Pantry Door Redux

Happy summer, Creating Krista lovers!  We’re in the thick of it this July (literally – you can feel the thickness of the air) and have been working on quite a few projects this month.  With our bathroom renovation slowly underway and a couple of kitchen tweaks in progress, I thought it was time for an in-depth update: the never-ending kitchen renovation.

As you know, last summer, Dan and I worked with a contractor to redesign and renovate our kitchen.  While we absolutely love the changes, including a few small DIY moves on our part, I still hesitate to call the space completely done.  Since last year, we’ve installed a new light fixture and made our own kitchen window roman shade.

This spring, we bought a brand new refrigerator, which is a big step forward in filling the empty space above our old fridge.  Dan spent quite a bit of time researching such a big purchase, and we ultimately went with a french door Samsung counter-depth fridge, which we got on sale at Home Depot.

There aren’t a ton of bells and whistles, but I definitely appreciate the front door water filter and the special easy access shelves.

As for our own projects, I have been dying to give our second kitchen pantry, next to our glass cabinet, a makeover. One pantry was completely redone in the renovation, but our second pantry has been looking pretty sad.  I don’t love bi-fold doors in general, but a flat front bi-fold door is even less appealing to me, especially when compared to the paneled doors on all of our cabinets.  We decided that it was time to make a door upgrade.

Dan and I grabbed this 6-panel, solid core, pine wood door from Home Depot for a little under $100.  We wanted to go with the wood feel that the rest of our cabinets have, as opposed to buying an already-white, composite wood door.  This just meant a little bit more elbow grease for me in terms of painting.

Thankfully, I have one of my favorite tools to fall back on: the Wagner Control Spray Max paint sprayer.  I’ve talked about it ad nauseum and have used it for quite a few projects now: painting a windowframe and a desk chair, to name a few.  The painting process is relatively cathartic for me, especially because this paint sprayer makes each coat go on really smoothly and easily. For the paint, we happened to have a flat white paint and primer (from Benjamin Moore I believe) s0 we used it in the sprayer.  I won’t go into detail about prepping the sprayer – it’s all in this post.  We did prep the entire driveway by putting down plastic dropcloths and propped the door up on two sawhorses.  To be honest, this project took quite a few coats of paint, more than I expected.  I spent a full weekend painting, then waiting for it to dry, and painting again.  I did three coats on each side of the door.  Once that was done, it was time for assembly and alignment!

The door came with all of the pieces necessary to assemble it along its track in the pantry closet.  The top piece shown here is a pin hinge, and the bottom piece is the roller that fits neatly into the track for the door.

Here’s the bottom of the door.  This piece holds the door in place and allows the rest of the door to move on its hinge.

Here’s Dan attaching the new track simply by screwing it into place.  We removed the old bifold door and its track shortly before we put in this new door.

This picture shows where the former door bracket was (you can see the outline in the dust).  We replaced that with the new bracket for the door on the bottom.

Here, you’ll see the door with the top hinge in place.  It bounces right off the spring to open and close easily. While this all looks fine and dandy, we actually had a pretty big problem: the door didn’t fit inside the door frame!

To this day, Dan and I are still not sure how we missed it, but the door was actually too big for our pantry opening.  Dan measured the spot on the pantry frame where the door would fit and cut out a chunk of the trim using an oscillating multi-tool.  After that, he also cut off 1/16 inch of the door using his table saw in the garage.  Both of these changes helped to ensure that the door actually fit.  Phew!

After we hung the door, I decided to do some painting touch ups.  Aside from just a few spots here and there that needed repainting, I realized that we didn’t get any paint on the hinges of the door or the outside edge.  I got to work with just a few coats of the flat white paint we used in the paint sprayer.

I used a sponge brush to keep things fairly simple.  It covered the full size of the door hinge without requiring too many strokes of paint.  I did this for the inside of the door as well as the outside edge and used an even smaller paint brush to cover the wood inside the metal hinges.

Lastly, we added the door hardware.  Thankfully, Dan had the foresight to purchase an extra cabinet knob when we bought our original set of kitchen cabinets, so it was very simple to match with the rest of the kitchen.

July 10 Blog-20

Isn’t it glorious?  It’s amazing what a fresh door can do to an (almost) complete space.  Next, we’ll be working on how to revamp the shelves on the inside of the pantry.  That, and a new and exciting project called… the dining table.  I’m excited to share what’s in store in the coming months!

 

The Drum Shade of My Dreams: Updating a Kitchen Light Fixture

Dan and I have been moving slowly on the DIY front so far this year, and I can’t say that I’m complaining.  I’m trying to take some time to lighten the pressure on myself (#oneword2016, anyone?) and enjoying the time we have together at home.  This weekend, we went to two great New Jersey breweries (Cricket Hill and Magnify) with my good friend Cyd from New Jersey Isn’t Boring and headed to a housewarming party for friends.  In the meantime, I’ve made some pretty major edits to the Projects page of Creating Krista, so it should be much easier to search through all of the fun we’ve had over the past (almost) two years of the blog!  Enjoy perusing while I talk about one of the projects that’s been nagging at me for quite some time…

Updating the kitchen light fixture!  Our former light fixture had probably been mounted on the ceiling since 1993, so it was definitely time for an update.  I’m not sure when exactly the bug catcher diamond style fixture was trendy, but I can safely say it’s fallen out of my favor over the years.

I’ve been pining over pretty much every single pendant light since I started obsessively watching HGTV a few years ago.  Capiz chandelier?  Yes, please.  Drum pendant?  Simple and chic.  Glass-blown pendants?  Be still, my beating heart.  Unfortunately for my pendant light dreams, our kitchen ceiling is pretty low – about eight feet.  Dan is also a relatively tall man who frequently stands in the kitchen, whether he’s cooking, washing dishes, or tending to the countertop plants (and yes, he does all of those things without asking – I know he’s a keeper).  Between the low ceilings and the somewhat closed in walls, it just wasn’t realistic for us to place a beautiful low-hanging pendant in our kitchen.

After coming to this sad conclusion (and realizing that every single light fixture I pinned to our Kitchen Renovation Board was a pendant), Dan and I decided to make a trip to Capitol Lighting in East Hanover.  It’s your typical lighting warehouse with hundreds of options to choose from, including the blinged-out Club Krista chandelier.

While we were there, we both recognized that we liked the drum light fixture look: it’s simple, has very clean lines, and doesn’t overwhelm the space.  We also discovered that a flush mount fixture was the next best option for us when my pendant dreams were dashed.  Nearly all of the drum fixtures we came across were suffering from “boob light fixture” syndrome (here’s what I mean), so it was pretty challenging for us to come to find just one flush mount drum fixture that met our needs.  Right when we were about to give up hope, we sat down to page through a lighting catalog (very exciting) and found this beauty.  Since I’ve gotten in the habit of naming light fixtures, we’ll call her Abby.

 

She’s casual, sleek, a flush mount, and she really wears the brushed steel/silver organza shade look quite well.  For $179, we were sold.  We had to custom order the fixture and then waited until after we repainted the entire downstairs to mount it.

As with all light fixtures, there’s a process for mounting it that’s fairly straightforward.  I went into some of the detail in the bathroom light fixture post, but here’s a quick rundown of what we did to mount this drum shade in the kitchen.

 

First, as always, we had to shut the electricity off from the breaker.  We unscrewed the old light fixture which was just mounted with a couple of screws.  We then unwired the fixture. Every fixture has three wires: live, neutral, and ground.

We took the wire nuts off (used to attach the live wire from the fixture to the live wire from the house).  The wire nuts  (plastic orange caps) covers the live connection and makes it so there’s no danger of burning down your house.

Next, we had to attach the new fixture’s mounting plate to the junction box where the wires are coming out. For a flush fixture, it will attach right to the mounting plate on the ceiling.

 

We did the electrical work, which is really just taking the grounding wire from house and grounding wire from lamp, twisted them together and formed a hook to hook it around the grounding screw.  We attached the rest of the wires (live to live and neutral to neutral) from the fixture to the house and pushed them up into the ceiling.  I was a little busy assisting with the installation of the fixture at this point, so I didn’t take any pictures of the new wiring.

We then assembled the rest of the lamp according to the instructions, which were pretty basic – there was a big plate, which took two people to mount, the lampshade itself, and lastly the ring and the plate for the bottom.  There’s still a bit of a cap on the bottom of the fixture as you can see in the photos, but we really like the overall sleek look and simple design that it brings to our kitchen.

Here she is!  It was pretty fun to take our kitchen into the 21st century. I love a good drum shade.