Cherry Blossom Kitchen

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Project by Calmudgeon posted 04-04-2015 09:26 PM 2975 views 6 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was an extensive renovation, blowing out a 10’ wall that separated the kitchen and living room and replacing it with a massive island and breakfast bar. The results are quite transformative, in my humble opinion.

The original kitchen had a number of issues, and if it had seen a heyday, it was quite some time ago. The interior wall had no countertop plugins, and counter space was chopped up into small, awkward areas. The short returns on the cabinets on the outside wall only served to make the kitchen feel much smaller than it was and created dead corners, which were occupied by largely dysfunctional lazy susans. The original layout offered only two small banks of sticky drawers.

The bulkhead above the island serves to house the wiring for the lighting and the pot lights themselves, but it also hides the scar where the original wall was removed, thereby keeping costs down. Without it, the entire ceiling in the living room, dining room, hallway and rear entry would have had to be re-done.

The new kitchen cabinets are in custom-built cherry, unstained, with a clear lacquer finish. Doors, panels and drawer fronts are in shaker style. Cabinet hardware from Richelieu.

The project also involved installing a custom cherry railing at the back entry.

Detail – Backsplash and Under-cabinet Lighting

Detail – Drawer Storage for Place Settings

Detail – Pull-Out Garbage/Recycling Unit

Detail – Drawer Knife Storage keeps clutter off the countertop

Detail – Fridge end panel hides the side of the fridge and supports the full-depth cabinet above the fridge

Detail – Pantry pull-outs provide much more accessible storage.

Detail – Baking pan storage immediately adjacent to the stove

Detail – Charging station at one end of the island

Detail – 12” deep storage cabinets underneath the breakfast bar provide storage for less-frequently used items. Posts and corbels provide decorative support, and the spacer boxes behind them house the island counter plugs. Keeping the island at the same angle as the previous wall saved having to do any patching or replacement of the existing flooring in the living room and dining room.

Detail: Spice cabinet immediately adjacent to the range keep condiments and spices handy

Detail: The pantry is perched awkwardly on top of a cold air return vent. Putting a metal grate here just seemed too ugly, so I made a custom cherry grate to keep the look unified.

Detail: Full-depth cabinets above the fridge make items far more accessible. On one side a full-length (30”) pull-out provides access to items at the very back of the cabinet. The other side provides extra-deep storage for baking pans.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

13 comments so far

View Snowbeast's profile


97 posts in 1578 days

#1 posted 04-04-2015 11:12 PM

Very nice. I’m just getting started in building new kitchen cabinets myself. I may have to modify my plans to incorporate some of the things you’ve done here.

View Lazyman's profile


2708 posts in 1627 days

#2 posted 04-04-2015 11:48 PM

Beautiful job! How long did that take? Also, what did you use for the “insides” (drawers and cabinet cases)?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Calmudgeon's profile


195 posts in 1667 days

#3 posted 04-04-2015 11:57 PM

Lazyman, I began the kitchen in late June and installed it in October, but I did some of my own projects during the summer as well. The railing, an entertainment cabinet (not pictured) and the custom window trim took a chunk of November and December.

i was waiting on some other elements to fall into place before I could return to do the trim work this week, so it dragged on for a long time. The basic demo and installation of the kitchen itself took three weeks.

The cabinet carcasses and drawers are made of 5/8” melamine with a particle board core and hard rock maple finish. Not that I wouldn’t like to use something a bit more exotic, but it’s hard enough to get clients to bite on a quote as it is. The one exception is the cabinet with the glass doors. Since the interior of this cabinet is visible, the carcass is made of 5/8” cherry ply, pre-finished with lacquer before assembly.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2175 days

#4 posted 04-05-2015 01:19 AM

Looks awesome. Nothing beats a functional and beautiful kitchen. The kitchen is my second workshop, we spend a lot of time cooking. I look forward to the day when I can customize it to extent that you have. Congrats.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Calmudgeon's profile


195 posts in 1667 days

#5 posted 04-05-2015 01:24 AM

TheWoodenOyster, Thanks. This kitchen was large enough to include a lot of features, and the clients were open to almost all of my suggestions, which helps. The end result is a very open, bright, functional space.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View Bud_3's profile


870 posts in 1464 days

#6 posted 04-05-2015 08:36 AM

Great job and transformation!You manage with the space very well.

-- Personality and character of a man is like wood,must polish it to shine...

View jburklow's profile


96 posts in 2913 days

#7 posted 04-05-2015 11:30 AM

great job it looks wonderful. I have recently completed a challenging kitchen update myself and know the sense of accomplishment once to finally see all the hard work pay off!

-- Jeff Midlothian. Texas.

View kjwoodworking's profile


266 posts in 4127 days

#8 posted 04-05-2015 02:54 PM

Beautiful work!

Cabinets are awesome with the whole kitchen being a 100% professional job.

-- Kirk H. --

View gsimon's profile


1300 posts in 2353 days

#9 posted 04-05-2015 03:49 PM

excellent job – wow…what a make over and nice attention to detail

-- Greg Simon

View Calmudgeon's profile


195 posts in 1667 days

#10 posted 04-05-2015 05:18 PM

Thanks for the positive feedback, folks.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View Trevor Roth's profile

Trevor Roth

94 posts in 2346 days

#11 posted 04-05-2015 10:22 PM

Nice work

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 2622 days

#12 posted 04-06-2015 03:22 AM

Wow. Great job. Well done.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View StickleyStyle's profile


73 posts in 3475 days

#13 posted 04-06-2015 07:00 PM

Very well thought out. I will favorite for sure!

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