Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Kitchen Project Begins

I'm taking off on a new project.  But unlike earlier Einsel-projects of this scale, I'm going to be taking this project on solo.  When you live in a house like this one there are countless benefits to having a mother whose day job is in a custom woodworking shop.  But there is a downside - I've been perhaps too reliant on my mom's skill and willingness to help.  I'm grateful for the help.  So grateful.  But I'm also tired of feeling intimidated and incompetent when left alone with any power tool that involves a blade or compressed air. 

So as I contemplated the changes I have in mind for our kitchen, I also contemplated tackling this one alone.  Mom's seen my plans for the kitchen, and she knows I'll be relying on her advice (and extensive tool collection) but she also knows I want to do this myself. 

I'm starting on the north end of the kitchen.  The only change in this half of the room will be the addition of beadboard wainscoating under the existing chair rail.  Here's a picture of my progress so far:

In a way I feel like my age was just divided by ten and I'm a three year old insisting, "I can do it by myself!".  And, like a three year old, my progress is much slower and my work perhaps a bit rougher around the edges.  But I did it myself, gosh darn it!

My plan is to do the room in sections, which means I will prime and paint the beadboard pictured above before moving on.  We're living in the house, and I'm hoping to keep most of the kitchen in some semblance of order as I proceed.  Up next will be the northeast corner of the room, which will be a repeat of the beadboard work I'm doing in the northwest corner of the room.

The south half of the room will be more challenging.  Here's a picture of what I'll be starting with:

(Any guesses where Tiny the Cat's food and water dishes are?)  The plan here is to add crown moulding and new hardware to the upper cabinets.  They will be painted the same off-white color as the beadboard and trim in the other end of the room.  If the budget allows, there will also be new counters and a new sink before giving the lower cabinets the same treatment. 

The wall along the right side of the above photo of the Einsel House kitchen is going to present the biggest challenge.  Part of this wall will be a mudroom style row of hooks with a small shelf above and a bench below.  I'll be using the picture at right as a guide, except I'm planning on open cubbies for shoe storage on the bottom rather than a closed bench.

Initially this bench and hooks combo was my only plan for our southwest kitchen wall.  But while browsing at Houzz I found this picture:

Kitchen Storage Wall traditional kitchen

And I instantly knew what I wanted to do.  Merging my original bench and hooks plan with the left half of the entourage pictured above I sat down and sketched out this:

Yeah, kind of crazy I know.  Especially when I admitted just a few paragraphs back that using a brad nailer or a circular saw makes me nervous.  But I'm still planning to do it. 

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