New Solution to an Old Problem, Part 2

A kitchen is a key component in any household, but for us it seems to be the one room with the most attainable drastic improvement. By that I mean, it has huge potential to be something impressive. It could almost be the cornerstone of our whole home renovation project, constantly evolving, and constantly improving on a solid foundation. The kitchen itself is fairly large given the size and age of our home. It also has a good amount of natural light, considering the size and style of our windows. We just had to allow it to shine in. I’m not trying to say that we are master renovators or anything, but I do feel strongly about what we’ve done. And how little we’ve actually spent on all of it. There are some obvious things that could be done, that are a bit out of budget for us at this point. The most obvious of those is new counter tops, but even that doesn’t seem unattainable.

Refinished Cabinet Door

Back to the matter at hand, the cabinet remodeling. So with the beadboard in place on the cabinet doors, the logical next step was to hang them. We bought the hardware for these ages ago. Sounds like good planning, but with this house, nothing seems to go perfectly right on the first try.

Cabinet Hardware

To make a long story short, the cabinets were evidently a custom build and none of them are exactly the same size. They also don’t exactly meet the standards of today’s cabinet hardware. None of the hardware we bought at Lowe’s went on without a little bit of trial and error. No matter how much I measured before hand, as soon as I threw the door up, I’d need to make an adjustment. Eventually they were all up, in the right place and complete with new hardware.

Freshly Painted Drawer

The other part of this project that we’d been waiting on finishing is the new cabinet/drawer that was installed with the dishwasher. It was installed out of necessity because the old cabinet and dishwasher didn’t fit in the same space at all. It came unfinished and we never painted it.

Painting Around Cabinet Hardware

Painting Hung Cabinet Doors

We painted the drawers and also touched up the cabinet doors.

Freshly Painted Cabinets

Now, 5 months later, we’ve finally finished our kitchen cabinet project. It seems like nothing is without trial and error, and this kitchen was no exception. I guess no one gets anything right the first time, and no one’s first draft is ever their final draft. At times this felt like a dark cloud looming over our heads, but now that it’s done and it makes sense it feels pretty good.

Kitchen Cabinet Before and After

New Solution to an Old Problem

As you may already know we had been sitting on our kitchen cabinet project for quite some time. We were living without doors on our cabinets for a few months. The cabinet project as a whole was a bit ambitious from the start, and saw a few roadblocks along the way, but I’m happy to say, it is complete.

Kitchen Remodel Before & After

You’ve seen the dramatic transformation twice before when we did a lot of work early on. We had some big ideas about using polycarbonate Lexan and replacing the old clear plastic brown windows. This proved to be more difficult than we had planned, and I ended up cracking some of it by using the wrong tools. Side note: the recommended tools used from scoring and snapping the Lexan don’t work too well either.

Beadboard Paneling for Cabinets

We put Plan B in motion while we were off from work between Christmas and New Years. It developed very quickly and at a much lower cost than anything involving plexiglass. We re-purposed some beadboard to fill in the cabinet windows. This is the stuff that would normally be used as wall paneling, usually with wainscoting.

Cutting Beadboard with a Jigsaw

This stuff is easy to cut, and since I already had the measurements from the plexi attempts, this was a simple job for me and my trusty jigsaw. However, after making the first few cuts, I noticed the edge where I was sawing was starting to fray. In a moment of mild concern I called the mill work department at Lowe’s and asked them how they’d do it. They suggested using blue painter’s tape along both sides of the cut.

Using a Jigsaw to cut Beadboard for Cabinets

Cut Beadboard

The blue painter’s tape really saved the day and stopped any and all fraying.

Liquid Nails for Cabinets

The next step was to pop the cut pieces into place. For this I used Liquid Nails. This stuff has been our go-to for strong holds and worked really well when we needed to get new molding to stick to our tile wall in the kitchen. With the beadboard in place, I just had to weight it down over night before mounting the doors back up onto their respective cabinets.

Cabinet Doors

As it turns out, no two of our cabinet doors are the same size (fun!) and it was a bit of a challenge to figure out which one went where. Stay tuned for part two of the final phase of our kitchen cabinet project – pictures of the finished product will be included!

3 Month Check-up: Part 2

As promised, oh 6 days ago (we’ve been slacking), we have the 2nd installment of our 3 month check-up. Last week, we focused on the living room and the bedroom. These were the first two rooms we attacked immediately after our closing. We showed up to our closing with a carload of stuff. Embarrassing? No, not at all. 😉

This week, we’re bringing you a progress report on the dining room, kitchen and basement to round out our check-up. We’ll skip the bathroom because you pretty much know how that went down since it’s all we could talk about for the entire month of November (and parts of September/October). We’re skipping the office too because it’s not much of an office yet and not much has been done to this dump-everything-here-for-now room.

The Dining Room

We never had big plans for the dining room. In fact, we weren’t even going to paint it. We purchased our lovely china cabinet from IKEA and once we got it home, we did some impulse painting. Now we’ve decorated and re-arranged a few things to make this space a little more pleasing.

Here’s the dining room as pictured in the listing photo:

Dining room listing photoHere’s what we did:

  • Bought some IKEA shelving units that we fashioned into a “china cabinet.”
  • Painted the walls: Olympic One in Gray Beige
  • Added some lovely circle mirrors from Target
  • Bought an awesome piece of Bulldog art, also from Target

And here’s what the dining room looks like today (decorated for Christmas, of course)!

Dining room remodelDining room remodelThe Kitchen

Oh the kitchen…it went from being one of our least favorite rooms to being quite possibly one of our favorites. All thanks to a little paint, new flooring and some sweat equity.

Here’s the kitchen as pictured in the listing photos:

Kitchen listing photoHere’s what we did to it:

  • Had a dishwasher installed
  • Bought a new refrigerator because the old one gave us the creeps
  • Primed and painted the cabinets: 1-2-3 Prime + Valspar Interior paint in Du Jour
  • Purchased new cabinet hardware and re-affixed all of the base cabinet doors and drawers (we’re still working on the top half)
  • Installed a pantry closet with a little help from our friends at IKEA
  • Built a ridiculous (and ridiculously awesome) coffee station, courtesy of some IKEA furniture and an overabundance of Keurig gadgets and K-cups
  • Installed new flooring: Pergo Laminate in American Beech
  • Purchased and assembled a center kitchen island, complete with breakfast bar

Whew! Here’s what that looks like today:

Kitchen re-design, kitchen remodelKitchen re-design, kitchen remodelKitchen re-design, kitchen remodelThe Basement

The basement is a big work in progress, but so far, we’ve at least jump-started it into the future.

Here’s the basement as pictured in the listing photo:

Basement listing photoThis one’s deceiving because the before picture may almost look better than the after, but it’s the little details, people!

Here’s what we did to the dungeon:

  • Had the giant freezer hauled away (hiding in a nook next to the washer). Received a $50 energy credit from the State for it!
  • Had the oven hauled away by our friends at Hammertime Remodeling who offered to take it off our hands
  • Purchased new drop ceiling tiles. Sliced them up and started hanging them (this is still very much in progress)
  • Painted the basement stairwell after the old bathroom window overlooking the stairs was removed: Behr Paint and Primer in One in Fresh Day
  • Removed some ugly, sliding, faux wood doors from the storage shelving in the stairwell and painted them as well
  • Re-organized the storage shelves + added various hooks to store reusable grocery bags, recycled plastic bags, extension cords, etc.

    Basement remodel, home improvement

Basement stairwell, storage space

That just about wraps up our 3 month check-up. I think we’ve done a pretty good job, but we’ll let you be the judge. Let us know what you think. We’re also looking for suggestions for finishing our kitchen cabinets. We are having a helluva time cutting some Lexan (polycarbonate sheeting) for the cabinet doors and we’ve just about run out of ideas – help!