Phase One = Complete

Fancifying the kitchen is a three-step process. When we moved in, the kitchen looked like this.

Please note:

  • the dated knotty pine
  • the old fashioned black hinges
  • the bland countertops/backsplash
  • the aged cabinets
Not ideal for the modern, color loving family we are. A plan must be developed. Why not exchange the drab countertops from this…
to this…
Beautiful, bright, white quarts countertops….muah. It’s so crisp, so clean, so shiny and pretty and happy. I lust for them. Durable, practical, life changing. It’s not exactly normal to have a crush on a countertop but never you mind. The counter tops will be changed. As will the backsplash, from “landlord neutral” to fantastic blue subway tile.
Imagine it. The shiny white surface surrounded by iridescent blues and rich wooden cabinetry. It looks good, feels good, heck…it smells good. It is a far cry from the original. Despite at first HATING the knotty pine (and blogging about it here) I ultimately decided to keep it.  One reason for keeping the O.G. cabinets is to salvage something that is perfectly functional. No “out with the old and in the new” for this little lady. I wanted to keep something in that kitchen legit—in true 50s era style. The other reason for keeping the color was rooted in me wanting to prove the internet wrong. Search after search would furnish results which would have me believe that no one in their right mind would keep the knotty pine look in a modernish kitchen setting. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. So phase one does not include demolishing the worn but still in-good-condition original cabinets.
Instead, it consists of doing some stripping, sanding, staining and hinge replacing. Switching out hardware like this…
For this…
Resulting in something like this…
It’s a look that’s a little old school and a little modern; a little eclectic and a little chic. So we spent the winter break refinishing the wood and bringing the fixtures up to the 21st century.
It wasn’t easy and we are still cleaning up saw dust, but what a difference a hinge can make! We are thrilled with the glossy new stain and shiny metallic hardware that now adorn our kitchen. Only two steps to go until the kitchen transforms into my cooking fantasy.

16 Comments on “Phase One = Complete”

  1. Loving the new look. Kitchens are such funny spaces as they’ve to perform to such alot of activity. When we got our house fully reburbished 5 years ago we didn’t have a kitchen carcass to start with so our situation was a little different. I am so pleased that you decided to keep the presses. Your idea of changing the handles, hindges and doors has made a huge difference and the kitchen you now have is so much brighter and fresher as a result.

    As a former kitchen designer / seller in London (a life time ago) it is refreshing to see that you worked with what you had. Such alot of people simply remove all when it isnt always a necessity (without care for the environment or budget).

    Nothing wrong with this kitchen now! Ok yeah I know you’ve obsessing over that fantastic worktop but in time you’ll get your wish.

    One last thing – the doggles make it as well as that lovely green over the back door. Nothing left now but to make a real nice curry and invite friends and family by to give it the once over. Enjoy your new kitchen!

  2. kmom says:

    Looks so clean and moderne. I can’t wait for the counter-evolution.

  3. Leah says:

    Lookin’ good!!

  4. Loooove the blue subway tile y’all want to put in. We are moving renovating and older house I move into and I am hoping once we move in we can put it in!

  5. Joy says:

    Once again my visionary, daughter-in-love and my handy son have awed and impressed me with their skills…..I love it!!!!! Mom

  6. I love the tile that you chose! I cannot imagine having the patience to put each piece of that up, but it looks fabulous!

  7. [...] in handiness). The final plan is to paint the bottom a fun turquoise blue color (to match the future backsplash), but after all the elbow grease we put into getting the shelves up this weekend, we will save [...]

  8. [...] in handiness). The final plan is to paint the bottom a fun turquoise blue color (to match the future backsplash), but after all the elbow grease we put into getting the shelves up this weekend, we will save [...]

  9. Nun says:

    Can you say something about the lack of visible grout in this photo?

    Does anyone know how this is done? Is it just that the grout is also blue or maybe grey and therefore unnoticeable in the photo?

    Thank you.

  10. [...] the kitchen we refinished the cabinets and added new hardware, bringing some much needed shine to a kitchen that was in the running to be [...]

  11. [...] One: lining the kitchen cabinets with linoleum tile When Heath refinished the cabinets last Christmas, he did a swell job of giving the musty exterior some much-needed sheen. The interiors, however, [...]

  12. [...] And yet, still the kitchen felt a little…how to put it eloquently…blah.  The cabinets, while in good shape, were a little worn down from so many years of use, and the black hammered metal H-style hinges and matching handles were a little dated on top of the fact that they darkened the kitchen even more.  After a lot of debating and internet research, I opted to maintain the color and style of the naughty pine cabinets, which was a surprise even to me. At first, I jokingly referred to them as naughty pine, but that style is so indicative of the era the house was built in that I hesitated to change it. After all, if style is cyclical, it should only be a matter of time until they are all the rage again. Instead, I thought, better to find a way to update them so the kitchen can feel modern but still cohesive with the rest of the house. So over the Christmas holidays, we sanded and restained the cabinets and added updated nickel fixtures. [...]

  13. [...] first painting the walls and replacing the light fixtures. Then Heath spent his Christmas vacation sanding down and restaining the original knotty pine cabinets and adding new hardware, and we worked together the following spring break to remove the wood wall paneling and add more [...]

  14. […] for a kitchen. From there, we—to be read in one breath now—replaced the florescent lighting, striped and restained the cabinets and added new hardware, removed the wood paneling from the wall and added custom shelving, replaced the faucet and added […]


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