Dear Golden Oak,
You are wonderful in so many ways. You're a super strong, high quality, dense hardwood that makes great cabinets and floors. You last a long time. You're also a horrible color. I'm sorry, but you're just not cup of tea. And I really like a good cuppa!
However, you seem to follow me everywhere. Welcome to the kitchen in our new house. If you saw my previous posts you know that our last house had loads of this lovely color. Our new house was no exception. Thankfully, the trim and doors were white. My dad always says you should live in a house for at least a year before you make any major changes. I think that's definitely true for a first house. You're so excited to be home owners for the first time and the learning curve for taking care of a whole house and a yard is pretty steep. But the second time around? I think we got this now.
Those golden oak floors and cabbies had to go...quickly.
Now, historically, it takes my husband and I awhile to actually come to an agreement about house changes. The man has strong opinions, likes, and dislikes in this area which, while perhaps not typical, is actually quite nice. I don't feel like it's just my house or my choices, rather ours. However, it does mean that negotiation can be fierce, at times both of us has given in...or even
...admitted that the other person was right. Boy, that's a tough one, hey?!
The floor was an easy choice. We knew we wanted to go darker and, since we weren't moving in until about a week after we closed on the house, it was perfect timing to get 'er done before we had to deal with furniture or kiddos around. After calling around for quotes, we got everything scheduled, came down to look at four stain options on the floor, and then tried to pick one. How do you pick a stain for your whole floor by looking at a small patch? Close your eyes and point? Eenie meenie miney mo? Quite possibly! We ended up selecting something not too dark, but definitely not golden oak. We love it.
That project was a priority because of the timing. Sometimes our home projects are guided by timing or time commitment, sometimes by budget. Other times they are guided by necessity and a few times by my itch to do something artsy. Sometimes by all of the above. Jackie Hernandez over at tealandlime has some great ideas for prioritizing home projects. Check her out!
The cabinets were also a pretty easy compromise. We knew we wanted white on top to keep everything light, but wanted to go darker on the bottom. Apparently in design terms it's now trendy to call that a tuxedo kitchen or tuxedo cabinets. We are in our blue phase and narrowed it down to Old Navy or Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore. Ultimately, Hale Navy won out. It was a little grayed out and not so blueberry.
The cabinets were prioritized by budget and available time. After getting a few quotes, we decided NOT to spend $3000 plus we'd been quoted, but for me to do it myself. I mean really, $3000+? It's not like we have a massive kitchen. Seventeen doors and 6 drawers, not counting those not-quite-drawers under the sink. I was gobsmacked, to use one of my favorite English terms, at the quotes we got. I guess the positive end of it is that it provided even more encouragement to jump in and do it myself. And you know those moments where you step back and look at something you worked really hard and long at and think, "dang, why did I ever doubt myself? That is marvelous!"
This is totally one of those times.
I'm not going to write another tutorial about how to paint your cabinets. There are loads out there on the web and I really like this one if you're looking for some guidance. I will tell you that I spent:
Is this entire project for the faint of heart? Or those with little time or interest? Probably not. Kids, jobs and life commitments are why other people get paid to do this. However, if you can swing it, you can save a ton of money. And feel pretty dang good about yourself in the process!
And learn something new
I've drilled holes and put on hardware before, but I've never had to countersink. Everything we've previously purchased has always been flush to the cabinet or drawer. But then we found these beauties.
Ah, weathered nickle, you stole my heart. Not at first mind you. These were my hubby's pick and I wasn't sold initially. But I came around and I'm so glad I did. These cup pulls are gorgeous in person. They were exactly what we wanted.
But they needed countersinking
Luckily I've got great neighbors...who were having a porch put on their house...and their contractor was amazingly helpful. Mr. Bud, as we came to call him, popped over more than once to answer a few questions I had. This one in particular. In the end, the process was not as hard as it first seemed.
See those little legs sticking out? Those have to go inside your drawer face. However, the screw still has to go all the way through. What's a girl to do? Use two drill bits of course. First, after measuring five times with my handy dandy guide tool, I drilled the screw hole all the way through the drawer face. Then, I put a little painter's tape over the hole before drilling the larger countersink hole. Supposedly it helps to prevent splintering and peeling of the wood. Worked for me!
Then I drilled the larger hole about half way into the drawer face. This allowed the leg to sit properly in the face and keep the cup pull itself flush. The screws that came with the pulls weren't quite long enough to go through the drawer and the face, so we bought 1 1/2 inch screws to solve that problem.
Now we've got a fully functional tuxedo kitchen. We're thinking we might just break out the formal wear and have ourselves a little dance in there!
Now for some art on the wall above the cabinets. Any suggestions for things I don't have to dust?