The kitchen cabinets lived in the Barn for over a month, all wrapped up. Last week, once the kitchen itself got painted and floored, we wasted no time moving in all the pieces for assembly. We’re going for a contemporary take on a classic farmhouse style, using a muted green finish on the perimeter counterpointed by a dark-stained “Java” island. I was very excited when we removed the paper wrappings and saw the cabinetry in all its glory.
I trembled a little, too. Our kitchen arrived in 84 packages, some of which contained multiple parts. The delivery came with a key plan that we must refer to constantly as it cross-references the part number codes on each package. It’s far from idiot-proof, and it took us some sleuthing to determine which were the most dependable codes to follow. Fortunately, the cabinets are very well made and their dimensions – perfectly square and consistent with the plan – helped us piece together the puzzle.
We started at the one location we knew with absolute certainty: the refrigerator. Back when we built interior walls, we boxed out a recess for the fridge so its door would be flush with the cabinets, and now we installed the trim pieces that flank this opening. From there we worked leftward and rightward, sometimes rapidly, sometimes not so much.
Some of the trickier aspects: I spent half a day installing the stove hood along the east wall. The stainless steel hood itself wasn’t much trouble, but the assembly also comprises some very stubborn ductwork (connecting to an outside vent we stubbed out long ago) and a decorative cover that’s a lot flimsier than it looks. The corner sink cabinet and the trim around it fit surprisingly easily, but then we had to pull them out to cut holes in the right places for plumbing and ventilation. When we got to the west wall hutch, we all built it wrong the first time, realizing too late that if we placed these cabinets flush to the back wall they wouldn’t line up with the arch in front. After some thought, Terry cut and installed a few 2x4s against the back wall to space everything an additional 1½ inches out, using the provided edge trim pieces to cover unsightly gaps.
Colin considered electrical requirements ahead of time and stubbed out lots of cables. With the cabinets installed he could finish the job. One cabinet received a cutout so an outlet could poke through. The hutch gets a power strip hidden behind the bottom of the wall cabinet. Strategic wall outlets elsewhere ensure the owners can plug in any appliance on any counter in the whole kitchen. It’s very cool to see months of foresight and meticulous measurements paying off at last.