I spent my holiday break making some kitchen progress, and it finally feels like things are happening. First things first, I installed our fancy new ecobee3 smart thermostat. I know it does some cool stuff, but frankly I picked it because I thought it looked sleeker than it’s competitor The Nest. Yes, I had to bust open my furnace wiring and do some re-wiring. Yes, it was a little scary. Truth be told it wasn’t rocket science and now my house is smart as f. This goes on the list of another DIY anyone can do, just follow the instructions and don’t get freaked out. If you need some more help I found this video to be extremely useful.

The rest of my break was spent working on our very ugly 70’s cabinets. I am trying to be budget friendly, so I pretty much always take the cheap route. That means instead of replacing, I gave them a facelift. This is still in the process of being finished, but you can start to see the end vision here and it looks pretty good. The final look will include white subway tile backsplash, and some butcher block counters. It’s no secret that I am having a love affair with brass right now (sorry Curtis), so expect to see some of those elements dusted throughout. Check out the images below for my inspiration.


So without further without further adieu the process:IMG_2601
First we removed the old oak doors and all the hardware. They were covered in 20+ years of tasty greasy grime, so they got a good scrub with some vinegar/water. The upside of cleaning with vinegar: your house smells like a pickle. Yay!

I have read online that you do not need to sand cabinets and can use a variety of primers to avoid this step. To be frank, I am sick and tired of working on my house… and the thought of having to do ANYTHING over again sounds like my own personal version of hell. Long story short, I sanded just to be safe.

I think shaker style cabinets look classy, so I had the bright idea to trim out my doors. Home Depot has become my new enemy as I spend a few days I week combing it’s isles for some absurd item. I wasn’t able to find the lumber I was hoping for, so I went with some door trim. We chopped it up, then slapped them on with glue and a nail gun.

The weather has been pretty frigid in Portland, so my parents were kind enough to lend me their garage for hole filling and priming (note: Oil primer smells like chemical death, use in a well ventilated space or get real high… up to you) ((But seriously, don’t do that, it’s bad for your brain stupid)).

The nice people at Miller Paint Co. recommended cover stain primer and tinted it to a light gray since the next coat will be dark (like my black soul after working on this ugly house for so freaking long).

The cabinet doors needed a few days to cure so I went home and took on the massive undertaking of painting cabinet interiors and frames. Thanks friend Molly for joining me while drinking beer and listening to my tales of Justin Bieber love dreams. I am not even afraid to say it… his new album turned me into a belieber. I’ve got no shame in my game.

It is finally starting to look like a new space. I love the dark and contrasting brass. Dreamy. Getting closer guys… getting a little closer.




6 Comments on Midnight Ink and my fancy new ecobee3

  1. Caty
    January 5, 2016 at 6:16 am (4 years ago)

    Yes it is looking amazing! I love the inspiration kitchens. You are so bold and brave! It’s going to look killer and I can totally help with subway tile, I even have a few extra boxes ; )

    • kortni
      January 5, 2016 at 8:17 pm (4 years ago)

      I would love help!!! My dad loves to tile and wants to as well… we could knock it out in one day!

  2. Natalie @ In Natalie's Shoes
    January 5, 2016 at 6:41 am (4 years ago)

    Holy hell. You are a miracle worker! You do realize that this is now proof you are capable of helping me design and implement my someday dream home, right?

    • kortni
      January 5, 2016 at 8:17 pm (4 years ago)

      It’s true, I am always here to help 🙂

  3. Michelle
    January 8, 2016 at 5:50 am (4 years ago)

    Holy shit, Kortni. I just went back and read your whole blog. I am SO IMPRESSED! You are a powerhouse remodeler. Someday in your future I will be your “having babies” support coach if you will be my “home beautification” support coach. Damn, girl.

  4. Sandy
    January 9, 2016 at 11:55 pm (4 years ago)

    Lookin’ good, zinntini! Impressive. Most impressive.


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