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The Kitchen is Transforming!

While I was dealing with my small Olympic obsession, the hubby and I were also hard at work making some changes to our kitchen.  Before we get into that, I first must show you what we started with.

Original cabinetry which is actually in great shape because it’s solid wood.  Sometime in the ’80’s the previous owners installed new appliances and re-tiled the countertops and backsplashes.

You can see the previous owners replaced the pulls/knobs with chrome but didn’t replace the copper hinges.

 We lived with the cabinets a few months and I couldn’t take it any longer.  We looked at completely replacing; refacing the doors & drawers; and painting.  Every time a professional came over, he/she commented on the great quality.  After a couple of weeks talking about what we should do, we finally decided on simply painting the cabinets for two reasons: 1) We’ll  eventually remodel the entire kitchen, rearranging the layout as well, so there was no reason to invest in new cabinetry now; and 2) the quality of the cabinetry.

The painting process took a couple of weeks (sorry, don’t have any pictures of the process as I didn’t think I’d have a blog).  We sanded the doors, drawers, and face frames; cleaned them; primed; and then painted.  We let everything cure about a month before reattaching to be sure doors wouldn’t stick to face frames, etc.  My crazy logic thinks it really helped because we haven’t had any sticking, cracking, peeling, or scratches and it’s been three years.  Trust me, they’ve taken a beating in that time.

We then replaced the chrome knobs with antiqued bronze and copper ones so they would match the hinges.  We didn’t feel like replacing the hinges because we couldn’t find new ones that would line up with the old holes.  We’d have to patch the holes (8 per door) and drill new holes for new hinges.  With 22 doors we felt our time could be better spent.

Here’s the cabinets painted with new hardware (and original hinges):

The tile is a creamy color with beige flecks and dark brown (almost black) grout made popular in the 80’s.  Since I knew we weren’t relieving ourselves of that gem anytime soon, I had to make our cabinet colors work with the tile.  I chose Behr’s Cotton Whisper (W-F-300) for the top cabinets and Toffee Crunch (700D–5) for the bottom.

Close-up of the hardware:

I felt like I could live, at least a few years, with freshly painted cabinets and new hardware that worked with our horribly tacky and dated lovely tile.  Well, here we are a few years later and it was time for a change.

It all started with me saying to the hubby, “Isn’t it about time we took down the cabinet over the peninsula?  We’ve been wanting to do it for a while, so there’s no better time than the present!”  At first he said, “No.”  But then it only took about 5 minutes of wearing him down discussion to get him to finally agree.  He really just wanted to wait until the Olympics was over.  A very reasonable request.  But I honestly couldn’t take another minute of TV unless we were doing something productive in addition to being couch potatoes.  He agreed with my logic.  YES!  Down comes the cabinet!

Here’s what the area looks like with the doors open.  Imagine how much better it’ll look when it’s down!

I won’t bore you with all the details, but we decided to keep the soffit part of the cabinet so we could install overhead lighting without having to cut into the ceiling.

 After cutting out certain parts of the cabinet, we were left with this:

We wanted to create a new end cabinet for additional storage as well as the overhead lighting.  What you may not be able to see in the picture above is the cabinet on one side was about 2″ less in depth than the other side.  So, the hubby had to build out the cabinet first before face framing it.

He then put the face frame on, filled the old hinge holes, primed and painted it.

 While that was drying, he then installed the lighting, and finished building out the soffit box:

 The last step was to cut down a door (from the cabinet we removed) to fit the new cabinet, paint and hang it.  One thing we were sorely lacking was lighting over the peninsula.  There’s only one window in the kitchen and one in the dining room with no lighting in-between.  The overhead lighting solves that problem!   Here’s the finished project!

Clear view into the kitchen from the dining room:

We love that we can see into the dining room now! (pardon the mess on the dining table)

   The total cost for this project was $25 for the lighting and that’s it!  Woot!

Did you notice the microwave missing from the counter?  We bought a new one to get it off the counter and fit in the cabinet above the double oven:

Hidden away:

See now… what happens when you clear the counters of their messes and rearrange the cabinets to use them more efficiently, you realize just how ugly the tile really is.  Check back in to see what we do to it…

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Kitchen Tile Removal – Woo Hoo! » Designed on Sunshine - […] my last kitchen post you saw us take down a cabinet, construct a new one, and install lighting.  I love the openness, […]

Hello Again… It Was The Olympics Fault!

I know I’ve been on a serious hiatus, but I suppose I couldn’t help myself.  I became seriously addicted to the Olympics and found myself up every single night until 1 or 2 am glued to that darn thing that flickers in your face called the TV.  AND, we don’t even have cable (by choice – not big TV watchers)!  God help me if we had five NBC related channels of the Olympics.  It’s only two weeks every four years, I could do it (or so I thought)!  By day four I was exhausted but I ‘sucked it up’ (as my husband kept telling met to do) and watched as if I were a newborn viewing its surroundings for the first time.

I enjoy sports in general, but I love the Olympics for the triumphant personal stories, and to watch the incredible athleticism of the top 1% in the world is truly special.  Yes, I know it’s been over commercialized since the ’90’s and there’s too much focus on the medal count and how the USA dominates over the rest of the world (except China), however, I try to overlook those things by living in the moment enjoying each game and its athletes!

One of my favorite stories was Oscar Pistorius from South Africa.  The first (double) amputee to compete in track did the sport some good.  Aside from an incredible story, what a tremendously humble and grateful human being he is.

 Watching Michael Phelps personal transformation from his first Olympics to his last was wonderful.  He’s really come into himself, becoming comfortable with his role in the sport, the history he’s made, and understanding the gravity of what he means and will mean to future swimmers for generations to come.

Then, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of athletes with stories like this one:

Fabien Gilot, a member of the gold medal-winning 4 x 100 team raised his arm in triumph to reveal a tattoo in Hebrew reading: אני כלום בלעדיהם -in English: I am nothing without them.

He found his own way to remember the Israeli athletes massacred during the Munich Games 40 years ago. We remember too. His grandfather survived Auschwitz and we remember the Holocaust today. We hope for peace and understanding and swimming and the
Olympics brings us closer to each other. We come from all over the world, no matter what are the politics of each country…. these weeks, this time, we are all equal and free.

How many of you found yourself watching things you aren’t even remotely interested in?  For me, one of those things was Table Tennis.  Personally, I find it to be fun 20 minute entertainment with the kids, but that’s as far as I take my ping pong expertise.  However, there I was glued to the gold medal match watching the two athletes from China sweating their pants off, duking it out to the end.  By the way, either those guys are giants or the table got much smaller.  I’m assuming it’s the latter.

How excited were you for these girls to win gold?  What a great night that was!!

And how about this rock star? Who cares (well, she does) if she sat down her second vault?  Her first vault was THAT good she still earned a silver medal.  Mckayla Maroney is a gymnastics vaulting machine!

I could go on and on with my favorite moments, but I won’t.  What were some of your favorite stories or moments?

On another note, sometimes I think the International Olympic Committee should eliminate the sports that have professional leagues.  For example, soccer, tennis, basketball, and beach volleyball.  As thrilling as it was watching Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh win another gold, I’m not sure I feel professional sports should be in the Olympics.  Those athletes had the opportunity while in college, before turning pro, to earn their way.  There’s plenty of  amateur Olympic sports to highlight that we don’t need to watch a professional sport during that two week period.  I would think this would also reduce costs for the cities hosting the Olympics.  Instead of spending billions on venues, etc., maybe it could be in the millions.  Then, in turn, the cost savings could be filtered down to us regular folk who would love to purchase an affordable ticket to watch an event live.  For example, according to an article on swimming was the most expensive of all athletic events (not including the Opening Ceremonies), going on the secondary market for an average of $713.80, a 242 percent premium over their average face value of $208.64.  Even if a family of four were able to get their hands on face value tickets, they’d spend over $800 (on average) viewing one 2 hour event.  Prices me out of the market quickly!  How about you?

Enough of my chatter on overhauling the Olympics.  I’m not going to boycott.  I’m still going to watch with just as much enthusiasm the next time around.  I L.O.V.E. the Olympics!



P.S. While I was glued to the TV, we were also working on freshening up the kitchen.  Check it out in my next post!

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Lisa Simmons Schinkel - I have to say I enjoyed watching every last minute, but when I figured out how many hours I watched I had to laugh at my own craziness!

Garden Design by Carolyn Mullet - I recommend netflix.

Bloomin' Crazy - This was great. sadly, there’s nothing to watch on T.V now!