McClurg's Home Remodeling Blog

Project of the Month: Rustic Kitchen Redesign and Remodel

Posted by Melissa Sposato on Tue, Jul 12, 2016

For many homeowners, the architecture of their house and personal design preferences are important factors in their remodeling plans. This month’s featured project is a kitchen remodel that transformed a log home built in 1986 by adding elements reflecting the style of the home and the owner’s design preferences.

Soapstone counters, cabinets with a distressed crackle finish and porcelain plank flooring in a variegated wood pattern were combined with salvaged appliances to maintain the authentic rustic look of this unique home. The remodeling project took approximately five weeks to complete.

rustic kitchen redesign and remodel

The owner of this log home wanted the kitchen to have a rustic look and include places to display antiques and collectibles. Unique products and finishes, such as the crackle and distressed finish cabinets, complement the style of the home and add interest.

Homeowner’s Objectives

1.  Update the kitchen and salvage most appliances. The way people use a kitchen changes over time due to evolving lifestyles and the development of new products. The home is 30 years old. This is often a time when kitchens require renovation and appliances need to be replaced. However, the appliances were in good condition. The wall oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave oven and sink and faucet were to be salvaged.

2.  Open up the entry to the kitchen and add a laundry closet. The owner wanted a laundry closet to conceal a washer and dryer that were exposed in the entry mudroom.

3.  Maintain the rustic style of the home in the new design. It was important to the owner to use products that would enhance the home.

4.  Reshape the island. The owner wanted an inviting kitchen to work in with a seating area on the island  where people could gather.

5.  The kitchen needed to be “pet friendly.” The owner has several dogs and needed flooring and finishes in the kitchen that would be easy to clean and a design that would be accommodating to the pets.

BEFORE: log home kitchen

The original kitchen had a large center island with a cooktop. Storage was not efficient. A wall with a Dutch door separated the kitchen and a mudroom area that included a washer and dryer. A wall oven was located in the back of the kitchen. While there was natural light, work areas were not adequately lit.

McClurg’s Solutions

1.  Redesign the kitchen to meet the homeowner’s objectives.

The challenges in designing and building the new kitchen came from the log beams of the home and the wood plank walls and ceilings. Cabinets and trims had to be made to fit around the main log of the home, which supported the entire structure.

This is not a home with traditional ceilings and walls where new plumbing or electrical wiring could be installed, so we had to work within the existing mechanicals layout in these spaces.

rustic kitchen perspective drawing

Perspective drawing of kitchen redesign.


log home kitchen remodel

The kitchen was designed to provide ample storage space and efficient areas for cooking and informal dining. The cooktop, refrigerator, range, microwave oven and farmhouse-style sink are conveniently placed for preparing meals. There is also counter storage on the perimeter of the kitchen for frequently used small appliances, knives and utensils. A new GE Profile cooktop and pop-up downdraft vent were installed on the island. The wall oven was relocated on the island.

2.  Open the entryway and add a laundry closet.

The door separating the mudroom and kitchen was removed and the opening was widened and reframed. A closet was built for the washer and dryer and louvered pine doors were used to conceal the appliances and contents.

BEFORE: log home kitchen entryway

BEFORE: Entryway to kitchen from mudroom/laundry room.


AFTER: log home kitchen entryway

AFTER: The open entry connects with the kitchen and the laundry closet hides the washer, dryer and supplies. Pantry storage is provided by a tall cabinet that features glass doors on the lit upper section to view items stored. An electrical outlet was added to the cabinet for small appliances. The crown molding was cut to fit around the log beams of the ceiling.

3.  Maintain the rustic style of the home.

We worked with the homeowner on the selection of products to complement the home. The homeowner chose the following products:

  • Counters: Soapstone
  • Cabinets: Bishop Cabinets - Crackled paint on upper and tall cabinets and distressed maple on base cabinets
  • Flooring: Porcelain plank flooring set on a diagonal
  • Hardware: Top Knobs “Pewter Antique” cup pulls on the drawers and mushroom knobs
  • Sink: The deep dual basin solid surface farmhouse-style apron sink was salvaged. The faucet was also salvaged.
  • Lighting: Wayfair - Pull chain restoration type pendants and sconces in a verde green finish 
  • Appliances: All were salvaged except for the new GE Profile electric cooktop and downdraft
  • Other: Emtek door hardware “American Heritage” egg knob handle and backplate and pine louver doors (for laundry area)

4.  Redesign the island.

The wall oven was relocated to the island. This change made the work area more efficient and created a place in its former location for a tall pantry cabinet.

The base cabinet storage on the island was replaced by storage drawers that provide easier access to contents.

An overhang area of the soapstone counter provides seating for four to five people. A heat vent that was originally located in the floor was installed in the toe kick of the island.

rustic kitchen with island

The island with seating for four, a soapstone countertop, a glass cooktop and downdraft ventilation is the center of activity in this kitchen.

5.  Use “pet friendly” products.

Dogs can damage wood flooring with their nails. The owner selected durable porcelain tile flooring that has the look of wood. This tile is easy to clean when a pet comes in from the outdoors with wet or muddy paws and can be swept or vacuumed to clean up pet hair. The tile was also used in the mudroom area where the laundry closet is located.

How to Plan a Kitchen Remodeling Project Guide

Topics: Kitchens, Kitchen Design, Projects of the Month