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    Hey there! I'm Amanda and I'll be your co-pilot today. Along with my handy husband, Ben, we're remodeling our second house. We're avid DIY-ers, tackling large and small projects while raising two rambunctious boys. Thanks for following along on this wild journey!
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I Like Big Drawers and I Cannot Lie

Due to the impending holiday, we’ve been slacking in the kitchen update department.  Shame on us.  Spank us and take away our birthdays.  Yesterday, we did share a cabinet painting tutorial, but I know you really want to see the installed, finished product.  Am I right?  After locking myself in the basement bedroom for several hours each day for a week, I finally finished priming and painting the fronts and backs of 20 drawers.

We’ve found the easiest way to install drawer fronts is by first marking and drilling holes for the handles.  Use a spacer as a guide to keep the spacing even.  In our case, we wanted a 3/4 inch reveal on all sides of the stack, so a few scraps of 3/4 inch plywood worked wonderfully.  While Handy Sammy held the drawer front in place, Ben put a screw in the holes he drilled for the handles.

For spacing between the drawers Ben used two quarters stacked together and followed the same process.  Once he liked the spacing, he went back and screwed the fronts on from inside the drawers.

Easy enough, right?

Yeah, kinda.  Some how, I don’t quite know because Ben is perfect, he misjudged the depth and screwed into the center, popping the screw through the drawer front.  He said he did it to show he is human because that fact is easily forgotten.  Haha, nerd!

In a few hours, we finished fourteen of the twenty fronts, including the stove side:

What a big difference it makes.  The lower drawers are finished.  Minus minor touch ups like one screw pop and scratches.  Oh, and you can see we decided on two handles for each of the large drawers.  Just one seemed dinky.

Ben and I agreed the handles looked better centered on each drawer.

You can see the small stack was still lacking in the drawer front department.  And, where’s Vincent?

And, here’s a look at our false front covered trash drawer.  Notice we framed out the upper cabinets, too.

We’ve got three more false fronts on the back of the peninsula.

Obviously, the other side has real drawers, and there’s also a stack of drawer fronts opening in the dining room.  Rather than a blank like the end panels, we decided to go with the false fronts.  Ben drilled the holes for the handles first, attached the handles, then screwed the panels on from inside the cabinet.

The functional drawers are customized, too.  Everything looks normal behind the curtain, right?

Wrong!  The protruding window sill called for a smaller top drawer to avoid smashing into granite.  This is the only drawer front we didn’t center the handle on.  Instead, we wanted the handles to line up to so everything looks the same.

There’s no denying it, the kitchen is starting to look finished.  Lower cabinets: done!

We found a mini microwave from Home Depot, too.  Man was than an ordeal.  It just fits in the cabinet.  When Ben told me he built the cabinet 20 inches wide, I assumed that was the inside dimension.  You know what they say about assuming…  The inside dimension is 18 inches wide and most microwaves are 18 or 19 inches.  So we started thinking of different places we could put a microwave.

Option 1: Inside one of the bar cabinets.

But those cabinets aren’t deep enough because the cabinet is built around the support post.  Next idea.

Option 2: Removing a drawer to add a microwave hidden behind a door.  We have two small-ish drawer stacks to choose from, but in the peninsula.  The front-runner to remove was the middle drawer opening on the dining side.

But it seemed inconvenient to microwave something in the dining room.  If we did this, we’d also lost a fair amount to storage space in the depth of the cabinet.  We would have the same problem if we put the microwave in the middle drawer of the kitchen peninsula.

Option 3:  Build a buffet to house a microwave and other stuff.  When we bought the marble for our dining table, we also bought a piece to top off a buffet.  Then, we gave the small desk to my sister and liked how open the room felt.

Again, not the most convenient location, and building another piece of furniture isn’t going to happen right now.

Option 4:  Build a new, wider upper cabinet to fit a microwave.  I may have mentioned this idea to Ben which he very quickly rejected.  I don’t blame him, after all, we had just added the trim detail.

Option 5:  Live without a microwave.  At first, I thought this wouldn’t be very difficult, but how would I make a baked potato?  Certainly not the old-fashioned way in the oven.

We’re so glad we found a microwave to fit in the intended cabinet.  High-fives abounded.  I never thought I’d be that excited about a cheap, ugly microwave.

That’s what we’ve been up to.  Holiday decorating, kitchen updating, and Minnesota planning.  What’s new with you?  Any kitchen work going on?  Holiday decorating and planning?  Are you going to stop by Goodwill to meet up with us?  Do you prefer a hidden microwave?  Ever gotten excited about a small appliance?

Leave a comment


  1. Nate

     /  December 20, 2011

    I’m a recent lurker of your last 10 or so posts. Cabinets look excellent! Do you think I could DIY some cabinets myself or does it take experience in the trade as your husband might have?

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Rebekah

     /  December 20, 2011

    Wow! The cabinets look great!! Always love to read your blog.

  3. The cabinets are looking great!

    Glad you found a microwave to fit! (PS – Your baked potato comment reminds me the Mitch Hedberg quote about how long it takes to bake a potato.)

  4. Great job! I love it.

  5. Monique

     /  December 20, 2011

    Your kitchen is gorgeous! It’s come together very nicely. You and Ben are quite talented.

  6. It’s looking great – I love how it’s all coming together!

  7. I love the cabinets and how they look with the wood countertops! However, I don’t understand why you made the drawer front next to the window narrower- it seems from the picture that it would fit in the “standard” size, even if the inside drawer is narrower than the front face?

  8. It’s looking so good! Those huge drawers are so impressive. I really like the color you’re using on them too. And of course, I can’t say enough times how I just LOVE the wood counter tops!

  9. High Five!! The kitchen looks amazing!! I love those large drawers, reminds me our Martha Stewart style! :)

  10. It looks amazing! The grey of the cabinets works so well with the wood countertops.

  11. Drawers Drawers and more Drawers that’s exactly how I want to do my kitchen, no more reaching into the back of the cupboard to find the lids to containers and then giving up!

  12. It looks so great! :) Nice work!

  13. Wow! So great to see things take on a fuller shape :) Well done!

  14. Jamie

     /  December 21, 2011

    The cabinets look amazing!!

  15. Okay, I really want to contract out your hubby to build some cabinets for me! But, it would take a relo to the Midwest. Great work, both of you!!!

    • ourhumbleabowed

       /  December 21, 2011

      Hey Nate, Thanks so much! It certainly helps to have experience with cabinetry, but it you measure everything and you have tons of patience and a good attitude, you could pull it off. But that’s not to say it’s an easy task to take on. Maybe practice on a smaller scale like a desk or bookshelf…

      Hi Rebekah! Aww, thanks so much! :)

      Hey Cait! I’m glad about the microwave, too. Seriously, potatoes take for.ev.er in the stove. I’m not that patient. Haha.

      Hi Teri, Thanks!! We love the the kitchen, too.

      Thanks, Monique!

      Hi Amanda, Yep, it’s all coming together. Just a little more cabinet work, some trim, and back splash and it’s there. :)

      Hey Ainhoa, Thanks! We love the wood and gray together, too. :) And, we had to make the drawer and the front in the dining room smaller because our window sill sticks out and if we made either the drawer or the front the same size as the two below, it would hit the sill if opened past a foot. Does that make sense?

      Hi Vonda! I LOVE the huge drawers. Seriously, they’re one of the best kitchen decisions we’ve made. Thanks so much for your kind words about the paint and counters, too. :)

      Hi Katrina, Aw, shucks. :) Thanks!! I’d love to think our kitchen has Martha style. haha.

      Hey Nina, Thanks! I’m so glad we’ve got the gray and wood combo.

      Hi Michelle! We LOVE the drawers. We had nearly the same thing in our old kitchen, but we had the cabinet doors to open first. This just makes more sense. No regrets going with all drawers.

      Thanks, Erin!

      Hi US, Definitely great! Thanks so much!

      Hey Jamie! Thanks!! :)

      Hi Christy Manar, If we ever move to the Midwest, I’ll see if I can twist Ben’s arm to get him to build you some cabinets. :)

      Thanks, everyone!!

  16. WOW – your kitchen is AMAZING!! Can’t wait to see it when it is all finished!

    • ourhumbleabowed

       /  December 21, 2011

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks! We can’t wait to see when it’s all finished either! :)

  17. That is so beautiful! I like the double handles on the bigger drawers; and my perfectionist husband did a similar thing to out bathroom drawer front, good to remind us they’re human.

  18. Your kitchen looks amazing already! I can’t believe you and your husband did this all by yourselves. Great Job!

  19. You had me at big drawers..
    Thank god you choose to get a microwave..
    I also love the big sink..

  20. Wow, it’s really coming together now! You guys are so talented! Can’t wait to see the afters!

    • ourhumbleabowed

       /  December 27, 2011

      Thanks, SallyHP! Handy hubbys are human, too. Haha.

      Hi Krysta! Thanks so much! It will look so much better when it’s done, too. :)

      Hey Hena, Yes, thank God for the microwave. At first I thought we would be able to go with out, but it really is so convenient.

      Hi Teresa! Yep, it’s getting there! :D Thanks so much for your compliments, too. We can’t wait to get to the point we can show you the afters.


  21. these cabinets are awesome. i’ve followed their progress and they really look beautiful. so worth the anticipation.

  22. Karisssa

     /  January 5, 2012

    Hi, I am having trouble finding the post where you detail how you built the drawers…can you direct me please? Thanks!

    • ourhumbleabowed

       /  January 5, 2012

      Hi Karissa,

      That’s a great question. We actually have a post in the works detailing the whole cabinet building process, but we’re waiting to post until we’re completely done as we still have some cabinet doors to build. Hopefully you’ll see that when we’re finally done! :)


  23. WOW! Great work. So good in fact that I thought we had the some cabinets – mine being from Martha Stewart’s collection! What an ambitious project!! I recently started a cooking blog with a little creativity and home stuff to be thrown in along the way. Hope you will follow along. meandmylg.wordpress.com


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