We’ve been living without a kitchen for three weeks now, but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And that’s because we just had our kitchen cabinet installed last week!! After two weeks of demo and moving all of the electrical, water, plumbing, and gas, our crew started rebuilding the space!
We had all of the kitchen cabinets delivered on October 1st. There were 74 boxes (!!) and they filled our entire garage, all the way to the ceiling. I asked the delivery team if this was a big order and they said they were typically delivering around 25 boxes of cabinets to other customers. Whoa. Unloading them out of the truck was a lot of work for the poor delivery team and there was even more work for my crew who had to unbox them all and figure out where each cabinet went!
If you remember from this blog post, I ended up going with KraftMaid cabinets in the color “Cottage” for the perimeter of the kitchen and “Bonsai” for the island. Everything is custom made and painted off-site and mine were delivered about seven weeks after I ordered them.
Our Kitchen Cabinet Install
It kinda blows my mind how fast these guys work. I remember installing four (yes, only four) cabinets in our office built-ins and it took Finn and me an entire Saturday. Our floors were so uneven (more on that below) that we were adding shims left and right and it took so many hours to figure it all out. If Finn and I installed all 50+ cabinets we would be working on this kitchen until 2022…
I would say they’re about 85% done here as there are still a few more cabinets and pieces to add once the countertops are in. But just this little view makes me giddy.
Our House is Very Wonky…
As you know by now, our house is 100 years old and comes with its fair share of problems. (I mean…a window to the storage room in the basement bathroom and a door in the kitchen cabinet? Wonky!!) Our floors and ceilings are faaaar from being level, so our crew had to make many adjustments as they worked. They used lots of shims under and behind cabinets to get everything perfectly level, aligned, and looking good. I think there is a two-inch difference from one side of the kitchen to the other.
Luckily, the toe kick, side filler pieces, and crown molding will hide all of that. Right now, there is a gap above the cabinets, but that will be completely gone once the crown is added. It’s crazy how these little additions really elevate a space and hide any imperfections.
The Island Legs
Can we talk about the kitchen island?! Ahhhh, when I saw those legs in person I gasped. I mean holy smokes, how about that detailing?
I wanted our kitchen to have a good mix of traditional and contemporary elements. The decorative touches really elevate the space and make it look custom and high-end. I’m so happy our cabinet designer helped us figure out this area. (Thanks, Joseph, at the Lowe’s in Wicker Park!) And the sage green color is perfection!
If you remember from this post about the kitchen cabinets, this area on the end of the island will hold our large butcher block countertop for cutting. It has two drawers below, one for knives and the other for spices. I also love the open area beneath. I’m not sure what will live there (cookbooks? baskets?), but it sure will be a fun area to style. We also bought another leg that will be on the other side of the island holding up the edge of the countertop.
The Dining & Bar Areas
Another goal for this renovation was to make this large space feel homier and cohesive. Adding the dining bench and bar area really helped achieve that goal. Even though the upper cabinets are not installed yet, it already feels much better.
I can just picture our dining table and chairs in this cozy spot and our future family dinners!
The open spot (holding the ladder and vacuum) will hold our new wine fridge. Someone on Instagram commented that they liked that you could be sitting at the table and reach over to the fridge for a new bottle of wine. Gotta love easy access to more drinks! The top portion of the bar will hold two tall glass cabinets, but because they go from countertop to the ceiling, they won’t be installed until the counter is in. Which brings me to…
In a kitchen renovation, you typically don’t even order the countertops until the kitchen cabinets have been installed. That’s because you want the countertops to be absolutely perfect and the only way to know those exact measurements is to wait. I’m going with white quartz with some veining so it looks like marble, but is much more durable. I ended up ordering it from Luxury Marble & Granite Design here in Chicago. The installer came out to measure last week and the new countertops will be installed this week. It’s incredibly exciting!
Because we’re having the countertops fitted all the way up the wall, as the backsplash, my crew is waiting to install the hood until after the backsplash is in place. It would be too difficult to cut the stone around all of the details of the hood, so the hood will go on top of it. We’re also waiting to install the bar cabinets until the countertop is in place since they will sit right on top of it.
Figuring Out Floating Shelves
I didn’t want to order our floating shelves until our upper cabinets were in, just to ensure we had the correct measurements. Finn and I used painter’s tape to visualize the look of the new shelves and this was super helpful to figure out the length, width, and depth. I’m going with these shelves and they’ll be 19 inches long, 1.5 inches thick, and 10 inches deep. These will be installed after the backsplash is in place.
This Thursday, let’s chat all about kitchen hardware! It’s actually surprisingly tricky to figure out hardware for a kitchen. Where do you place knobs? Where do you place pulls? How do you figure out the size of pulls? I recently tackled this and I’ll share all of the details in this Thursday’s blog post!Casey