Rowhouse kitchen continued

Back to the rowhouse kitchen! I’m bashing a modern kitchen kit from SDK Miniatures. The instructions for the upper cabinets were a little confusing (or maybe I didn’t read them carefully). The two sets of shelves and the wine rack need to be glued to the front piece before the front/back/sides are glued together, otherwise they would be hard to get in.

Also it would have been better if I’d painted the inside back piece beige since it’s hard to get a paintbrush in and paint the backs of the shelves, but I didn’t realize that until it was too late…

I didn’t have enough flooring strips left for the kitchen, but wasn’t crazy about using tiles. I found a piece of flooring sheet in my stash that would fit the kitchen and was pretty similar in size and color to the flooring I used everywhere else. Ideally I would have had the floorboards running the other way (the length of the room) but decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth… I had this sheet already, it was free!

I stained the flooring sheet with Minwax English Oak because the Golden Oak that I used for the rest of the house looked too dark on this wood. The single floorboard off to the left is one of the ones from the rest of the house.

The piece I had was almost long enough to fit, and a little too wide.

I was able to stagger pieces of the scrap I cut off from the side to fill in the bay window area.

On the other side I didn’t bother with staggering the floorboards since they’ll be covered up by cabinets. There are floorboards under there, it’s just a little sloppy.

In the living room, I added a cardboard “subfloor” to account for the thickness of wires on the floor. So the threshold in the living room doorway is a little higher than the floor in the kitchen.

I added a piece of dowel to cover up the gap. It makes it look like the threshold has a rounded edge to transition into the kitchen.

Back to the cabinets. I didn’t like the oven and microwave that came with the kit, they were fuzzy. I printed out my own using pictures off the internet, printing them at 300dpi for a sharp image.

I coated the appliances with satin varnish before gluing them in.

For drawer pulls, I’m using jump rings I bought at Michaels. They have a finish like brushed nickel. I cut the jump rings in half with wire cutters.

These were hard to glue. I tried using super glue but the jump rings kept sticking to my fingers and the tweezers instead of to the cabinets. After a few failed attempts I switched to The Ultimate glue: grabbed the jump ring piece with tweezers, dipped each end in glue, and pressed the gluey edges against the wood. I had about a 50% success rate… some took immediately, others needed a lot of retries. Some of them are a little wiggly and might need to be reinforced.

Time to finish the upper cabinets. Here’s how they look with the trim piece on.

Since the upper cabinets are going to butt up against the pantry cabinet assembly, I needed to create a new cornice piece for the top that could span both of them. But they weren’t the same depth.

I decided to add stripwood to the back of the upper cabinets, to bump them out from the wall so they would be the same depth as the tall cabinet piece. That way I could create one simple top piece with cornice to span the entire thing.

I added strip wood at the bottom and also on the edges of the stove hood area, since you can see these from the front and I didn’t want the gap to be visible.

Here’s how it looks with the upper cabinets bumped out to the same depth as the pantry cabinets.

I made a new top piece with a piece of basswood and a trim piece I had lying around. I neglected to take a picture from the top, but there’s one farther down on the page that shows the top view, if you’re curious.

While the paint on the top piece was drying, I worked on wallpaper. I used a damask print from Itsy Bitsy Mini in the alcove and the bottom half of the left portion of the wall. There will be chair rail separating it from the off-white paper up top, like in the living room and office.

I didn’t bother with the damask on the other side of the room since the cabinets will be there. The off-white paper is scrapbook paper with a hatchmark texture (same as what I used in the attic).

I also painted the fridge, which is an Acme magnet. I used Testors “silver chrome” to make it look like stainless steel.

Here’s the pantry and upper cabinet assembly, all finished! (Well, one of the green trim pieces needs to be touched up, I got beige paint on it…)

Looking good!

Finally, I put together the cabinet that goes over the fridge. This is a kit from Petite Properties, and I took the idea for using this cabinet directly from A Greenleaf Fairfield for Miss Lydia Pickett.

The kit’s made out of cardstock, and it went together very easily. The doors don’t stay closed and I’m not sure yet what I’ll do about that. I don’t really like the idea of gluing items in there and gluing the doors shut, but I might not have a choice.

I used basswood to make a an enclosure around the fridge and cabinet.

I didn’t have a piece the right size for the back, so I used two smaller pieces as supports to keep the assembly square.

And here’s what the cornice looks like. I made the one for the pantry and upper cabinets the same way.

That’s where I stopped today. (This was actually three days worth of work!)


  1. Keli

    It looks great so far.

  2. Debora

    I love it! The cabinets and the counters are great, and the cabinet “built in” ov the frig ties it together!

  3. Gail

    You are so talented. Love watching your progress. And just am blown away with the refrigerator.

  4. Sandra from Sydney

    This all looks really effective. I too like the ‘built in’ cabinet above the fridge. Well done

  5. Sandra from Sydney

    Using jump rings for the handles is a really good tip – thanks.

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