Mini Kitchen in the Cottage

The mini-kitchen in Glade Cottage is totally functional.

The Cottage kitchen set-up is behind the living room.
The Cottage kitchen set-up is behind the living room.

My friend and new tenant moved in on October 29th just in time for Halloween.

The Cottage corner that became the Cottage kitchen.
The Cottage corner that became the Cottage kitchen.

We started with open wall space on the back side of the bathroom wall. A drainage pipe had been previously installed a dozen years ago (behind the blue chair above).

The sink and counter in place.
The sink and counter in place.

I already had a mini-fridge for the kitchen.

One cabinet supports the countertop. and sink both from Ikea.
One cabinet supports the countertop. and sink both from Ikea.

First we added an Ikea counter and sink.

some
A microwave and toaster oven are perfect for one-cook-one-diner eating.

Then my friend brought her kitchen cart with a new microwave/convection oven she had been gifted by her sister-in-law.

Upper cabinets over the sink and counter.
Upper cabinets over the sink and counter.

We added upper cabinets.

Base cabinets were custom made from the old cabinet doors from our now demolished kitchen in the house.
Base cabinets were custom made from the old cabinet doors from our now demolished kitchen in the house.

Base cabinets.

Left to right: Dryer, washer, refrigerator, water heater closet.
Left to right: Dryer, washer, refrigerator, water heater closet.

And a larger refrigerator/freezer back in the laundry area.

We tinted the lower cabinet paint at home to coordinate with the upper cabinets.
We tinted the lower cabinet paint at home to coordinate with the upper cabinets.

The tenant carefully primed and painted the lower cabinets.

The small coffee pot is set on a timer to brew early in the morning.
The small coffee pot is set on a timer to brew early in the morning.

After painting the base cabinets, a white enamel towel bar (also from Ikea) is hanging on the side of those cabinets. I also provided a small stainless steel shelf from Ikea that I had hoped to use somewhere.  It’s now a coffee station (over the toaster oven).

A kitchen where there wasn't one.
The final improvement is stainless steel knobs and handles for the cabinet doors.

Notice the induction heater burner near the window.  It works well as a cooktop.

The kitchen is in a space behind the sofa.
The kitchen is in a space behind the sofa.

I’m sure there will be a couple more improvements upcoming. Can you guess?

What’s your “must have” in the kitchen?

Since You Asked

When we installed a kitchen in the Cottage we used mismatched base cabinets.

The bottom cabinets are a mixture of leftovers from our old and new kitchen in the house.
The bottom cabinets are a mixture of leftovers from our old and new kitchen in the house.
Primer equalized the different cabinet finishes.
Primer equalized the different cabinet finishes.

On Saturday morning the tenant decided to paint the base cabinets white.  She started with a primer coat.

The bottom cabinets were painted.
The bottom cabinets were painted.

Using a foam roller, the second, third, and even fourth coats were painted with special cabinet paint. I got a text with the photo above asking how it looked.

I said I needed to see it in person.  I was bluntly truthful and said the stark white cabinet paint didn’t go well with the top cabinets and didn’t look great against the sofa.

One issue is that a foam roller gives such a thin layer of paint that a piece painted with one often needs multiple multiple coats.  The other thing is that the upper cabinets are creamier white than the bottom ones.

Waterbury Cream, my kitchen paint, warmed up the cool white paint.
Waterbury Cream, my kitchen paint, warmed up the cool white paint.

I suggested that I take the paint and tint it with some of my leftover paint.  I added some Edgecomb Gray and Waterbury Cream which slightly warmed up the cool-tone white paint.

The new paint color on the center door is a better match to the upper cabinets -- warmer.
The new paint color on the center door is a better match to the upper cabinets — warmer.

Unfortunately the tenant needed to paint a couple more coats of the new tint.

Clear Briwax would be a nice finish.
Clear Briwax would be a nice finish.

It’s looking much better. I also suggested that in a couple of weeks when the paint is cured the cabinets should be waxed. I think waxing would create a sheen similar to the upper cabinets.

Are you blunt or tactful?

Garage Apartment Mini-Kitchen Final

We’re rehabbing an over-garage apartment at work. One of the first considerations was what to do with the kitchen.

Out contractor used our suggestions to design a slightly larger kitchen.
The plan for a closet kitchen.

Instead of just using the recessed area originally allotted to the kitchen we added an L-shaped cabinet which houses a refrigerator to the left which allows for greater storage under the sink and stove.

The kitchen was carefully appointed with upgraded appliances and fixtures.
The kitchen was carefully appointed with upgraded appliances and fixtures.

Storage space is always important in a small kitchen.

The flip-up counter would be more useful as a seating area if the support hardware was in the center.
The flip-up counter would be more useful as a seating area if the support hardware was in the center.

One space-saving detail is a fold-down counter that can double as an eating space.

GE Spacemaker 56 Cu Ft Compact Refrigerator Stainless steel Model: GCE06GSHSB
GE Spacemaker 56 Cu Ft Compact Refrigerator Stainless steel
Model: GCE06GSHSB

We ordered a small refrigerator/freezer that exactly fit in the 24-inch opening.  Unfortunately the first one we ordered arrived broken so we had to send it back.  Ultimately we bought one at a local Lowes that just happened to have one in stock.

Before - very disfunctional
Before – very disfunctional
After - pleasant and usseful
After – pleasant and useful

The whole project was $8,000.

Do you seek out the best value?

Building a Table: The Frame

Back in September Charlie and I started building a new kitchen table from old wood we’ve been saving from the house demolition.

We completed the table top except for sanding.
We completed the table top except for sanding.

Using the wood we salvaged from the old sheathing we made a table top.

Cut the side pieces to 44 inches and the end pieces to 20 inches.
Cut the side pieces to 44 inches and the end pieces to 20 inches.

For the base we used old legs from a now defunct table and 1″ by 4″s bought for our baseboard.

We put a piece of plywood under the board as a spaced to inset the fame on the legs.
We put a piece of plywood under the board as a spaced to inset the fame on the legs.

We drilled the boards on the short edge using the Kreg jig.  Then Charlie screwed the edges into the top of the salvaged legs

Halfway together, the frame started looking like a table.
Halfway together, the frame started looking like a table.

We made the 2 long sides first.

The packet hole joints are very sturdy.
The packet hole joints are very sturdy.

Then we joined them together with the short pieces.

We might add braces to the corners even though the frame is very sturdy.
We might add braces to the corners even though the frame is very sturdy.

We replaced the rickety, temporary kitchen table with this one.

We'll use it like this until we have time for some refinement.
We’ll use it like this until we have time for some refinement.

We’re not going to attach the top to the frame until I paint the bottom and Charlie sands the top.

Have you built a project with a Kreg pockethole jig?

A New Cabinet Using Old Doors

We removed all the old kitchen cabinets from the main house in 2013.

The old cabinets were stained ocean blue on the bottom and limed on the top.
The old cabinets were stained ocean blue on the bottom and limed on the top.

Before that we had stained the bottom ones blue and limed the uppers with Minwax White Wash Pickling Stain.

Most of our old kitchen cabinets found a new home.
Most of our old kitchen cabinets found a new home.

We gave away some of the bottom cabinets but were left with two heavy solid wood doors. (See first photo above.)

One cabinet supports the countertop. another one could enclose the sink.
One cabinet supports the countertop. another one could enclose the sink.

The Cottage carpenter came yesterday to use these doors on a custom cabinet he built under the sink.

The bottom of the cabinet is a piece of waterproof material.
The bottom of the cabinet is a piece of waterproof material.

He framed up the bottom of the cabinet under the sink with 2 by 4s and added a shelf of water resistant material.  The walls are made from the Cottage walls and on the left by the other base cabinet.

All the cabinets need knobs or handles.
All the cabinets need knobs or handles.

I’ve encouraged my new tenant to make the place livable but not to finish all the details until she’s lived there for a while.

This mini-kitchen still needs some tweaking.
This mini-kitchen still needs some tweaking.

Perhaps we’ll paint the base cabinets and the old microwave stand.

We can rearrange the furniture now and lay the rugs.
We can rearrange the furniture now and lay the rugs.

The move-in date is 12 days away.

What is your favorite color to brighten up a space?

Adding Cabinets to The Cottage Kitchen and Laundry

We’ve been working on adding a mini-kitchen feature to Glade Cottage which would make it livable year-round and not just as a guest house.

Back in August we put in an Ikea birch countertop.
Back in August we put in an Ikea birch countertop.

Under the counter we used a skinny cabinet left-over from the house renovation 3 years ago.  I needed to purchase upper cabinets that wouldn’t overwhelm the space so I visited the warehouse of our local cabinet retailer to see what they might have on hand.

I purchased two cabinets at a local cabinet warehouse.
I purchased two cabinets at a local cabinet warehouse for $75 each.

I was happy to find a 21-inch and 30-inch cabinets to fill the 53-inch wall.  The shorter cabinet seemed perfect for over the high-arch faucet in the sink area.

The Cottage carpenter hung the cabinets above the counter and sink.
The Cottage carpenter hung the cabinets above the counter and sink.

Our carpenter hung them leaving the 2-inch gap at the left side facing the sink.

The mini-kitchen in the Cottage is coming together.
The mini-kitchen in the Cottage is coming together.

The plan is to also have the front of the undersink area closed in with a custom cabinet using 2 all-wood doors from our old kitchen cabinets in the house.

39" by 42"
33″ by 42″ for $100.

In addition to the kitchen cabinets I also bought an enormous cabinet that I hoped would fit over the washer and dryer in the laundry area.

Can there ever be enough storage in a small space?
Can there ever be enough storage in a small space?

While a shorter cabinet was available I thought it better, neater, and cleaner to hang a larger cabinet with doors all the way to the ceiling rather than to use the top for storage.

The large cabinet is hung all the way to the ceiling.
The large cabinet is hung all the way to the ceiling.

The laundry area needs more light so an under-cabinet fixture is on the list.

Where do you need more illumination?

Discount Cabinets for The Cottage

I stopped on the way to work yesterday to see if I could get cabinets for the Cottage kitchen.

Open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. --We arrived at 8.
Open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. –We arrived at 8. (It’s not snowing; this is a stock photo.)

The clearance center opened a little late.

I had my choice of these white cabinets.
I had my choice of these white cabinets.

I persevered and looked more closely at the cabinets I had perused earlier in the week.

Cabinets will go on the blue wall.
Cabinets will go on the blue wall.

The area that needs cabinets is 53 inches wide.

The top cabinet is 30" wide by 18" tall.
The top cabinet is 30″ wide by 18″ tall.

I managed a 30″ wide by 18″ tall for over the sink.

The warehouseman packed them onto the backseat of my Versa Blue Note.
The warehouseman packed them onto the backseat of my Versa Blue Note.

And a 21″ wide by 30″ tall cabinet to hang next to it over the counter. Each cabinet was $75.

The cabinets should hang something like this. The longer cabinet might be a little longer than pictured.
The cabinets should hang something like this. The longer cabinet might be a little longer than pictured.

The 2-inch gap at the end of the wall could come in useful in the long run.

Next project: Get someone to hang the cabinets.

Do you have a project to finish before the end of the year holidays?