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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Cabinets are IN!

After spending weeks refinishing these cabinets, now I can finally see them installed in all their glory!

Whew.... it was quite a job though, I will not kid you in the least.  First we had to cut off the top 2 inches to bring the two pieces down to the right height for our ceilings.  That meant rotating each heavy piece of cabinetry to all four sides in the garage.  It was rainy, melty, warm damp weather... but we wanted to get them done and into the house before the deep freeze coming our way later in the week. Here is Steve sawing off the tops after snapping a chalk line to follow.

Then we had to do some prep work in the house.  We needed to remove the window frame and cut down the window sill to allow the cabinets to hug the window on both sides.  We knew the measurements were close, and we had to be prepared to get it right tight to the window minus the frame.

Our friend Mel had one of these handy-dandy oscillating saw tools from Harbor Freight. Steve used Mel's this summer and liked it.  So Santa brought him one.  Sure came in handy to trim down the window sill on each side!  Close quarters would not allow a jig saw or a skill saw to reach such a tight place.

Oh my... we tilted the cabinets on their sides and carried them out of the garage, up the steps and into the kitchen and set down on rugs to protect the floor.

We hoisted the first side upright and then lifted to set it on the countertop. OH NO! We had to take off another 3/4 of an inch!   Rather than hoist it back out to the garage, I opted for cutting the excess off right there in the kitchen.  Steve didn't want the mess in the house.  Well, I volunteered to do all the cleanup of the sawdust just so I didn't have to help carry them back out again. He finally agreed.  I really shouldn't be lifting them in the first place, as after my stomach surgeries, my lifting ability is hampered by a huge non-operable hernia.  As long as I carry with straight arms and my back handling the weight, I can do okay.

The tops were now cut correctly, and it was time to put the first one in place!  WHEEEEHEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!
This is the right side in place...  we had to screw it to the walls and base cabinet.

And here is the left now in place! 
(bad flash and I was shaking I was so excited) 

They looked fantastic!  All my weeks and weeks of working on them, imagining how they would look, planning in my mind what would go on each shelf and in each drawer.  Oh My!  I can not tell you how satisfied I felt looking at them.  Whew.. it was worth it.

We have crown molding trim to put around the tops and we will add a piece of trim to the side on the right.  Over on the left we will put the stove and the microwave/vent hood.

My friend Betty asked about the depth of the available counter-top space.  Originally the cabinets only had about a 7" counter-top, but by staging the top sections tight to the wall, and pulling the bottom section forward, we could now have about a foot of space for the counter-top   We put a plate board along the wall for the back of the upper cabinets to rest securly on too.  We gained 5 more inches of counter-top space this way!
This ugly wall will be covered by the stove and trim goes on the end of the countertop. 

I think this type of counterspace will be a good thing.  In my last house, I had huge amounts of counter-top area and a big snack bar plus a kitchen desk.  All they did was collect clutter...  Things would get pushed to the back of the counter-top, and there wasn't any organization.  With this new cabinet and counter-top, you have to keep the counter-top cleared off to be able to open the drawers and doors!   Hmmmmmm

And today it was my task to put all my things in all their places!   I set all the shelves into their proper levels, and added screws for security on each of the rails that hold up the shelves.  They fit into a zig zag design on the sides but I wanted to be sure they didn't fall out.

I planned each height of each shelf by placing the tallest item I would want to put on that particular shelf.  Once that was done, I unloaded all of the cabinets from in the pantry and brought it all into the main kitchen cabinets.  Oh it felt soooo good!

Wow... I filled them all up!  
(except the top most cabinets - those are still empty) 

The final empty space next to the tilt-out bin will become a pull-out trash cabinet once we pick up the right hardware I talked about in my last blog.  Then we will have a complete row of cabinets.

This evening, Steve decided we should bring in the pieces to the island and set that up.  Oh well, I wasn't quite ready for it, but he insisted.  Steve found this on Craigslist and it matched our woodwork well, plus it will double as a kitchen table or a work area.  We brought it in pieces and put it together and set into place.

The island is somewhat comprised of 2 bookshelf type units with a flat table top.  Underneath is a wrought iron support piece and four stools with wrought iron legs.  Although those pieces look like four drawers, it's really one door that opens to 2 compartments.  I might take one door off one side and add it to the other.  Thinking about it yet... not sure.  I am going to store some cookbooks, a few big vases or pitchers and maybe make one closed cabinet for our hats, mitts, dog leashes, etc. as we come in the back door.

Later we will fasten it to the floor, add electrical power and plumbing. Then we will move the dishwasher to install it underneath on the side facing the sink.  That probably won't be till later next week.   Right now the dishwasher is functioning in the pantry next to the fridge.

We got deluged with snow today.. it started overnight and snowed all day long.  Steve was plowing at work, and then came home to spend another hour snowblowing.  Both of our neighbors are elderly gals, so he did their yards too.  What a guy!

Tomorrow we are having a "dinner party" !  Daughter Heather and son-in-law Jesse are coming down from Green Bay with our grandson Jameson.  Since I do not have the stove hooked up yet (Steve was working on the new wiring tonight for it)  I am going to do a big pot roast in the crock pot.  Then microwaved potatoes and steamed veggies, perhaps a cheesecake for dessert?

That is enough for tonight... time for bed.


  1. I should say its time for bed...wow you are going to need a day off soon hun....great job love the cabinets....they are gorgeous

  2. Love the look of your kitchen - the flooring, cabinets, and island - awesome job!

  3. Love the "library table" island, and good idea on pulling the base cabinets forward. Everything is looking great.

  4. Lost a comment tere. We are ripping out cabnets today!

  5. The kitchen is looking great! A question for you. How will you get water, electricity and a drain installed in your island? Your new floor is down and I didn't see any outlets or drain pipes. You two do fantastic work.

    1. Steve will drill all the plumbing at once...for the sink, dishwasher and icemaker for the fridge. he has it marked out now that the island is in place. This room is located right over all the plumbing and drains below in the laundry area in the basement... Tonight while I was writing my blog, he was pulling new wires for the stove, microwave and island power. what a guy!

  6. Awesome! Everything goes together so well. Great decorating skills on your part; great building skills on Steve's part.

    You definitely needed a house!

  7. OH, WOW!!! I luva, luva, luva your cabinets and Island. All your hard work has paid off. Now sit down and take rest. Enjoy the kids and grandkids this weekend.

  8. I am totally impressed--I absolutely love it!! You do have a "vision" Karen!!

  9. You two have done a great job! I don't know where you both find all the energy for that. You'll have everything done on the new house in no time, and then you can just sit back and relax! Somehow I don't think you two ever relax!

    Kevin and Ruth

  10. Karen, you did an amazing job finishing those cabinets and your hard work and love shows in the finished product. How lucky that you have such a handy husband and you have such a wonderful vision. I can never imagine how things will look when they are finished and it makes it difficult for me to make any decorating decisions. You both did a wonderful job and the kitchen looks really beautiful. One day, if you decide to sell the house, I'll bet the hardest part will be leaving that kitchen that you worked so hard on!

  11. The two of you and your new kitchen and house are AMAZING! Love, love, love it! So glad that everything is going smoothly for you. Think you will be ready for company this summer?? ;-)

  12. Every step has been fascinating and fun to watch. Thank you so much for sharing it all.
    One question: what if you had removed the very top shelf and door at the top of the
    cabinets, then you could lift the cabinets up off of your counter top and had more
    counter space and some back splash to have some plugs for coffee, toaster, etc?
    Just a thought..........Cabinets are beautiful. Your both truly hard workers and Talented!

  13. Yah, we had thought about that.. but two problems. One was the four drawers at the base of the cabinets would then be kinda high up to be really useful. And the other reason was we really didn't want to scab or cut them up any more than we had to. I wanted to try to preserve them as they were. But then we ran into the tightness with the window to the side of the stove and needing a few more inches of room. So we did omit one bin and move the base cabinets around a bit. I hated to, but we did somewhat. I guess it was the best compromise. I can hide all my appliances in the covered sections of the island and we will have power outlets in the island base to plug things in as we use them. But stow them away when done.


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