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Sometimes you just need to refresh your environment to feel better. I love my house that was built in 1978 but when I would go into the kitchen I felt like I was surrounded by too much "80's Oak". Time to freshen up! It all started when my oven/range went out. It was a drop in model and kept beeping and beeping and beeping....it was hard wired and I could not get it to stop. I decided to add a plug with my new range so that if that happened again I could unplug it. I didn't realize that ranges are different sizes. I never thought about it and thought they were pretty much all a standard size. Nope, the slide in that I bought was one inch wider than the drop in had been. What to do? I decided to cut a half inch off each side of the cabinets, counter top, etc....to make it fit. Hey, I never said I make the best decisions! I learned a valuable lesson about measuring before buying. I won't make that mistake again.

I am certainly no professional in home repairs so please keep that in mind as you look at my work but I do like doing it and I am learning all the time!

Step 1: Details Are Important to Me So I Changed My Pantry Door, Updated the Knob, and Added a Design.

I had a couple of doors left over from my headboard project so I decided to use one in my kitchen. Previously I had a plan hollow door that was just a flat surface and boring. I used my $5.00 6 panel door I bought on Craiglist and use a stencil and some sheetrock mud to add a design to it. Simple, just lay the stencil down and use a spatula to spread sheetrock mud on it and let it dry. If you want the design to be more pronounced just let it dry and add another coat. Remove your stencil and let it dry all the way. I used a hairdryer to speed up the process because I was ready to paint. I had an old gold/brass colored door knob before but changed it to be a bit more modern.

Step 2: Updating the Cabinets

I like the look of light cabinets on the top and darker on the bottom so I pulled off all of the cabinet doors from the bottom and sanded them and stained them. The color is Kona Brown but it looks almost black in the kitchen. I removed the top cabinet doors and painted them white. While cabinet doors were off I sanded the cabinet frames and stained the lowers and painted the uppers. I never had pulls before but I found some red acrylic pulls for the top and clear glass pulls for the lowers.

Step 3: Skeleton Key Drawer Pulls Made From Christmas Decorations

I have always loved skeleton keys and was at a store after Christmas and found a bunch of iron skeleton keys that had been sold as rustic Christmas Tree Decorations. I bought them for $1.00 each and used them as drawer pulls. I painted them with an antique copper spray paint. I cut one inch pvc segments to be used as spacers for the pulls. I placed the spacers against the drawers and used a regular screw and drill to attach the skeleton keys to the drawers to be used as pulls.

Step 4: Adding a Custom Backsplash

I had not worked with tile much before this project. Now I love to work with tile and I have found many good uses for tile in ways I wouldn't have thought of before. I bought sheets of tile squares that I liked and cut them into strips of 2 tile widths. I learned to mix and use grout and attached the tile. The tile was on clearance and there was not enough to go around the kitchen so I bought some slate tiles and used some of the porcelain tile I had at home and cut it all into two inch squares. Then I pulled some of the red glass tiles from the pattern from the store and sort of mixed them all up so it wouldn't be so obvious that the tiles are different. I don't think anyone could tell. I have to look really hard to determine the ones that were on the original tile sheets and the ones I cut to match. Then I used a few of the long tiles that are supposed to look like wood and are very long. I selected the light color for this segment and then topped it with a thin strip of slate tile easily cut on my new wet saw.

Step 5: Updating the Window Sill

The window sill was just plain painted wood. I decided to give it a little character by adding a little wood to build out the bottom of the window sill and adding slate tile to it. I plan to do the same thing to some other lower window sills that my great dane puppy has recently chewed to bits! The pendant light was one I wired with an extension cord. I weaved the extension cord through a chain that I spray painted with the antique copper spray paint and wired (after I cut the end off of course) a replacement bulb socket to create a pendant light out of the stone pendant purchased at Lowes on clearance for $8.00.

Step 6: Updated Top Cabinets With a Little Glass and Some Christmas Lights

To give the top cabinets a little character I cut the panel out of the two small cabinet doors and put glass in them. I cut the glass (found in the arts and crafts store in the stained glass department) to fit the openings in the cabinet doors and overlap about an inch all the way around. Maybe I could have made a better fit but I didn't think I could do that without breaking my glass so I used mirror holders/hangers and easily attached the glass panels to the inside surface of the cabinet doors. Then I put some Christmas lights in the cabinets and propped them up on some old coffee mugs so the lights can shine through the glass. There happened to be a plug in the cabinet already.

Step 7: Final Step - Enjoy the New Kitchen Customized Any Way You Want to Do It!

I still enjoy the new kitchen. I included the picture of one of my great danes, Petey, in the before kitchen and the after kitchen. I like the new kitchen so much better and it feels like my own space since I planned it all and did it all the way I wanted it. I learned so much during this project. If you are thinking of doing a project that involves tools or methods new to you I would say do it. Go for it! I didn't know how to do the tile cutting, the grouting, cabinet cutting (still not sure that was smart :) ) but it made me feel good to learn and do and YOU can do it too!

Go ahead, Customize your own space and take pictures along the way. You will be proud of your work along the way and especially when you finish and can enjoy it!

The picture of Petey with me in the after kitchen may look different and that is because the picture was taken with my computer and for some reason I haven't figured out yet it transposes photos. Maybe someone out there can tell me why that happens or how to change it. Thank you very much for looking at my instructable. I sincerely appreciate any votes for my work in the Before and After Contest. Thank you!

You did a great job, it looks so good! I like learning new things by doing them too.

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