So a LOT of projects around here get done slapdash. There are just so many things to accomplish, that sometimes it’s easier to just do the bulk of the project and then jump to the next thing. Slowly, we’ve been trying to keep ourselves focused and actually finish stuff – or at least get it a little closer!
While the bulk of the kitchen remodel happened last January/February, we are still doing random little things to make it better. What’s amazing to me is how little details really do tighten everything up and improve the entire experience.
Last November, we hit several smaller parts of the kitchen that took it from looking half-finished to actually looking like we had gotten somewhere!
One of the most basic items – knobs. I lived without them for months and got along just fine. Part of the problem was that I really had trouble finding something that I genuinely liked. And since knobs are weirdly expensive, I wanted to find something I really liked before I parted with the cash! While I like our white cabinets a lot – and they definitely brighten up the kitchen – I was hoping to find something with just a touch of color for the knobs.
After scouring all the home improvement stores (Menard’s, Lowes, Home Depot) and coming up empty, I was one day randomly wandering through Hobby Lobby and realized – they have tons of knobs! And that’s where I found the ones I love! They are blue and not too tiny or too big, they’re ceramic, and just plain adorable. I love them! I waited until they were 50% off and bought a slew of them, as I wanted them not just in the main part of the kitchen, but also on the pantry doors, the hutch in the dining nook, and the other shelves that were going to be built/remodeled along the north wall.
All in all, I still really like these knobs, now that we’ve used them for almost a year. However, that little ring is made of very sharp metal, and they easily bend out of shape. That means that they catch easily on clothes, and I’ve even cut my finger on them! So I’ve been taking the knobs apart, removing that ring, and then putting them back together. The knobs aren’t quite as cute that way, but at least they aren’t endangering lives any more.
Before installing the knobs, I also wanted to put a final coat of paint on all the cabinets. Some of them had only gotten one or two coats, and they really needed three. Because we started with unfinished cupboards, they had also been a smidge rough. I really ought to have sanded them before painting them initially, but, you know, water under the bridge. Instead, I gently 220’d them before applying the final coat of paint – it really made a big difference.
Generally, when people install cabinets, the cabinets all face the same direction. However, because our kitchen is an island, I decided that in order to fully utilize the “dead” corners, we would use corner cabinets – that face out. It’s worked fabulously, but one thing I hadn’t thought about (although Tom had, of course, and had already mentally solved the issue) was that this mean that all of the toe-kick space didn’t line up.
You can kind of see from the picture, although there is a random roll of paper towels in the way. The bottom of the corner cabinets sticks out and isn’t flush with the lower bit of the forward-facing cabinets. (Incidentally, aren’t those knobs lovely??)
In order to fix this, Tom decided just to eliminated the usual toe-kick space entirely by faceboarding everything flush with the front of the cabinets.
Knobs, fresh paint, some putty/sanding/painting on other trimwork, and tidying up the bottom of the cabinets all made a big difference. We also put in a shelf that was in a little dead space near the sink (perfect for the toaster and other items that tend to clutter the counter), put some trim around the tile behind the stove, and Tom installed a homemade magazine rack on the outside of the island (pictured here with Waylon damage lol).
I also had another project – refinishing a cabinet that I had inherited from the house I grew up in – but I think that that will wait for the next post…