On the Up and Up

Over the long weekend, we tackled a few kitchen projects.  Items highlighted in light blue were done before.  Those highlighted in dark blue were finished this weekend.

  • Buy all appliances: sink, stove, vent hood, dishwasher
  • Tear out the upper cabinets and soffit {more on that here}
  • Add support on load bearing wall before tearing out
  • Knock down the wall between the living room and kitchen {more on that here}
  • Install the vent hood {more on that here}
  • Remove the lower cabinets, counter tops, and sink
  • Rip out the tile floor and sub floor {more on that here}
  • Install the new hardwood floors {more on that here}
  • Build toe kick bases, wire everything for lights, replace the cabinets and sink {more on that here}
  • Get the new stove in place and hooked up {more on that here}
  • Add the cabinet above the fridge and frame it out {more on that here}
  • Install the new dishwasher {more on that here}
  • Build the five remaining drawers we’ve waited on (we needed to see how things were in place before we could build one drawer in the dining room, the trash can pull out, and the under the sink drawer)  {more on that here}
  • Fill, sand, prime and paint said drawers
  • Install every drawer, 16 total 
  • Decide on sconces and buy them {more on that here}
  • Buy the wood for the counters 
  • Haul the wood slabs to a cabinet shop to have them sand both sides smooth {more on that here}
  • Cut the wood to fit and install the counters {more on that here}
  • Add decorative face trim to all cabinets for a smooth, pretty, even front {more on that here}
  • Fill, sand, prime, and paint all cabinet faces {more on that here}
  • Install the toe kicks and rope lighting
  • Hang the upper cabinets
  • Build the drawer fronts
  • Buy bar stools {more on the debate here}
  • Fill, sand, prime, and paint the drawer fronts
  • Install the drawer fronts and hardware pulls
  • Add crown molding to the top of the cabinets
  • Cut shelves for the cabinets
  • Build the cabinet doors, including two glass front doors
  • More filling, sanding, priming, and painting of the cabinet doors
  • Sand the ceiling and walls smooth
  • Prime and paint the kitchen and living room.  Probably the dining room too.
  • Add lights: sconces, light over the sink, and recessed light halos
  • Trim out the posts and door frames
  • Decide whether we want to add decorative trim to the vent hood or paint it to match the wall color
  • Install the pretty new marble tile backsplash
  • Put everything back in place and enjoy

For the toe kicks, Ben cut pieces of 1/4 inch thick MDF to 3 1/2 inches wide.  I primed and painted them with the cabinet paint.  This was so much easier than installing the toe kicks then priming and painting.  After letting everything cure, we were ready for install.  We decided to use small pin nails to hold the toe kick covers in place.

These are super tiny nails, so we didn’t have to fill holes, sand, prime and do touch up paint.  Though, I do have to paint the ends which were cut.

With the toe kick covers in place, Ben cut and placed the U channel for the rope lights.  I didn’t get a picture of these, but basically it is a small plastic channel with a strong adhesive backing.  Simply cut to length, peel off the backing, stick in place, and snap the rope lighting in.

When standing, you can’t see the actual light strips.  I just wanted to show you what everything looks like.

At night the kitchen glows like Christmas.  I love it.  One of my favorite things about Christmas are the lights.  Now we have them year round.

Fortunately, the toe kick and lighting didn’t take more than an hour, so Ben got to work installing the two upper cabinets. Here’s the larger one to the left of the sink.

And the slightly smaller cabinet on the right side of the sink.

You can kind of see we painted the insides of the cabinets a light blue.  The same blue we used in the dining room and theater room, actually.  What can I say, I love that color!

Sorry, I couldn’t find my smaller camera to take pictures of the entire kitchen, but here’s what you can see from the living room.

The plan is to hide a small microwave (a .7 cubic foot one to be exact) in the cabinet to the left of the sink.  The lower right side will probably house a toaster and/or blender.  Which means we need outlets inside the cabinets.

According to Montana code, we also need outlets every four feet, so we installed a light switch and outlet on the outside of each cabinet.  The switches are for lights over the sink.

As you can see, we still have to cut, prime, paint, and install the shelves before the upper cabinets are functional, but it’s a good start.  So that’s what happened on Saturday.  I’ll share Sunday’s progress tomorrow.

Now I’m wondering, do any of you have appliance garages?  Or cabinets that extend to the counter?  Are the inside of your cabinets painted a different color than the outsides?

17 thoughts on “On the Up and Up

  1. I am completely amazed at how quickly your kitchen is coming along! I love the lights underneath the bottom cabinets. Christmas lights are one of my favorite things, too, and one of the first things we did in terms of decorating (we have lights around out windows). Oh, and I LOVE the blue in the cabinets. What a nice touch!

    1. Hey Stephanie, Yeah, we’re getting close, but we still have plenty of work left. You’ll see what I mean tomorrow. Haha.

      Hi Kristen, Thanks! The lights were all Ben’s ideas. He’s a smartie. That’s why I keep him around. 🙂

      Hi John! Thanks! We have some work left, but it’s starting to resemble a finished kitchen.

      Hey Julie, I despise appliances on the counter. Well, counter clutter in general. I hope the appliance garage is what I’m hoping!

      Hi Gabbi, Thanks! I love them, too. 😉

      Hey Ashley! Aww, thanks! I hope the appliance garage is convenient. We can’t wait to share more details. 🙂


  2. I’m so inspired by your kitchen! It is coming together so nicely! I’ve been following for awhile, but apparently didn’t realize until this post that you live in Montana… my hubby and I are in Helena 🙂

  3. Building codes are so funny! You HAD to put the outlets near the sink. In the UK it’s illegal to put an outlet within 1m (3 feet) of a sink! I think they’re all a bit silly myself (besides rules that make sure the place doesn’t fall down), I think we should be able to design our kitchens however we want!

    1. Hi Abby! Thanks so much. It’s such a compliment when readers find inspiration form something we do. 🙂 And, hello to a fellow Montanan! There are very few of us. Haha.

      Hey My Honest Answer, Aren’t codes strange? I think the fact that they vary from every state here is odd. Why not have everything the same?


  4. Hi, Amanda, Ben, Vincent and Ev!
    I’ve just finished reading from the beginning, almost two years ago, to date. I came here from a comment you left over at YHL. I have visited before, when your dinning table was featured, but this time you’ve got me hooked.
    I’m in awe. Beyond everything, I’m floored with admiration for your determination, inspiration, cohesive plan, but more than that by the endless hard work and love your posts show. You love your home, you love your kids, you love each other and you are not afraid to work every single minute to make it better every day. Hats off!

  5. yes, i like to comment on posts at least 2 weeks after they are originally posted 🙂

    are you doing anything with the corner of your peninsula (closest to the wall) or is that just dead space? I noticed in the second picture in this post, you have drawers on either side of the inside corner so I assume it’s dead space in between.

    1. Hey Lizzy! I’m guessing you’re asking about the space where the two cabinets of the peninsula meet… If so, we made the dining side three inches wider, so it’s actually not wasted space, but appears so from the kitchen. Does that make sense? We just figured it would be better to have the space usable, and incorporating it in the dining side drawer stack worked well. 🙂


      1. Ahhhh! Yes, makes total sense.
        (I scrolled back through your other posts and realized that you have drawers on the dining room side of the peninsula.)

  6. I am so amazed by the whole kitchen remodel. You guys did a fantastic job! Thanks for keeping such good track of all of the changes! We’re going to try some on our place too!

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