Once Mike decided he was going to do the cabinet extension himself, things took off pretty quickly. First, he removed the remaining crown molding, which quickly took our kitchen from this:
Next came the serious demolition. He started with the smallest cabinet, which also happens to be one that is separate from all the rest. That turned out to be good on a number of levels. Here is how things looked when he took down the first cabinet.
Oh, and do you notice anything else? The wallpaper is mostly gone. Here's how the wallpaper looked in the nook before.
Not terrible, but it's definitely time for an update. Wow! Look at how green the lawn was! Now I'm wishing for spring!
Here's how the wallpaper removal project went.
Pretty big difference, huh? Things have looked pretty bare since we got all of that down. Some friends of ours recently did a major renovation in their kitchen (with the help of a small water leak!) and they recommended an architect who had helped them out. He came out and gave us some great ideas including paint colors and suggestions for a lot of the finishing touches including the tile and light fixtures. I'm SUPER excited to see how those things look when we get it all finished, because oh, yes, we are still in progress.
It's interesting, the things you learn about how things were done when you start tearing things apart. One good example is how the cabinets were hung. Apparently the cabinet guys don't own a stud finder. If I'd known this when we built our house I'd have purchased one for them as a gift. This became readily apparent when we took the cabinets down and found this:
Can you see all of those holes? Really? That's just crazy. And it's even crazier because the walls look like that behind every. single. cabinet. You would think that professional cabinet installers would have a better system, but I guess trying over and over to hit a stud is the best they could do.
In this picture you can see that the wallpaper border is still there. It took me about a month after this was taken to get to that. Fortunately, it also took Mike about that same amount of time to get the cabinets done, so no one was waiting around on me getting the wallpaper border down.
Well, just so I don't leave you completely hanging with no hope for our kitchen at all, here's how the first cabinet looked when it went back up.
Doesn't it look amazing!! Mike did a terrific job and they're turning out to far exceed my expectations. Oh, and don't forget to admire the crown molding that he carefully removed and re-installed without any problems AT ALL!
He added onto each cabinet box by just adding about 9 inches onto the top. On the pictures above you can see the seam on the inside of the cabinet. Each cabinet will have an additional shelf that will cover that seam and the new end panels on each cabinet cover up the seams on the outside. A nice little fix that saved us about $7,000!!
We did put most of the cabinet doors back on when they were done. They look a little silly, but they keep the dishes safe and, more importantly, they keep the doors safe and out of the way.
I'm absolutely thrilled with how the cabinets have all turned out (Mike just finished the last one last weekend.) The painter is scheduled for a week from tomorrow and then everything is going to look completely different.
One of my faithful blog readers and friends, Leslie, left a comment asking why we didn't just leave them wood. It did cross my mind after we got into the project that they might look just fine if we left them how they are, but it actually is more expensive because they have to make the doors out of solid maple rather than the paint-grade doors we're going to get. Also, when we built our house, white cabinets were an option and I was really tempted to get them, but the cabinets they were using then were thermofoil (sp?) which basically means that the entire cabinet is melamine. Although they looked okay right after installation, I didn't like the thermofoil option as well as the maple. Later, I had several neighbors who had chosen the white and were unhappy because they yellowed over time. The company we've chosen to paint our cabinets gives us a 10-year warrantee against chipping and yellowing. That was probably WAY more information than any of you were interested in. Sorry for rambling. I'll share more pictures of our progress in the next week or two and I can't wait to show you all how it looks when the cabinets are completely painted. That step is scheduled for completion on Feb. 12th. The only thing left after that is painting the walls and tiling the backsplash. I can't wait!!