July 17, 2012

Kitchen Island Tutorial

A few of you have been asking for more details regarding the kitchen island construction as well as the island countertop. Today we’ll cover the cabinet choices that we made and how we DIYed the butcher block.

First up, the island base. We used Ikea’s online kitchen planner to plan out every inch of our kitchen. Whether you’re going with an Ikea or not, I would highly recommend giving this program a shot. If you have your kitchen dimension you can get a great visual of all the possible layouts. We chose to do a 6′ x 3′ island base with approx. 6′x4′ countertop (12 inch overhang for the counter-height seating). Here’s the top-view using the kitchen planner:

1.2.3.4.5.

1 – 30″ base cabinet with 2+2 drawers. Our microwave lives in this cabinet, but the 30″ cabinet would work just as well on it’s own.

2 – 18″ base cabinet with 3 drawers

3 – This a 24″ opening with no cabinet, just a simple panel running along the entire side of the island to enclose it. We have our beverage cooler here, but a basic 24″ base cabinet would work as well.

4 & 5 – 26″ wall cabinet with 2 doors. Because theses two cabinets are only 12″ deep we had to use wall cabinets. The only major difference here was the lack of legs for support. We screwed the legs in manually, however a separate base can be built instead.

And if anyone is confused with how the cabinets are working together, individual front views:

Now, moving on to the butcher block countertop. As mentioned in the source list we purchased two separate pieces of butcher block from Lumber Liquidators, each 25″ x 8′. We could have opted to purchase a single slab (not offered at Lumber Liquidators) but it would have cost us several thousands of dollars more than the $518 we spent.

After cutting them to size at 25″ x 6’2″ (make sure you have a sharp blade, the butcher block is very dense) we drilled pilot holes on an angle from beneath the countertop with a 3/16 inch counter-sink bit. To combine the two pieces we used several 3-inch wood screws to secure. This process gave an extremely tight fit for a nearly seamless countertop.

And at a distance, the seam is nearly invisible..

We then finished with a few coats of Minwax’s Dark Walnut and a water-based polycrylic (note: not food safe).

If I’ve left any major details out, be sure to let me know in the comments! I’d be happy to clear up any remaining questions :)

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July 16, 2012

Step Stool Refresh

We purchased Ikea’s BEKVÄM step stool nearly three years ago. And then it sat in our last home’s kitchen; unpainted, unfinished. Which was fine for maybe a week, and then we used it. Three years later, it sits in our new home’s kitchen; unpainted, unfinished, and completely trashed. Foot prints, paint spots, drywall mud, all the good stuff. Hello, get on it already??

The stool has great lines. Clean, simple, and dying for a fresh pop of color. So yellow she went.

We chose Ben Moore’s ‘Yellow Brick Road’ using just a sample quart we picked up at our local Sherwin Williams. It is in your face, which I love for such a small piece. On four walls? Not so much. We started by giving her a good sand. Years of built-up gunk had to go. We decided to skip the priming step, not exactly sure why, but we lucked out and the paint covered great. After about three coats of yellow she was ready for some coverage. We layered on an additional three coats of water-based polycrylic to keep those future foot prints from destroying her new look.

I love how a fresh coat of paint can bring an entirely new look into a room, even with small accent pieces.

And if nothing else, Zoey loves collecting her magnetic letters on top of it.

Any quick fixes for you guys this week? Fresh pops of color sprucing up a room? Love to see them :)

July 12, 2012

Bath Art

We made a small update in our guest bath. It’s definitely no big reveal, so don’t be disappointed. We’ve had our eyes out for some artwork to fill our completely bare walls in the newly renovated bath. I finally took matters into my own hands a few weeks ago, and then the art sat on our dining room table for three weeks until we decided it might look better actually hanging on the wall ;) Genius.

We used a few pics (that hubs took himself on our first ever vacation, more on that here) from our previous home’s bathroom. But I decided to switch things up a little with the mat inserts. I LOVE simple white frames (who doesn’t) but they can tend to get a little repetitive, aka boring, throughout an entire home. A simple way to switch it up without losing that cohesiveness and flow in your home is to get creative with the mat. Spray painting the mat in a fun color, or replacing it with simple construction paper can really make you’re photos pop. Another trick I love is adding fabric or material around the mat.

This time around we chose to go with burlap. I had some extra lying around from a table runner I made a while back, so this didn’t cost a thing. I just cut it to size, wrapped it around the mats, and secured with painter’s tape. So easy, but I think it really adds a lot of interest and A TON of texture.

Burlap is a little messy up close, nothing we can do about that, but I’m kind of loving the homemade/ not so straight lines look.

Coming down the hallway and seeing this out of the corner of my eye just makes my day.

We have a piece in mind for the opposite wall from an amazing Etsy shop that will bring in a ton of color. Just a matter of pulling the trigger…

Tackled any burlap projects of your own lately? Any cool ideas for dressing up mats? I’d love to hear em :)

 

July 10, 2012

Pinterest Challenge

If you aren’t familiar with the Pinterest Challenge, it’s a little less formal than it sounds. Basically just a super fun way to encourage yourself to pull yourself away from the addicting site that Pinterest is, and actually.. wait for it… DO something that you pinned. Crazy concept right? I’m so down for this brilliant challenge thought up by duh, Sherry & Katie. And considering that I only have about 70 pins on my “DIY board” alone, deciding which project to tackle only took me a few hours ;) And this winner is…

A growth chart for the kiddos, decked out in all it’s rustic-ness. The best part, it hangs right on the wall so you can easily take it with you to the next house or simply another space in your home. We’d be number two on that list. No moving here. This house is a lifer.

So, despite how fairly simple this project turned out to be, I spent at least six to eight months eyeing it on Pinterest before taking the leap. And to be completely honest, it would’ve most likely been another four without this challenge. I’ll walk through a few of the steps we took to get from “a 2×10 piece of wood on the shelf at Lowes” to “growth chart awesomeness”.

First up, cutting the wood to the correct length. We knew that we wanted ours to sit a few inches off the floor (enough to allow for the 4inch baseboard plus a few inches above that). We went with six inches off the floor and cut the board at an even six feet. That allows for a max height of 6’6. Lets be real here people, 6’6 is re-donk-ulous. I tap out at nearly 5’3 and Rick is a tall 5’6.. and we’re not the short one’s our families. Plus, lets just give the girls the benefit of the doubt and say they reach six foot someday. Who in the world still measures they’re kids’ heights when they’re over six feet tall? Please don’t let us be those parents.

Moving on. Sanding and staining. Since this piece is meant for the kids’ use and will be in their reach at any given point throughout the day we made sure to make it nice and smooth. Rick sanded it down with 80 grit sand paper and applied a single coat of our fav, Minwax’s Dark Walnut.

 

We thought about beating it up a little, taking a few chains or hammers to it. You know, some distressing to go with the rustic feel. But… we got lazy and called it a day. HOWEVER, we think that’d be a totally cool look if you’re up for the additional five minutes of labor ;)

We let the stain cure overnight before I hit it up with some black paint and sharpie. Really, I don’t know I’m doing a “tutorial” on this. It’s self-explanatory. I used a sharpie to mark the inches and basic black acrylic paint to stencil the numbers.

A few hours later and several coats of water-based poly and ta-dah. Pinterest Challenge DOMINATED.

In Love.

Head on over to check out the other challengers here! Any others get their pinterest on this week? Feel free to link to your own projects. I’d love to see what you guys have come up with :)

Obsessed with Pinterest as much as I am? Follow me here!

July 4, 2012

How to Undermount Ikea’s Domsjo Sink

We’ve been getting quite a few requests for more details on how we undermounted our kitchen sink. So, we’ll be taking a short break from bath related posts to wrap up a few things in the kitchen :)

If you’re familiar with Ikea’s Domsjo sink, then you know how incredibly affordable it is when compared to other farmhouse style sinks on the market. Hello, under $150 with discount? Sign us up. That being said, one of the major drawbacks was that it’s an overmount sink (sits on top of the countertop). Bleh. We had an overmount sink in our previous home and on top of the aesthetic disadvantage, we also found that crumbs were always making their way into the seam, and clean up was completely dysfunctional. We love that an undermount sink makes everything seamless. Easy for wiping down the counters and no hidden spots for germs and food to collect. Plus, she’s gorge..

First things first. The link to the sink we used as well as the specific cabinet and substitute door front.

The cabinet we chose to use, Akurum’s 23 7/8″ base cabinet for single bowl sink, is actually no different than what is recommended for the regular overmount installation of the sink. So, pretty easy there. However, we switched out the two standard door fronts for a 24″x18″ style that better fits the adjusted cabinet.

(Note that if you decide to go with the larger version of the Domsjo sink, these plans would obviously need some altering)

It’s important to set the base cabinet just as the others are throughout the kitchen prior to making any adjustments. This ensures that the cabinet and sink will sit level and line up with the adjacent base cabinets. Ok, now you can whip out the drill and jig saw ;)

We began by using a jigsaw to remove 3/4 inch (slightly more than the height of the sink lip) from the top of each side panel on the base cabinet. This allows room for the lip that extends on each side of the sink so it can sit snug beneath the countertop.

We then used a 1/8 inch drill bit to pre-drill the holes for the front and rear support braces. The braces are included with the sink, but the holes that come pre-drilled in the base cabinet no longer line up after dropping the sink height 3/4 inch. We also bumped the brace back slightly to allow for safe placement of the new pre-drilled holes. Placing them directly in the line of Ikea’s pre-drilled holes would provide all the necessary conditions for the wood to split. Install the braces as normal, substituting Ikea’s provided screws with 3/4 inch wood screws to fit the new openings.

Next up, placing the sink. She’s pretty heavy, weighing just over 70 lbs, so we’d definitely recommend two people for this step. Other than that, pretty self-explanatory. Put the sink in the cabinet, resting on top of the braces.

Once the sink is in place, we began installing the middle mounting brackets. These are located on each side panel between the front and rear braces. We don’t have a picture for this step, but the brackets are included with the sink and were installed just as previously described for the front and rear braces. Again, we pre-drilled new holes and used wood screws to secure. Check.

Before moving onto the install of the plumbing you’ll want to ensure that everything is level and make adjustments as needed. Ricky likes to brag that he had everything level on the first try, aka the go-ahead for me to hand out more projects for my newly found carpenter. ;) We’ll let him keep talking.

Now, onto the exterior of the cabinet. The two doors (12×24″) that are included with the base cabinet no longer fit after lowering the sink significantly. And because Ikea doesn’t offer replacement doors in a 12×18″ size allowing for two side by side doors, we opted to go with a single 24×18″ option instead. This size is the closest fit, with minimal filler pieces. Leading me to the final step… filler. Any wood piece could be used to fill the remaining space between the door and the bottom of the sink, but we chose to use the toe-kick intended for the base cabinets. Ikea sells these pieces in 8 foot length sections, which we used in several areas throughout the kitchen. Definitely worth purchasing if you’ll be DIYing an Ikea kitchen of your own.

Our undermount sink is by no means perfect, and we’re sure there are several ways to go about this process (which we’d love to see!) but we are beyond thrilled with the result. Hopefully this tutorial was helpful for those of you looking to recreate the look. If I’ve left anything out or completely confused anyone just let me know and I’ll try to clear things up.

Happy 4th of July for those of you in the States! We’ll be spending the 96 degree day with friends and family, and hopefully near a pool :)