Saturday, 15 December 2018

San Franciscan's Kitchen part 2

With the ceiling out of the way I continued on with the kitchen.

As I forgot to install the lights I thought I'd show you my choice for the space.

I painted a couple of these pendant coach lights from Dolls House Emporium with an aged copper spray paint by rustoleum and then used sienna chalk paint by americana to give a rusty, "barn find" look.. :)

Picture courtesy of Dolls House Emporium

I intend to hang one centrally in the kitchen in front of the stove hood and then one further back in the bay where the eating nook will be located. While I like the colour of the fixture, it might get lost with the dark hood and walls so I may have to rethink my colour choice. Perhaps a couple of chalky washes to lighten them up a bit.

I'll get back to those later on... Lets talk about the cabinetry.

The lowers on the stove side of the kitchen are standard houseworks 1.5 inch cabinet kits. I'm choosing to use two drawer units and two drawer and door units. One of each on each side of the stove.

This gives me three inches of counter space along this wall. the drawers will be closest to the stove. I've painted them white, as all my cabinets will be.

For the uppers I decided to use a couple of House of miniatures cabinet top kits.

Picture courtesy of Etsy

I liked these kits for this purpose because I couldn't find any kitchen specific upper cabinets I preferred. I like my real life cabinetry to have crown moulding at the top and none of the ready made cabinets I found at the time had it. I realised later that I could have added it but I still like these cabinet tops for my space. 

I painted them during construction for a better finish.

I liked the way they looked on the wall but when I saw the kitchen with the inspiration hood's cabinets I knew I needed to add corbels to the bottom.

A reminder of the inspiration kitchen.

 Searching around in my stash I remembered I had some left over Stair Fretwork from Laser Tech.

These frets came still in the wood they'd been cut from and you have to punch them out like other dollhouse trim. I soon realised that the shape of the scrap wood (the mirror reverse of the trim) would make a great solid corbel shape. The problem is they were very thin.. so not an appropriate thickness for my purpose... My fix was to glue four of them together to make one corbel. That's sixteen stair fret scraps to make four corbels.. I had just enough... Winning! :D

I glued them to the bottom of my cabinets, gave the corbel edges a thin coat of spackle to hide the joins, a bit of a sand and then a generous coat of chalk paint blended into the cabinet sides and you'd think they were meant to look this way... :) I'm so happy with how these turned out.

And in place.

For the counter tops, I want a blue stone look.. These are still a work in progress, but I'm using the tops of two House of Miniatures 3 drawer chests to create the counter top for each side of the stove. I liked the idea of a rounded finished edge like these kits have and this particular kit has exactly the right width to suit the top of the houseworks cabinets.

Picture courtesy of Ebay.
I painted the counter tops black and also painted some strips of balsa to use as a backstop of stone instead of a tile backsplash. (I didn't want to cover up the wood wall with tile and it would allow the counter to overhang the cabinetry at the front slightly.)

Then I mixed a really dark blue grey colour with black, white & grey paint and a little of the left over stain mixture from staining the walls and floors and painted over it. The black acted as a really good primer so I didn't have bare wood poking through anywhere. Then I rubbed a dirty white wash over the tops trying to create that salty spots look that blue stone has... The effect is still a work in progress but this is where it is now.

 I cut the tops to fit, with the straight cut edge abutting the stove, so the rounded edges faced the front and ends of the cabinet runs. I then touched up the cut sides with the same paint.

On the other side of the room I elected not to use the houseworks cabinetry. There were a couple of reasons for this.

1. I had run out of the types of kits I would need to make the sink sit centred under the window. (In an oopsie moment I cut the window too far to the back of the room and those kits wouldn't line up).

This is what you get when you eyeball instead of measure. :/

2. I wanted a bit of a bohemian/eclectic feel in the room so matchy matchy cabinets didn't seem right.
3. I didn't want to crack open two more 3 drawer chest kits just to get counter tops.
4. I already had two open kits with no tops that happened to fit the space perfectly put together as one counter. I'd just need to fashion a sink and a top for the assembly.

The partial HOM kits it was.

First I fashioned a sink out of balsa, covered it in spackle and sanded it. It has about 57 coats of enamel spray paint in it's future.

Oh jeez!! My fingers!.. Pretend you didn't see them...  :/

I'll drill a drain hole and install hardware later.

I constructed the kits and tested the sink placement.

I'll be making a basket to fill the space left by removing the top drawer and inserting the sink instead.

I added a couple of left over pieces of wood to the sink side to allow it to sit at the right height to be underslung from the counter top.

The counter top is made from three pieces of balsa to create the thickness I wanted. The first piece is the exact size of the top of the cabinets and painted white. The second one is larger to create counter overhang at the front of the unit and I painted the edges my blue stone colour mix. I then cut the hole for the sink to slot into these two pieces with the top of the sink level with the top of the second piece of counter. 

The third piece of balsa has been cut to the same dimensions as the second but it's sink cut out is slightly smaller on all sides to cover the top of the sink to create an underslung look.

This sink still needs more coats of enamel after another good sanding... ugh.. it's taking  a lot to get a good finish.

Still thinking about making a basked for this hole. If I don't I'll just create a little false drawer from the left over drawer front from the original kit. The cabinets will get another coat of paint before a sealer is applied. Counter colour is still a work in progress so sealer will be a while a way.

I need to decide if I want to try to round the counter top to blend better with the lowers on the other side of the room. They wouldn't be the same but perhaps more similar.

Here is the unit in the room with a stand in Lidi Stroud basket in the hole. :)

Hmmm... I might have to do a bit of rounding perhaps.. :/ Luckily the counter is not attached to the cabinets yet so it should be easy to manipulate if I decide to sand the edges down.

Next I wanted to fill the space between the window and the dresser with open shelving inspired by the inspiration kitchen's gorgeous wall of shelving. I don't have that kind of room, but I can pay a little homage with these two premade shelves I had in my stash.

 But first I had to do a little modifying. :D

I cut the ornate ends off of them. They were pretty but I wanted simpler lines for mine.

 I then added a strip of balsa to the front of the underside of the shelf for a more substantial look.

The bottom shelf got a hanging rail made from a trimmed down toothpick & superglued in place. Now I just need some itty bitty "S" hooks to hang cups from. :D

There is just enough room left to put the trim on around the window. :)

So here are some shots of where I'm up to now.

I'll add a backsplash to the under window area but I have no idea what type.. Suggestions welcome! :)

My cheap chinese stand in fridge has arrived. Not what I want in the end but for $10aud and free shipping, I'm pretty happy with it for now.  :)

Some shots of the light detail.. It got another coat of white wash and may still get another but the rustic vibe is growing on me. I think it suits the kitchen.

I may change out the white dresser for a "vintaged" Oak one.. I think it might tie the two sides of the room together. I see I also need to do a bit of spackling on the bay window's cornice. :) 

The light is just taped up for now.. I might need to move it too the left so it will better line up with where the bay window one will need to be placed.

Still a lot to do.. I'm going to make one of Sheila's lists:

  • Final coat of paint on cabinets
  • Install cabinet hardware
  • 13 more coats of enamel to the sink :D 
  • Drill sink drain and finish with finding
  • install sink backsplash
  • install faucet
  • install and trim windows
  • trim entry doorway
  • install baseboards (only to areas without cabinets or banquet)
  • build banquet for the bay window
  • make seat cushions for banquet
  • install lights. 
  • finish counter tops

Wow... more than I thought... but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! :D


  1. Beautiful! I like the cabinets on the right and the shelves on the left. It really ties well to your inspiration kitchen. Also, brilliant re-purposing of materials on those corbels! :-) The light fixture is great; it goes well in the kitchen. I do think I like the idea of a vintage oak dresser instead of the white one.

    1. Thanks Deborah. Yes I’m definitely leaning in the direction of an oak dresser... now I just have to find one. :)

  2. Sam I love how your cabinets look! I did the same thing with the kits for my NOLA House. I love how yours turned out! And the sink cabinets are just gorgeous.

    Let me know if you want some 'granite' grey and white or beige and grey contact paper. I can send you some in one of my tubes if you decide you don't like how your stone look is going. I love the contrast you have with the white though so keep at it, it's so pretty!

    What are you thinking for hardware? Aged brass paint to match the faucet?

    1. Sheila! How did I miss your NOLA house! I had no idea you used the HOM kits but I love what you did with them. Especially with the over stove one. It makes me want to add one over the fridge area. Thanks for the offer on the “granite” :) I’ll definitely keep that in mind if I can’t get the bluestone to work. Definitely going aged on the hardware. I’m thinking simple knobs on the uppers, lower doors and small upper drawers. Then perhaps half cup pulls for the larger drawers.

  3. Hi Sam, boy you are on a roll!! I love your carpentry and your solutions, using parts of kits is really clever. I am especially in awe of the sink unit - the whole thing is just so cleverly put together. Oh, and the corbel bits under the top cabinets, who would have thought? - they are perfect.

    For all it is worth, I think you are on the right track when you talk about replacing the dresser with a timber one. Not only will it balance the colouring of the room, but I also think it will make a nice visual break between the working kitchen and the eating nook.

    I like your choice of lighting - it doesn't obstruct the view into room and I love what you have done to it! On the note of painting lights?? I have one, I am about to attack with some colour. I was going to just use some enamel pains (tiny tins left over from when my boys were in to building model cars way back when. Do you think I will get brush streaks and is it too hard to get into tiny spaces or you recommend giving it a coat of spray paint first?

    Can't wait to see where this is going next...
    Anna xx

    1. Hi Anna, I would definitely recommend at least your first coat be spray paint. It will get in all the nooks and crannies and you will get a better finish even if you add extra coats later with a brush. It will also let you thin the paint on subsequent coats which will give you a better finish and no brush marks. :) Can’t wait to see what you do with yours.

  4. Stunning and getting even Stunning-er! :D
    I LOVE your cabinetry solutions Sam! I would never have thought to use the HoM kit uppers for a kitchen but they look Perfect especially with the corbel supports- Wowee!!!!!
    Also love how you have modified the chest units to accommodate a sink, which I think is absolutely Brilliant. Both sides of the kitchen looks unified and what's most important- Workable. Who wouldn't want to prepare a meal in such a totally Gorgeous space??? ❤️

    p.s. I also LOVE what you've done with the lantern - the antiqued finish is Spot On!

    1. Thanks Elisabeth. I’m loving the uppers too. I may even do one for over the fridge now that I’ve been inspired by what Sheila did with her HOM kit uppers in her NOLA house. I love your paint finishes so your opinion on my lantern is high praise indeed. :D

  5. ¡Que maravilla! me he enamorado de tu cocina, ver el proceso de transformación me ha dejado admirada. Gracias por las explicaciones y la forma de tunear los muebles . Yo para el efecto granito compré una pátina "DecortArt Sparkling Sandstones",la compré en una tienda de mi ciudad pero he visto que por internet se puede conseguir,seguro que hay muchas más páginas pero así ves cual es, hay diferentes tonalidades
    Te deseo unas felices fiestas,besos:-)


    1. Gracias Rosa Maria! Estoy tan contenta de que te guste mi cocina. :) Las piedras brillantes decoart parecen grandes cosas. Voy a tener que conseguir algo. Incluso si no lo uso en esta cocina, puedo ver que tendrá muchos usos en el futuro. Gracias por el enlace. :RE

  6. This is such a well thought out and conceived kitchen, Sam, and THE PERFECT design for the galley restrictions in this SF kit! I could go on gushing all day, but I'll give your eyes a break with just a few opinions to help with your future decisions. I think you nailed it with the idea of a wood hutch because it really will pull the wood wall over to harmonize with the other side of the kitchen, and you will then be able to use some white decor elements to tie the hutch in with the cabinetry. I love the sink just as it is but have to ask if you have tried or considered having it be the entire width of the unit instead of a drawer front or basket element next to it? I love a big and accommodating sink, and it might be fun to put the omitted drawer in it's place just for a photo shoot look and play. On the stove side, your eye is drawn all the way to those gorgeously high ceilings, so the sink side might look great with one long open shelf above the sink window trim to draw the eye up and balance the space. Might be fun to add a rough one, take a couple photos and compare them. I know exactly where you are going with the blue stone tops and I am giddy! They are ~A~W~E~S~O~M~E~ or will be when you've satisfied your need for a little salty goodness! Have you tried that fridge on it's top? I know it's just a stand in for now, but it may give you some ideas (or end up working perfectly) for a freezer on the bottom type unit. Especially if you add the cupboard over top. The banquet in the background is going to be incredible, and the light fixture is dreamy! It's amazing how something that looks kind of big and cheesy when in it's brassy state can be transformed into a real show stopper with a little aging and distressing. Your instincts are jaw dropping on point, so keep trusting yourself and you'll end up with a kitchen to die for!!! 💗💗💗

    1. Hi Jodi! I agree.. I'm moving more and more towards a wooden hutch. I just think it will look a little more sophisticated. Sometimes too much white can be a bit twee.. which is not the look I'm going for here. And you are right I can use some white china in the hutch which just wouldn't work in the white one.. lol.. I can tell you right now, I'm not making another one of those sinks! lolol.. So not doing a bigger one but come to think of it a double sink would be nice. hmmmm... I think I will end up with a fake drawer there if I don't enlarge the sink.. I'm not sure I have it in me to make a perfect basket. And it is a bit weird as it's the only one. Perhaps if I had done one on the other side as well it would be better but the sink is placed as it is so it can be directly under the window so it would've defeated the purpose of using these kits in the first place. The shelf above the window is a brilliant idea... I didn't realise how much higher the stove side is until I went back and looked to see what you meant. And I can display a bunch of my wicker baskets or some other decor up there. :D I did think about flipping the fridge over.. mainly because I want the doors to open in the opposite direction.. but I thought the freezer might be too small for the look.. but you have made be have another look and perhaps I could add vents at the bottom (current top) to make it look like it has a base. That might make it look a bit more substantial. I'm all for modifying this fridge if I can. If I don't have to splurge on a delph fridge then I can spend that money on other fun minis. :D Thanks for your most helpful comments and for being my cheering squad. :D It really helps to motivate me to get this room done! :D

  7. Hello Sam,
    Wow! what an amazing kitchen. I just love those light fixtures. The finish is terrific. I also LOVE the cabinetry you made. What a great way to use the kits. And most of all, what a great sink. I am really liking the feel and esthetic of this kitchen. You really maximized the space and created a kitchen that is welcoming and charming.
    Big hug

    1. Thanks Giac! A little more masculine I think than most dollhouse kitchens, right? :D It's got kind of a cool vintage vibe which I really like. I've been intending to use the HOM kits from the beginning.. from the minute I saw them I thought they looked like uppers. Little did I know that Sheila had the same thought for her New Orleans house. She made more modifications than I did and they look great! I'm so glad you like the kitchen Giac! ((hugs))

  8. Hi, Sam - I love, love this kitchen already! The light fixtures look just right with the room, and what a great idea to add the corbels to the cupboards. They add so much charm and warmth to the kitchen, but also a touch of sophistication. Perfect! I admire that stone backsplash, which gives the countertop a simple, uncluttered look. The two open shelves, as well, serve a functional purpose but keep the visual space open. The "enamel" sink is coming along so well - I can't wait to see it after the final coat of paint. You're doing such beautiful work on this room. It's going to be (already is) absolutely stunning!)

    1. Thanks so much Marjorie!.. I have just realised that I missed the final post of the villa. I must go back and have a long peruse over the pictures, marvel at your ingenuity and be inspired to continue on the SF. I'm glad you like the corbels.. I think they are my favourite detail so far. :D Sometimes it's the smallest things that strike you fancy. lol... All my rooms seem to be a work in progress at the moment, which is a bit overwhelming, but posts from my Mini friends always help to invigorate and reinspire. :D Merry Christmas!

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  10. Sam, I have been watching your adventures in this kitchen via GL, and FB and wanted to see some of the how....the blue stone counter, etc. Thanks for sharing, and you are very creative and inventive with the various parts of kits being used for cabinets. Love it!

    1. Thanks Heide! You are correct I should post about the counter. On the stove top side it's actually the top of a couple of HOM chests of drawers that I repurposed to countertops and painted. The sink side is custom, made from balsa wood sheets covered in a thin layer of spackle to cover the grain and then many many coats of my blue mix and then black and white washes. It's not quite finished yet.