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A Kitchen with Vintage Character

By: Jen Jafarzadeh L'Italien
A family of restaurant owners use their design-sense to transform three century-old rooms into one efficient kitchen that's filled with antique treasures.
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A Century-Old Kitchen

Bryan Steelman and Claire Olberding moved wanted to create more space in their 100-year-old kitchen for family time. The original kitchen was cut up into two separate, small rooms — a tiny butler’s space with a sink and some cupboards and the other room had a kitchen table, refrigerator, and an electric range.

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Finding Materials to Reuse

The original kitchen had a butler's station with a butler staircase. The only salvageable elements of the original kitchen were the wood floors beneath the linoleum tile and one broom closet door. It was a beautiful vintage door that they added to an upstairs closet.

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Comforts in the Kitchen

To put their design-sense to work, the family salvaged materials and used eclectic finds to create an inviting space for mealtime. The center table is the family's favorite spot in the kitchen. "The table is a part of our lives every day and we feel very connected to what it's made of." says Bryan.

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From Salvaged Materials to Table

The kitchen table, which also acts as an island, is made of a metal base and salvaged wood top. Claire found the antique mechanical table base, and the wood is from a maple tree that had fallen in Portland. "Our friends who make furniture built the table top from a beautiful slab of the old maple, and we traded them tacos from our restaurant for the work they did," says Bryan.

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