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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kitchen Makeover: Wall Cabinets

The kitchen originally had a bank of ceiling-mounted cabinets over the peninsula.

I removed those cabinets a while back, which opened up the kitchen but left me with a view of the ugly wall cabinets on the other side. What to do with those? I considered the same beadboard-and-paint treatment I gave the base cabinets, but that would make the wall o' cabinets even darker and more oppressive. And no aesthetic changes would help the cabinets function better - they were off-center, the shelves were warped, and the corner cabinet was hard to reach into.

Ultimately, I decided to just get rid of the darn things. :P

Of course, this left significant damage on the wall.

Including three series of nail holes the installer had created when trying to find the wall studs.

By the way, light switches and wall outlets can help you locate studs. Switches and outlets are attached to studs, so you know that the stud will be just to the left or right of the switch/outlet. This was especially helpful to find the studs in my kitchen wall, where (for reasons unknown) the studs are 24" apart, not the usual 16".
studs will be to the left or right of switches/outlets (along the red lines)

The walls are textured, so holes can't be spackled and sanded like you'd do with smooth walls. There's no way to repair the damage without the repairs being as obvious as the damage. The only real solution is to refinish or cover the whole wall. I decided on the latter, choosing a "tin ceiling" style textured wallpaper. I painted it white to help brighten the space. Then I installed some swirly black wrought iron shelf brackets... 

topped with black wooden shelves. I used 11" deep shelves on the left and 7" deep on the right.

Total cost of this project was $76.50, fairly expensive by my frugal standards. This included
  • one roll of textured wallpaper at $19 (Lowe's)
  • two 11" deep shelves at $7 each (IKEA)
  • two 7" deep shelves at $3 each (IKEA)
  • four wrought iron brackets at $4 each (Hobby Lobby)
  • four smaller wrought iron brackets at $3.50 each (Hobby Lobby)
  • one package of screws with anchors for drywall $7.50 (The Home Depot)

But I think the end result will be worth it. With both banks of wall cabinets gone, the kitchen feels MUCH more open. :) Now it's time to pursue that "gothic cottage" look by putting stuff on the shelves!

22 comments:

  1. I love that wallpaper! I really like the idea of a "gothic cottage" look.

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  2. Amazing how open the kitchen looks now! And the wrought iron brackets are so cool, I wish we had them in Germany as well...

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    1. I love the openness. It felt like a cramped cave before! (Though I still wish I could do something about the low ceiling also.) The brackets were an exciting find, and I got them at half price. :D I have a weakness for wrought iron.

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  3. I have those exact wrought iron brackets!
    Do you think these shelves will be enough, or are you planning on adding something else between them?

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    1. I will be putting something between the shelves; I'm not sure what yet. I want to first install the new faucet, which is much taller than the old one, and see how that looks. I also have a pair of rounded shelves which I might hang in the corner.

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  4. Wow, it looks so much prettier!

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  5. I'm pretty sure I have a roll or two of that exact same wallpaper (although I can't check, because the box of leftover wallpaper has been packed away - I didn't get rid of it because it's bound to come in handy for the next house!) I ended up choosing a more random swirly wallpaper for the hallway because I figured it would be less difficult to hang straight. You made a nice job of it! :o)

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    1. Thanks! The paper is straight, though it doesn't look it in some places because the wall isn't plumb, the ceiling isn't level, and the counter sags. :P

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  6. i always want to work on my flat when i see all those amazing things you do - so cant wait to move next year and turn my new home into a cozy cave like yours!

    <3

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    1. Aw, thanks! A new home is exciting. :D

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  7. I am so excited to see how this is going to all look when finished! I think it is going to be absolutely amazing.

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    1. Thank you! Just a couple more projects before the grand finale. :)

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  8. That is soo much better!! The benefits is that you don't tend to fill the shelves with unnecessary and unmatching things :)

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    1. Thanks! Indeed... I've edited my dishes down to just the ones that look okay and get used frequently. And there will be no more food getting hidden in the back of a cabinet!

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  9. ARGH! There is such a thing as a STUD FINDER!!!! When we bought our house, there was this long shelf on one of the walls we wanted to paint. When we removed it, there was a three-foot line of HOLES. It went all the way across the back of the damned shelf!! I am not a particularly handy person, but I at least know not to do that!!! It is very difficult to patch drywall nicely to paint over when you have that many holes going on.

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    1. Yikes! That's ridiculous! Even without a stud finder, you can just knock on the wall to see where it sounds hollow.

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  10. Are you going to put up some kind of splashback behind the sink? I can see water splashes and damp from the sink ruining that quite quickly otherwise, and it's a nice pattern (even if I'm not a fan of textured wallpaper usually). I tend to like tiling above sinks. In our current apartment we've got the sink underneath a brick exterior wall, and the cooker/hob against the next exterior wall (our kitchen is in a corner) so it's a good solid wall to tile on the inside, and our apartment came with rather nice black faux-granite tiles that actually look quite good. (Something about our decor that I don't immediately want to alter!!)

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    1. There is a short backsplash extending up from the counter, but I might put something in addition. I want to see the new sink and faucet (which is much taller than the old one) installed before deciding.

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  11. Also, I have a set of brackets like that stored for a similar shelving project...

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