Liberty Kitchen Progress: Update & Plans

At this point there’s almost no way to share all of the things that are going on around the house and in my head in any kind of logical fashion. The only thing I can say for certain is that there is, in fact, progress.

For example, two of the three sections of green granite counters are out of the kitchen…


I’ve given up all pretense of doing things without help on this project, as there’s been a pretty steady stream of hands helping me out over the last few weeks. Mostly my mom and grandma.


My mom and I also did a little “investigative demo” on this arch. It’s definitely coming out….


I’d been waffling on it for a while because, personally, I really don’t like the two arches in the house. Everyone else seems to love them, so I was trying to talk myself into just letting it go and leaving them, but my mom kept reminding that I’m going to be in this house, looking at these arches, for decades. (She said it just like that too…” for decades”.)

So, we investigated… with a sawsall. There’s no structural reason for them to be arches, so they are coming out. Add that to the list of things people are going to help me with because my dad (who doesn’t want to miss out on all this fun) decided he was going to come up this weekend and help with that part. We’ll see how that goes, because it’s taken 33 years for us to figure out how to work together, and we only did it successfully once last year on this big project… but we had a lot of fun and it turned out great. So there’s that. We’ll see how much of my kitchen survives this…

In the meantime, my mom also had another great idea. Over the last few weeks she’d been looking at this spot next to the upper cabs on the left side asking if I could build shelves or something to go there.


Meryl (from Picardy Project) also commented that she loves having her cookbooks on display, and Sunday night I was looking for any excuse not to keep sanding the ceiling so I went out and found some scrap wood in the shop…


And built myself another cabinet.


Which was a really good decision.


(Okay, that middle shelf is not actually in the middle which I realized after I took this picture… this is my PSA on double-checking your measurements after having a few glasses of wine. #dontdrinkandDIY)

It’s just going to be open shelving for cookbooks. The counter has an overhang that will extend to just under that cab as well, so I think it will all look more integrated once everything is put back together… and once I move that shelf up an inch or two. Hmph.

I have a lot more things I want to say about cabinets (both the building, designing, and installation of them) but I’m going to stick with the update for now, and the plan for the next several weeks. I’ve been playing it by ear thus-far, but it’s about time to start planning a few weeks out. Here’s where we’re at:

Upcoming Weekend  4/9-4/10

  • Finish sanding and priming ceiling (1/3 left to sand and I’m hating every square foot of it)
  • Frame out new opening to mudroom
  • Build last small cabinet for uppers
  • Build drawer for microwave cab
  • Patch drywall and install range hood (and stove outlet)
  • (maybe) Build box around hood

Weekend  4/16-4/17

  • Put crown and toe-kick back on cabs
  • Build out panel on back of peninsula
  • Take out sink and last section of counter
  • Prep cab for new apron sink
  • Finish masking off cabs
  • Degloss all doors
  • Build “spray booth” for doors upstairs
  • Possibly spray primer

Weekend 4/23-4/24

  • Spray! Practice on closet doors first.
  • Spray first coat cabs and doors (Sat)
  • Sand & spray second coat on cabs and doors (Sun)

Weekend 4/30-5/1

  • Doors back on cabs + hardware installation
  • Temp (plywood) counters
  • Install new sink
  • Woo!

After That

  • Finish drywall work
  • Paint walls and ceiling
  • Install new trim on recessed lights
  • Order actual counters
  • Install ceiling beams
  • Build window bench
  • Order bar stools
  • Refinish or build new table

Whew. We’re getting there, and I won’t be sad if it only takes me until the end of April to have a somewhat-functioning kitchen again. Plus I’m trying to fit some other fun things in like the next stages of mead-making, bee-keeping, and the installation of a greenhouse kit that should be here in a few weeks. (I’ll try to keep you updated on all the awesome, but if I don’t it’s because I’m face-down on the floor somewhere inhaling paint fumes…)

25 Responses

  1. This is really inspiring. It is obvious that you are getting somewhere. And I am happy that you allowed some people to help you. I’m sure it makes them happy to be able to help as well.

  2. Just finished deglossing the cabinet doors for my basement kitchen and the flip I’m currently working on (doin’ a 2-fer). Went to FL over the weekend and now struggling to find the time to get back at ’em because go camping with friends and advising sellers of an 1855 house of what to do prior to selling sounds like WAY more fun. Mine are ugly oak Merrillat cabs that just got paintable beadboard wallpaper in the center panels just to give them a little character (at least you’re starting with something decent). Can’t wait to see your choices!

  3. Bye bye, granite! Found you last week via someone’s sidebar blog list, and I really enjoy following along with your renovation.

    This reminds me of our kitchen renovation, where I also removed granite counters. (Shiny, cold, and blah.) Detached them from the cabinets (which were staying right where they were) by carefully slicing the silicone, and actually releasing them by laying on my back and pushing upward with my legs. I sort of wish that someone else had been there at the time to get a picture of that. 😉

  4. Instead of moving the shelf up, would it be easier to just flip the cabinet so the larger section is on the bottom? It would look intentional and more balanced (less top-heavy). And, yes, sometimes they make really tall cookbooks…..

    1. It’s a good thought! I considered it, but the pockets for the screws holding that shelf in place are on the top where you can’t see them… so if I flip it upside-down I’d still have to take the shelf out and after that. But it’s only 4 screws so its not going to take much to change! (Totally agree on possibly having one section larger, but it should be the bottom section!)

      1. Prolly the easiest way to lower the shelf on the awesome mom inspired end upper cab would be to pop out the four screws, fill and sand the holes w/color matching filler reinstall shelf where desired. Looks like you have some great helpers and progress is going well, so well, your coming up with new additional personal touches as you proceed, that usually happens and now is the easiest opportune time to make them – as well, keep in mind you’ll be seeing your craftsmanship and creation every time you enter the kitchen, for decades to come 😉
        Awesome progress!

  5. I’d leave the cookbook shelf how it is. Some cookbooks are taller and can go on the top then. Then your not reaching over the tall cookbooks to get to the short cookbooks (which is good for people with short reaches, if shorter people will be using them a lot)

    1. I have to agree with Amy, I like the shelf the way it is. When you draw a picture you never draw your picture exactly in half, you either make your landscape or your sky the dominate part. The same with shelving, you create character and depth. Who said a shelf must be exactly in the middle, in fact I’d actually move it higher and like someone else mention put some ornaments on top.

  6. This is going to be awesome! Agree with shelf move. Take a look at the cookbooks you use most and have bottom cubby accommodate them and others go top shelf. Just a thought coming ftom a short person lol

    1. I agree with Amy and Guerrina… as a vertically -challenged person, the more I ry to do things in my house, the more it is set for a shorter person with the things I access the most. I try to make all shelving the adjustable kind so when a new person makes there home here… swap out a few pegs, and they are happy too. I am sick of the rend of the to-the-ceiling upper cabinets. What are we shorties going to do… have a step stool around all the time to fall off of as we get older?

      1. okay not awake just yet… it is my day off.. so it should be “the more I do things in my house” “their home” and “trend of” Give me some Pepsi, now.

  7. What kind of sprayer and paint are you planning to use? I have a big sprayer, but want something for smaller jobs or more detailed work. Looking for recommendations!

  8. Just my opinion…. but I don’t think the shelf needs to be centered. Not all cookbooks are the same size. 😉 You can put a few knick-knacks in there ~ and you prob won’t notice it at all. 🙂

  9. I like the non-central shelf too. When/if you move it, will you make it central, or move it up enough to have the larger section at the bottom? I honestly don’t think anyone will notice either way, once the cookbooks are in. Cookbooks are always so colorful – I love being able to see them in a kitchen. I can’t see mine… but I still enjoy seeing them in other people’s kitchens.

  10. That shelf is hardly noticeable. Small “imperfectons”is what makes a kitchen more personal and not just something you might see in a catalogue. It looks like a fun project!

  11. Jeez. It’s been a long time I actually pulled out a piece of printer paper to take notes on a blog post lol. Thanks for this. You’ve earned yourself a new reader!

  12. Currently working on a complete single family house floorplan, I am wonder which are the essential rules for practicality and good flow, esthetics and comfort for a kitchen/ nook of approximately 17×15. Any help is wellcome. Thank you

  13. Well I must say that it looks just amazing. The result is incredible, but I don’t think that I would have the strength to do something like this by my self. Love it.

  14. Hi Kit,
    That’s a nice write up and DIY effort by you for your kitchen. Do you write about DIY on other stuff too apart from Home and Kitchen?

  15. Thanks for writing this up. I’ve been thinking of redoing my kitchen for some time now and this post is inspiring me to take action!

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