Something From Nothing and a little bit of Everything!

The art of turning "good junk" into "great design"

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
William Morris, Hopes and Fears for Art (1882)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Kitchen Transformation

Our kitchen makeover might be considered a labour of love, because it certainly wasn't a project that happened in 3 months.  Instead it has taken 8 years to completion.  That is not to say that progress wasn't made along the way.  

This is not a great before picture, but it does highlight some of the things that were so wrong in this much used space-the burgundy counters, the flowered cabinet knobs and the mishmash of appliances.

8 years later it was hard to find many pictures of our little house.  Where these patio doors were is now our step down to our family room.

When we moved in we had an open concept eating area and living room, but it was tight quarters.  You can see in this picture my hoosier cabinet, that has also had several makeovers. 

 Where our dining room table used to sit, is now home to our antique island, a piece that will have to go with me when we move from this house.


Our kitchen is not huge by today's standards, but when we moved into the house the cabinetry was relatively new, and had been made by the gentleman who owned the house prior to us.    We couldn't justify redoing it when we first moved in and we knew that the footprint of the kitchen couldn't change, so when we added on the addition in 2010 we painted the kitchen and went from a pinky beige colour to Farrow and Ball's Eating Room Red, and a trip to Lee Valley for some new hardware.  New appliances from Sears with a microwave above the stove, and the original microwave shelf transformed to a display space for cookbooks,  and that was round 1 of our transformation complete.

We installed hardwood throughout the addition and removed the linoleum from the kitchen.  We had granite counters installed, did the tile backsplash ourselves .  Tranformation #2 complete, and we lived with that for 6 more years.

Fast forward to December 2016 and the time had come for a change.  We had the kitchen/dining room painted Sherwin Williams Gristmill Greige- quite a departure from the red. And then it was time to talk about the cabinets.  Although good from afar, the cabinetry did have some flaws, and when we talked about a DIY project to reface the cabinets we discovered that nothing was standard.  It looked like a bigger project than we were willing to tackle. The bulkhead above the cabinets had a rounded profile that stuck out past the cabinets.  What would we do with that?  My answer was to rip it out. Jeff, not so sure that was a good idea.  What would we find behind the bulkhead, and how would we cover it up?
A Saturday visit to our cabinet maker Ron Rose Furniture- Paris Ontario and a discussion about that ugly bulkhead gave Jeff the confidence to come home and start demolition.

 We lived with open cupboards for a couple of weeks while Ron made our Shaker Style doors and new custom bulkhead at the shop.  Because the sizes were all over the map, he took the corner cabinet doors with him to ensure accuracy.  That's when you realize how truly messy your Tupperware cupboard is, but it was also a good kick in the derriere pushing me to tidy things up, replace some of the broken pieces, oh and purge some of the stuff that one accumulates and really does not need.

And then the new bulkhead, flush with the cabinets instead of sticking out past the cabinets, was starting to be installed.  Every day that we came home and saw the progress, as well as the finicky corners, we were so thankful that we didn't take on this project ourselves.

You would think having your entire kitchen on your kitchen table would be handy.  Not so. I was constantly looking for something in the wrong drawer on the floor!

We added  new undercabinet lighting, LED, so that the heat would no longer melt the chocolate chips in the cupboard above them.  (Yes that does actually happen)

A few more cabinet doors, and brand new slow close birch drawers and this project will be wrapped up.

Ron built a full cabinet door above the dishwasher, and installed new shelves, made dividers for the under utilized space above the fridge and we replaced the 2 lights over the sink with 3 smaller LEDs



If you look back at the pictures in progress you will see that there was an open space above the microwave.  I had used it as a display area, but truly it was just a dust collector.  Ron installed this cabinet door hinged from the top.

At Lee Valley they had knobs to match our handles, so we opted for them instead of the handles on the uppers.  We found this handy pull out garbage can at Canadian Tire designed for tight under sink cabinets (the plumbing configuration didn't allow for much room) and this bamboo cutlery tray at Solutions. We reorganized where the dishes were in the cupboards and this project is a wrap.  

                     I love the finished product, and hope that you do too.


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