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Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Not-Perfect-But-Good-Enough Kitchen Reno; I'm Happy!

Whew! It's cleanup time in the kitchen; our Operation Welsh Dresser
is almost complete, just in time for Saturday's big party.

This project involved one wall of our kitchen, and a big awkward counter and cabinet combo that we didn't much like.
This pic, our kitchen before we moved in:

That odd, big counter on the left side of the room? We called it our kitchen
Isthmus -- 40" x 60" and just too darned big to be useful. That size counter only belongs in an island.

So, we took off the laminate top, removed the rear cabinets, pushed the front cabinets back to the wall,
leveled it all out ... and by "we" of course you realize I mean "Howard,"
who in this picture is checking to see it's all level:

. . . which amazingly enough, it is! It might be the only level thing in That Old House.

We took the top of an old pine hutch we bought in Pennsylvania for fifty bucks,
painted it black, painted the base kitchen cabinets black, added wooden knobs in place of the brass,
added a butcher block counter top, and ended up with this:

The countertop extends about a foot on one side, so we can put a bar stool there
and I can have my morning cuppa Joe in the kitchen.
Or, I can sit there and watch Howard do dishes. :-P

Here's Howard testing out the breakfast bar, using my old drafting stool.

We were going for a Welsh Dresser look.
Can't put our dishes away yet, the paint needs to cure some more --
and we are missing one of the knobs.

I know we bought it, but it has gone AWOL.
In this shot, two knobs are missing; we found one.

Eventually I want to replace those wooden knobs with
old batwing-style bail handles on the drawers.

Whatcha think? A good transformation?
We had planned on having carpenter-built shelves installed above the base cabinets, but there's just not the budget for that.
The butcher block top is from IKEA -- a terrific bargain.

Howard sanded and oiled it.
It will need a few more oilings; it ain't perfect, but it will do just fine.

So that's it, our Thrifty Thursday Transformation!

I'm linking to Thrifty Thursday, hosted by Leigh at Tales From Bloggeritaville.

And now I need to CLEAN UP THE MESS left from these projects -- carpentry, painting, oiling, even putting up some beadboard wallpaper that I haven't even showed you yet. Can you spot it in the kitchen? -- Cass

P.S. The bottom of that 50-dollar hutch is now in the butler's pantry, getting filled up with more stuff. Do all houses generate stuff, or just ours?


  1. it looks fantastic! i love the butcherblock countertop with the black paint- suits your home perfectly!

  2. Cass this is a treasure! This piece will store so many of your dishes, etc. And it looks updated and is such a focal point of your kitchen! I say, Yea! for you!

  3. Hi Cass,

    Great transformation on creating a once piece cabinet. The original base cabinets did seem completely out of place. I kept looking at it thinking, "It must be a floating island but, it is pretty big for that size space".

    Collecting stuff? Me? Oh no! You know I am all about the austere minimalist life style!

  4. I think it is fabulous! I especially love a good deal and re-purposing. Howard, however, appears unimpressed trying out the new coffee spot; perhaps he's thinking ahead of having to do the dishes... **blows kisses** Deb

  5. I think this is just an amazing transformation! What a great way to reuse what you have and ingenious to add the top hutch piece. What a great storage piece you've created!


  6. I think it looks smashing! And perfect for that space. We bought a butcher block from ikea as well -- used a big hunk of it for MY butcher block near the stove -- love that it is part of the countertop and it was like $40!!!

    I can't wait to see it full of YOUR STUFF!!!

  7. I sure like looks great...and the cost is perfect!!! Have a wonderful party!!!

  8. Cass..
    Love it!
    what time is the party on Saturday?
    Did you set a place for me?
    what last minute items do I need to pick up?
    oh yea..dress? formal or casual?
    warmest hugs, laughing smiles..

  9. I really do like it a lot. It is great that you can do these things yourself - big savings.
    Construction men just left here - had to have a subfloor repaired. :( Now I have to go and put the room back in order. Have a wonderful party and tell your Father Happy Birthday!

  10. Smile, Howard! You did a great job!! :)

    The whole concept worKs beautifully!

  11. I think it is perfect! And only $50 bucks! I was wondering where you could find butcher block contertop. I will have to go check out IKEA. And Howard is a keeper ~ he does the dishes! ;~P
    Be Blessed!
    oh ~ beadboard as backsplash! :~)

  12. Cass, it IS perfect!! Great job Howard!! Don't you just LOVE those IKEA butcherblocks- you can't beat the price. It really is just fabulous
    xoxo Pattie

  13. What a great idea. It is beautiful.

  14. I think you got a wonderful piece of furniture out of the redesign! Great job.
    Yeah to Howards hard work - it looks super.


  15. Woo Hoo, Cass! It looks great! I love it and the wooden top is beautiful against the black paint! What pretties you can stuff into your cabinet! Have a wonderful birthday time with your dad and family.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  16. WOW! That is amazing. Y'all did a wonderful job. I know you are really going to enjoy your new piece of furniture.
    Have a wonderful time at your event.
    Ladybug Creek

  17. It looks GREAT! Much better than that big ol thing that was there.
    Party plans going good?

    Get some rest and yes houses and tose who live there accumulate stuff. I'm not sure how but it does happen.

    Have a nice evening.


  18. Cass,

    It looks wonderful! You must be so pleased. Can't wait to see dishes in it!


  19. Cass! I LOVE this!! May I borrow Howard for a week or two!?!? : )
    You ust be so pleased with this! Now, have fun *merchandising* it!!

  20. Hello Cass- Ok first that is my dream home too-and my husbands- when he gets home im pulling this up to show him- SO JEALOUS- we always say we would pay someone to just tour a home like that-
    Thanks for stopping by my blog-and thanks for the tips on cieling tiles- i tried to paint the t-bar white-but you could barely tell-my husband would love to take them out and expose the barn like ceiling-but we dont own the building -so if my little shoppe doesnt do well-i wont be here- so i hate to spend much- we alreayd had to build register-paint-add ceiling fan-repair window-make my signs-add moldings-so looking for the cheapest way-but everyday i look at it -and bugs me-so i will have to go check out what your talking about at the store-there are 4 of the tiles that are lights--the funky school like lights- but maybe if i got more chandeliers- i could do away with them-and seal the whole ceiling- Just Need More Customers-

    Thanks for the comments- And im so following you- I have to see more of your home-
    LOVE IT...

  21. Wow, that is beautiful! I simply love the Dresser look. I am anxious to redo my kitchen but have to wait a little while longer. Yours is beautiful!

  22. Awesome transformation, can't wait to see more. I really like the top hutch part.

  23. Oh I love it. It looks just wonderful. I know you will really enjoy it. What fun. Such a creative idea and it gives the kitchen so much more character. Great place to display all those dishes too. Hugs, Marty

  24. Cass,

    I love this so much! The hutch is perfect with the base cabinets and that butcher block top is fantastic!! Howard is quite the blessed you are to have him!! Can't wait to see how you decorate it!!

    Miss Bloomers

  25. Wow!!! That is a FANTASTIC renovation! I love it! I guess I'm just going to have to take the plunge and learn how to paint stuff. The black paint looks so classy! I so much want to do this!

    This gives me courage to paint my antique hutch. At least I think it's antique. :o)I'm so glad I dropped by to thank you for the comment! I didn't know what a treat awaited me.

    You guys did a great job! I'm assuming you had to sand the whole thing before you could paint. Right? That's what always puts me off of re-painting stuff. I don't even have a sander. I tried once to do it by hand, but it was so much work that I gave up in despair. If you have any advice on how you guys paint stuff, I'd really appreciate it.

    Donna @ Comin' Home

  26. This turned out GREAT!!! I love it. You all are so clever. What a wonderful addition to your kitchen and I can't wait to see it with your dishes. Love & blessings from NC!

  27. Well done! It's very good-looking!

  28. Wow, great job and I can't wait to see it filled. Good-luck with the party. What a great memory you are creating.

  29. Cass - that is FABULOUS! I LOVE it so much and am envious. This old house needs a bigger cabinet for my dishes and boy would that work. I think you have a show-stopper there. Have a great time decorating it in time for the party. Happy Birthday to your dad. Hugs, Deb =^..^=x6

  30. I'm so happy for you Cass! I knew that strange island was driving you crazy all this time and now it's gone... poof!

    You and Howard did a great job. I love the butcher block with it and the extra counter top so you can watch Howard do the dishes ;)


  31. Hi Cass,
    Wow! What a wonderful job and a great addition to your kitchen. I can't wait to see it filled with your china. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend.


  32. Your new hutch looks amazing! What a transformation.

  33. Great job on the Welsh Cupboard, it looks perfect in that area and your accessorizing is all the blue and white dishes and lamp.


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