to use the same subcontractors because we trust their work and have developed a great working relationship with them. This helps make projects run smoother.

Demo: Matheson Construction and Demo LLC

Plumbing: Capital Plumbing Contractors

Electric: Truevolt

Carpetry: CTR Custom Cabinet Built-Ins and Trim

Drywall: Hawkins Drywall

Painting: A Different Stroke By Kenneth

HVAC: Watts Cooling Heating and Plumbing

Tile: Keys Tile

Thank you for reading! We’d love to be a part of your next remodel. Check out our Design Services page.

Paul McManus

Certified Residential Contractor, CRC1331326

Get Started With A Design and Budget Consult

We start each project with a Design and Budget Consult. It will help you clarify your design ideas, understand the remodeling process and create your Good Better Best budget. It’s the best way to start planning your project.