DIY Home Improvement

Kitchen Progress ~ Creating a Useable Eat-in Area

May 15, 2014

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If you are here regularly {and I hope that you are}, you know we have been working on our kitchen makeover for what seems like FOREVER now.  I have shared with you bits and pieces along the way, like this sneak peek of our painted, stenciled kitchen floors.   Today, I am here to share with you how we moved some cabinetry around to create a useable eat-in area.  It has made such a big difference in our kitchen and it was totally doable.

First, let's review what our “eat-in area” looked like before we got started.  You'll notice that the area has a door out to our deck, so we obviously can't plop a table in front of it.   And the space not affected by the door was crowded by lots of cabinetry that frankly, made the space unusable as an eat-in area for our family.  You may have been able to fit a small table for 2, but we certainly could not fit a table to accommodate me, Joe and our twin girls.  So, for over a year, that space was totally wasted and not used for anything at all.

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

Initially, we planned to just removed the cabinets all together.  But then, I realized that the space to the right would fit the lower cabinets PERFECTLY and would not at all impede our use of the door.  YAY!

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

We made plans for my mom and step-dad to come visit for a weekend so that they could help us with the girls while we tackled this project.  We also thought we needed my very strong step-dad to help us lift the HUGE granite slab.  You know that saying, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”?  Well, that's what happened.  Unfortunately, my mom wound up with a compression fracture in her spine {which was AWFUL for her, let me tell you–sounded terribly painful.  She is better now!}.  So, we decided to tackle it on our own.  With the girls at home.  Yep.

Joe started by removing the upper cabinets while the girls were at preschool and I was at work.  God bless my husband.  That Saturday, he started removing the lower cabinets while I did my best to keep Attley and Avery entertained.  Apparently, I failed.  They were MUCH more interested in helping daddy.

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

Ahem…  Once we got the girls down for their nap, we used a utility knife to break the silicone seal between the lower cabinets and the granite.  And then my big strong husband and I HEFTED that big ol' slab of granite onto some sawhorses.  It was no big deal.  {Actually, it was pretty awesome.  I felt like a beast}.

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

With the granite out of the way, we moved the lower cabinets to the opposite wall.  We worked quickly so that our poor saw horses didn't buckle under the weight of that granite.  We realized that we need to add a piece of wood to the left side of the cabinets for them to fit the way we wanted them to, so super-handy Joe ripped down a piece of wood and I nailed it on.  {I am terrified of the table saw, but I LOVE our pneumatic nailer}.

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

We also had an outlet to deal with.   Folks, you cannot just put cabinets over a live outlet {which is what we found behind the cabinets when we removed them–you can read about that in a bit}.  So, we did the right thing and cut out the back of the cabinet to accommodate the outlet.

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

With those two details out of the way, we finally placed the cabinets and secured them to the studs.  You can see how that piece of wood we added to the left side makes the cabinets meet up perfectly with the wall.  Just wait until you see how it looks now that everything is caulked and painted :)  Be patient!  That post is coming soon.

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

Now, let me show you the disaster that remained on the other wall.

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

Wowzer.  How is that for ugly?!  And we had a big old hole in the floor.  Clearly, the bamboo floors had been installed over linoleum and AROUND the cabinets that had been there.  Thank goodness we found some of the bamboo flooring in our attic, so we were able to patch the big hole in the floor.  Believe it or not, it was SUPER easy to patch the floor.  With a few cuts and a few nails, we were in business.  Let me take a moment here to tell you that we got the base cabinets moved, repositioned and attached, replaced the granite AND patched the floor during one nap time.  It moved MUCH more quickly than I expected.

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

By the way, see that electrical mess in the photo above?  Yep, a live outlet was BEHIND the cabinets.   NO, NO, NO!  Never, ever do that!  To make matters worse, the electrical box had been sliced open and broken to run the wire into it.  Ummmm, not a good idea.  I don't know what the prior owners were thinking.  In any event, I won't go into detail because I do not, in any way, want to give DIY electrical advice, but Joe replaced the box and re-wired the outlet so it is nice and safe now.

The base cabinets LOVE their new home.  It feels like they were totally meant to be there all along.  I am not going to show you a picture of that.  You'll have to wait for the reveal :)

Best of all, moving the cabinets has opened up a spacious eat-in area that we have already improved!  Gone is the ugly wall paper and patchy yellow paint!  In its place is our herringbone plank wall, which we shared the details of a while back.  I still swoon when I see it.  We just love it.

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

And because I can't resist, here is a before, during and after shot!

Creating a useable eat-in kitchen area! By Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

We cannot wait to get our table built {yep, we will be building our own} and move it into the now spacious eat-in area.  Building the table is one of the last things we have to do before the BIG REVEAL!  By the way, the big reveal will be coming in a few weeks.  But between now and then, I will be sharing several more posts detailing the logistics of our kitchen makeover, so keep checking back!   UPDATE:  The kitchen reveal is now up on the blog!  Click here for all the details!

Have you ever wanted to move cabinets, but are too nervous to do it?  Are you re-thinking that now?  I am telling you, this was so much easier than I expected!

 

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  1. […] have been following our budget kitchen makeover, you know that we removed those upper cabinets and moved the base cabinets over to the other side of the kitchen.  BEST DECISION EVER!   It freed up so much floor space and allowed us to create our stunning […]

  2. […] about our kitchen makeover progress before you head out, like how we painted the kitchen floor, how we moved some cabinets around and how we created a high impact herringbone plank wall.  Stay tuned for the BIG kitchen reveal. […]

  3. […] off. Finally, the way they covered it up makes the whole project feel like a success.   Good job, Tasha. […]

  4. Kathryn says:

    Tasha:

    Another great project by you and Joe. You make it all sound so easy. I also loved your idea of painting the backsplash and it turned out really nice. I am so behind in checking all the updates but once I start reading and seeing them, I cannot wait for more.

    You & Joe are so lucky to have each other. You both seem to really enjoy these projects. Very self-satisfying, I’m sure.

    Kathy

  5. Your kitchen makeover sure is coming along and it looks great! I can’t wait to see the final reveal! Pinned :)

  6. Very smart to move the cabinets to the other side. You can never have too much storage. Of course the plank wall is amazing! Love it! I can’t wait to see the final reveal. You two are doing a fabulous job!
    Glenna @ My Paper Craze

    • Tasha A. says:

      Glenna, you are so sweet! Thank you so much! I cannot wait to finish. I really appreciate you following along with our progress. Have a happy weekend!

  7. Mindi says:

    Looking good! Can’t wait to see it all done!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Me either, Mindi! You know how it is with big projects–exhausting! I am ready to see it done. We are VERY close!

  8. This is SUCH a good decision. I agree it makes way more sense to move the cabinets to the other side. You are so brave! I can’t wait to see how the rest of this space comes together!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thank you, Amy! It really does seem like the cabinets should have ALWAYS been over there. Not sure what the prior owners were thinking. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Have a fabulous weekend!

  9. Hilary says:

    That herringbone wall is SO gorgeous, and the transformation is incredible. I can wait to see what it looks like with a table in place!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thank you so much, Hilary! I can’t wait to see what it looks like with a table in front of it either. We just need to find the time to build it :)

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