No More Naked Cabinets

Remember when our kitchen looked like this?! No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com

And my little helper was just a squishy baby?!

No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comI can’t believe it’s been over a year since we refinished our cabinets. We are still really loving them. I wasn’t sure how painted cabinets would hold up, but they are doing really well. I have had to do a few touch-ups here and there, but that is really because there is no handles on the cabinets, so they endure a lot of extra scrapes and scratches.

No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comI have been wanting hardware for the cabinets since we moved in, but I had been waiting for a good deal and I had moved onto other projects, so it kind of got pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. I finally got around to searching for hardware. I wanted something simple, and somewhat modern, nothing fussy. I also wanted a brushed nickel finish to match our other fixtures. The best deal I found was on houzz.com (this is not a sponsored post), I paid less than $2 for each handle.

I splurged on a cabinet and drawer template to drill holes for the hardware. It was a huge help and made the job go a lot faster. It also came with a drill bit that went through my cabinets like buttah, totally worth the $10 I spent on it. No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comAnd now the kitchen is looking like this.

No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comI think the cabinets were looking a little naked before. I still have a few projects to tackle in here:

  • change out the light fixtures
  • new counter tops
  • new backsplash
  • adding a pantry
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Not Your Grandma’s China Hutch…

Or maybe it is, I don’t actually know your grandma.

My husband, Brian got me a china hutch a few months before we got married. I was instantly in love. Even better, he got it for a great deal on Craigslist, which only made me love it more. We had registered for china and of course, wanted a place to house all of it. As the months rolled by and our wedding day came near, I had already accumulated a good deal of china. I opened each box excitedly, and started to display it in my new hutch. I wanted it to look pretty, and fancy, like I thought it should, in our formal dining room.

1383039_897326300865_4007006705870023573_nWhen we made the decision to move here to the farm and I started to pack up my china hutch, I was a little sad. All that hard work of meticulously placing each piece of china in the hutch in a formal display that I’m sure no one appreciated except for myself. At that point I was pretty sure we weren’t going to have a formal dining room here in the new house and the hutch was going to end up in the kitchen. I decided then that I wanted it to be a more functional piece and not just a display case.

I finally got around to unpacking all of my china and glassware a couple of weeks ago. (I didn’t want any of it to get dusty or broken while we were working away in the kitchen.) I decided to just unpack it all and lay everything out where I could see it. I collect turquoise glass and I’ve acquired quite a bit of it over the years. I’m not sure how the obsession with it started, but if I see a piece at a flea market or antique store, I instantly gravitate towards and knock anyone in my path out of the way. (So look out!) Now that we have a little one who is constantly on the move, I can no longer safely set my treasures out and about in the living room or anywhere else my little monster can hobble over to. So I knew I wanted to make room for some of my collection in the hutch out of her reach.

After seeing everything spread out across my living room floor, I realized how much of it goes unused. Not because I couldn’t use it, but because it’s normally packed away in a tote or a cabinet and I forget all about it. My favorite thing about moving is seeing all my stuff in a new light and trying to figure out a way to use it in the new space. I get so used to things being a certain way and then I get stuck in a rut. I need to take inventory of things more often and repurpose them instead of only doing it when I move!

I started out slow, just adding a few things at a time. I didn’t  want it to look too thought out. I wanted it to be like me in yoga pants on the couch drinking wine….casual and classy.

IMG_0413I tried to set things at varying heights and group like items together. I wanted it to look  interesting, not cray-cray….there’s a very fine line.

IMG_0417Of course not everything made the cut. Only a very small fraction of the turquoise collection made it. The rest, I tried to sprinkle around the kitchen and other parts of the house that the baby doesn’t play in. And a lot of things ended up in the built-in in our living room closet where I was able to at least unpack it and set it up where I can see it.

IMG_0481IMG_0484I can’t believe I wasted all that time using it for just china, it fit so much more and I haven’t even filled the drawers or lower cabinets. I love that I can walk by and see everything easily. And it doesn’t feel empty when I need to take something out to use it.

IMG_0518P.S. It does have glass doors that go on it, but I took them off while photographing to keep that darn glare down.

Update: Kitchen

We’ve been living with the ‘new’ kitchen for a while now and we’ve really been enjoying it. It’s finally starting to feel like home and things seem to be in their permanent home and not in constant flux. At first I wasn’t sure about the kitchen also serving as the dining room, but it’s turning out to be quite nice. We had a formal dining room in the old house and I think we used maybe three times. Now we actually find ourselves eating at the table instead of the living room which is a lot more convenient with a baby. It’s so easy to just slide Hollis’ high chair over to the table and eat as a family.

I’ve been painstakingly painting the trim throughout the kitchen, bathroom, entry way, and laundry room. I hate it. Painting trim is at the top of the list of things I loath, but more on that later. I’ve got the trim in the kitchen finished so I thought I would post some updated kitchen pics while things were fairly tidy in here. I also got the window treatments hung back up.  I like how they help tie in our dark wood furniture and they are good at blocking out the sunlight on hot days.

Here’s a look at the kitchen when I last posted about it…

186185And here’s how it looks today. Not a huge difference, but it feels a little more finished.

IMG_0505IMG_0509IMG_0515IMG_0517^I’m also really liking our ‘island’, which is just the Varde drawer cabinet from Ikea. We bought it for the kitchen in our last house because we were lacking in cabinet and counter space. It made me a little sad that I might not have a use for it in this kitchen since we have plenty of storage and workspace. We decided to try it as an island since the space between the stove and sink is so large. It’s been so handy, I actually use it every day.

IMG_0506^I wanted to take these top cabinets down and add some floating shelves. But in order to do that, I will have to replace the backsplash since the tiles go up around the cabinet. I’m not confident enough with my tiling removing skills to get the tiles off without breaking all of them. So until we are ready to replace the backsplash around the entire kitchen, I’m just going to live with the cabinet. My compromise was to make it an open cabinet for storing some of my dishware that is in heavy rotation. It’s nice to have easy access to them while I’m cooking.

And just for fun, here is a look side-by-side look at how things have changed since we moved in…

beforeandaftersinkbeforeandafterstoveBack to painting I go…

Inspirado: Coffee Bar

Hope everyone had a great Memorial weekend! Hollis and I got to head back to Kansas City to visit my family while Brian stayed and got some things done on the farm. It was a busy, fun-filled weekend, just the way I like it, but I did have time to do one itty-bitty project.

In our old dining room, we had the perfect spot for our little bar. It was great for extra space for when we had parties or gatherings to set drinks or appetizers on. It was also necessary for housing our wine glasses and other barware. (That forest green carpet still haunts my dreams…)

292055_595008822515_2172023_nHere in the new house, we really don’t have a formal dining room, we just use our eat-in kitchen. We also have the great built-in cabinet in the living room closet that we have designated as our new ‘bar’ area.

photo 3-007Now that we have a little one who is becoming more and more mobile every day, I like that we can keep any adult beverages and breakable things up high out of her reach. We also like the fact that we can shut the door and lock it to keep curious little people out of it. I still really love our old bar though, and I don’t want to get rid of it. I would love to re-purpose it and take advantage of the awesome storage it provides.

I’ve seen drink stations all over Pinterest and I think it’s the perfect way to re-purpose our old bar. I make coffee or tea almost every day, usually multiple times a day (thanks to a teething baby). So having a space to consolidate all of my coffee, tea, sugar, creamers, mugs, etc. would be soooo nice. I made a little inspiration board of things I would love to add to mine one day.

coffee bar^^ Rectangular Serving Tray with Handles. Overstock.com Apilco Cow Creamer, Williams-Sonoma, Marimekko Siirtolapuutarha Cup, Crate & Barrel, Keurig K65 Special Edition Home Brewing System,

Chemex Glass Handle 6-Cup Coffee Maker, Crate & Barrel

Here are a couple of pics I pulled off Pinterest for inspiration. I like how simple, yet functional they are.

Coffee BarCoffee StationAnd….

Here’s what I came up with on the fly (sorry for the ugly wires). I just used things I already had, but I would love to add some things to it to make it a little more posh. I need to find something to fill in the wine bottle cubbies…any suggestions? Right now they are housing some travel mugs, but they aren’t very pretty.

IMG_0269

Coffee Bar - thegoldbrickroad.com

Painting Is My Life…

Or at least that’s the way it seems most days. If the best way to get to know your new house is to paint every square inch of it, then I now know the kitchen VERY well. I decided to paint the cabinet frame and drawers while we had all of the cabinet doors off. While that was drying, I set up a paint station for the doors and got a coat of paint on them. While those were drying I painted the walls of the kitchen…..so. much. paint. But it’s all looking so much cleaner and brighter in here already.

As you can see, we went with gray. Our decision was based mostly on the new tile we picked out that will be replacing the carpet in here. (More on that later!) Sorry this picture stinks, I will have better after pics soon. I didn’t bother painting the interior of the cabinets…yet. Some day I may get around to it, but for now they are in really great shape and really just needed a good wipe down. I also really couldn’t wait any longer to start putting things away in the cabinets. It was such a pain to try to search for kitchen essentials that were still packed away in totes.

photo 4Painting the doors while they were flat was so much easier than trying to do it while they were attached.  The paint we chose had a primer built-in, but I still ended up doing three coats to get good coverage over everything. The grooves with the wood filler really soaked up the paint quickly. We also went ahead and replaced the hinges with some nice brushed nickel ones.

photo 5-002Here’s a close-up of the doors before and after. No more groove thang! Not too bad for a super cheap makeover, right?! We would really like to add some nice brushed nickel drawer pulls and knobs for the doors too. I think it will give it a much more finished look.

My Photo (2)

photo 2-013

photo 1-012I used the same gray on the walls here as we had throughout our old house. We had quite a bit left over from the other house and I hate to waste paint. It’s called Grayish by Sherwin Williams and it’s the perfect shade of gray.  It’s kind of a beige-y gray and it just goes well with everything. I tested a corner of the kitchen with primer to see if it really made a difference in covering up the dark brown walls…it didn’t make a difference. I had to use two coats over the walls regardless with or without primer so I didn’t bother using it on the rest of the walls.

photo 1-003

photo 2-003I just love how much cleaner and brighter it feels in here already. We still have a lot to do in here and I’m still figuring out where things are going to go. It seems like the cabinets are in constant flux while we live here and figure out where we really need things to be.

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Here is a peek at my ongoing to-do list for the kitchen:

  • fill in the cabinet groove/sand
  • paint cabinets
  • paint walls
  • paint trim
  • change hardware
  • add drawer pulls and door knobs
  • replace carpet
  • new light fixture
  • add open shelving
  • replace backsplash

This list is constantly changing…like daily. Every time I look in here, I think of something to add or change. I know that some of these things will be done soon and some won’t be done for months or even years, but it’s still nice to have a reference to keep us on track. It’s also really nice to see things crossed off my list!

Get Your Groove On…Or Not.

Our new kitchen boasts lots of cabinet space, about twice the cabinet space than our last kitchen. The problem is, the brown on brown on brown color scheme is just not working for us. Nor is that groove on the face of the cabinet doors. It really dates the kitchen, which stinks, because the cabinets are in really great shape. The hubby and I talked about getting new cabinets, just getting new cabinet doors, or changing the face of the cabinets ourselves. We decided it wouldn’t hurt to experiment and try changing the look of the cabinets ourselves. If we fail miserably, we can then spend the money to get new doors or new cabinets.

photo 3We thought about adding trim pieces to change the look of the doors like this post I saw on Pinterest. The problem with our cabinets though, is that they don’t all match as you can see in the photo below. The cabinets in the corner and to the right were added later, as well as the cabinets all the way at the end to the left which you can’t see in these photos. We were afraid that even after they were all refaced, they just wouldn’t quite match. So ultimately we decided to try to fill that pesky groove in with wood filler and give them all a smooth surface and fresh paint job.

photo 4 (1)We thought maybe we could get away with leaving the doors on while we filled the grooves in, but alas, gravity was not our friend. So we numbered all the doors and removed them. We went ahead and removed all the hardware too since we knew we would have to do so to paint the doors and the cabinet frame.

photo 2Once we got every door removed, we hauled them down to the machine shed (one perk of living on a farm) to set up a little workshop so we could make a mess and spread out without making a huge mess in the already messy house. Brian spent a few days filling grooves in his spare time while I focused on getting the frame for the cabinets sanded and painted while we had all the doors and hardware off. Once he had all of the doors filled and the wood filler had time to dry and set, we set up a little assembly line to get them sanded and cleaned up.

photo 2-012Our assembly line consisted of me sanding the edges of the doors with a sanding block, they have a mitered edge that we couldn’t get to with the hand sander very well. Then Brian would use the electric hand sander on the front and backs until they were nice and smooth.

photo 1 (1)After he finished, I would take them to the air compressor and blow off all the dust and then wipe them down with a tack cloth to get them really clean. To save time, we went ahead and sanded all of the doors, even the ones without the grooves.

photo 3-003 photo 2-004It went really fast once we got into the groove…get it?…get it? Sanding is a messy job, so it was really nice not having to do it inside the house. It only took us about an hour to get through all the doors and when we were finished we had flat, smooth cabinet doors as you can see below. Now the painting begins!

photo 5-003