Monday, January 9, 2012

Progress in the Kitchen

Even before our wedding, Drew Babe started working on the kitchen.  Originally, the kitchen had faux wood laminate counters,  like in the picture here.  Actually, I shouldn't even say "faux" because that makes it sound chic, and this kitchen started out far from being chic.  I'm sure in the 1970's it looked quite nice, but we are going for a more 2011-ish kinda look.

So, our first step was to rip out the fake wood counters and install (with the help of Uncle Wayne) new laminate counters, just like these.  We also put in a new deeper black sink in place of the old shallow stainless one.  

Because we know the kitchen is everyone's favorite hang out spot, we wanted to make it was open as possible.  Originally, the counter up against the wall (now known as "the peninsula") used to be an island, sticking out into the middle of the kitchen and cutting it in half (unfortunately we forgot to take those before pics...I promise we really are working on that).  When we ripped up the island and turned it to be placed up against the wall, it was a perfect fit!  We did have someone extend the back to make it a few inches deeper, because we can always use more storage space.

To open the kitchen up even more, I asked Drew Babe if we could remove that decorative scroll-y wood piece above the window.  After he ripped that wood piece out, I immediately thought removing the wood shelves on either side of the window would make it look more modern (see why the Martin honey-do list is never ending...poor Drew).  We both loved the new open window!

Next came the daunting and tedious task of painting the cabinets.  We, actually Drew, began by removing all the doors and drawers, so we could more easily sand them down.  We sanded and wiped them clean, and then applied three coats of primer.  For the final coat of paint we went with Sherwin-Williams ProClassic trim and door paint, in a gloss Pure White color.  We had heard horror stories of people trying to cover their wood cabinets with white paint, but thankfully our cabinet project went smoothly, most likely because of Drew Babe's meticulousness and patience.

You might notice the hardware seems different as well.  I found the oil rubbed bronze knobs on Ebay for a little over $1 a piece.  Tons cheaper than the Lowe's or Home Depot price.

The hinges used to be an old brassy color.  Instead of spending well over $100 on new hinges, I suggested we try to paint them.  Drew was a little wary of this idea, because painting a metal contraption with lots of moving parts can be tricky.  We took our time and used our new favorite, (thanks to Young House Love) oil-rubbed bronze Rust-oleum spray paint, to paint all those little jaspers.  They turned out great and even after opening and shutting the cabinets countless times, the paint has stayed the same.

After we removed the scroll-y wood thing from above the window, it left a tiny fluorescent light for all the world to see.  Drew Babe used his electronic tech skills to install a new pendant light above the sink.  At night it gives off such a cozy, homey glow.

The first night of having the light installed, we both couldn't get over the beautiful glow coming from the light.  I bet we stood there for more than a couple minutes just staring at the light and pondering deep thoughts (well, maybe not that last part, but we definitely stared at it).

Drew Babe installed the white shelves above our "peninsula" as a surprise for me.

Still to do:

  • New curtain above the sink.  I already have the fabric, so step one of that project is done!
  • New floors.  Eventually we would like laminate wood floors throughout the kitchen, family room, and hall.
  • New appliances.  The creamy stove really just throws off the crisp and clean look of the cabinets.  We are probably going to go with stainless and have already looked at some.  Still waiting for a great deal.
  • I would also like to paint the wall and slightly different green color.  Less minty and more apple-y.  That may happen way down the road.

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