Monthly Archives: February 2015

Kitchen Renovation {part III: it’s a kitchen again!}


Well, folks, I am giddy with joy over my new kitchen!!!  While it still needs some finishing touches, we are taking a weekend breather to recover and bask in the glory of what we have accomplished so far.  I am so happy about this kitchen!

So, when I last posted, the cabinets were leveled and attached to the house, and we were getting ready to start doing real stuff.  Tom and his dad worked like madness last weekend and made so much progress that I was able to move into the kitchen on Monday (oh happy day).

Where to even start?  Well, one of our “issues” with having an island kitchen was that the backs and sides of the cabinets, which are usually hidden against walls, are exposed in our kitchen.  We ended up buying some paneling that looks like beadboard to cover up the exposed backs and sides.  We were able to find some that was a glossy white finish, and I’m really pleased with the way it looks on the cabinets.


The beadboard really classes things up.

The beadboard was attached with contact cement, which we also used to put the laminate on the counters.


This piece is getting ready to be attached. Apparently, contact cement has to sit for about 15 minutes before you stick on what you’re sticking – rather counter-intuitive, as it felt like we should be getting on it as fast as possible!!

After sanding the counter top area (3/4″ plywood), which made just a horrific amount of dust, we were ready to start measuring the laminate.


Our laminate color is something like “distressed concrete.” The grays looks really nice with the white cabinets.

Originally, we were going to 45 the corners of the laminate, but because there is actually a decent grain, we ended up just blocking the ends so everything runs in the same direction.


Contact cement smells VERY VERY STRONG.

There was a bit of drama getting the laminate into place, but it all worked out in the end!  Once the laminate was in place, we were ready to install the sink.  I was more excited about the sink than anything else happening that day.


The hole was measured and cut – my huge sink takes up almost the entire cabinet!


Look at that beautiful, beautiful sink!

While Pop was working on the sink, Tom was continuing his microwave-stand project next to the refrigerator.


As with most of Tom’s projects, the key word is “sturdy.”

This is actually the backside of the cabinet, which is, of course,  bookshelves.  The front, facing the kitchen, houses the microwave on a shelf, and creates another workspace on top.

While Tom and I went in town for some supplies, Pop finished the two ends of the countertop.


Starting to look super kitcheny!

I spent most of the next day admiring my new sink.



We had a shorter day to work, as there was a birthday shindig at Dad and Mom’s that night, and we got a late start that morning.  Still, progress was made on the microwave cabinet, and Pop spent some time putting front edges on the counter (which you can also see in the picture above), filing down the overhanging laminate, and putting up some other trim.


Trim on the beadboard and front edge on the counter!!

After the birthday shindig, Tom and Pop went ahead and laid the laminate for the bar counter, making the kitchen completely functional.  Like the piece that had gone across the sink, it was very long and not without drama, but we got it laid and it is super happy.


It cracks easily and sticks immediately, making things quite exciting.

After spending all day Monday cleaning an incredibly messy house and moving things into the next kitchen, life felt normal again.  I’ve been super happy all week.  Like I said, there are still some finishing touches (like the backsplash) that need to happen, but those will come with time.  For now, the kitchen is fully functional and absolutely beautiful.  Everything has a home, and I am thrilled.  

Best of all, just like we hoped, the kitchen renovation has really finished opening the house up.  Everything is lighter and feels more spacious.  The bar counter is fantastic and it really helps make the kitchen feel like the center of the home.


Everything about this kitchen is wonderful.



We may never use our table again now that we have this great breakfast bar!!

Eventually, there will be beadboard in front of the bar stools, as well.


Even the microwave shelf is functional!

We have enough laminate to cover the top of the microwave shelf as well, so that will look nice.  For now, more of Mom’s seasonal tablecloths are at work!

More progress will be forthcoming, but for now we are happy to spend a couple of days kicked back, basking in the wonder of what we’ve accomplished so far.  Kitchen Renovation Stage I is complete!