I did it, y’all! With the exception of eight small pieces of trim that I didn’t have time to purchase, I’m finished with the building phase on the wall ‘o cabinets.
Remember the drawing I did?
It’s pretty darn close, right?! (Corbels will be added after the backsplash is done.)
The only differences that I see are the outer sections, both on the base cabinets and on the uppers. I had originally planned for each section to be two 15-inch cabinets, and I ended up making them one 15-inch and one 12-inch to make more room around the wood columns. I’m not thrilled with the fact that the individual sections aren’t symmetrical, but I’ll get over it. Plus, I was looking at the kitchen that inspired my color choice and some of my design choices, and I realized that there’s nothing symmetrical about her cabinets either. The top and bottom cabinets don’t even line up. Not even close! And yet, the kitchen was designed by one of the most well-known interior designers in the country, is owned by one of the most famous actresses in the country, and wound up in the pages of Elle Decor.
So I think I’ll be just fine with my asymmetrical outer sections. At least my whole wall is symmetrical.
Now I’ll back up a bit and show you the final details of this wall.
When I left off in yesterday’s post, I had finished the lower cabinets by adding decorative feet to them, but the upper cabinets still looked like this…
I needed to add the trim all the way to the ceiling on those upper cabinets, but before I could do that, I had to install the in-cabinet lights on the four middle cabinets that will have glass doors in them.
I chose these thin LED lights that I found at Home Depot. They come in a package of three, but you can add up to three additional lights on one connector box for a total of six lights all controlled by the same switch. So I bought one package of three, plus one individually packaged light. Each light is about 2.5 inches in diameter.
These are also dimmable, which I liked since I didn’t want the inside of my cabinets to look like the surface of the sun. These would require less light than if I were using these as undercabinet task lighting.
The installation is very easy. You just twist the light off of the bracket on the back, screw the bracket into place, and twist the light back onto the bracket.
After measuring to find where I wanted to place the lights, I cut pieces of a square dowel rod to use as a placement guide for the brackets. That way I didn’t have to fuss with a measuring tape each time.
Using those guides, I put the bracket in place and marked the holes with a Sharpie. Then I pre-drilled the holes, and screwed the bracket into place.
Since I wanted the cords to run up through the top of the cabinet, I used a 5/16-inch drill bit and drilled a hole right behind the bracket. As in, the drill bit was actually touching the back side of the bracket.
Then I poked the cord through the hole, and twisted the light onto the bracket.
I did the other three, and then connected all of the cords to the connector box on top of the cabinet.
And then I ran the power cord down to the now-hidden outlets (which I forgot to put face plate on…oops!).
With the lights installed, I could then add the trim to the top of the cabinets.
I started by adding pieces of 1 x 2 that the big piece of wood could be attached to. The end pieces were placed 3/4-inch back from the front of the cabinet, and the smaller pieces on top of the cabinets were attached right behind the top frame piece on the cabinets. I added long pieces to the end walls, and then added smaller pieces to the top of each cabinet. Each of these pieces was glued and nailed into place, and I let the glue dry before moving on to the next step.
When the glue was dry and the pieces were firmly in place, I cut a piece of 1 x 10 to the length of the whole wall. I glued and nailed it into the bracing I had added.
Next I used some decorative moulding to cover the “seam” where the top of the cabinets met the 1 x 10. I used my level to be sure it was straight, and then nailed it into place about every 18 inches or so.
And then finally, I added crown moulding to the top to finish it off.
You’ll notice that in between those steps, I also cut out the center panel on the four middle cabinets that will have the glass fronts. I’ll share how I did that (since I don’t own a router) tomorrow.
And other than a few trim pieces at the side walls and on the spacers where the sconces will be installed, I’m finished with the building of this wall of cabinets!
And just for a fun comparison, here’s how this wall looked when we bought the house.
There’s still a ton of detail work that has to be done (wood filling, sanding and caulking all of the cracks, crevices, nail holes, etc.) before I can actually get to the priming and painting that we’re all patiently (or not so patiently) awaiting. (I want to see green…SOON!) Plus, I still haven’t decided whether I should prime and paint before or after pouring the concrete countertops. I’ve thought through each way, and both seem to have pros and cons. So I’m leaning towards pouring the countertops first, and then priming and painting the cabinets. Any thoughts on that?
But before I can do any of that, I still have two more walls of cabinets to install! I’m hoping the two remaining walls will be much less complicated since I’m using actual base cabinets as base cabinets. I guess we’ll find out. I’m starting on the refrigerator/range wall today. Unfortunately I have to start at the very beginning with taping and mudding, so I don’t have much hope that I’ll get all of the cabinets installed today. We’ll see!
By the way, I keep getting a handful of questions asked repeatedly, mainly about the outlets hidden behind the spacers on the upper cabinets, why I didn’t prime and paint the cabinets before installing them, how I’m going to protect the floor when painting, the price of this wall and how it compared to custom build and install, etc. I’ll be answering those questions in a post soon.