*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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
My least favorite thing about this kitchen is the angled peninsula where the sink sits since angles are wasted storage space, unless you order completely custom cabinets that include those spaces in the cabinets. But since we cut the pony wall down to cabinet height to allow for counter instead of bar stools (see the before here) I’m not so opposed to it. It’s more open concept which is great for spending time with and entertaining people in the breakfast nook to the left and the family room beyond.
I call this the non-range wall, here’s a peek at the kitchen before we replaced everything from the flooring on up to the lighting.
I decided to remove the pantry from the space entirely and instead install two pantry cabinets in the breakfast nook (see below). The choice allowed for more counter space in the kitchen and makes if feel less cramped.
There is one problem though, despite our accurate measurements we ended up with a slightly wider gap to the right than expected so again here were using drywall to cure the problem. We will open up the entry by eliminating a few inches that protrude into the entry (top to bottom) and add drywall to the edge of the base cabinet to fill the gap. It’s hard to explain but I’ll show you what it looks like when complete. The 3” gap between the wall and upper cabinet will have a filler piece so it meets the wall uniformly.
Just beyond you can see how the kitchen connects to the breakfast nook where we installed a set of pantry, base, and upper cabinets to add more storage to the home in the same style of cabinetry and same color as the upper cabinets in the kitchen.
Here is the breakfast nook back in July of last year before we removed the popcorn ceilings and wallpaper and replaced the flooring. Notice the electrical outlet down below.
I had the electrical outlet raised for access and added a set of 18” deep cabinets to the space. Both of the tall cabinets are the same height as the kitchen cabinets but since the ceiling is higher in here we trimmed them with crown molding. They can act as a pantry or to hold bulk or cleaning supplies, the middle base cabinet will have a countertop where anything can sit (appliances, serveware, etc.) and the upper glass front cabinets are for storing more pretty things.
Next I’m making decisions on countertops, appliances, hardware, tile, and lighting, I’ll share more thoughts on those in the coming weeks. We’re getting closer to the finish line! I’m really excited.
*This post is the second in a four part series sponsored by CliqStudios, we were provided with discounted cabinets, all opinions are my own.