Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kitchen Bling

For some reason when I'm recovering from being sick, I get bursts of energy where I like to do repetitive tasks.  Often, that's baking or cooking, but that can be tetchy if I'm actually at risk of spreading contagion. Plus, this particular sick has pretty well put me off food, so I put the remaining 14 handles on my kitchen cabinet doors and drawers. Counting them up made me realize why I didn't get to it earlier - it's a lot of work!  Also, I'd been having a crisis of confidence in my measurements due to the rounded edges making it hard to find centers, particularly on the drawers. Until I wised up and realized I could measure in from each edge by the same amount and find center from those marks.  Duh.

It's been almost exactly 2 years and 1 month since the kitchen was "finished" enough for my cookie party, so how have I been getting the drawers open?

kitchen cabinet handles

There's a reason my favorite tape is currently electrical tape. This makeshift solution, viewed from above and slightly behind, has been in place and working pretty well for 25 months. The only time it gets sketchy is when my hands aren't perfectly dry because they slip off the tape. The slipperiness has been getting on my nerves, so I was feeling some motivation.

Well, that and it's not as pretty as the handles I bought. No comparison, really.
kitchen cabinet handles

Getting into the homestretch, you can see more mix of handles. The only tape handle that failed was on the bottom drawer of this stack because the drawer fronts were a little too close. Since I could open it from the bottom edge, I took the tape off.
kitchen cabinet handles, some tape, one new

Here it is, all finished up. Prior to today, there was only the handle on the vertical cabinet with glass. Now there are 6 more. And I made an effort to straighten and align the drawer fronts a little more. Done!
kitchen cabinet handles finished!

All but the corner cabinet handle are new here. I put all the upper ones horizontally - well it's obvious why on the horizontal cabinets - but on the one over the microwave, for some reason the embossed lines are rotated 90deg from the other doors relative to the hinges. I figured that spanning over that line would look weird, plus, it's in the same visual frame as the horizontal cabinets, so it works for me.
kitchen cabinet handles

After looking at the photos, I realized that the left side has the upper handles horizontal and the lowers vertical, and the right side of the kitchen is the opposite due to all the lower drawers.

Before showing the last of the handles, here's a reminder of what the right side of the kitchen looked like when I moved in. One 4 foot wide, 1 foot deep pantry. Seemed like a good idea, but wasn't. Also, that extra height wraparound on the opposite counter was bad too. As was the 25 year old white grout. My design works much, much better. (so there!)
kitchen cabinet handles

And the best part of the upgrade - the bumped out pantry with counter space, a couple of actual silverware drawers, and the manhandles. And now (but for the toe kick) it's finished! And I'll be able to get at my silverware (technically flatware, yes) with damp hands.
kitchen cabinet handles

Design wise, I really like how the square cutout detailing of the Atlas Homewares Craftsman handles in brushed nickel mirror the gridded pattern in the IKEA Adel glass cabinet doors. The mountain climber handles are manhandles from Soko. Not cheap, but I use 'em every day and love 'em every day. Thanks also to the local kitchen store who had the display of manhandles that first caught my eye, and was able to lead me to the "boring" handles for the rest of the drawers. Now I can use my beautiful "boring" handles every day too, especially easily when my hands are not perfectly dry.

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