Monday, 19 October 2015

New Jewellery for the Kitchen & Reclaiming Counter Space

Good Morning!

Excuse the punny photo but they do say drawer pulls and knobs are the jewellery of the kitchen and they can definitely go a long way to sprucing up the place and making a room look more finished and updated.  When we first looked at our home, we knew that one day we would re-doing the kitchen in some way - whether it be a full gut job or simply re-doing the cabinet doors.  We are not tackling this job for a while yet, maybe not until after Ian's retirement in early 2017.  But in the mean time we wanted this room - that is the heart of a home and basically central in our open floor plan - to be something that we could enjoy.

When we put an offer in on the house we included a clause to ask the previous owner to paint out the kitchen cabinets.  Yes, this may sound a little presumptuous but he had mentioned that he was thinking about doing it when we looked at the house.  Here is a before photo, note the ugly 80's drawer pulls, and yes more orange-y wood tones. But look at all that natural light, too!  We love natural light!

(our apologies for the grainy iphone photos)

At a later viewing, the cabinets had been painted, though there were no drawer / door pulls on yet.  The paint job looked good, but we didn't find out until we moved in that there would be a problem with it. (That is a story for another day.)  The owners had mentioned that they were going to purchase the pulls the next week.  We told them that it wasn't necessary, since jewellery and kitchen jewellery is a personal thing and subject to personal taste, we wanted to choose our own hardware and it didn't seem fair to let them purchase the pulls knowing that we would likely replace them.  So they put the little end bits of the existing pulls back on so that it would be easier to open the cabinets.

 sorry for another crappy iphone photo - we did not decide to start blogging our new home journey until after a few projects were started or completed

Of course, in DIY there is usually a glitch that you have to overcome, we think the universe puts them into the plans to make you appreciate the end result even more!!  If you notice in the above photo, the island is new (a DIY Ikea cabinet creation by the previous owner), and the rest of the cabinets are original to the house.  During the twenty odd years since the home was built we Canadians switched everything over to the metric system, so the measurement for the drawer pulls were not the same for the island and the cabinets, not a huge deal, but the cabinets were not even the same as anything that you can purchase locally now. Why yes, pondering this dilemma did call for wine!

Knowing we did not want to get into any large renos in the kitchen at this point, we scoured the internet and local big box stores for a simple solution.  Thankfully, we found these at Home Depot.  They fit the bill on a lot of levels, we were looking for brushed nickel, clean lined, and a traditional style that would not date itself quickly - but most importantly we were able to finagle them into the existing holes on the cabinets!  These pulls have two sets of holes giving you more options, but using the first and third hole - essentially offsetting them  - and slightly angling the lower screw we were able to secure them into place! Yeah!  It really is the little things that make a big impact, in life and design!

The next project we tackled was the reclaiming of some counter space and simultaneously getting rid of the ugly and mismatched range hood (you can see it in the above before photo).

 This time you also have to ignore the "we are moving in and trying to find a home for everything and still live day to day clutter, plus we are sort of on vacation"!

The easiest way to instantly create more counter space is getting the microwave off of it, so we started shopping around.  We had narrowed down a couple of models but one day while at a BIG Ikea shopping trip, we found this model.

It was a decent price point at about $350, the curved handles meshed well with the style of the handles on our oven and the colour of the stainless steel worked great too!  Have you ever noticed that there are a couple of colours of stainless?  One sort of has a blue-ish undertone and one has a yellow-ish undertone. We never really noticed this before, but then this is our first time having stainless appliances.

Thankfully, this is another DIY Ian can do himself and has done many times before!  I stick around to hold and pass stuff, but am otherwise basically useless! ha!

The instructions with the microwave are actually pretty good, and Ian can do electrical no problem.  Many, many years ago, he did commercial renos as a side gig.
 yes that is my reflection snapping an iPad pic!

Here is another reminder of the "before".

And the new "after".

We love how clean and tidy it makes this corner of the kitchen! Oh, and the damaged and holey ceiling - yes that was another project on this list!  We will share that soon!

Thanks for visiting us today! 
Ian and Laura

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