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Painting Inside The Box

Painting Inside the Box: Weekend Kitchen Makeovers Part II

Last week I discussed a couple of small things that you can do around your kitchen during a weekend to give it a new, updated look (see ‘Weekend Kitchen Makeovers: Part One,’ June 19). This week’s project is one that’ll take a little longer than a weekend, but will give you the new-kitchen feel that you’ve been craving.

Removing Cabinet Doors

A popular look right now in kitchens is to go with open shelving on the top bank of cupboards to give the kitchen a professional chef’s look. This can be done easily on your own, and will save you the bucks that it costs to replace cabinetry.

Select the doors that you want to remove. Some people prefer all open shelving on the top, and some can only handle one cabinet. This depends on what you’re prepared to show. When you remove the doors (which unscrew quite easily), fill the holes with wood putty (note: this still works if your cupboards are melamine).

Paint the inside of the cabinet box. You might prefer the shelving to look like it’s floating on the kitchen wall, in which case you should paint the box the same colour as the rest of the room. For a bolder look, chose a more striking colour than the one in the room (if you’re uncertain about this, be sure to ask someone at the paint counter—even if they don’t know, they can check the colour wheel for you).

A note about painting: Make sure to scuff up the cabinet with sand paper first, tape off the trim, and use an oil-based melamine primer and paint for this job. Again, someone at the paint counter will give you some advice on this.

This project has an unintended consequence: It forces you to arrange your things neatly and deliberately! Because your stuff will now be visible—and this is a good thing—use the good stuff.

Tips for utilizing open cabinetry:

Arrange things according to use. Put your plates, dishes, glasses and coffee cups in order. Stack like-styled dishes together in an easily accessible place. (Myth alert: open cabinetry means lots of dust. WRONG. Having the over-hang of the shelf above actually shields your things from dust—and you’ll more than likely be using your things faster than dust can get to them, anyway.)

Put food and loose things in baskets.

Yes, I know, you’re probably sick of me stressing the organizational virtues of baskets, crates, and other rectangular-shaped things (see ‘Basket Weaving,’ June 5, and ‘Wine Crate Accessorizing,’ May 8), but believe me: if you want to go open-style, they’re necessary. Throw your food and loose things in a basket on the open shelf and you’ve got a great little hidden compartment that looks fabulous—and organized.

Display your cooking library.

Use a section of your cabinetry as a bookcase for all those cookbooks you’d like to display and use often, but don’t know where to put. Show off your sophistication and kitchen-savvy with your new, open-style kitchen.

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