Update – Our His & Hers Kitchen

We’re a bit overdue for posting an update to our kitchen, but as Mr PoP pointed out, it’s because I keep wanting to finish “one more thing” before posting it.  But that just keeps postponing the update indefinitely, so here goes.

Design Dilemma Fixed!

A few months back, I wrote about the design dilemma that I had created in one corner of our kitchen where the door on the spice rack was preventing the slides in the adjacent broom closet from extending properly.  I am happy to say that has been fixed, thanks to the many wonderful ideas that readers helped brainstorm.  The one I liked the best, though, was from Nick Klenke when he suggested that I try building an inset door to the spice cabinet.  (A great suggestion from a very impressive woodworker – you should check out the cool stuff on his site!)

I was a bit concerned that Nick might be over-estimating my woodworking skills in telling me that I could build an inset door, but with a fair amount of sanding and the help of some truly awesome shims and a huge vote of confidence from Nick in his comments, I did it!

This is what it's like today. The white door leads to the garage, and the cabinet built into the wall is a shallow spice cabinet built between the wall studs.

Before: with the overlay door on the spice cabinet blocking the pullout for the broom closet.

And after!

After: with an inset door leaving plenty of room for the pullout… and I painted the door “pool blue”.

Absolutely instrumental in this process for me were some flat plastic shims that Mr PoP and I came across when we were looking for shims to install the kitchen counter.  We picked up a box of these BroadFix Flat Shims at our local hardware store, giggling to ourselves that the advertising on the box claiming they were “revolutionary” had to be hyperbole.  But since then we’ve found so many uses for these things, they might not be exaggerating as much as we thought!

In the case of building the inset door, I built it to as close to the interior measurements of the faceframe as I could, and then trimmed and sanded very carefully until I could fit 2mm shims around it on all sides.  I knew that was the measurement I wanted on the hinge side, so I made it as uniform as I could all the way around.  It wasn’t easy, and I think people who saw the overlay door and now see the inset door don’t even realize it’s different until you point it out.  But I’m actually really proud of my inset door and think it was the perfect solution to that design dilemma.

Countertop Details

IMG_6868Mr PoP and I got the countertop installed shortly before Christmas, and love so much about it, from the way that the slide-in stovetop sits right on top of the counter, so it looks like it’s built in…

IMG_6871Right down from that is my favorite part of the counter – how we joined the pieces together in a stairstep pattern at the corner.  While I love the way it looks, the biggest reason why we did this is that we weren’t sure we would have enough pieces of good wood (sans wormholes) long enough to reach the whole way to the wall.  So we broke it up this way, and I think it turned out all the better for it.

IMG_6862Lastly, I love the two faucets that we chose to install with the new countertop.  We had a faucet and a separate sprayer before, but this time we chose to get a nice faucet with a built-in sprayer (so far the Delta magna-tite on the sprayer is very good, so no drooping!), and then also install a separate drinking water faucet.  Mr PoP plumbed an in-line filter in the feed for the drinking water faucet and it’s wonderful.  We’re both drinking so much more water than we typically would before and our Crystal Light consumption has dropped to basically nothing.

We left space in the counter between the faucets if we want to go ahead and install the soap pump that came with our faucet, but so far we haven’t done that.  We’ll see what the future holds there.

Knobs and Pulls and Other Fun

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Finishing touches on some cabinets!

We also put knobs and pulls on all the drawers and cabinet doors that we have installed so far now!  When I came home after Mr PoP spent an hour or so fiddling with the alignment on the cabinet doors and putting knobs on them, I exclaimed how “finished” the knobs made them look compared to being bare fronts.  And Mr PoP reminded me that they look “finished” because they finally are.  =P  Point taken.

And hiding behind the drawer faces underneath the sink are these two tip outs for storing sponges and other sink paraphernalia that we are finding insanely useful!


While we tried not to break the bank, you would be surprised at how much it is possible to spend on knobs and pulls, especially when you start to want specific types for various practical reasons, which we encountered on the bottom half of the pantry.  (The doors for the top half are still in the design phase.)

image2 (1)The bottom half of the pantry has two sides that are exactly the same.  Here is the right side, with fancy towel rack pulls ($28/each at Wayfair) on the long 34″ drawers, and less expensive mushroom knobs and cup pulls for the doors and pull-out covers.

IMG_6845And here is the beauty of what those pull-out covers are covering!  Pull out shelves!

I built these out of the same wood as the countertop and the ledge on the pantry, as a temporary landing spot when really using the kitchen to its full potential (think when baking dozens of cookies and needing extra space for cooling racks!).  But as it turns out, they are proving to be exactly what we need for turning our kitchen into a gourmet “His and Hers Kitchen” as seen in this article in the Mansion section of the WSJ.

Okay, so the kitchen featured in that article is literally bigger  than the entirety of our house(1,150 sqft > 1,110 sqft!), but the piece did hit home since our kitchen is ending up as much more of a his and hers affair than we realized when we started out.  Mr PoP is getting much more into cooking and it’s so nice to have a kitchen where two people can really move around independently without feeling like we’re constantly in each others’ way!  In the above picture, Mr PoP is actually using his new Joule sous vide tool that he got from his parents for Christmas to cook some pot roast beef on this pull out shelf, leaving the rest of the kitchen available for me to play around in!

And the front of these little pull-outs are very cool recessed ring pulls (these – $16 each!).  Pricey and a little finicky to install since we needed to buy a 1″ forstner bit to recess them, but they are super functional and look oh-so-cool on the front of the pull-outs.

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And if you think spending $28 and $16 respectively on each of the long drawer pulls and the recessed ring pulls, keep in mind that in looking around for these, I also found ones that were $200 and $25 (though the bigger versions of the $25 ones go up to $70 each!) instead of $28 and $16!  So comparatively, I felt like I got a good value and the ones we got seem well built.

That’s all the updates for now, though.  I need to get moving picking a tile for the backsplash and finishing up the rest of the cabinet doors and drawer faces but we’re getting so much closer to being done!


What do you think?  Am I silly for spending $120 on 6 pulls for the pantry and less than that amount for the rest of the pulls in the entire kitchen?  

11 comments to Update – Our His & Hers Kitchen

  • Mama PoP

    The kitchen looks even better in person as pictures can’t do it justice. The attention to detail is amazing and everything is so functional – it’s way beyond a “custom designed” kitchen. :-)

  • Nope, not crazy at all. Find what you like, splurge on that, and then get whatever else you want that does the job.

    For me, it’s shoes: I spend good money on my work and running shoes. Everything else, I’m kinda meh on.
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted..Recap: Camp Mustache SE 2017My Profile

    • Yeah, we don’t tend to cheap out on shoes either. If we learned nothing else in 2016, it’s that foot health matters big time to quality of life. =)

  • I’m so glad the inset door worked out for you! To get a consistent gap like that all the way around is a challenge for even the most experienced woodworker and you nailed it…congratulations! And I’m totally stealing the broom closet pullout idea for when I remodel our laundry room.

    (when you click on the thumbnails, the enlarged pictures come up rotated 90 degrees…but you can still tell that your work is exceptional)

    • Thanks, Nick! Your kind words mean a lot since your stuff looks awesome!

      Sorry about the pictures being rotated 90-degrees. I have no idea why it does that, and can’t seem to figure out how to stop it, sadly. =P

  • Everything looks beautiful and amazing. So impressed at how much functionality you fit into a small space!
    Leah recently posted..A little sparkleMy Profile

  • Wow! Insetting that door must have been quite the project! Awesome job!

    We had a countertop like that in our beloved historic mid-town house. I loved it! Looks nice and is easy to care for.

    It looks GORGEOUS!

    Now you can start a new business: custom kitchen installations. :-)

  • Jason

    looks great!

  • Papa POP

    I would be pleased and proud to have those cupboards and doors in our kitchen. Do you charge by the hour, the piece or just give a bid for the total job? I thought our custom built cabinets up north were nice–until I saw what you have DONE. They are BEAUTIFUL and oh so functional!

  • Ooh, wait. Does that stove top really sit on the counter like that? Meaning there’s no way for “bits” to fall between the counter and the stove? That’s revolutionary.
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