Re: Need help with kitchen remodel
For the style you describe (1920's bungalow) you'll probably want to look at "craftsman" style trim and finishes. Typically this is represented by straight lines and squared-off corners, with little embellishment. Trim and cabinets will probably be painted rather than stained.
You may be able to reuse some of the existing cabinets IF the carcases (the cabinet boxes) are in good shape. Refinishing the face frames is pretty easy, and you can install new doors of an appropriate style. You may need to special order the doors if they aren't standard size, but it will still be a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire cabinet. If the cabinets are NOT in good shape or won't match up with new cabinets, don't even bother trying to fix or remodel them; it's not worth it. (I've done that and regretted it.)
For this period of home, the typical countertop materials would have been soapstone, marble, or linoleum (yes, linoleum!) with metal edging. High-pressure laminate (aka Formica) is a more durable alternative to linoleum, and not inappropriate to the style. A tile or washable wallpaper backsplash goes well.
Make sure you install good task lighting. Working in your shadow is unpleasant. If anyone using the kitchen is about 5' tall or shorter, build a section of counter 3"-6" lower than standard. (Note that dishwashers require standard height countertops.) If space permits, provide some workspace with no upper cabinets.
For the pantry, let the styling in the kitchen drive the styling in the pantry. Once you know what you want the kitchen to look like, just make the furnishings and finishes in the pantry match.
Consider the style of the faucet very carefully. Even more important than appearance is function; you want one that will be easy to use or you will absolutely hate it. Pull-out and pull-down spouts can be nicer than separate sprayers. Choosing between pull-out and pull-down depends both on personal style and how well the individual faucet is designed. It should be made of solid brass, not plastic and not cast zinc. It will be expensive, but it doesn't need to be an overpriced designer brand that you can't pronounce.
Actual commercial ranges are cheaper than "commercial style" ranges, but they may not be as pretty. They may not have safety features required by your local residential building codes.
Don't be tempted to use ceramic or stone tile flooring. Anything dropped on that surface will break or dent, and your feet and back will hate it after you've spent a couple hours baking or canning or cooking. Hardwood or laminate flooring requires attention to wipe up spills immediately. Vinyl or linoleum are probably the best choices if you are a messy cook.
Lastly, remember that this advice is worth every penny you paid for it.
Last edited by Fencepost; 10-15-2013 at 12:55 AM.
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.