Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Custom Cabinets, part one!

Did you think I'd abandoned my kitchen project?
Or my blog?
I haven't. I've just been busy with real life stuff - Girl Scouts and the PTA, namely!

Back to the kitchen!
One of the most important elements in any kitchen is the cabinets, right?
All of the high-end kitchens have custom ones.
So I examined several Kitchen Design Magazines to try to determine what, exactly, makes cabinets look custom.
I decide it was finish (usually more than one), varying heights, hardware and niches.
To start, I gave my island a 2-step finish and tricked out the underside with a copper colored magnet board.
Next up, I tackled the "niche" idea.

Most of the ones I saw in magazines were above the refrigerator or the microwave. I chose to do mine above the micro, because it was a nice, central spot.

Here it is, before:
(taken last "FALL", obviously!)

First, I took the cabinet doors off and filled in the gigantic screw heads that holding the cabinet to the wall.  This ended up being a useless step - but I thought I should explain the white patches ;)

Next, I used a jig saw to cut the crown molding off the top.
I practiced a little first, but this was still only the 3rd or 4th thing I ever cut with a jigsaw. I didn't exactly get the angle exact on the right side...but I fixed it later!

Then I painted out the inside with the same paint I'd used on the island.

This is when I started the top piece - the part I was REALLY excited about.
I used my jigsaw to cut out two side pieces, free handed from a picture I'd seen in a magazine.
Then I built the rest of the box - the back and a thin strip for the top. The whole thing was made out of 1/2" MDF.  I attached the crown molding to the top and painted the whole thing.

When I slapped it on top of the cabinet, though, it looked...unfinished.
Obviously the angle on the crown molding (right side) was off. I took that down and adjusted it, but still wasn't satisfied.

I stared at it for a couple of days, feeling like it was wrong somehow. My husband kept telling me how great it was...hoping I'd just FINISH the damn thing, I'm sure!
Then I decided to try putting beadboard in the back. I painted it the green that I had considered for the island and slapped it in and LOVED the result.

(not shown - my superhero of a husband shortened the cord from the microwave, removed the plug piece from the wall and wired it directly into the power source, so instead of hiding a 2 foot coil of thick grey cord I only had to hide a 3 inch piece! LOVE him.)

Here it is, all accessorized.

Accessories: the white jar/bottles are from the thrift store - all were clear until I spray painted them white! I paid $1 or less for each of them. The basket and artificial artichokes are also from the thrift store - the 'chokes were still in plastic (never opened!) when I bought them for .75 each! and the basket was $2. The little black architectural thing was from the thrift store and cost .75.  The fluer-de-lis plaque was from Hobby Lobby and was my big purchase - $6. The silver thing is an antique vegetable chopper that was my great grandmothers. It's still super sharp - my husband cut himself on one of it's blades while washing it!

I really think it adds to the "custom" look of the kitchen - it gives a nice, staggered height to the cabinets and another finish, plus it's a great decorative space :)

Stay tuned for Custom Cabinets, part two!
(coming soon - I promise!)


Judith @ Creating Balance said...

Oh my...Thank you. I soooo doing this when I tackle my kitchen!!! Great job!

The Girl Creative said...

Great job, Mandy! I wish I was brave enough to work with tools. :)

Mama Thompson said...

That looks so great!

concretenprimroses said...

Very nice. It gives interest to that wall of cupboards.

Sylvia (at) Lily's Pad and Petals said...

So IMPRESSIVE - great job and it does look custom.
Congratulations on a super job.

Bonnie @ House of Grace said...

I just found you on Make it Yours Day. Great post! I am your newest follower!

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

I love the new look and the new colors! Great job on the niche ... it looks great!

Lanie Ree said...

That green is so pretty! And the white bottles- so perfect.

Thank you for linking up to A Little Craft Therapy with Life in the Pitts.

Mary said...

That looks fantastic! My mom has one of those vegetable choppers and I've looked everywhere for one but can't find any! Can't wait to see what you do next!

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

I hope you don't mind, I linked this and your island up to a show about beadboard at

Lanie Ree said...

You might want to check out this post :)

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

You did an awesome job! So fun!

Kim @ Everything Etsy said...

What a nice way to add a little WOW to your kitchen. It looks great and I love the colors you picked.


Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

That area turned out great! Love the beadboard background!

Thanks for linking up to Make it Yours day!

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

What a great project-adds a lot of visual interest.

Birdie @ Chirp in the Forest said...

Hi Mandy - I mentioned you and your custom kitchen project in my post today. You should stop by and check it out when you have a minute :)

Anonymous said...

you should try taking the crown molding all the way around the top of the bow. you would be surprised what a difference it makes in the end. it is soooo cute. i love the cute things inside the box...

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