And then I stopped. Summer makes me lazy and that's the only excuse I have. Oh and I did want to figure out a few more details before I moved forward.
My Dad is newly retired, which is AWESOME. He came yesterday to help me with the next phase -- taking down about half of the cabinets in our kitchen. I've been SO excited for this day.
Years ago I wrote a post about decorating the tops of your cabinets and it kind of blew up and became a huge post for me. Funny because lately I have been just itching for the day I could take it all down in preparation for this:
I will say when I took it all down I didn't like it -- it was too stark for me with our shorter cabinets. So I still say go for it if you do as well! I was so excited I didn't really take many photos of the cabinet removal process. But there's not much to it -- you definitely want to have two people -- one to unscrew and one to hold on to the cabinet. I can't imagine trying to do this alone!
We started with the microwave -- we removed two screws that held it in through the top cabinet (Dad did that while I held it -- make sure to hold it!) and then you just lift up and take it off the bracket on the wall. Make sure you hold it while the upper screws are removed or it will just fall.
Then we started on the cabinet to the right and worked our way over. I tell you what -- it was hard work! Getting those screws out is no joke. You need really good drill bits to get a good grip on the screws -- they are long and of course deep into the studs.
It was hard work but went really fast…until the last cabinet. Of COURSE. This is the curse I inherited from my Dad. Everything goes great until the last few minutes or the last one or the end of the project…every single time.
There was one screw that was so stripped we just couldn't get it out. Even this screw remover (that works great most of the time) didn't work. We didn't have anything to cut it off so Dad drilled and hacked at it till the head came off. We were able to get the cabinet down and then we had to get the rest of the screw out:
I told you all here how I was contemplating taking down the cabinets on the other side of our window. I did it and I'm SO glad I did! Game changer folks. We also took down the corner cabinet (that's the one that was a pain) and replaced it with a flat cabinet that was on the other side of the microwave:
You can see my under cabinet light hanging there -- most of them are burnt out so they will be replaced with LED lighting towards the end of the reno. Thankfully we only have three cabinets I'll need to add lighting to now!
That cabinet fit crazy perfect into that spot. I thought it may be a bit too small but it was like it was made for that corner. The door is different than the rest of the doors (one instead of two) but it doesn't bother me. I'm considering ordering two doors for it but it's not really an worthwhile expense in my opinion.
Here's how it looked when we were done -- a disaster and not pretty:
It's still not pretty but much less of a disaster now. Actually, I do kind of think it's pretty because I absolutely, positively LOVE love LOVE it without the cabinets (already!):
That black tile was what I covered over with beadboard years ago -- this part was behind the microwave.
The next step is to get all that tile and breadboard down and let me tell you -- it's going to suck. The tile will not budge. I tried years ago when I did the new backsplash and nothing has changed. Like everything else in this house it was installed very well. A good problem to have, but I'd love to pop off some tiles like I see on the reno shows. Nope. From the looks of it I think they legit used liquid nails and spread it like tile adhesive. I have a feeling we will just have to cut it all out and just replace the drywall.
It's going to suck. :)
But that's one of the next steps. I'm adding lights on the wall so that will need to happen soon too. We sold the old microwave already and I'm using that money to buy a smaller one for the island.
Here's a view of where the cabinet used to hang to the right of the window:
I also removed the appliance garage that was underneath the corner cabinet:
Here's that view now:
I cannot even tell you how much this has opened up the space. It is so much brighter and feels twice as big. If you are on the fence about doing this I don't think you'll regret it!
Yes, it's going to look so different! But that's why I'm excited. I've gone through a few of the cabinets and purged quite a bit already, and after I install the shelving for our everyday dishes I think we may even have extra space in our upper believe it or not!
Someone asked the other day if we use our appliance garage and yes, every day and I love it! I kept the rolling door and frame that it's on and will be reusing it to build a new one here next to the fridge:
It will have a shelf that pulls out so we can access everything easily. I love having a spot to tuck away the toaster and can opener out of sight. I just noticed I have another corbel to take down, missed that one. :)
Here's an older photo of that corner:
And here it is without the corner cabinets:
I LOVE the cabinets straight back to the wall. And I can reach all but the left side of the top shelf just fine. (I can still reach that too, I just have to work at it a little more.) We never used all the space in that corner cabinet anyway -- it was a dark abyss of wasted space.
Do you see what I see with the cabinet color? The ones along the right and top are bleached out from the sun. The new one in the corner is darker (more of the original color) and so are the lower cabinets. This (and a list of other reasons -- they look much better farther away than close up) is why I will be painting them, I'm just not completely sure on the color just yet.
And here's the spot I think will be my favorite -- the area over the range before:
And here it is now with primed walls, yucky black tile and glue all over the place…and yet I love it:
I tried pulling more of the tiles down this morning and it's just not happening. I'm pretty sure we'll just have to tear it all out which is a bummer. Any tips for getting tile down?
Once I get that done then I'm going to tackle building up the remaining cabinets to the ceiling. I have a long list and I've moved my I-hope-I-can-get-this-done-by-then date to November. I don't want to be stressing about the reno over the holidays. Wish me luck, I'll need it. :) Oh, and if you've installed a new vent hood (metal or wood), feel free to link to it or send me a photo -- I'd love to see the process. I'm still deciding between wood or metal but I'm leaning toward the former.