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?