Kitchen remodel of your childhood home: Ask yourself, ‘What would mom say?’

Editor’s note: All of you big Barb Heitz fans out there won’t want to miss the historic photos in this one. Here, Barb is especially excited about her Kitchen-Aid dishwasher.

I think we all have vivid memories about the kitchens where we were reared as children, don’t we?

I certainly do.

Tiny bungalow bathroom redo is art deco totes adorbes

Some of them I am reminded of every single day since I live in my childhood home once again.

Even though the house now looks, for the most part, completely different (with a few unchanged tributes to the past), the kitchen is where the most flashbacks seem to take place.

Dishwasher new

I made very few changes to the kitchen. These 1976 Brammer cabinets still are rock solid. I simply changed “the jewelry” on them, to use the terminology of one friend of real estate prowess.

The little nickel tube handles were less than $60 Home Depot or Lowe’s online (can’t remember which) delivered to my door.

The house came with the blue countertop and white/blue linoleum that remains. I can live with both of them, for now.

I actually kind of like the sink and full counter backsplash with the blue shell design. I like the appliance backsplash, too.

I simply painted this room yellow and the door red. You may notice the nice silver plates I have over the light switches and electrical outlets throughout the house.

Light Switches

The house is small enough that the cost isn’t bad either (especially if you only buy a few plates at a time while you’re remodeling…the cost about $8 each).

The impact can be pretty big, however, especially against new paint.

Here’s what I remember about this kitchen when I was a kid:

It could get EXTREMELY hot in here.

Before my parents built the room addition, the kitchen was eat-in. What now would be a dining room (but is my office) was the living room back then.

Read more: Two-car garage in 1976 today a parlor fit for a queen

When the kitchen was an eat-in, I remember we had a dishwasher that attached to the sink with a hose. It would spit hot water at us while we at our dinner.

But the most engrained memory I have is of my mother sitting on a yellow foot stool under that window as she talked on the telephone that was attached to the wall.

Mom Phone Must

And it’s so creepy that the gigantic wall jack is still there. (It’s hidden behind the microwave…but they carefully tiled around it) What the?

Who can forget when our phones where attached to walls? I’m talking before we even upgraded to the little prong with the 50-foot-long cord you could then attach to the desk model that you rented from AT&T.

“Hello, and welcome to AT&T. Can we start you out with the Banana, Princess, or standard wall and desk models?”

Do you remember?

Going through the old family photo album proved especially fun for this assignment. I remember how excited mom was when she got her new Kitchen Aid, as pictured at the top of this story.

Our poodle, Peaches, really liked it, too.

Poodle Dishwasher

I love my brand NEW Kitchen-Aid dishwasher. I made sure it’s a Kitchen-Aid, just for mom.

And look at this one of Grandma Nellie Fordham, God rest her soul! The 1976 kitchen remodel probably was relatively new in this picture. That’s the first microwave we ever owned.

Nelie Fordham

A friend with good genes as it pertains to real estate told me early on I should remove the cupboards between the kitchen and the office to open the house up.

When I did finally do that, it made a dramatic impact on the entire feel of the house. It really did.


I love how I can look through the pass-through now and see the lineup of the three televisions in the three rooms. These are the things little kids dream about, you know. “If it were MY house…”

TV Lineup

And I’ve toyed about what to do beyond removing the cupboards to “finish the job,” so to speak, and I have decided I’m going to leave things exactly as they are. It’s in step with a keeping a bit of the old.

OK, and I have to admit the other thing I remember. I remember playing Jacks on the kitchen floor. And every time I look at that vent in the floor, I think about sitting there and playing Jacks.

And why I have not purchased some Jacks at Family Dollar and sat down there and played Jacks yet I do not know. I may do that today.
Until next time.

Please follow my home improvement blog posts, as well as my PTSD/medical cannabis blog posts, sobriety blog posts, celebrity interviews, and other “what works for me” type of advice, by liking  my Facebook page, updated regularly

Maybe it will help you better take on the day.

Thank you.

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