Cabinets

I think I might understand why mothers will go through the pain of childbirth once and choose to do it again.  After painting my kitchen cabinets, I feel like I can relate.  Because those two things are extremely similar and definitely equal amounts of pain. I feel like a survivor. These were my kitchen cabinets. I don’t have anything against wood or brown cabinetry, actually I like it a lot.  My cabinets, however, were is pretty bad shape.

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Around every knob, there was a worn away patch were you could see that these were not in fact made of wood at all.  They were also very dark in a house that tends to be rather dark.  In a townhouse, we don’t have many windows.  The kitchen is the room that gets the most light and it still looked dreary thanks to these cabinets.

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I decided to do something about it. I got my handy dandy (brand new) toolbox and got to work.  I just received this toolbox from my dad and step-mom for Christmas. It included this screwdriver, and it was a godsend for this project!  Removing all the hardware would have been the biggest chore without it.

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First, I removed all the doors. Let’s not judge the content of my cabinets, ok friends? I’m 24. I do what I want. We sanded everything down with a sanding block and medium grit sandpaper.  After sanding, we wiped down all the surfaces with a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar to get any residual grease and dust off.

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Alex was incredibly helpful while I slaved away removing hinges and knobs.

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After two coats of primer, things were looking life changing. Every ten seconds I would yell at my sister, “Are you dying right now?  This is the greatest day of my life. I can’t believe this is happening!”   She was instrumental in helping me get this done. It’s definitely a multi-person project. One of us would go around and edge and get in the nooks and crannies of the doors with a 1″ angled brush and the other would cover all the smooth areas with a trim roller for an even finish.

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Here they are after 2 coats of primer and at least 2 coats of paint. We used Behr’s Clear Moon and we love it.  I used the original hinges and the knobs I talked about in this post.  They are both an antiqued nickel finish.  I haven’t gotten drawer pulls yet because finding pulls that are 3 1/2 inches center to center AND in a similar finish is pretty difficult. Lowes and Home Depot both carry 1 drawer pull in that size in the store and neither suited our kitchen.

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Can we talk about how I’m really in love with the lines of the cabinets?  They aren’t something you see all over the place and I like how architectural they are.  I’ve been waiting 2 1/2 years to do this project and now that it’s done it is like a breath of fresh air.  It was totally worth the 4 coats and the sanding and having a pulled apart kitchen for 2 weeks. We had to do most of this stuff after work and the doors had to be done in groups of 5-7.

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Hello Beautiful.

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Hopefully we can get the walls painted a more palatable color (pun intended) sometime soon.  For now I’m going to relish how lovely the cabinets are.

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Foyer? I Barely Know ‘er!

Don’t call me Shirley.

I’m pretty sure my inner monologue is written by Michael Scott.  That’s right.  I might be a 24 year old girl on the outside (and I have the cognac brown boots to prove it), but up in this noggin resides a middle aged man whose only desire is to inspire his dreary workforce.  Since I have no workforce, I can only psych myself up.  How do I do that? Is it with rhetorical questions? No, it’s with house updates.  This time I set my sights on our “foyer.”  When you walk in my front door, immediately in front of you is a small tiled area and a coat closet.  End of description.  Aside from the tile, there is nothing that says, “This is the entryway.” I suppose I should call it a faux-yer.  I’m not going to, but I should.

The entryway was never very high on my list of to-dos.  Then I saw this at Goodwill:

Goodwill Bench

This bench retails at Target for $169.99 online.  I found this one at Goodwill for $70, which is normally way above my budget for Goodwill.  However, I saw this bench, loved it, and googled the price.  The box was ripped open and I worried that I would end up with missing hardware or pieces, but it ended up being all there.  So I took it home and assembled it…and it promptly became a dumping ground. This was in early October 2013.  As of December 2013, the foyer looked like this.

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I know that this photo isn’t fantastic, but the point is that my foyer looks organized.  When we come home from work, my sister and I put our purses on the bench and our keys on the key hooks.  The key hooks are empty in this picture because we were literally walking out the door when I snapped this picture.  Can we just take a second to enjoy this bench?  I preferred the symmetrical look of having the doors on either side as opposed to together. The baskets in the middle hold dog toys and winter paraphernalia. The baskets are also from Target, and I had quite a time walking back and forth between the basket aisle and the aisle that had their display bench trying to find baskets that fit nicely into the shelves.

Above the bench is an array of art, photos, organizational tools and whimsy.

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The large frame on the left is a quote I painted in watercolor.  It’s one of my very favorites by Douglas Adams.  “I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but I almost always end up where I need to be.”  I originally did this for a Pintertesting post that failed so I did my own take.  It’s floated around our house for a few months, but I think it’s finally found its home.   I have no idea why this picture is so grainy, my phone usually takes pretty clear pictures.
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To the right of my watercolor quote is the rest of the display.  I framed up some fortunes from a night of takeout that seemed meaningful and fun. To the right of the fortunes is a picture of my sister and I in my grandmother’s hammock when we were young.  This Christmas my grandma went through all the photos she had (which is a metric ton) and sorted them into boxes for all her kids and grandkids.  The box my sister and I got was full to the brim with memories and I wanted to make sure a few of them get special spots in our house.  This is the first I’ve broken out of the box.

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Below the fortunes and our sistren pic, is a key hook and a mail organizer.  At our home’s peak, we had 5 people living here and the mail got out of hand. We also had to move a bunch of cars every morning so getting this stuff organized was pretty important. Good thing I accomplished that after our roommates moved. Ha.

Foyer display

So there you have it.  An organized foyer.  I have another project in the pipeline for our coat closet because it puts the ugh in ugly.  Also, I wouldn’t be a Chicagoan if I didn’t mention how fricken ridic our weather has been.  This Polar Vortex can kiss my grass.  Check out these murdercicles we have on the house.  I run out the door (and in the door) every day in fear of one falling and killing me.

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