Wren and Willow Kitchen Remodel Little Perfection

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Wren and Willow Kitchen Remodel Little Perfection


This is exactly the kind of story I was hoping for when I started this blog nine year ago: entrepreneurs… Professional remodelers … even the fins of the house … who would see the Charm in the original architecture of the mid-century houses and would not update them, but retro-renovate them. And not just chic houses designed by mid-century architects. Charming little ones-the humble mid-century houses – too. And that’s exactly what the General Contractor company Wren & Willow did: they took a cottage adapted to the needs of the 1940s and renovated it so that it looked new – new, ala 1940. the owner Laureen Skrivan contacted me about the project. She also has a pretty good story. And oh, there’s another happy ending with another twist. This story has everything… and there are so many things to show that I’m going to spread them over a few days. Today: the kitchen that is guaranteed to blow your socks off Bobby!
Laureen keeps up to date via a Blog by subscribing to our weekly e-mail Newsletter and writing to me:

Hello Pam-

I love your Blog and I have shared it with many of our clients. This is a wealth of information, and I have learned so much from reading your blog. We are a design-build general contractor in Tacoma, Washington. We bought a property a year ago and renovated the house in harmony with the Art Deco atmosphere of the 1940s. Our goal is to use it as an Airbnb in a few year. I would like to share these before and after photos with you and your reader. Let me know if I can share the photos with you. Please continue as you are doing. My heart jumps every time I get a retro renovation email. It’s like receiving a beautiful magazine in the mail!

Well, that email was tempting. And the photos that followed-taken by Aleks Akinshev from The Wren & Willow team-yowza, this woman and The Wren & Willow team know what she’s doing!
And that’s how our email exchange started—I have 22 emails in total-it shows the effort often required to summarize stories like this – so you can see why a blogger gets upset when people steal your content!
A “Restomod” Kitchen
With some modifications on my part to combine the emails and for the feed; Laureen continues:


As the owners of Wren & Willow, a Tacoma, Washington construction company specializing in the renovation of historic homes, we decided to buy a 1940s house as an investment property. The house was attached to a small laundromat and the previous owners lived in the house while they operated the laundromat. Our intention was to use it as an additional office space for the company.

This traditional minimalist house from 1941 was for us the perfect “Restomod” project. In the Terminology of car collectors, this house would be called Restomod. In the world of vintage cars, a Restomod does not restore and does not fully use every part and part of the original car and does not reuse it, but updates it to modern standards while preserving the appearance and overall integrity of the car. We do this quite often when we work with historical houses.

Instead of modernizing the house, we decided to bring the 1940s to life. To do this, we have reused many materials recovered after the war. The most notable are the restored Crosley steel kitchen cabinets built in the early 1950s. These were purchased from a local architectural junkyard, completely dented and covered with rust. We took them to a local vintage car restorer who could sand the cabinets and paint them with a beautiful jadeite. After the restoration, the cabinets were assembled like a Puzzle to fit the kitchen space.
In addition to the cabinets, we bought a Wedgewood gas stove from 1942 for the kitchen. It was restored by Antique Stove Heaven in California and shipped to Tacoma.
This house testifies to what can be done during the restoration, rehabilitation and reuse of recovered materials. Each item Returned to its original condition brings a striking Charm that new materials simply cannot bring.

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