We Bought a Farmhouse

stories of renovation, home decor inspiration & sprinkles of country life

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Replacing Cabinets With Open Shelving

This may sound crazy to some people, but our kitchen almost had too many cabinets. So much so that it closed up the space more than it needed to. The minute we walked in, I knew immediately that I wanted to take down at least two to really open the space back up, and we ended up taking out three.

I'm going to focus on one today because the other isn't done yet.

The wall that we started with had a top and a bottom cabinet, and we decided to keep the bottom, and rip out the top. When you come in from our mudroom, it's the first wall that you can see, and when walking by it, the upper cabinet really ate up a lot of space, and also made the walkway feel a little tight. The second we ripped it out, it already felt better. We were lucky enough to have help from my Aunt and Uncle that day, and everyone was like, "Look how much bigger it looks in here!" the second it came down. It made a much larger impact than I was expecting.

Here's what it looked like before:

When deciding on what kind of open shelving to put in its place, one picture from Pinterest kept coming back to me, which was this:

Photo courtesy of HGTV

I loved it because of the beadboard backdrop, which to me, made this little wall look so inviting and cozy. I had contemplated painting it a very, very light, almost white, mint color, and then decided to keep it white because most of our dishware and such is brightly colored as it is.

Thankfully, my amazing Aunt and Uncle were willing to help us build the shelves during their visit, and we were off to Home Depot that same day to buy the wood and brackets. As soon as we got back, we were already painting them the same color as the cabinets (Simply White by Ben Moore) and they were hung within a few days.

And here's what we have now:

Soooooo, we still need patch the holes in the front of the bottom cabinet, and clearly the doorway and current trim are really clashing, and our trim is half off, half on, BUT, it's coming along.

The only issue we ran into was where to cap off the beadboard at the top. Do you bring it flush with the ceiling? If you do that, you still need to add moulding to hide the seam. Or do you? Do you line it up with the doorways? Oddly, this decision took days. DAYS. We ended up keeping it flush with the doorways to keep symmetry (but, you'll see, the doorways aren't even, either, because the house is so old, so we'll have to play around with the moulding when we get to that). We bought a simple piece of moulding from Home Depot to cap off the beadboard and hide the seam, and I love the way it came out.

Because the other wall of open shelving isn't yet done, this one is a little - er - cluttery right now. BUT, it holds a lot of our almost-too-cute kitchen-y stuff that I like seeing every morning when I come into the kitchen, and it gives us easy access to our plates, mugs and bowls. I'm itching to get the other side done, but it's requiring re-tiling part of the floor, so it's taking longer than expected.

But, the good news is that we were finally able to replace the mantel on our living room fireplace this weekend, and it looks SOOOOOO much better. Stay tuned.


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