Before & After: Kitchen - Farmhouse refresh
This Old House Magazine|Fall 2021
Living in his grandparents’ old house, across the road from the family farm, a lifestyle blogger is making it his own. His latest project: an updated, more functional kitchen that’s still true to the vintage home’s rural roots
NINA MALKIN

Shaker-style cabinets and two-over-two double-hung windows are period-appropriate yet fit nicely with an unfussy island, a pro-style range, and sleek quartz countertops.

Loving an old house—even one that’s been in your family for ages—doesn’t mean you have to live in the past. Just ask Kaleb Wyse, whose family grows corn and soybeans in Mount Pleasant, IA, on land they’ve been farming for four generations. After buying his grandparents’ house, a circa-1890 American Foursquare, more than 10 years ago, Kaleb was ready at last to tackle the kitchen renovation. His challenge: to balance restoring the room’s “farmhouse soul” with his need for a practical workspace that suits how he cooks, entertains, and blogs ( the food and gardening Wyse Guide website is his brainchild). The cook space, last redone in 1982, was “dark and closed off, with limited counter space, poor flow, and no seating,” says Kaleb, who drafted the design and served as general contractor. “I wanted to bring back the original farmhouse feel, while gaining open space and function.”

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