Saturday, January 17, 2015

I did it! Good-bye kitchen cabinet....

So, as I posted previously, my large kitchen cabinet has started to fail.  The shelves were bowing and it started to pull away from the wall.  I had to make the decision to remove the cabinet,  restructure it, and put it back on the wall OR throw caution to the wind and remove it to explore new possibilities.

Yes, those are tree branches above the cabinets.  I use them with twinkle lights from Halloween thru winter.  It just adds a touch of sparkle to the drab winter.

I am not sure if it the promise of a new year or just an itch for change but I decided to remove the cabinet altogether!  Wait, what?  I KNOW!  I'm a little crazy for removing a perfectly good cabinet but what is life without a little adventure, right?

I emptied the cabinet, removed the shelves, and questioned my decision about 1,000 more times before removing it.  I mean, whether I fixed it or decided to eliminate it - it needed to come down.

And after some wriggling and pounding, down it came... 

The outlets on top of the cabinets allow for Christmas decorations and over cabinet lighting, etc.  That and the cabinet crown molding and trim had to be removed because it went along the top of all the cabinets for a finished look.  

So as I decided to go with the open shelving, it was off to the home store to get some wood and supplies.  I decided to go with 2" shelves for the rustic elegance.  I found scrap lumber and after going through about twenty five pieces, I found two that were perfectly straight yet with interesting graining.  I went with 2 x 12s which were four feet long.  I cut them to the width I needed.  I also bought some 1 x 2 cedar boards to serve as both a ledge for the shelf and trim for the cubby I was also building.

Then I spied some unfinished shelving for only $2.78 each!  Wait, what?  So I put back some of the more expensive wood and decided to use this to build the cubby for my glass jars of flour and sugar.  SCORE!  I love saving money!

So this project took a lot of sitting on a stool, having a snack and mulling over designs in my head, options for mounting the shelves, etc.  It was really a trial and error process but finally I got started.  I used the cedar boards coupled with large brackets to support the bottom shelf.

I had to drill a hole to run the existing under cabinet lighting through the new wood bracket.  The metal L brackets had to be off center because those were the only two existing studs in the wall.  

Living in Chicago, sometimes DIYing in the winter has its drawbacks.  Since it was about 20 below zero when I began this project, I elected to cut wood in the kitchen.  I had no choice really but it has made a HUGE mess.  Oh well, it beats frostbite!

I wanted the shelf to sit flush on the wood ledge so I chiseled the width of the bracket out before securing it to the stud in the wall.  It worked perfectly!

Now that the first shelf support was ready, I proceeded to the cubby.  I needed a closed area for glass jar storage but also to continue to line of the cabinets and trim, crown molding, and over cabinet lighting.  I used the unfinished shelving to make a very basic box.  I trimmed it out in 1 x 3s and 1 x 2s.

I chose to use the large brackets again because I didn't want to worry about anything crashing off the wall and I didn't want to have to be limited in  what I could put on the shelf.  I painted the cabinet and the metal brackets white for a uniform look.  A little caulk and some sanding and it looked like a uniform and polished cabinet.  Yay.

This was just me goofing around with options of what to put on the shelves.  I still have to add the second shelf and decide what color to stain the shelves.

I found this awesome Kate Spade inspired polka dot grey and creme cotton duck material which I was going to use as a backdrop to hide the brackets and give the kitchen some pop.  I also found these wire baskets at Goodwill for ...... $1.99 for the two big ones and .99 cents for the smaller one!  SCORE!!!

So that is where I am so far.  The weekend was spent watching Notre Dame hockey and men's basketball in South Bend so I am looking forward to finishing this Sunday evening.  I am so looking forward to how it is going to turn out.   Even though there is more work to do, I think I made the right decision.  I am excited to post the final product in a few days!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Unexpected Kitchen Project Kicks Off 2015!

Hello!  Happy 2015!  Let's start the year with a little quiz.... On New Year's Eve,  and all of a sudden I heard....

A.  Fireworks to celebrate the arrival of a new year

B.   Party horns and the sound of a fab party

C.  The collapsing of dishes in a kitchen cabinet!

If you answered C you are absolutely correct!  All of a sudden two of the shelves gave way in the main dish cabinet in my kitchen.  The little plastic things which hold the shelves in place all seemed to give way at the same time.  Very interesting!  And frustrating.

I have always had trouble with this cabinet pulling away from the wall, etc.  It is a large cabinet which holds a lot of stuff.  Thankfully, nothing broke!  I have no idea how that happened but I am extremely grateful!   Most of the items in that cabinet have sentimental meaning such as Disney mugs which are no longer available and family heirloom serving plates.  But now, I am face with the dilemma of what to do.

It definitely needs to be attended to and I don't want to risk just fixing the shelves and losing all the dishes the next time it decides to misbehave!  But out of adversity comes creativity!  My head is spinning with ideas!

The area where the cabinet is supported on each side by a microwave and glass cabinet on one side and the pantry wall on the other.  So I really don't have to put the cabinet back if I don't want.  I have always been intrigued by the concept of open shelving and this would be the ideal situation to give it a try.

Since the area above the cabinets houses electricity for over the cabinet lighting, the top of the cabinet cannot be removed.  So as an option, I found this adorable cubby hole system on Pinterest which would work out perfectly!  The instructions and blog post on Shanty 2 Chic can be found HERE.

I would make it a bit wider and only one level but it would also free up space in my pantry.  WIN WIN!

Then still exploring ideas and options on Pinterest, I found these rustic and cost effective open shelves which I LOVE!  These would be perfect!  I think I also have a few pieces of stone left from the backsplash to fill in if I made the shelf level with the microwave.  The tutorial and blog post from The Woodgrain Cottage can be found HERE.

So I am kind of being forced into jump starting projects for 2015 which isn't such a bad thing I guess.  I am going to think about it for a few days before I decide to simply reinforce the existing cabinet or throw caution to the wind and try something new!   This is starting off to be an interesting year already! Happy 2015  - I hope your DIY dreams come true!