Plywood underlay for countertops



Built in 1947, the Henny Penny Farmette cottage didn’t look like a dream home when we first saw it. However, we knew we could make it not only habitable but functional and pretty. There had been a family living there before we purchased the property. They left behind some kitchen cabinets but that was about all.


At one point the house had some pretty hardwood flooring. I know this because I met a neighbor who bought it from the family who lived here. Apparently, most of the interior that wasn’t nailed down was sold or otherwise removed. When we got here, there was no bathroom sink or appliances (unless you count an old refrigerator standing abandoned on the land).


Bathroom and kitchen became construction priorities for us. From a retail marble outlet, we secured permission from the owner to take what we wanted from the store’s dumpster. We found enough discarded marble to create a guest bathroom floor  in one color and a master bathroom floor (in two colors). It meant my husband Carlos would have to painstakingly cut the tile, but he was up to it.


We found marble countertops discounted by a supplier in Oakland. We also discovered that the supplier had some pieces in a discard pile (for a fraction of the cost but he would only sell it on Sundays) requiring us to make another trip. We like the “L” shaped counter, but had to cut the holes for the sink and cooktop. Carlos created a beautiful sunburst as the focal area on the wall behind the cooktop.



Creating a pattern for insertion


We discovered a closeout sale on Italian honed marble but had to drive for two hours to Sacramento to get it. The price was great but the speckled marble was rather plain. I asked Carlos to cut some rectangles in the same color as the sunburst and we played around with different patterns finally settling on a simple one.



Sunburst cut from granite by Carlos


It has taken almost three years for Carlos and I to finally finish the kitchen (although we haven’t been working on it full-time, there are other tasks around the farmette that must be done, too). We are pleased with the result.


A little more finishing work and we’ll be done



Our refrigerator and dishwasher do not match the other appliances that we have in the kitchen, but they were gifts that we will use until we need to replace them. We got the remainder of the appliances (all stainless steel) at a fire sale price for the lot from a friend going through divorce. But the kitchen is quite functional. Best of all, we did it for a fraction of the cost of a kitchen remodel at today’s prices and in the process kept materials out of  landfill.



Tags: , , , ,


Leave a Reply