Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Repurposed Kitchen Cabinets

Two of my old kitchen cabinets have been repurposed in my workroom.

Just for fun, I painted them in a Halloween-inspired palette of black, orange, purple and green.

I added drawer liners made from a vinyl tablecloth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

DIY Shelf from a Repurposed Drawer

After treating myself to new kitchen cabinets, I am repurposing the old cabinets. They're poor quality and quite worn, but most of them are serviceable for my workroom and garage. More on that later. :)

One base cabinet was in such bad shape that it essentially fell apart when I moved it. (I can't believe it managed to support the weight of a countertop for 45 years!) The drawer was the only salvageable part.

I decided to turn it into a shelf to store my craft paints. After measuring the paints and the drawer, I determined how far apart to space the individual shelves.

I made shelf supports with small slices of 1x3 boards and attached them with my power nailer. I placed 1x3 boards on the supports to create the shelves.

After primer and green paint, I added black and white striped wrapping paper and topped the shelves with black and white striped washi tape.

The end result is storage perfectly sized for my craft paints and other small supplies.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Kitchen Remodel: Quarantine Style

Thanks to the COVID-19 stay-at-home situation, my kitchen remodel has taken on a somewhat different style than originally planned.

Instead of standard granite countertops, I have a custom set of boards and plywood topped with shelf liner. Truly unique! No one else has countertops like mine.

My cabinets and drawers don't have pulls to open them. With this stay-closed feature, they are guaranteed to remain tidy. Well, more accurately, they're guaranteed to remain empty.

Instead of a stainless steel double-bowl sink, I have a plastic utility sink. With its slender legs and built-in scrub board, it's elegant enough for the finest basement or laundry room. It has a quick disconnect feature as well; one little bump to the sink, and the plastic drain assembly falls apart.

The sink provides cold water only. Hot water is at hand, though, thanks to the shiny kettle with an LED-illuminated on/off lever. It's very user-friendly; simply tilt, and hot water is dispensed through the spout. 

But wait! There's more! The kitchen has additional fabulous features...

Electric cooktop! It has high, medium and low heat settings, allowing me to burn, overcook, or give up on my food.

Pantry! It's ideally suited to the latest stay-at-home lifestyle, with ample storage for shelf-stable foods. Built-in wheel technology allows it to roll in not one, but two directions!

Dishwasher! It's very energy efficient, using no electricity at all. It has several settings, from a gentle wash with Swish and Rinse to a thorough scrubbing with I Hate Washing Dishes.

Kitchen Remodel: COVID-19 Version

After tolerating horrible cabinets for years, I am finally remodeling my kitchen. :)

Kitchen remodels are inevitably expensive. With lots of research, I decided which aspects I would save on and which aspects I would splurge on. The big splurge was custom cabinets with professional installation. It was not easy to convince my frugal self to go with custom! But I wanted to accommodate some unusual personal preferences, and custom was the way to accomplish that.

Kitchen remodels are also inevitably disruptive. I carefully planned the process to minimize the disruption. While the cabinets were being made, I did the demo, paint, electrical and flooring work in the kitchen area. The new appliances were delivered and stashed in the garage. I bought the new sink, faucet, and related accessories. Everything was staged and ready to go. The cabinets arrived...

And then so did COVID-19. :(

I managed to unstack and unbox the cabinets. Unlike my old, flimsy cabinets, which I could practically carry with one hand, these new ones are HEAVY. The small three-drawer cabinet shown below weighs 86 pounds! And of course, it was stacked on top of another cabinet. I learned that I can lift 86 pounds if I'm motivated enough.

I placed the cabinets more or less where they'll eventually be installed. Then I found countertops in my basement. The color is called Scrap Wood. ;)

Topped with shelf liner, the wood tops are functional enough. Once I get the pulls installed so I can actually open the doors and drawers, I can have some semblance of a kitchen again.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

DIY Dog Gate

As I mentioned in my entryway organizer post, the door from the garage into the house opens into a tiny entryway which is at the top of the basement stairs. 

My dog always greets me in this entryway. To ensure she doesn't fall down the stairs, I placed a baby gate.

The gate served its safety purpose, but it was ugly. It was also annoying because I had to remove the gate and set it aside every time I needed to go down the stairs. I wanted a gate I could simply swing open, but I faced a challenge. The gate could not swing into the entryway because it would block the entry on one side or the other. Therefore, the gate had to swing into the stairwell. But it could not swing to the left side because that's where the handrail is located, and it could not swing to the right side because there is a horizontal "shelf" sort of structure in the way. With some thought and the help of Google, I came up with a solution that would allow the gate to swing to the right.

First, I built the gate. I cut a piece of MDF to the appropriate size and then attached 1x3 and 1x4 boards to match the board and batten style of the entryway organizer.

Then I implemented the solution which allows the gate to swing to the right. This solution is... a board! ;) It's a 1x6 board which functions as a sort of gate post. The board is attached to the wall (to the door trim, actually), and the gate hinges are attached to the board.

The gate swings open to the right.

As with the entryway organizer, this was a "Why didn't I do this ages ago?" project. Instead of having to remove and replace an awkward tension gate, I simply have to swing a gate open or closed. And it looks infinitely better!
ugly, awkward plastic gate
not-ugly, easy-to-use wood gate

To finish the entryway makeover, I replaced the old door trim with new, wider trim in a simple style.