Brace yourself

We have lived in our house for nearly 20 years now and, in line with our general ethos of trying to reduce our impact on the environment, we have done our best to make things last. Eventually, however, there comes a time when the fixtures and fittings need replacing, We’ve been aware that our kitchen cabinets have been getting more and more tatty in recent years.

We started talking, a couple of years ago, about having them replaced. I got Tim (the wonderful cabinet maker who built our pine cupboards) to look at them with a view to him constructing a whole new kitchen for us. However, he was of the opinion that this was unnecessary – the carcasses of the units were very robust and he suggested that just replacing the doors would be the way forward. I searched and searched for ‘off the shelf’ doors that would match the ones Tim had made before, but had no joy, so I gave the job to him.

He constructed traditional ledge-and-brace doors from pine. and even managed to reuse most of the original hinges. In addition, he was able to clad the ends of the cupboards to make them look even smarter. He also put new fronts on the drawers.

Finally, he was able to modify one of the cupboards so that it has a back door. This may sound odd, but supporting our breakfast bar is a big corner cupboard… you know the sort – so big that things get pushed to the back, never to see the light of day again. Usually, of couse, these are in the corner of a room, but not so ours – it just had a wooden back on it. I asked Tim if he could remove the back and fit doors so that I could access it from either direction and, being the skilled carpenter that he is, he had no problem building a frame, modifying the shelf and fitting additional doors.

You can even see a door of the original cupboard Tim build for us a couple of years ago in the background of the last picture!

So, our kitchen has been rejuvenated. In the end, all the wood, two hinges and the screws were new and three of the existing hinges also had to be replaced. The wood was sourced from a local sawmill and the work was done by a local craftsman – now, that’s my sort of revamp. I feel that we’ve managed to make an enormous improvement whist making use of as many of the existing materials as possible. At some point I’ll have the work surfaces replaced, but they are ok for now and I’m still pondering suitable materials.

I am a very happy snail.

Leave a comment

19 Comments

  1. very nice 🙂

    Like

    Reply
  2. Brilliant! What workmanship. And you will have a beautiful kitchen for many years to come.

    Like

    Reply
  3. Magnificent!

    Like

    Reply
  4. Great job!

    Like

    Reply
  5. Ann Pole

     /  June 17, 2019

    Lovely. We do actually have new doors for our kitchen units – well new to us anyway. But they are in the loft, awaiting a revamp. Like yours, our carcasses are fine. Nice work. 🙂

    Like

    Reply
  6. How lovely to have a fresh but familiar kitchen! Were you able to leave all the cupboard contents in place while he made the new doors, so it was simply a matter of replacing them, rather than gutting everything and living in chaos for a while? And while I think of it, I can thoroughly recommend butcher block counter tops from our own experience, which are made from offcuts, can often be bought in useful lengths/widths to minimise waste, and are finished with tung oil instead of sealed with plastic like laminate tops. We’ve made a chopping block from the section that had to be cut out for the sink, and shelves from other offcuts.

    Like

    Reply
  7. What a lovely way to refurbish. The cabinet doors are wonderful and how lucky you are in your craftsman suggesting new doors!

    Like

    Reply
  8. They look great. I need a new worktop – can’t make up my mind – my daughter has stainless steel worktops made for her my a local guy, he moulded thm over wooden bases. She loves them – not cheap but they do look amazing and very practical. I’m wondering about that – any thoughts?

    Like

    Reply
  9. Fantastic! Great how you were able to salvage as much as possible.

    Like

    Reply
  10. What an excellent way to improve your kitchen in a low-tech low impact way. Lucky you to know a crafts person like Tim. It looks great.

    Like

    Reply
    • Years ago I worked with Tim’s dad, so I knew him when he was still at school… it’s wonderful to see what a skilled artisan he has turned into in the last 20 years.

      Like

      Reply
  11. Wow…It looks lovely and I am impressed at how you have revamped and reused where possible…:)

    Like

    Reply
  12. That’s an amazing transformation! A good carpenter/cabinet maker is worth SO much and Tim did a wonderful job!

    Like

    Reply
  13. Wow, that looks gorgeous!!

    Like

    Reply
  1. Tank(ard)s for the memory | writinghouse

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: