August 12, 2014

Cabin Countertops

We have a lot of big plans for our cabin reno.  In fact, you can see a short list of all our plans here.  And because we have so much to do, (so much work to complete, so much money to spend) we tried to prioritize the projects on what will make the biggest impact on the space, both esthetically and functionally.  One of the projects that hit the back burner in this prioritization was the kitchen counter tops.  I don't love the fake wood laminate, but in the grand scheme of things they're not terrible and relatively neutral. So my plan was to take down the kitchen wallpaper and install a clean white back splash, which would make the space look better without too much work.

I was wrong.

The exact opposite happened.  Instead of the back splash making me feel better about the kitchen, it made it worse. The minute the tiles were in, the countertops were killing me.  I know, it's irrational.  There are far more important things in this world to get worked up about.  But in the context of this remodel, the orange-yellow tone of the counter tops in comparison to the cabinets just had to go.  And that old, shallow and vaguely functional sink needed to get the boot with them.

So we re-prioritized and made room in the budget and schedule for new counter tops.  I mean, they do take up a very large chunk of real estate directly in the center of our cabin.  They certainly had the ability to make the biggest esthetic change on the space.  Here's goes nothing!

Tackling this project now also gave us the opportunity to improve function in this space in a couple ways.  First, the peninsula seating.  The old counter top only had a 4" overhang on the seating side, which actually made it pretty hard to eat there without banging your knees and dropping food in your lap.  So we planned the new counter tops to be wider and overhang more.

This (of course) required more work on our part though.  The installers told us that in order to support the additional weight, we'd need to put a piece of 3/4" plywood over this section of cabinets.  We'd either need to lower this section of cabinets by 3/4" to accommodate, or raise up the other side of the counter and sink by 3/4".  We chose to lower them, so we used a Skill Saw to cut off the top 3/4" of the base cabinets. 

It was relatively easy, other than the mess of needing to clear out all the cabinets and coating the floors in sawdust.  It will be worth it though.  The other functional change we get to make is this bump out.

The old counter has this round cut that bumps out into the walk way.  It provides zero functionality, since you couldn't really put a set of stools here without completely blocking the walkway from the Kitchen to the Dining Room and Entry.

It also physically and visually closes the space into the Kitchen, which makes the whole space feel smaller.  We think removing this bump and having a flush cut at the end of this counter will really help open up these spaces to each other. 


We're all ready for the new counters, and I can't wait to show them to you.  Let me tell you, living without a sink is a lot easier when you go back home during the week!  In fact, I want to always remodel homes that I can walk away from when the reno gets too stressful.  Although they take a lot longer when you're not living in them, so there's the drawback.  I'm just itching to get back up there and back to work!