Replacing the Cabinetry in This Kitchen Only Cost $500

You’ll be surprised—and inspired!—by some of the cost-cutting ideas that went into the renovation of this kitchen in a mid-1800s Victorian home located in Kingston, New York. Principal designer Maryline Damour of design and build firm Damour Drake undertook the project from concept to completion with the goal of transforming the space utilizing a careful mix of high/low budget materials. The result offers so many examples of how to use a renovation budget wisely.

AFTER: Maryline achieved her vision of a “rustic, glam, Victorian” kitchen by integrating a mix of high/low materials. Opting to refurbish used cabinets purchased for $500 and construct inexpensive countertops left room in the budget for splurging on the wood-paneled wall treatment, and the eye catching light fixture.

In terms of design, “the goal was an updated Victorian style kitchen,” Maryline explains. She wanted the kitchen to reflect modern aesthetics while referencing the architectural details of the era in which the home was built. In other words, Victorian but make it current.

After gutting the kitchen and reworking the floor plan to be more functional, Maryline sourced used cabinets from Big Reuse, rather than buying all new pieces. Another major save was the quartz countertops dupe constructed with $150 worth of materials from Home Depot. “Everyone thinks they’re Caesarstone,” Maryline says. Instead, they’re made from plywood painted bright white and coated in a thick layer of self-leveling epoxy resin poured on top.

BEFORE: “It was a mess,” Maryline says, of the crowded kitchen layout before, “practically everything had been crammed onto one wall of the kitchen.”

AFTER: The box-pleated sink skirt “is one of my favorite things,” Maryline says. “I was trying to reimagine what people would expect to see in a Victorian kitchen, so I used a very feminine floral fabric but then added box-pleats—instead of being flouncy, it looks very tailored.” The leather-wrapped cabinet door pulls add a hint of rustic warmth to the kitchen.

The warm gray and mauve color palette is a nod to the pink and purple paint colors typical in Victorian homes. I wanted to “dirty the palette up a bit, making it less sweet, and more sophisticated,” she says. Another traditional Victorian design detail, the kitchen sink apron, was embraced but reimagined, with tailored box pleats for a crisp look.

BEFORE: Replacing the 1960s cabinetry with a set of base cabinets sourced from Big Reuse for $500 enabled Maryline to devote more of her budget to high-end touches like the custom Shiplap wall treatment.

AFTER: The epoxy-coated countertops were made from $150 worth of hardware store materials (finished birch plywood with a routed edge, paint, and self-leveling epoxy). What’s more, they were surprisingly fool-proof to construct, and “they’ve held up really well to use, without any staining,” Maryline says.

AFTER: Incorporating accessories like a table lamp and mirrors in the kitchen decor make the space feel less utilitarian and more intimate. The cabinet and wall paint color is Sherwin-Williams Proper Gray and the

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For the first time, 12th Worcester District will send a woman to the State House, replacing Rep. Harold Naughton

The 12th Worcester District race for state representative is down to three candidates: Republican Susan Smiley, Green-Rainbow Party candidate Charlene DiCalogero and, as of Tuesday night, Meghan Kilcoyne as the Democrat on the ballot.

One of the candidates vying for the seat will succeed Rep. Harold Naughton, a Democrat who is stepping down after nearly 26 years. Whoever wins will make history as the first woman to become a state representative for the district, which includes Berlin, Boylston, Clinton, Lancaster, Northboro and Sterling.

“When you have multiple women in a race, in a lot of ways it neutralizes gender and takes gender out of the race. It stops the tokenism,” said Amanda Hunter, research and communications director of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation.

In November, voters will have to choose between three vastly different candidates with experience in different corners of government: a legislative director under Naughton, a supply-chain manager and former Lancaster selectwoman who’s worked for the Baker administration and a former library trustee who previously researched and coordinated grants and contracts for Lesley University.

Women make up 28% of the Legislature but more than half of the state population.

Massachusetts has had 213 state legislators who are women since Sylvia Donaldson and Susan Fitzgerald were elected to the House of Representatives in 1923, according to the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators. The Massachusetts House and Senate have 200 seats combined.

None of those 213 lawmakers held the 12th Worcester District’s House seat.

Naughton, who has served since 1995, announced in April he was stepping down to take a job at a New York-based law firm, Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. He would work remotely from Clinton.

Kilcoyne, his legislative director, announced her candidacy shortly after. Naughton endorsed her to replace him.

Kilcoyne started working for his office in 2010 as a legislative aide, cutting her teeth on state budget negotiations. The Northboro Democrat played a key role on the state’s 2014 gun reform package that created new firearms crimes and required the state to report to a federal background check database any records of mental illness or substance abuse commitments. She also helped craft language for the 2018 “red flag” law that lets people’s gun be confiscated if they pose a risk of hurting themselves or other people.

Kilcoyne, 32, said she has helped Naughton secure funding for local projects in the district, including improvements to Thayer Park in Lancaster, the Sterling Senior Center and the Berlin Community Garden.

“I’ve already been doing a lot of this job, and I have the experience to continue fighting for results in each of our towns,” she said.

Kilcoyne faced two challengers, also women, in Tuesday’s primary. She defeated Ceylan Rowe of Northborough and Alexandra Turner of Lancaster.

Kilcoyne called the historic primary and general elections with their all-woman slates exciting.

“On a broader scale, there’s not equal representation of women in the Legislature now. It’s certainly not reflective of the population,” she said. “I was honored to be in a campaign

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