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Sunday, May 12, 2013

My kitchen cabinets - before & after

In 2009, but really it's 1974.

And now the Ta-dah! from last week's post about my adventures in grasscloth. When we bought our house four years ago, the kitchen was a time capsule tribute to high-end decorating of the early 1970s, see photo above. The floors were travertine, the cast iron sink was custom-colored to match the laminate counters, and special features included a built-in can opener and counter grill.

 A close-up of the wallpaper with lucite handles.

A densely-patterned wallpaper covered the upper cabinets and all of the walls. It was actually a very clever way to make the uppers disappear. The "nice gay decorator from Palm Springs" the original homeowner had hired was way ahead of his time.

Last year, we removed every lick of wallpaper except for the cabinets doors. It wouldn't budge and it was going to cost over $2500 to have new fronts made to match the lower cabinets. I considered new slab fronts to keep the cost down, but they really wouldn't mesh with the existing base cabinets.

The first of ten grasscloth-ed cabinet fronts.
 
With time evaporating as our self-imposed listing deadline quickly approached, I struck upon the idea of covering the uppers with grasscloth. It would be true to the era of the house and embrace a once-again hot decorating trend. I wanted to use a deep steely gray, but my former-realtor girlfriend convinced me to rein in my design desires and go with a neutral to complement the existing cabinets. I choose a warm beige cut with light gray from Seabrook's Elements of Nature book.
 
Ta-dah!

After several days of wrangling obstinate, stiff grasscloth and sailor-league cussing, I'm incredibly pleased with the results. The trick to getting the corner wrap right was using my clothing steamer to soften the paper. I will tell you the recommended adhesive for grasscloth can be too lightweight to keep the sides down, so I touched up areas (especially around the hinges) with white Gorilla Glue.

This was my last major project and I'm beyond relieved to be at the end of it all. Another day of cleaning and I'll be ready for the realty photographer Tuesday morning. Many houses in our neighborhood having been selling in under a week, with one going under contract in less than 24 hours after 20 showings in one day. Fingers crossed the realty fairy (she wears a sparkly rainbow-trimmed boxy jacket from Chico's) is waving her magic wand our way!

24 comments:

Linda {Calling it Home} said...

I love the smoke and mirrors job you did. Well executed, and removing a negotiation obstacle. I hope your home sells fast!

yippee said...

Brilliant transformation. Here's another wish for the realty fairy to be on her way with a pot of gold. Happy Mother's Day.

Keri said...

Much improved! Well done!

meenal bishnoi said...

That's one hell of a job you did!! and it does look great..may the realty fairy bring you an awesome deal! xx meenal

Jessie said...

Wonderful transformation, you did a great job!

Jessie
www.mixandchic.com

Kimberly Lemmon said...

Ta-dah indeed! Grasscloth cabinet doors = brilliant and beautiful! Good luck with the sale, Raina!

Kimberly Lemmon said...

Oh, and happy Mother's Day!

Jill said...

Job well done! And most impressive...I would have been crying halfway (make that 25% of the way) through...can't imagine the patience you had. Best of luck selling and can't wait to see what's next!

Nataliya said...

Looks wonderful (and super clever!). Fingers and toes crossed for a quick sale! Happy Mother's Day.

An Urban Cottage said...

That's look pretty good! Even the "before" isn't as bad I thought it would be.

My parents had that same Solid Gold Dance Floor on the ceiling.

My Interior Life said...

Great job with the grasscloth. It is not easy to wrangle. I just know the realty fairy will be good to you (I like your description of her, btw).

A Perfect Gray said...

that is pretty amazing.

a good while back we were treated to images of the pea's room and your living room, so we know the rest of your house is amazing, too. bet it'll go quick. so, have you already picked out your new digs on BRC Mtn.?

Raina Cox said...

A Perfect Gray - I will be posting the listing photos soon with a full house tour. And we do have a few mountain houses on our radar.

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

I am nuts for grasscloth and think this is a genius use for it.

I have seen that realty fairy, I think she shops at Costco.

jason said...

Nice!
But I love anything grasscloth!

Robin said...

You did a great job, they look fantastic. If I did it they would be covered with blood stains from me slitting my wrists. I don't have the patience for wallpapering regular walls, much less 10 small doors with corners!

PP@pimpmybricks.wordpress.com said...

Oy, you did great.

I expect you'll be wanting to replicate the can-opener in your new house.

Fingers and toes crossed for your fairy's magic making. May she scatter spells like no other.

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

Awesome solution!! I've tried grassclothing furniture before the corners were for sure the hardest.

Crossing my fingers for you.

BeColorful said...

What a cool and out of the ordinary idea for your cupboards. I'm feeling inspired here. :D
p

Camilla said...

Wowsers - what a transformation! Looks fab lady!

Bethany [at] Powell Brower Home said...

number 1 - your description of said real estate agent is PERFECT - down to the chicos jacket. I have a real mental image going on.

2 - this is genius. love.

3 - did i mention i love this! ps - this kitchen is so enormous it looks like the staff's kitchen. wow

David said...

First, where have I been, I've missed like 3 posts. And then that grasscloth was a terrific solution.

I'd go ahead and start packing now.

Bid war, bid war, bid war!

lucitebox said...

What a nice transformation! I'm sure I'm not alone in this--really looking forward to seeing the listing photos.

Wishing you a painless smooth transition from this fab house to the Big Rock Candy Mountain home of your dreams.

The Zhush said...

Brilliant!