Letting Go and Letting God.....

"If you really want to make God Laugh, plan your life" -Mother Theresa

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Cabinet Transformation that has Us Smiling

Join me at Kimba's DIY day!

I can't even believe the difference a few bucks and some sweat will make! I have been trying to convince my husband to do a mini reno in the kitchen for quite sometime. As a carpenter (by hobby), he has the utmost respect for WOOD! He wanted to wait until we could gut the kitchen and he could build respectable cabinets- I love his dedication to wood- but that would've been years away. He often works 6 days a week and we have 4 very active and busy girls - so we can't always do what we want... In fact he really wasn't even on board of starting the mini-reno due to little time- but I set a start date and said I'm doing it with or without you. Good thing he decided to help me out cause I could've never pulled it off without him:) So this first detailed project of the kitchen reveal really highlights that!! Since I didn't think I was going to have his help I decided I would not change the cabinet doors and just paint them as is. But after I took the doors off- he said- "well, if we're going to do this we better do it." He thought that it would look like the same kitchen if we didn't change the doors. And though I am sure it would've still been a huge improvement just to paint- changing the doors make a huge difference- a classic update!

So remember these old cabinets? With the groove and ugly oak grainy finish? And that awful hardware?

Well- they are really different now! Here is how we did it: First I ordered new hardware from a seller on ebay. I bought new hinges, cup pulls and knobs in satin nickel for $112. That's a great deal considering I have a ton of cabinets! I choose satin nickel because I was pretty sure I was going with a brown on the bottom cabinets and I was afraid an oil-rubbed bronze would blend too much.

Ok, so my next big decision was colors. A very long time ago I saw this inspiration picture which features green bottom cabinets. I had been planning for a very long time to go with green- in fact I was going to go with my wall color and then paint my wall a more neutral. However, when the time got closer to paint I was afraid I would get sick of the green more quickly and wouldn't be able to easily change colors with it. So I wanted a color that would match more things. I didn't want to do all white for many reasons -1. I have four kids and I didn't want the cabinets to look dirty all the time. 2. I have a whitish floor (that I strongly dislike) and have struggled with paint colors against it (I painted my entry way 3 times before I was happy with the color against the floor that I hate- but can't replace at the current moment) and 3. I am a colorful person- I am pretty risque when it comes to color- I don't like to be neutral in any area of my life - I think my friends would agree- I'm not Switzerland:)

So- what color should I go with? I just so happened to see many blogs out there using some really dark browns and I liked it. Plus I read a blog from a designer that said mixing dark stained wood cabinets with painted ones gives a classic look that's not trendy- Perfect! I knew I couldn't have the dark stained wood since I needed to paint what I had but I thought I could get the same effect. However, when I mentioned this to various friends they didn't think it would be a good idea. I mean- go with the wrong brown and it looks like POO - in the kitchen- yuck! But I was confident. So below you can see my experiments:

I thought the one on the right was too poopy so I choose the left one which is Rustoleum Espresso Brown in satin. The great part was it comes in a brush on form and a spray paint. I used the spray paint on the inside of the doors and on other projects/accessories in the room. The upper color was easy to choose since we have used that on other cabinets in the house- in particular the adjoining family room has built-ins (done by my husband) painted in the same color. The color is creamy white in semi-gloss and is Olympic from Lowes. Now, you may be thinking- "why did she use a semi-gloss on the uppers and a satin on the bottom?" - well that was done for 2 reasons -1. My local hardware store only had the espresso brush on in satin (this product is not mixed)- 2. A dark color always shows up more shiny than a lighter color so I think if I would've used semi in the brown it would've looked lacquer like.

Now for the transformation. I got this basic idea from a Lowes creative idea magazine a long time ago. Basically cover the middle with a panel and then frame with molding to give the look of a paneled door. My husband put it all together in his own way- and I LOVE IT!

Here is the hardboard we used for the panels. Since it was going to be painted we wanted to go with an inexpensive product. This comes in large sheets (the picture is one already cut). I think the sheets are $6.50 each. Next, we went and got a basic molding. The one we choose was simple and inexpensive but didn't have the lip to cover the panel so my husband cut one in.

This is what it looked like when it was done. After this I cleaned the cabinets with TSP- an commercial strength degreaser and pre-paint cleaner we got at Lowes. Next, I filled the previous hardware holes with wood filler (since we were using knobs and not handles and we were putting them in a different location)- let it dry and then sanded it. I then did approximately 2 coats of primer (Bullseye) and 3 coats of paint.

And here is the result!! I am thrilled with it- and so is the hotty!

If you are thinking about doing this- I say "Go For It!" It is a ton of work and will take tons of time- but it is so worth it- and is very affordable!

See you soon:)

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Kitchen Reveal

I've linked up to BNOTP Metamorphasis Monday! Check it out!

Ok, so its time for the REVEAL!! I have compiled some before and after pictures for effect. I plan to blog about each individual project and at that time will show you before/during/after pictures. I will also include more detailed information- like- how to, tips, colors and cost. But for now I think this post will speak for itself.

Big Open Kitchen!! Great bones and awesome potential!

(I've got some girls set for a life of drama)

You can see my test spots under the microwave, on my quest for the perfect brown!

TADA!!! - ok so here is a run down of what we did- Refaced the cabinet doors and added tounge and groove beadboard to the island (compliments of the hottest carpenter around - my husband), new hardware, painted the cabinets - Espresso brown on the bottom and creamy white on the top, painted the trim, used/new to me chairs that we painted and reupholstered, new lighting, new treatment (panel with chalkboard paint) for the door to the basement (done primarily to cover a big hole in the door - but happens to be the hotty's favorite part) and the start of new window treatments.

We removed the scalloped apron from above the sink and replaced the flourenscent bar with this fab retro fixture.

More detailed picture of the refacing- it was a groove solid panel door before but the hotty added a panel and molding for an updated look.

We did the recessed lighting/pendant transfer kits above the island. I got these at Lowe's and then picked my own shades. And some new rugs from Walmart site to store.

Here you can see the chandelier that I bought at a thrift store awhile back and sprayed out with oil rubbed bronze paint, a more detailed picture of the chairs (before and after pics to come) and a new curtain. You can also see that I sprayed alot of my accessories out to match the new look (in particular the curtain rod and rings). BTW- it was Bunco night at my house- hence the score cards, bell and di on the table- he..he..he..

Ok- here is where I am having some difficulty- I can't figure out a window treatment for above the sink- I've tried a bamboo blind but since the window is an odd size I will have to custom order it and that will be too pricey- any suggestions?? My hotty wants some privacy but I want a sleek look?? I also need to do some better accessorizing but that is for another time....

So there you have it- phase 1 complete (almost). So next- phase 2 - that will include new countertops, backsplash, faucet and new counter stools at the island. Then - maybe- I hope- a new floor and new appliances.....
A basic breakdown:

Paint $100 (but this includes many spraypaints for the chairs that I didn't like and didn't use)

lumber for refacing and beadboard $175

hardware $112

lighting $100

chairs- set of 8 $120

Stay tuned for details concerning cost, supplies, colors and more detailed before and afters....

Thanks for stopping by and taking a peak!

Monday, February 8, 2010


I have been challenged to choose a word this year. Actually a close friend picked a word and it got me thinking- "what would my word be?" The word should describe my feelings or goals. I really have spent quite a bit of time thinking about this and then after I stopped it came to me. My word is GRATITUDE! It recently occurred to me that time passes by me so quickly that I often don't acknowledge it. I lack thoughtfulness. I want to strive to first show more gratitude for those around me. And well, being the mother of 4 and a wife, most often they get ALL my time. I suppose that is how it is should be but along the way I have forgotten to show some very important people some most needed GRATITUDE- my FRIENDS! I would like to show them how important they are by sharing some of my time and being more thoughtful! Lets face it, my friends offer me more than I can put into words- support in the good and bad, a chance to let my hair down, someone who takes care of me, a chance to let it all out, an opportunity for adult educated discussions, great wisdom and advice and on and on... I hope to show them more gratitude. And if any of them are reading this- you know who you are- and I want all of you to know that even if I don't say it I appreciate you every second of every day and you are so LOVED and admired by me!

Ok, so lets begin already- my first DIY project is something I did for a friend. A bit of a birthday surprise (but mostly a chance for me to honor her and brag about her). She recently did a bathroom reno. She has it all done but needed some accessories. I tried several different things but here is what I came up with!

Ok, here is my chance to brag. First I must say that she is quite an amazing friend. She inspires me in ways I can't begin to tell. She is amazingly creative and just about the smartest person I know (really). She is currently in school- her chance to get a college education- one I don't think she ever thought she would get. But after being home with her little girl until school she set her goals high and she IS ACHIEVING them! She is in her 6th semester at Shippensburg University working on her Degree is Elementary Education. She has a 4.0- brag, brag- she is amazing:) Anyway- I choose these words cause she will inspire her students everyday. Trust me- if you live in south central PA and you have kids entering elementary school you should be praying that she is their teacher!! So every morning while she is starting her day, I want to give her a gentle reminder that she is doing what she believes in and that she is IMPORTANT to so many! (no pressure) but in the morning I think she may need to be reminded- she's not a morning person;)

I bought these picture frames at the dollar tree- they were black. I used Rustoleum Espresso spray paint to paint them brown (she used this color quite a bit in her bathroom).

Then I took card stock and cut a mat, using my exacto knife and ruler, in this blue/gray color (her walls are a gray/blue) and then put a shimmery white card stock behind them. I then used glue dots cut into little strips to attach these silver inspirational words that I bought in the scrapbooking section at Michaels.

Hopefully soon she will give me permission to post some of her after pictures with these hanging so you can get a better picture of the whole scene. Thanks for letting me lift up a friend in gratitude:)