So, today I wanted to FINALLY bring up our kitchen makeover that I’ve shared tiny glimpses of over the past few months! There are a ton of posts I plan to share over the next little while (which let’s be honest, on my watch that means by the end of the year #keepingitreal) and today is post #1. Get excited!
For starters, here is the kitchen the day we moved into the house. It’s your typical colonial builders special. The cabinets were in need of a lot of cleaning and tlc, but they are made of real wood and we wanted to make them work, with a few modifications of course! This is a home & DIY blog afterall : )
For the first “phase” of our kitchen update, we prioritized the appliances. The existing ones were way past their prime, and some were barely working. Luckily we knew this upfront and had time to shop around for new ones before purchasing the home. Once we got the keys, we put in our order for our shiny new Samsung beauties and danced all the way home.
In order to make our new babies work with our kitchen, we had to do a little rearranging. The kitchen originally had a hood vent over the stove, and while we loved the idea of purchasing a huge beautiful vent, or building some rustic wooden amazingness, we ran into a practical problem. The we-have-no-counterspace-and-cant-live-without-a-microwave kind. So, we purchased an over the range microwave to kill two birds with one stone.
We couldn’t hang it on the existing cabinet because it would hang so low we wouldn’t be able to use the burners. Not exactly ideal. So, we carefully removed the old hood by disconnecting all of the wires and unscrewing the old rusty screws. If you’re trying something similar at home- contact an electrician if you’re unsure of how to safely disconnect everything!
Next up was the cabinet. This was a classic case of “the one screw that screwed everything up” or something like that : ) We carefully cut the trim (to save for the new cabinet) and caulk and removed all of the screws that we could see, but the cabinet still wouldn’t budge.
M then unfortunately had to take a hammer to it to get it off, only to find that it was one lonely little screw that we missed that had caused us so many issues. Sorry about that cabinet! We also removed the cabinet above the old fridge at the same time, to make room for the new one which was slightly taller. I wish I could say that we learned from our mistake this time, but we ended up being the victim of the invisible screw once again! Sorry X2 little cabinets.
After all of this, we were left with damaged walls, a hole in the ceiling and wires hanging out of the wall. Aka even more prep work.
We have plans to take down the soffits throughout the entire room, so for now we just focused on sealing up the vent. To make it simple, M cut a piece of scrap sheet metal and screwed it up into the ceiling. If you’re thinking this is overkill because the cabinet will just block out the hole as well, you may be right, but I like to make sure things are 100% air and bug tight : )
I don’t have any “how-to” pictures of this next step, because I’m not an electrician and don’t want to explain anything wrong, but we ended up bringing the old vent wires up the wall, cut a new hole, and added an outlet for the microwave. The outlet will sit in the back of the new cabinet, meaning no live wires left out in the open, and we didn’t have to run new wiring! Win win.
Ps. If you run into a similar issue at home DO NOT just shove the wires into the wall and call it done. Danger danger. Consult an electrician if you’re unsure of what to do!
Now for the fun part! We reinstalled a new cabinet (picked up at Home Depot for around $30!) that was similar in style to our old cabinets . We knew we wouldn’t find a match, so a cheap “close enough” cabinet did the trick! A few 2 1/2″ screws into the studs, and that baby wasn’t going anywhere : ) We cut the hole where the new outlet was placed, and moved on to the microwave.
It took about 3 of us to get everything up/hold everything into place while M went to town with the drill, but I’m happy to report the project was completed without a hitch. All of us left with 10 fingers and 10 toes and a bowl full of popcorn : P
And that’s the beginning of our kitchen reno! The new appliances were the necessary part of the makeover, but the rest of projects are for fun : ) Everything we did was super cost effective, and we’ll be back soon to share more!
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