Kitchen Appliance Upgrades

So this project was a 3-step process over the span of about a year.

It all started with removing the Americana theme from the kitchen. I started by removing the wallpaper border. This was time consuming, but fairly easy. I used fabric softener and a wide putty knife. Once I finished that part, I, of course, smooth talked Kurt into getting involved. Simplifying that the tile should just pop off with a little tapping and light prying. Oh boy, was I wrong.

The results below speak for themselves:

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Those pictures are from rather late at night. We left a huge pile of tile and  sheet rock in the middle of the kitchen and called it a night with the plan to make an early morning trip to our favorite place, Lowe’s.

He plugged through and saved the project, well the whole kitchen really.

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So above you’ll see our bright white stove. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the stove (we actually gave it to a family member whose oven had stopped working and they still use it today), but I came across a killer deal!

If I can offer one piece of advice, here it is: Always check out the “scratch and dent”/clearance aisle at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I always make a point to just wander through no matter what brings me into the store and it paid off. I came across this beauty one night while shopping for who-knows-what. I immediately took pictures, sent them to Kurt and followed up with a “Can I?” phone call.

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Can you see the fine print? “Was $1169.99”

I had them hold it while we made up our minds, paid for it over the phone the following morning then picked it up that weekend. I dragged my dad with me because Kurt was out of town for work, only to have him point out one thing I failed to even consider – Was it natural gas or propane? (Our house is sent up for propane)… Wonderful thought Dad – I have no idea! Oops, but I guess that’s what fathers are for. We finally figured out it was set up for propane, which meant it was converted by the person who originally purchased it. (All gas ranges come set up for natural gas – good to know!) It worked out really well that we didn’t have to mess with converting it (which would have been an add cost or a risky DIY).

This is the stove installed and the wall behind the stove all finished.

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I think this is now an older model, but my guess on one similar that is sold today would be this.

The paint I chose, which is contrary to what I explain in one of the first posts, is actually my favorite color in our house. It is Benjamin Moore – Galveston Gray. I always go to Aubuchon Hardware to find BM. I liked the color so much, I painted our master bedroom the same color.

Last step: Microwave.

That little black microwave has been everywhere with me – a dorm room and two different apartments in college and moved home to my parents between each move from one place to another. Let’s just say my dear mother got her money’s worth out of that. Unfortunately, it stopped doing a good job of cooking food evenly (understandably so) and it was time for a new one. I really wasn’t a fan of the multi-appliance look with a range hood and a microwave. I then began brainstorming how we were going to get an over the range microwave in our kitchen. (Kurt was very against any of these ideas… but he gave in, as always. He is such a good sport and this is why I love him so!)

So the research began – which one to buy? Holey smokes, there is a lot of these things to choose from. Mind you, they all look almost the same, but do a million different things.. O-ver-whlem-ing. I started with the brand of our stove, which is LG, and went from there. I wanted to get the best deal for the least amount of money (naturally). I came across this one:

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‘LG 2.2-cu ft Over-The-Range Microwave with Sensor Cooking Controls.’

Fancy enough, but not too fancy. At the time when I found it, it was on sale for around $275. It’s now listed for $404, so I guess that was a good find.

So my dear mother, apparently the queen of microwave giving, needed ideas for Christmas for Kurt and I. I had just figured out this was the microwave for us and suggested it as a Christmas gift. I also had a $100 gift card from work I offered to let her use because I felt bad for suggesting such a large item. BUT I am an only child and she has a tendency to still spoil me the way she did when I was 7 and wouldn’t take the gift card.

Christmas morning came and so did our microwave! (Thanks again Mom and Dad)  I think she mentioned Lowe’s gave her an additional 10% off the already good deal. (It never hurts to ask, especially at Lowe’s)

After Christmas festivities, it was about 9pm and Kurt decided he was ready to tackle this project. I could barely keep my eyes open, but no way was I going to try to talk him out of this!

So here was the game plan:

plan

We will start above the stove – the range hood will be gone, the larger cabinet above it will be switched with the smaller cabinet to the left. To keep all the cabinets level, we would have to cut down the shelf the microwave currently was on. (Once you see the after, all that jumble will make sense)

We started by taking the range hood and these two cabinets down. Kurt was brave enough (I had to walk away a few times) to cut off the shelf that was connected to the smaller cabinet. He got the shelf down to the size it needed to be to fit under the larger cabinet. He re-hung the large cabinet on the left side and the hung the new, smaller shelf back up under it. Next, he hung the smaller cabinet above the stove (This is all hear-say, I had fallen asleep by now. He woke me a few times to climb up on the counter to help him hold a cabinet in place. Interesting, scary, dangerous? Yes, all of the above.) When he woke me up to check out his work and get into bed, I was very surprised. He never fails to impress me!

The finished product:

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We have some small details to work on, like the cord you can see and straightening the small cabinet doors, but we will get there! Slow and steady…

Before/After

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He does good work, doesn’t he? 🙂

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