Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sideboard Makeover & The Great Entryway Project

I'm sure you've heard the expression "One thing leads to another" and probably the phrase "can of worms" too, right? Well, that's pretty much where I'm living right now. Project after project just keeps coming at me, and each one depends on the next to work out.

It all started here, in the little entryway area of our kitchen. See that hole where the fourth peg is supposed to be on the coat rack? Well, there used to be a peg there too, and when it snapped off, the madness was initiated.

I had been thinking about changing things up in this area for a while now, anyway, and needing a new coat rack seemed like a good excuse to get started.
I knew I was going to buy a new rack that I had admired at Target, and I new the existing shelves and hanging basket would have to come down. But while I was at it, I decided it was time to solve another little kitchen problem. Namely: mail and other junk piling up on the kitchen counter.

There's hardly ever a clear spot on the counter, and it made it difficult to prepare meals and basically just function in there. So I knew my new entryway also needed to become a mail station. That's when I turned to a piece of furniture I already owned: our sideboard.

A couple years ago, Chris and I picked up this cute little wooden sideboard at HomeGoods. The price was great and we thought the style was pretty cool too.

Well, fast forward to present day. Turns out, black furniture is not really my style. Nor are the ornate mirrors covering the drawer and cabinet fronts. But all those drawers and cabinets made this the ideal workhorse for a kitchen/entryway with too much junk. So I decided this bad boy was ready for a makeover that would help it look at home in my kitchen.
New hardware and fresh paint was definitely on the bill. I took my color inspiration from Young House Love and went with the gorgeous putty grey color in their 2nd house's bedroom. Benjamin Moore's Rockport Grey. 

But first, I took off all the hardware, pulled out the drawers, and gave the whole thing a light sanding. Then I found out I could actually sand off the black ornate paint on the mirrors, so when I painted over them, I would have a nice, even, smooth finish. I didn't need to do this with the drawer fronts because I was actually able to completely remove the mirrors and use a backer board as the new drawer fronts.
Turns out, removing those shelves in the kitchen was a little tricker than I anticipated. Turns out, the walls are actually painted wallpaper. And when we repainted them when we moved in, we must have been a smidge too eager to hang our shelves and put them up on wet-ish paint. So when I went to take down the shelf, the paint (and thus the wallpaper) came with it.

Cue sad trombone music. Waa waa waaaaa.
I did my best not to freak out. I just cut away the loose wallpaper and reminded myself that I was probably going to hang up a big mirror or artwork over this spot anyway.
That said, I didn't want it to look terrible in the meantime and if I ever uncovered this spot again, so I began the process of patching the wall. This basically just included sanding the edges, spackling, waiting for things to dry, sanding the spackle, spackling again, waiting, and sanding. And then of course paint. I still had leftover wall paint, so it was actually a fairly quick fix.
The end result was really not too bad. You can certainly see some bumps in person when you get up close, but it's passable as a normal wall in pictures and from far away. And again, once I had finished decorating the space, you wouldn't see much of the wall anyway.
In the picture above, you can see the pretty new hardware I put on the sideboard. Brushed nickel half-moon pulls for the drawers and brushed nickle handles for the cabinets.

Another little trick I figured out: the backer board on the drawers wasn't super thick, and the screws that the hardware came with were pretty long. I couldn't find just the right shorter versions of the original screws, so I added a 1" thick piece of wood along the inside of each drawer. So then the long screws go through the backer board and the piece of wood and secure tightly. It also helps to add a little strength to the backer board. Win win.

Oh, and Shadow was interested in cautious during this whole process. What a surprise.
After everything was nice and dry (I like to give things a couple days to really cure), I put up the new coat rack, put the drawers in place and began to accessorize the area. See the new mail bin? No more mail on the counters! Hurray!

I'm also hoping that having only a small corner for our shoes will help us contain them. As it was before, sometimes the shoes would be spread out all the way to the refrigerator, creating a lovely tripping hazard and doorstop when you're trying to access the milk. haha
Another organizational measure I added to the sideboard was a simple but awesome one. I screwed in a little hook to the side near the coats. This is now the only spot where I'm allowing myself to set my purse. It too kept winding up on the counter, eating up precious surface area. So far, I've been able to stick to keeping my purse here and it's made a big difference in decluttering the kitchen.
But, with every win there's usually some little fail. Promptly after I took care of the spackle, paint, and tools and cleaned up my work areas, I dropped the cordless drill on one of the drawers and made a huge ding in it. Doh! I have yet to go back and repair it...
So clearly, this pretty new area needs something hung on the wall over the sideboard. And I happen to have just the thing. But you'll have to wait for my next post to find out what it is. But I'll give you a hint: it's big and bright and it's not a mirror.

But at least I've made dent (no pun intended) in this whole "one thing leads to another" cycle. I recently moved a bookcase out of the guest room to make room for my new vanity, and now that the sideboard is in the kitchen, there's room in the dining room for the bookcase. But that also means I might like to paint the bookcase ... The cycle continues and the worms just keep coming out of this can.