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Our DIY Kitchen Remodel

I’m so excited to be able to not only finally share our kitchen remodel with you, but to also just be D-O-N-E!! I I think that the progression from concept to completion went very smoothly with only a few tweaks (tile and range hood) in the overall original design. I’m also very sure that I will want my cabinets in any future home setup like this, with open cabinetry below closed cabinetry, it just works so well for all of us and no extra dusting required!

So here is where we started (that’s the home inspector at the island), my hubby took photos of the house as he was inspecting it. What we have is a nice, open, good sized kitchen just not exactly what we wanted.

Kitchen Before renovations

The first stage for us was replacing the can lights for pendant lights, new fridge, microwave, sink, faucet, dishwasher and updating and painting the island.

First stage of DIY kitchen remodel

Stage two was the easiest and quickest, installing marble subway tile backsplash…

It remained like this for just over 2 years, but I always knew that painting the cabinets was next…

Second stage of DIY kitchen remodel

The third stage was to update and paint the butlers pantry, it was also my “test” for the kitchen cabinet paint color (Benjamin Moore White Dove).

Third stage of DIY kitchen remodel

Then FINALLY the last stage, raising the original cabinets to the ceiling, making new open cabinets to install below, adding decorative molding, installing more tile above stove and sink window, installing new range hood and adding a decorative cabinet above stove and fridge and painting all of the cabinets and installing new hardware… WHEW that was a mouthful and I’m pretty sure a run-on sentence!!

Final stage of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

I hand painted (with a combination of foam roller and soft bristle brush) with Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint line all of the cabinet boxes and trim, but I spray painted the doors in the garage. I always follow the same routine, clean the cabinets with Formula 409, fill imperfections, lightly sand, wipe down with tack cloth, spray prime, sand, clean, spray paint color and repeat as many times as necessary. I sprayed 4 coats on each door side, letting them sit for 24 in between each coat and a week before I flipped them from the back to the front (always paint the back first). The final finish looks great!

 Final stage of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

The molding I added is the same we added to the island and helps disguise where the 2 cabinets are connected.

Final stage of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

Final stage of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

So much easier to access glassware and everyday dishes now!

Final stage of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

We love our new hood, it works so much better than the microwave vent and because it is mounted much higher than the microwave was it helps open that space up.

Final stage of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

Final stage of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

My one small decorated area…

Final stage of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

The wall color in the kitchen is Benjamin Moore Chelsea Grey.

Final stage of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

Final stage of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

Some before and after comparisons for you…

before and after of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

before and after of DIY kitchen remodel, raised kitchen cabinets, open cabinetry, painted cabinets

Well that’s it! No more phases left to do, whew!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this walk-thru of our kitchen renovation!

K

Other kitchen renovation posts:

Kitchen Island Progress

Kitchen Tile, Lights, Paint

Kitchen Butlers Pantry

Kitchen Butlers Pantry Complete

Kitchen Progress Part 1

Kitchen Progress Part 2

Kitchen Progress Part 3

Kitchen Progress Part 4

Kitchen Progress Part 5

My Newly Raised and Organized Kitchen Cabinets

So you may know we went through a kitchen cabinet overhaul where we raised the original cabinets to the ceiling and added an additional open cabinet to the bottom of the original cabinets…

DIY raised kitchen cabinets

This setup works extremely well for the way we want our kitchen to function! The everyday dishes and glasses are in the open shelving area where they are quickly and easily put away and retrieved. The original raised cabinets are now setup for basically anything that doesn’t fall into the everyday category. However my 5’5” frame can only reach the first shelf in the old cabinets now so this is the main issue that was taken into consideration when I was re-organizing the shelves.

This most likely might sound a tad anal retentive, but I started with a list (because who doesn’t love a good list) of the different categories of items I had to organize, for example…

  • wine glasses (why do I have so many… OMG I am such a lush Embarrassed smile )
  • Casserole dishes
  • Storage containers
  • Everyday dishes
  • “Fancy” china
  • “Fancy” water glasses
  • Misc. drinking cups

Anyway, you get the point… I think I had about 15 line items that I needed to deal with and rather than start to randomly put the items away and then decide I needed to move them or that I forgot something I created a very crude cabinet diagram and worked on placement of the items by numbering each line item and then placing that number on the cabinet they were to go in. It took a little more upfront time, but when I went to put everything away the job went very smoothly.

Just some of our many, many wineglasses… also all of our china fit on the top 2 corner cabinet shelves, you know the shelves you always loose stuff in anyway!!!

DIY raised kitchen cabinets

I mean the cabinets almost look bare, maybe I need more ice cream bowls…

DIY raised kitchen cabinets

This entire area (top and bottom cabinets) is dedicated to drinks, coffee, soda stream, tea etc.

DIY raised kitchen cabinets

Our one display area in the kitchen, which I love and hopefully I won’t have to clean too often…

DIY raised kitchen cabinets

And look we even have the new range hood installed!

DIY raised kitchen cabinets

I can’t even tell you how much I love my new ceramic knife holder from Williams & Sonoma… it is super cool with its Kapoosh insert and I think it looks way better than the traditional wood knife block!

Ceramic knife holder from Williams and Sonoma

By the way remember the time I totally broke the glass stove top to pieces…

Broken glass stovetop

Well come to find out you can just replace the glass, which my hubby and I did as it is totally a DIY job. Yes, I would have LOVED to have purchased a new top, but finding one that fit the exact dimensions of the granite opening proved to be impossible very difficult. The Jenn-Air glass replacement top I bought online and it cost just a tad over $300, about 1/4 of what I would have had to spend to replace it.

I organized the cabinets based more on how often I would need to use the item more so then where I would use it. So for example all of my china and extra wine glasses went way up on the uppermost shelves. Where it would make sense for most people to have their casserole dishes near the oven (where ours were originally) I put ours in one of the base cabinets near the island because we use them quite frequently. I still have quite a few empty shelves, but everything is put away and I have only had to get the step stool out once in 3 weeks so I think the setup is working great so far!

As far as finishing the kitchen I just started spray painting the cabinet doors so once done the kitchen will be finished… whew hew!!! I took a few weeks off, some due to weather, but quite a bit due to procrastination on my part… but I’m getting it done now and if I never have to paint another set of kitchen cabinets I will consider myself a lucky girl!!

Thanks for stopping by!!!

K

Updating, raising and painting kitchen cabinets

I know that there are a bunch of cabinet painting posts out there where it only took a couple of days to paint the cabinets… well that is clearly not how fast my project is going. Now I will say that I knew going in to this project that it would take a lot of time, be messy, tedious and pretty much a pain in the ass, but if I wanted painted cabinets I was going to have to suck it up, put on my big girl panties and get started!

So you know I finished the butler’s pantry a couple of month’s ago… which I am so happy with!

Butlers pantry before and after

Then I took a little beginning summer break and me and my hubby started working on raising the kitchen cabinets and adding open lower cabinets. So our kitchen currently looks like this, nope I didn’t even straighten it up for you, no glamour shots here… but I can see how much I’m going to love the finished product already!

Raising kitchen cabinets and adding open cabinets below

I removed all of the dishes from the cabinets and all of our everyday dishes are temporarily housed in the butler’s pantry, everything else is laid out on the dining room table… it looks like I’m getting ready to have a rummage sale in there and I’ll have to wash everything that’s there when I’m done due to all of the dust I’m creating…

The cabinet below was a H-U-G-E pain in the arse for my hubby to build, but I think he did a fabulous job and I love the fact that it is one large cabinet rather than 3 individual pieces, it will give us so much flexibility for the space. He also added an electrical outlet in it in case we want to put a microwave or something else in the cabinet.

Raising kitchen cabinets and adding open cabinets below

As much as I know my hubby would love to be done with the cabinet making part of this project he still has a rather simple one to add to the top of the stove and refrigerator space. We also added a wire from the under cabinet lights to this area so that it can be lit at the same time. This will be the only area in the kitchen cabinets where I will have decorative items, all of the other open cabinetry is for everyday dishes, glasses etc.

Raising kitchen cabinets and adding open cabinets below

We also changed our mind on the range hood and decided to install this hood instead of a custom wood surround.

Air King Valencia 30 in. Convertible Range Hood in Black

I think that the black of the hood in combination with our black island cabinets will be a very nice contrast to all of the white cabinets. So we had to remove some drywall, install a 2×4 support and shift the electrical over so that it will be hidden by the hood as well. When we were done we just patched the area with 1/2” plywood and I will patch and prime the entire area in preparation for the tile. Yet another scope creep item, we will be installing the tile backsplash all of the way up to the ceiling behind the hood… did we need to do this, no, but will it look better if we do… yes, I think it will look stunning!

Raising kitchen cabinets and adding open cabinets below

So I’m slowly working on adding trim to the sides of the cabinets, caulking, filling and priming, in general I’m having no fun, but it’s better than being outside in the hot muggy hotness that has decided to reside over the Louisville area for weeks!!!

Raising kitchen cabinets and adding open cabinets below

I will (eventually) be painting the interiors of the open cabinets the same color as cabinets themselves, but I’m pretty sure I will be using paper or fabric as a removable colorful backdrop in them.

Just so you can see a comparison to where we were before we started this project and today, it’s getting there slowly but surely!

Raising kitchen cabinets and adding open cabinets below

What you can’t feel is the sense of height that raising the cabinets to the ceiling gives you when you walk into the kitchen, it just seems so much more grand for some reason, I love it! Obviously getting to the top shelves will require a step stool, but I am planning on storing all of my china and rarely used dishes and cookware on the highest shelves so that I will rarely have to get anything down from there. Well I guess I have stalled long enough from working on the kitchen… better get back to work and get this project done!

Until next time!

K

A few thoughts on scope creep

Wikipedia defines scope creep as: in project management refers to uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project’s scope. This can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled. It is generally considered harmful. (I underlined that last little statement just for emphasis.)

My definition of scope creep: necessary changes made to ones plans in order to achieve a better overall plan, or to increase function and custom look.

My husbands definition: Additional work that Susan deems “necessary” but in reality is a nice to have not a need… also this usually means more work, more money and a longer timeline for the project. In addition I completely concur with Wikipedia’s final sentence “it is generally considered harmful”, however, we usually end up doing it and the end result is worth it.

SO… I did confer with my Hubby about the scope creep in the kitchen as originally I was just painting cabinets and replacing cabinet hardware, but I had a thought one day while sitting at the island enjoying my lunch. You see I like the idea of open shelving in the kitchen, just not the function of keeping it all nice, neat, clean and overall perfect looking. What I do like about it is the ease of getting the item you need or putting something back in its place quickly, so nice right?! So my plan is to raise the cabinets to the ceiling and add an open cabinet/box under the cabinets in order to have the best of both worlds. Similar to this but without the bead board back.

Open and closed kitchen cabinets

I much prefer this look to open shelving as to me it has a decidedly more professional, cohesive and finished look to it.

The main issues with this plan is that we also have to reinstall the under cabinet lighting, install a ceiling mount speaker to replace the wall mount one and build about 5 boxes. Not too big of a deal right?

The other areas I wanted to “fix” are where the TV is located, just totally looks junky to me.

Kitchen cabinets before

And the microwave over the stove (just don’t personally care for the look).

Kitchen cabinets before

I found this idea while browsing kitchen cabinet photos and thought it was genius! Now I don’t want my cabinet to come all the way down to the countertop, but the general idea seems perfect for me!

Microwave and TV corner cabinet idea

The main issues with this plan is that we have to move the cable outlet, remove the corner cabinet and build a custom one to take its place and add an outlet for the TV and microwave.

The third (and hopefully last) update is to add a hood over the stovetop and make a custom range hood, similar to this…

DIY range hood

Which is a TOTAL DIY project that Jill over at the Rozy Home wrote up a step-by-step tutorial for and I just think is drop dead gorgeous and cheap to boot at only $65 for the project!!!

The main issues with this plan is that we need to buy a new stovetop vent and make the hood.

So overall I’m thrilled with the new plans for the kitchen and I think the changes will make it more efficient and give it a much more current and custom look. Plus I really like the idea of having the best of both worlds with both closed and open storage in the kitchen.

As you can see in the photo below that I have already finished updating the base cabinets and I am just starting the process of getting the upper cabinet doors ready to paint.

Kitchen progess

I’m hoping that my Hubby and I will try and move up one of the upper cabinets this weekend so that I can live with it at that height for a while. At only 5’5 I’m certainly not tall so I’d really like to see how the cabinets will function before I commit to the project. Also, I’d need to do some rearranging of items so if I have any pieces I need to get to with any regularity I can do so without getting out the step stool! This needs to work more efficiently not less…

In closing I’d like to say that I look at scope creep as inevitable and plan for it in my plan as part of the plan, does that make sense? What about you? Are you a stick to the plan person or do you feel like scope creep is inevitable as well?

Thanks so much for stopping by…

K

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