Posts Tagged ‘kitchen remodel’

Kitchen Cabinet Installation

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

*This post in partnership with CliqStudios.

There is that turning point in a kitchen remodel when you can actually start to visualize the completed space and for me it’s always when the cabinets are installed. Last weekend when I was in Las Vegas I checked in on the kitchen remodel progress and was so excited to see the space coming together with the cabinets in place!

The fully assembled cabinets were delivered in January by truck and we unpacked and inspected each one, then then brought them into the house to acclimate. Instead of an all white kitchen I opted for blue gray bases and white uppers. With white countertops and a variegated blue gray tile backsplash, this kitchen will be a stunner when complete! (Find sources for the kitchen cabinets in part one of this remodel series).

I chose upper cabinets instead of open shelving to maximize storage, I like to include a series of glass fronts for display, I think they feel less heavy than all solid doors and also provide open shelf style storage but protected behind glass.

kitchen cabinet installation

Our upper cabinets and bases were installed with a 30 ¼” space between them to allow for the range and hood to slide in but it left a gap on the left side so instead of trimming the gap we’re going to fill it in with sheetrock instead to make it seamless.

range cabinet fill gap with sheetrock

I chose drawers instead of cabinet doors to the left of the range for cookware, and LOVE the soft close drawers that slide in on their own. You can see the painted sides of the cabinet where they are exposed and the sides where they are not.

We’ve installed kitchen cabinets before for the Alma project remodels (here and here) but opted for a professional finish carpenter in this case for a few reasons. 1) To save time since I was out of town when it happened, my Dad supervised and snapped some pictures in my absence. 2.) Precision was so important since a level revealed the floors, walls, and ceilings weren’t straight and 3.) There were two angles in the kitchen at the sink base and in a corner and a finish carpenter would make it all right for the countertop installers. On top of the install, they had to trim the backs of two cabinets and construct the refrigerator frame and they did an amazing job.

professional installation

I asked Joe (the finish carpenter) what his opinion was on the quality of the CliqStudios cabinets since he’s installed them all in his 30+ years experience. He told me that because they have plywood sides and a full back, soft close drawers, nickel plated steel hinges, and smooth enamel paint, the cabinets are excellent quality.

In the old kitchen there were cabinets that surrounded the fridge, I had two problems with this scenario: the upper cabinets were too shallow and the refrigerator too deep. See how it sticks out beyond the arched opening?

fridge before

We moved the old refrigerator out into the garage and replaced it with another gently used one my Dad found for us (his friend was moving). This one is cabinet depth so that it can sit inside a 24” frame.

The new refrigerator cabinet is also 24” deep, but we still need to add some shelves (DIY project!) to the left and recess the electrical outlet and water line so that the refrigerator will sit inside the frame. It allows for panels so we will make them at some point (DIY project!) but for now the white is perfectly fine. Also unseen is a 3” edge on the other side to allow for a full door swing. The fridge no longer blocks the entry and is a big improvement on what was there before!

refrigerator add shelves and recess plugs

 

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Remodel Woes: Kitchen Ceiling and Cabinet Soffits

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

We’ve owned and rented homes over the years with kitchen cabinet soffits, those boxy sheetrocked rectangles that take up space above kitchen cabinets. They’re a common element in many a subdivision kitchen built in the 1980s and 1990s and I’m not a huge fan of them, so in a remodel, removing them or disguising them is my first plan. 

Kitchen soffits as a drop down ceiling can serve a purpose, often it is to hide beams, wiring, and pipes but sometimes not; I’ve always preferred a kitchen ceiling the same height as adjacent rooms. Kitchen cabinet soffits are often space fillers, there are decorative ways to disguise or improve the look of them and there’s the more challenging architectural undertaking of removing them. It’s a topic on my mind this month since we’ve encountered a situation where we’re unable to remove the drop down soffit in our two ongoing kitchen remodels.

Here’s a view of the kitchen in Las Vegas from last fall before we removed the old countertop and cabinets and lowered the pony wall. It shows the drop down kitchen soffit above the footprint of the space which I wanted to remove so very much so that the kitchen’s ceiling was the same height as the adjacent family room and breakfast nook.

soffit vegas kitchen

We tore out part of the ceiling only to discover that a structural beam and water pipes ran through the middle of it, the soffit wasn’t there just to house the big box florescent light, it was the hub of all the electrical, plumbing, and structural support of the home which made me upset because I wished the architect of this subdivision had designed the home so that the beams and pipes lived in the subfloor instead, grrr. The cost and headache and permits were just too much to change it so instead we paid to repair the demo and live with a drop down ceiling soffit in this space.

The new lighting plan will help – we did remove the florescent light box and updated the lighting with recessed cans and pendants over the peninsula in December – new cabinets and countertops will also be a huge improvement.

Grandma’s kitchen remodel (below) is progressing but we hit a similar road bump when we discovered the drop down ceiling soffit couldn’t be raised because of structural issues running through the center of it. Strike Two. We had to delay the cabinet order so that the new upper cabinets fit the lower height and thankfully we caught the issue in time to not be charged for the changes, however again we are stuck with a ceiling that we originally anticipated raising to the same level as the family room. (See the “before” for this space here and the kitchen design plan here.)

grandmas kitchen progress

While our issue is one of a full drop down ceiling, I’ve been in plenty of kitchens with a similar issue of soffits that exist just above the cabinets (also called fur downs in different regions of the country). I went in search of kitchen spaces where soffits look good because they’ve been incorporated into the design plan of the kitchen.

This wood and white kitchen’s cabinet soffits are trimmed beautifully with molding so that they blend in with the upper cabinetry.

white trim kitchen soffit

authentic oak

Here’s another dreamy example in a favorite kitchen of molding used to enhance the soffits above the white cabinets.

white kitchen fiorella design

fiorella design

In this all white kitchen, the cabinet soffits are hidden by beautiful beams and part of the architectural plan from the start.

white kitchen wood floors plank ceiling with beams

 wendy resin interiors

 

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