Kitchen Cabinets: The finished product

First of all, let me just apologize for my lack of posting as of late. As I mentioned before, I recently started a temp job so I’m working 40 hours per week, which means less time and emotional energy for blogging. Let me apologize specifically to my Grandma Reta. I promise I’ll try to be better! (She reads my blog. Or at least she tells me she does!)

Now let’s talk cabinets. Over the past year, I’ve been helping my mom upgrade her kitchen, which started out as this fluorescent, floral nightmare!

We repainted the walls last May, and then painted the cabinets (general overview, prepping, painting) a few months later. Painting kitchen cabinets is not a project for the faint of heart!! It took about 2 weeks of non-stop work between the two of us to get it done, but in the end it was worth doing it ourselves and saving the $4000 it would have cost my parents for someone else to do it.

After a few other upgrades and some touch ups we had to make around the new counter top when we visited this past weekend, it’s finally ready to be revealed!

Again, here’s the before.

And after.


Isn’t it amazing?! Though it’s not completely photo ready. For some odd reason, someone thought it would be a fun idea to paint the ceilings and trim in this room a cream/yellow color…maybe to match the wallpaper? Anyway, just yesterday that all got taken care of and painted a nice shade of white to match the rest of the house and to cover the spots on the ceilings from the previous lights. But I don’t have pictures of that. 🙁


Here’s a different angle of the transformation.



And another.



Now that everything else in the kitchen is done, including the ceilings and trim, she can re-evaluate the paint color. It doesn’t look quite as bright in person, though, and since everything else in the kitchen is so neutral, it’s a fun pop of color.

These 3 pendants (Allen+Roth from Lowe’s, I believe?) really make a huge difference, especially compared to that awful fluorescent beast that was there before.


They also opted for another coordinating, but not matching, pendant over the sink instead of a boring can light (also Allen+Roth, I think. Mom, correct me if I’m wrong!) I’ve loved this light fixture since before they started their kitchen project, so I’m really glad they chose it! Not sure I have a spot for one in my own house.


Another one of my favorite details is the backsplash! They chose to go with white hexagonal tiles.


My younger brother Marshall may think they look like bathroom tiles, but I love them! So much so that I might consider them for my own kitchen remodel some day…oh, how I dream of that day.

My mom’s one hang-up with the white tile and grout, though, was that she really uses her kitchen. Like, really really uses it. A lot. She was particularly worried that food might splatter behind her stove top and stain not only the white grout, but the tiles themselves since they don’t have a super glossy finish. To solve that problem, she went with a darker, glossier tile behind the stove that could be grouted with a darker color. This greyish brown matches one of the colors in the granite perfectly!


These tiles are also unique in that the face of the tiles is curved. See?


I’d never seen tiles like this, but I love the way they add dimension to the backsplash and make this area more of a feature. She also had to have a vertical line separating the different tiles so that they could be grouted with the two different colors, so we chose a slightly darker grey tile to further distinguish the stove area.


While we were at it, we decided to add a few features that would make her kitchen more functional, too. She and I decided to add them…we just needed Andrew to make it happen! And make it happen, he did.

First we needed to solve her trash can dilemma. Before, she had a stainless steel can sitting at the end of the island. But whenever the dishwasher was open (directly across), it made the walkway pretty small. Plus, trash cans just aren’t pretty (though a necessary evil for some of us), and who wants to clean a stainless steel trash can anyway? She had all these lower cabinets…so why not make use of the space?


We picked up a trash can kit at Lowe’s, which includes a sliding track and the trash cans to fit in it (though the hardware to attach it to a cabinet front might be sold separately), and Andrew got started. First, he had to remove the shelf from this cabinet space only, so he used a jigsaw to make the cut.


Once the shelf was out, he installed the track.


And then once the cabinets were dry, we mounted the cabinet door on the front. The great thing about this one is that it has 2 cans, one for trash and one for recycling. No more visible trash can for them! I’m jealous. This is definitely a feature I will give up cabinet space to have in my new kitchen! Some day…


And how great do these cabinets look?? Not to toot my own horn or anything…


We also decided we had to come up with a solution for the microwave. It was just sitting out on the counter, looking all big and boxy as microwaves do…and I happened to know that in the back of that top left cabinet, there’s an outlet.

I suggested putting it in there, but my mom said she couldn’t stand to have it behind doors, which I agree would be annoying. So I revised my plan and suggested that we put it on the shelf below and drill a hole in the back of the shelf above to plug it in. But Andrew’s the one who transformed it from this…


To this!


This was also a lot simpler than I expected, especially since we were already painting! And we had all the right tools. And my husband’s super handy. We just removed that little piece of bullnose trim stapled into the front of the shelf…


Exposing a flat edge of the shelf where we could staple the new piece of trim (of course we made sure the microwave would fit first!)


Then he cut a 1″ x 2″ piece of red oak (same wood as the cabinets so the grain would match) to fit, stapled it in place, and we primed and painted it along with all the rest of the cabinets.


I also primed and painted the inside of the microwave box, and we gave it a good 2 days to dry before putting the microwave in it. When we did, it would slide when you closed the door, so we placed a scrap of wood behind so it wouldn’t slide and scratch the paint.

As for the doors, they’re all 5 pieces: 4 pieces of trim and a thin panel in the middle. This meant they weren’t too complicated to resize. Andrew took them apart, cut the middle piece, cut down the two side pieces at 45 degree angles, and re-stapled/glued and caulked them. 🙂 And they turned out like this.


Isn’t he amazing? My mom certainly thinks so. She also thinks her new kitchen is amazing! See? She lurves it.


And I do, too! She’s had several people compliment the cabinets and talk about how professional they look, which really helps my little ego. It also helps make all the hard work worth it.

So what do you think? Do you like her shiny new kitchen?


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