Kitchen… the early days

I shared my kitchen ideas and color board already. As with most projects in this house, I want to use the existing cabinets, etc as much as possible for budgetary reasons. But I’m not a fan of honey oak – at all. It has got to go! Along with some general funky half-assedness with the current cabinetry. One step at a time I’m trying to improve things and one step at a time, I find that there is not a single level or even surface in this place. Sigh.

At some time, the previous homeowners replaced two of the cabinets (one over the stove and one next to it). Rather than getting cabinets with the same doors- they are close to the same color but not the same. And the one in the corner did not go all the way to the corner. So there was a big wasted space in the corner behind this cabinet. Nice job guys. I discovered the missing corner when I thought I’d put some jars up on top of the cabinets and it plunged to the counter below. Oops.

So I found a cabinet with a blind corner at the Restore a couple months ago that was the right size. Sadly it didn’t come with a door- but I am scouring the Restore every time now looking for a door in the right size with the right arch on it (in the meantime, the old door without the arch will suffice). Once I decided to go with the microwave range hood combination, I did a bunch of measuring and math and decided the existing cabinet (that also had the non-matching doors) was too tall and I needed a shorter one. As luck would have it, the Restore had the right size cabinet with doors that match the rest of my kitchen! Yay! Restore for the win again!
I sometimes debate how much to actually share about how these projects go down, because I worry it might convince you that I’m nuts… and yes, I knew it was kind of nuts to try this over a holiday weekend but also kind of great because my sister was in town for Easter so I had an extra set of hands to help out. Anyway, in case you ever consider doing these sorts of projects in an already full life, here’s how it went down, more or less. And no, it never goes as quickly or looks as good as it does on HGTV.
Wednesday, April 1st
  • Invite sister to stay over Easter weekend and warn her there *may* be a project going on while she’s around (she expects this by now). Muhahahaha.
Friday, April 3rd
  • Work for the morning
  • Afternoon Good Friday Service, Stations of the Cross
  • Dinner with friends, give niece a haircut
  • Arrive home and get going on the Project:
  • Remove all doors and hardware
  • Empty upper cabinets
  • Make jello and pudding because there were boxes of jello and pudding in those cabinets and it just seemed like the thing to do (especially on a fast day)
  • Make bread dough- because I was bringing bread to a couple events and was about to decimate my kitchen
  • Sister returns from her socializing and I draft her before she can go to bed
  • We remove upper cabinets (turning a functional kitchen into absolute mayhem)
IMG_6546  IMG_6531 DSC_1202DSC_1209 IMG_6543
Saturday, April 4th 
  • Make Helga bread for family Sedar meal (seriously go make some, it is amazingly good and easier than I thought)
  • Add 1x2s to the top of cabinets and use wood filler to smooth seam line
  • My sister sanded the cabinet boxes for painting while I added the trim to the other cabinets
  • Change out corner cabinet (old one had empty corner, new one has blind corner)
  • Measure, debate, research and decide that the existing over-the-range cabinet will be too tall to accommodate an over-the-range microwave.
  • Family Seder Meal (complete with Passover Ham bought on sale by darling sister in law– the jokes about the Passover ham are good and will probably go on for years)
  • Easter Vigil — favorite Mass of the year! I was the sacristan which meant being there early to set up (with help from my sis and my nephew Geno) and clean up (long hours into the night)
Easter Sunday
  • First Communion Mass
  • Four parties
  • Lots and lots of celebration, no time for home improvement
 Reen Maria
Monday, April 6th
  • Work all day
  • Home to work on the kitchen
  • Sister and I get two of the cabinets up, but the corner one is at a wonky angle
  • Cousin arrives to visit and we draft her into helping install the double cabinet (heavier than the others). That one goes in easily and we all visit for awhile.
Tuesday, April 7th 
  • My sis was supposed to leave and go back to school but instead ends up throwing up through the night
  • I wash hands neurotically
  • Work all day
  • Sister spends the day on couch with a bucket
  • Buy small cabinet for over the stove at Restore over lunch
  • Cancel visit with grandparents (because of the sickness)
  • Head home to start on the project and I get a text about a puppy
  • Jump in the car to go meet said puppy
  • Hand my mushy heart to small critter and promise to return
  • Sand and prime cabinets, inside and out
Wednesday, April 8th 
  • Work all day
  • Sister is still on couch but feeling mostly better
  • Buy over the range microwave from Lowes on the way home
  • Awesome friend comes over to help. We shim out the wonky cabinet and it works great and straigtens out the situation.
  • Add trim to top and then install over the range new cabinet
  • Open the microwave box only to find it is the wrong color
  • Return microwave- they don’t have the right color at that store, send us to another store… which turns out to also not have the right color. Awesome sauce.
  • Call it a night.
Thursday, April 9th 
  • Work all day, get home late after a long meeting
  • Wood putty a few gaps in new over-the-stove cabinet. Wait for putty to dry
  • Friend comes over to keep me company white I paint (my favorite kind of multi-tasking)
  • Mix up paint for cabinet interiors (1 part old living room green, 1 part clearance not-quite-white)
  • Paint cabinet interiors (2 coats)
  • Install new curtain rod in bedroom to rehang the curtains up there
IMG_6611 IMG_6623 IMG_6613
Friday, April 10th 
  • Work all day
  • Buy contact paper
  • Sand over-the-stove cabinet and prime exterior
  • Second coat on interior of over-the-stove cabinet
  • 1st coat of cabinet paint on boxes / frames
  • Engagement party for dear friend
  • Do some sanding / touch up wood putty in a few places
IMG_6634 IMG_6633
Saturday, April 11th
  • 2nd coat of cabinet paint on boxes / frames
  • Puppy proof the house ish
  • Take the bitches to go meet new puppy
  • Bring new puppy home
  • Donal, Lindsey, & CK come to meet the new pup (head explodes with cuteness)
  • Romp around the yard
  • Start raking leaves off flower beds and around deck
  • All three dogs need a nap after the romping
  • Paint final coat on the cabinet boxes and frames
IMG_6660 IMG_6654 IMG_6640IMG_6617IMG_6616IMG_6615
Sunday, April 12th 
  • Mass
  • Birthday brunch for my sweet niece Cecilia
  • Bring Daisy to meet all the kids – she is obviously a huge hit
  • Start the kitchen clean up (it looks like a home improvement tornado went through)
  • Contact paper the kitchen shelves and begin putting things away on them (YAY!)
  • Frantically clean before dinner guests arrive
  • Impromptu Core team dinner / meeting / hang out / meet the puppy (thankfully everyone brought food, etc)
4-13-15 068 4-13-15 142 4-13-15 143
And that is what the last couple weeks of insanity looks like over here. It feels like a lot of chaos and a lot of activity for a seemingly small piece of this large project. But I love it already! The white cabinets make it feel taller and bigger already. Mmmm kitchening. I’ve got just a couple evenings home this week and then I’m out of town for the weekend and have guests in from out of town for the next week. Oh and there’s that adorable not-helpful-at-all puppy and my constant quest to exhaust her and clean up the messes she leaves behind. Never a dull moment. It may be awhile before there’s more progress to share.

2 thoughts on “Kitchen… the early days

  1. LOVE the progress – and I’m exhausted just reading your life. You know what’s “amazeballs”? – you! I can’t say how grateful I am to be able to peak into your kitchen via the good old internet. I love it all!

  2. Pingback: Kitchen Part II | Little House on the Hill

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