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The kitchen and living room were both small and poorly designed. There wasn't enough storage space, which caused the existing counters and tabletops to be cluttered and messy. Furniture was too big and lumpy, adding to the general chaos. Inexpensive doesn't have to be boring, or disheartening, but it proved to be in this jumbled space.
The decision was made to gut the rooms and start from scratch. This doesn't have to break the bank if you use imaginative materials and design solutions. One of the best ways to unify adjoining spaces is with a continuous floor, which we did, choosing the rich dark tones of Wengewood laminate flooring throughout the living room and kitchen.
We reconfigured the kitchen to hold a magnificent bar-height table that can now accommodate Judy's large family. The passageway between the kitchen and living room was widened, and a new wall of cabinets not only extends the storage potential, but also makes a brilliant focal point decorated with a one-of-a-kind wallpaper mural.
All the new cabinets were custom built with melamine (plastic laminate) boards. To infuse some luscious colour, we applied turquoise Plexiglas to the uppers and bronze metal veneer to the bottom cabinets. The contemporary stainless steel backsplash tiles complement the appliances and the sleek new look of the kitchen.
To re-organize the living room, another wall of storage was built, but this one is an open jigsaw design made by the Facelift team (open the pop-up in the after photo below for instructions). Slimmer sofas, a streamlined coffee table and a milti-layered side table are comfortable and contemporary.
The clever mix of materials, metals and colours produces an inviting home ambiance that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Click on the small photographs on the right to view each of the different angles of the room.
To view pop-up info about Judy's Kitchen, move your mouse over and around the image below.
Click here to view all the photographs and pop-up info.
Plain laminate cabinets were updated with unconventional materials: turquoise Plexiglas has been attached to the upper cabinets with washers and screws, bronze metallic laminate is glued to the lower doors. (please see resources) The edges of the doors were shaped and smoothed out with a router and file.
We strung up a series of wall mounts and wires, the type of cable system sold for hanging curtains found at IKEA, and secured photographs, a calendar and notes with clothes pegs. There's a magnetic metal strip and s-hooks for keys, and the dog leash.
Extra storage was a necessity, so we built an entire wall of inexpensive laminate cabinets. The doors are beautifully camouflaged with a huge mural, which is a digital image blown up and transferred to vinyl wallpaper. (see resources) The laminate requires two coats of good quality primer before the wallpaper is applied with vinyl glue.
We replaced the common stair railing with a series of chrome rods, floor to ceiling, which blend with the modern kitchen. And why not apply durable floor tiles to a wall that takes a beating? (please see resources)
Table For Ten
This extended table measures 24" x 106" and is the hub of family get-togethers. Built at bar height, the sturdy plywood frame is supported by six legs that are newel posts turned upside down.
The table is topped with a solid surface acrylic material that is cut to size by the distributor. The product is non-porous and more stain-resistant than real stone. The table and moulded sink are Cameo White and the countertop is Lava Granite. (Please see resources).
This layered, 50's-style end table is another great space saving solution. Each tabletop is cut from 2" x 12" wood planks; join two planks together with glue and biscuits so that you can cut out shapes with a diameter of approximately 16" to 18". The centre support consists of a 5/8" threaded rod and chrome tubing. We stained the table to match the jigsaw shelves.
Pre-finished wood laminate planks run throughout the living room and kitchen. The warm wood tone (Wengewood) is a perfect complement to the modern design of the open shelves and furniture. The slim-line sofas and table save space, and the wall of curtains contributes to the airy effect of unbroken lines.
If you have basic carpentry skills, this unit is easy to build. There are four different pieces in the set, all made from 1" x 12" pine: rectangles 12" x 36", T-shapes 36" high 12" wide, L-shapes, 36" high 24" across, and squares 24" x 24". Calculate the area you want to cover and how many pieces you will need. This is best done on graph paper. Cut out and build each shape. Use carpenter's glue and a brad nailer to assemble the pieces. Sand, and finish the wood using Ipswitch Pine stain (see resources) and acrylic varnish for sheen and protection. Pile the shapes up against the wall following your design; it's like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Once assembled, screw together for stability and attach to the wall with L-brackets.