kitchen makeover 2

Little Barn Cupboards - 2Remember this post? The one where I revealed to you that I was unhappy with our current arrangement of The Little Barn’s kitchen? Well, we finally did something about it! We removed the seating, added cabinets and a countertop, switched up the layout, and brought in a new table. The best part is that it hardly cost a thing!

IMG_0090Above is a before photograph. Yikes! Crowded!

Below, a breakdown of what went down.

IMG_2235First, we moved the church pew and picnic table outdoors. They now both comfortably reside on our massive deck. While we were planning and building our home, I was initially more concerned with seating as opposed to storage. I had envisioned TLB being a gathering place for family and friends. Upon moving in, that idea went out the window. While we still hosted a few get-togethers, we quickly found that storage should have trumped chairs. Sure we had crates, but they were more of a decorative feature for our better looking kitchen knickknacks. We then turned our broom closet into a pantry in this tutorial. Yet, it still wasn’t enough.

Months later and after viewing the IKEA catalogue, I decided to bite the bullet and finally install cabinets. Now came the daunting task of choosing them. Where to begin? For weeks I had searched the local classifieds and secondhand furniture stores looking for cupboards that I could turn into a project. Given that space was so limited and we didn’t need upper cabinets, it was not an easy task. In fact, it became fruitless.

Little Barn Cupboards - 7Next I turned to an online search of new cabinets. I found myself cringing at the prices and even the overall look of most of them. I thought that IKEA’s kitchen design would be the best fit in the end. However, I was so paranoid about ordering the wrong sizes that I ended up giving up. I thought that we would never find cabinets.

One day while I was visiting with my mum in her home, I saw a few cabinets just pushed off to one corner. I knew that she had recently custom-ordered them, and had used them for only a few months before taking them out and installing a second fridge. I asked her what she was going to do with them now. Her reply was that they were useless to her, and that we could have them. Yippee! Nice, free, and still being a project? This was music to my ears.

Little Barn Cupboards - 3What we gained were two upper and two lower cabinets. They had identical finishes and hardware, but were different heights and depths. I knew that this wouldn’t be a problem for my husband. With a lot of creativity, it wasn’t.

The only thing that we needed to purchase was a countertop. After much searching for both new and used, wood, granite, and laminate options, we both thought that a new, laminate top would be the smartest, best looking, and least costly choice. We quickly lined up the four uneven cabinets, grabbed measurements that made sense to us but not to the workers at the countertop place, and ordered a piece that we hoped would look great. We prayed that it would also fit, since they weren’t yet properly installed.

Little Barn Cupboards - 8We chose a grey countertop that we hoped would suit the trim of the cabinets. We decided to use reclaimed wood to keep with the theme of our home.

Our countertop arrived a few days later, just in time for the Christmas holidays. Over the next few days, and in between Geoff’s shifts, we moved furniture around (big mistake for me, since it brought on cramps and contractions for the rest of the day) and he got to work on our newest kitchen installation project. We kept the two bottom cabinets as end pieces, and put the two uppers in the middle. Because they were shorter than the bottoms, and much more shallow, the base that he built had to reflect these differences. He also had to saw the bottom of one cabinet since it was slightly uneven. These steps took the longest.

Little Barn Cupboards - 1After he completed the base, he carefully fit the cabinets onto it, and screwed them into place. The countertop was next. We removed it from the box and … it fit like a dream! That was screwed into position as well.

Little Barn Cupboards - 6Last but not least, it needed trim work. Geoff used one piece of reclaimed wood that he again had to intricately cut to amalgamate the different cabinet lengths. In the end, it fit into place so perfectly that he didn’t need any nails or screws. 

Little Barn Cupboards - 4Geoff also ended up building a table from scratch out of reclaimed and pallet wood. These photos will come later. At last, our new kitchen makeover was complete. Thanks to my parents for the cabinets, and Geoff’s for the wood, the only thing that we spent money on was the countertop. I would call this another successful project for The Little Barn.



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  1. very very beautiful! I love it!

  2. great

  3. Lookin good Emory-now rest my friend!

  4. Jo

     /  01/13/2016

    Lovely improvement. Your new base cabinets are stunning. Geoff is a genius. Good job. And you, my dear, must refrain from moving heavy objects. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  5. Looks great! I love the crate shelves!

  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife, mother of two (one earthside and one with the angels), and an animal rescuer. This is our life on the Canadian prairies.

  • Man, did Remy and I have a standoff this morning. All because she didn’t want to wear socks with her boots. She threw a massive tantrum, and I yelled at her. Afterwards, we went for our walk and everything was back to normal. That is, aside from her puffy eyes and tear-stained face. My poor girl. Parenting can be so hard sometimes. Thank goodness for children being so resilient. 
That disaster behind me is nearly gone. We’re currently installing the last of our kitchen shelves, and our new sink arrived this morning. I’m excited to have a less cluttered spare room!
Have a wonderful week, everyone. This room has not yet been touched by us. It is our master bedroom. Everything about it (aside from our furniture) is exactly the same as when we purchased our home. I think that if we do list in the near future, it will be the only room in our house that we did not renovate. Part of me wants to stay just to finish it. A small part.
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