cliff_and_joann's Kitchen

DIY Shaker Kitchen completed

Contact: cliff_and_joann (My Page)
Posted on Tues, May 2, 06
Link to kitchen photos:

I had been thinking of replacing 20 year old my kitchen cabinets for several months and was making sketches for awhile. We put in a new DIY kitchen in 1985, designed it ourselves, and made major changes at that time. Moved around appliances, changed stove to the opposite wall next to the fridge, and put in a floor bay window in the breakfast room. The old kitchen cabs were white Formica with honey oak trim (store bought) and white Formica counters. The new kitchen is Quarter-sawn Shaker cabs designed and custom made by us. This was quite a leap from my all white kitchen.

Basically we followed the same design, and all the appliances and sink stayed in place. We changed the design of the cabs and took advantage of the open area over the cabs by pushing up and out several of the cabs... the two cabs flanking the microwave, and the 4 cabs on the other side by the sink area were pushed out and up higher. All the cabs that were pushed up, were pushed up 5 inches and were pushed out 2 inches ... We made 6 of the cabs that were pushed up and out display cabs with glass inserts. We also raised up the cabs over the fridge 5 "and made a garage on top of the fridge, for large platters and trays.

The mirrors are the original mirrors we installed in 1985, we both had an angel on our shoulders, when we pulled off the 10 foot long mirror and again an angel was on our shoulders, when we reinstalled the mirrors after the granite was in place .We cut new mirrors for on top and along side the stove, originally that was a Formica back splash. The black grill we placed over the stove, I just came across in Pier one

MY DH built the cabs from white quarter-sawn oak.. We purchased 60% quarter-sawn and 40% rift. Our original intention was to use rift for the rails and styles and the quarter-sawn for the flat panel inset. We started with the narrow 6 end cabs, using quarter-sawn oak for the flat panels, and also the doors over the microwave, and they looked great. However, when I saw the bigger cabs done that flanked the 4 glass display cabs done with the quarter-sawn panels, with all the rays and flecks it was too busy for me...I liked the smaller cabs with rift in the rails and styles and quarter sawn in the flat panels, however, I wanted the larger cabs all done in rift, so that it was more uniform, also the larger cabs with the rift panels was a bit more dressy and formal... so back to the mill we went for more rift.
We managed to use all the quarter-sawn on the narrow cabs and drawers and also for the top moldings, door molding and floor moldings. I kept making changes along the way, but that�s part of the fun. I love the 7 little drawers we put under the glass display cabs. Actually, that�s how I got the brainstorm to push the cabs up that are by the sink, cause I wanted to make those little drawers.
Another big decision was the finish ...worrying about the finish keep me up at night. I knew from experience that staining pieces of wood to select a finish was not what it looks like when it�s all said and done, and you are looking at the kitchen cabinets in it's totality...We custom colored a blend of Pecan and English chestnut for the stain and finished it with 8 coats of original Waterlox. I am thoroughly delighted with the finish, it came out exactly the way I had it pictured in my mind. . Our galley kitchen is 8 x 10, so I didn�t want the cabs to be too dark, I did know for sure that I didn't want honey oak... I think the mirrors do a lot to widen the space.

The breakfast area is 9 x 12 .Just this past winter he made the little cookbook table (next to the table) and a new glass and oak top for the antique wroth iron table that was in our secret garden for years. The table was my DH's Grandfathers. We now have to redo the table top and the cookbook cab as well as the other two pantry cabinets (across from the table) in the breakfast room in quarter-sawn oak to match the kitchen cabs.

I'm very proud of his cabinetry work and proud of my design and finishing work�s extremely rewarding to design and create something from a pile of raw wood and a heap of imagination, and it was fun doing it together. With the exception of the granite, we did it all ourselves.

You guys did an AWESOME job! I can't believe you did all that yourselves! Love how you used the mirror for the backsplash, too ~ Congrats on your new kitchen!

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