March 5, 2013

at home in the curious city


Kitchen Nook - Grand Opening

Per my last update on this project, I was stuck on whether I wanted to stain the shelves. Eventually I decided to go with staining them but with a pattern. I was inspired by this image on my tumblr. So here it is finally completed after 4 months of being extremely slow and indecisive. But I couldn't be happier with the result.
After staining I rethought the mode of installation. Originally I was going to directly screw the shelves into the wall. But I realized that the screws might visually disrupt the stained pattern and that if I ever move, I'd want to reuse these shelves possibly without holes in them. So I used corner angles to secure the shelves in place and screwed in only the end that's against the wall, leaving the shelves unscathed.
Wood Glue $4.50
Paint Brush $2.50
Wood Stain $5.30
Wood Boards (x2) $16.75
Screws + Corner Angles $2.50
Community Woodshop Day Pass $50
Total: $81.55
Design 3 hrs
Construction 5 hrs
Painting 3 hrs
Installation 1 hr
Total: 12 hrs

Check out the entire process from concept and detailed design thru to construction!

Kitchen Facelift

The last time you saw my kitchen, it was an overwhelmingly orange blob of cabinets. Since then, there have been some significant changes that make me hate the color orange a little less.

My list of to-dos for the kitchen now stands at:
  • change the overhead lighting
  • add artwork over the sink
  • paint the cabinets (light grey)
  • replace the dishwater with a working one
  • replace the trash compactor with storage
  • add freestanding storage (don't need it anymore!)
  • change the hideous flooring
  • change out the tile countertop (maybe Corian or butcher block)
The sink still life is now punctuated by artwork purchased on Etsy. It says "I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night," which is a quote by Galileo. A very fitting reminder to me to be brave  when things go bump in the night.

As you can see the orange changed to light light gray/white on the top cabinets and a dark gray on the bottom. I decided on those colors despite objections from unnamed others because I like the contrast. Plus, I thought it would be nice to help the stainless steel dishwasher blend in a little. When it was done,  I knew that this look was just what I had imagined. Speaking of dishwashers, I bought one back in November during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The verdict - I love it and it makes my life exactly 6,000 times easier. And, Bennet likes to sniff around it too... Back to the painting: basically painting the cabinets changed the whole look of our place, and it was the best investment we made! It was an awful experience for me personally bc the vendor choice was a huge mistake - I spent something like 2 weeks couchsurfing!! But still I highly recommend paint jobs to change the whole look of your place for a relatively small amount of money. The only bad thing is that the new colors makes the ugly countertops stand out even more!

I used to have a trash compactor, which I never used. (Does anyone still use yours??) It was gross and from 1982, so I decided to replace it with more storage. I bought a basic $100 kitchen cabinet from Lowe's that matched the general design of the other cabinets. BDF helped me add wood to fill in the gap on the side, and when it was painted at the same time as the other cabinets, the addition just melded into the rest of the kitchen. In this photo, you can see that the size is slightly different from the other cabinets, but when you actually see it in person, you can't tell that it's different. You would only notice if you were looking for it.

Something not mentioned on the list is a new fridge - courtesy of one of our sisters for a wedding gift! It's a sexy Samsung with a touchscreen. Ooh, aah! It lights up with this extraterrestrial light when you open it up, and there's so much room even though it's only counter-depth. I'm not sure what to do with it - I've never had such nice things before! So, I did the only thing I could think of: buy lots of cheese to store inside the fridge!


  1. You are both so creative and talented!

    Monica- If that were my wall, I probably would have left it empty until it was time to move due to lack of ideas. That shelving is such a good use of space and I love the stain job!

    Junette- Does this mean I can come over and make you pasta sometime? :)

  2. Love both of the looks! Both kitchens look phenomenal!
    Junette, I'm so jelly of your dishwasher and fridge! What a grown-up you are. =)