Friday, February 4, 2011

Beadboard Backsplash

I love love love beadboard. I love it on the wall, on the ceiling, on cabinets, as wainscot, as a backsplash, in Kitchens, in Bathrooms, on porches. Think Country Beautiful or the Pottery Barn catalog.Luckily I have a house that fits well with the beadboard style. When we moved in, we only had one area with beadboard.. the front porch ceiling (which will be repainted and beautified this spring). We had some wood paneling wainscoting in the Kitchen and also some matching wide paneling in the built-in hutch, but that's it. 
In 2009 we renovated a Kitchen as part of a work project.  We decided to install a beadboard backsplash, with 2 1/2" wide v-groove boards painted the wall color, with a simple 3" base molding.  It looked gorgeous! 
When designing my own Kitchen a year later, I knew that tile just wouldn't work. As much as I like tile (and know a good tile installer aka my uncle), it just didn't seem right for a 240 year old house. The beadboard would give the kitchen a more country farmhouse look, which is what we were going for.
So now it was down to whether to use beadboard panels, or use the real thing. I voted for the panels (less seams, less nails, and a more consistent look. Plus we'd be able to use mdf which would stand up to cleaning better). R, the beadboard installer, wanted to use wood panels, which were 2 beadboards (is that the correct terminology?) wide. They were tongue and groove and relatively easy to install. Since he was the installer, he won this argument (though I still wish we went with mdf). The beadboard looks great, but I do have a couple complaints. Because they were pine panels, they took a ton of coats of paint to cover the wood grain and knots (there were a lot). We also wasted a lot of pieces because there were knots in less than ideal spots (such as right on the edge, or huge knot holes in the middle of a board). Now that they're painted, from afar you don't notice these imperfections. However, they are very rough to the touch, and I worry that they will not do as well over a couple years of use and cleaning (especially since they're right behind my sink). But oh well. This isn't our permanent Kitchen in the house.. it's more of a temporary kitchen to get us through the years until we can afford the addition.
For the base, we decided to use a mdf trim piece we found at Lowe's. Initially, R wanted to use wood (again). But I put the piece of wood behind the sink for a couple days (just to see how it would look), and after about 2 days all of the paint was peeling off and it was basically ruined (so we can't even return it). Luckily Lowe's carried the exact same trim in mdf, which has been installed for about 2 months now and still looks great. I suppose if I had to have one piece not be wood I'd prefer it to be the base trim... this will be getting wetter than the beadboard ever will.
We still have some upper trim to install (very small 1/2" mdf trim, just to cover the seam between the boards and the underside of the cabinets). Once that is installed we can do one final coat of paint over everything, caulk a couple seams and then install my over the sink light (I've been waiting to do this so it doesn't get scratched or broken when the trim/boards were being installed/painted).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Importance of an Organized Cabinet

I adore my pots and pans.. they were a wedding present from my uncle and since we cook for ourselves basically every single day, we've gotten a lot of use out of them in the past 3 years. However, they're starting to show their age. In our apartment, we had a large cabinet next to the range which is where I stored all of the pots, pans and baking pans. They were organized for about 1 day, then for the next two years were just thrown in there, with a prayer, hoping they'd stay in there and not fall out onto the tile floor and break. The same has been the case at the new house. Only here, we have a half floor, and what's remaining of it is nasty beyond all belief, so if one of my precious pans fell on that floor I'd be scrubbing the crap out of it for weeks before I'd use it again.
Enter the Rev-A-Shelf 2-Tier Cookware Organizer. I found this little piece of heaven months ago in Lowe's, but was immediately scared by the price tag. With tax, we were looking at about $97 and change. Eek. With a whole house to remodel there was no way I could justify that purchase. Right? But then between Christmas and our birthdays, we received a large amount of Lowe's gift cards (how'd you guys know?). So on a snowy afternoon last week I finally got my organizer (my smart husband instantly recognized my snowed-in cabin fever and set out to Lowe's to get this to keep me busy).

It wasn't very hard to install. My only complaint was that the first instruction was to dismantle the pull out trays, and the things were impossible to get apart (and were drenched in grease which got everywhere). Other than that, it went together without any problems. I immediately got all of my pans and lids in their new homes and basked in the greatness that is an organized cabinet and an empty warming drawer (where I had been storing all of the glass lids so they wouldn't break) that I can now use.

The ingenious thing about this is that it not only has pull out shelves, but it also has a spot for the lids, which I've noticed, most pan organizers don't. They focus on the pans themselves, but for me, it's always been the lids that are the biggest trouble makers. They don't stack nicely. I'm afraid they're going to break. Also, on the bottom shelf are 5 adjustable place holders for the pans. They can be removed or pushed over to accommodate any size pot or pan. This organizer that I bought is made for a 12" cabinet, but I have an 18" cabinet, which left just enough space on the side for pizza pans and cookie sheets. Once again leaving my beautiful warming drawer empty and ready for use!