Tag Archives: Home and Garden

Removing Kitchen Soffits

Removing Cabinet Molding

Our kitchen is small, so anywhere we can wrangle up a little extra space is certainly welcomed.  The bulky soffits that were above our wall cabinets were definitely taking up valuable space. We knew that we wanted to remove them to help open up and make our kitchen feel larger. It was especially important to remove these on the wall behind the sink since we were planning on placing open shelving and backsplash tile from the counter to the ceiling.

After opening up the end of the long soffit above our microwave, we knew that it wasn’t hiding any duct work, electrical or plumbing. We already knew that the soffits above the sink were only decorative, since they were so small.

We used the following tools for this project- gloves, hammer, exacto knife, screw driver, pry bar and vacuum.

First, we removed the cabinets on the wall with the sink.

Removing Kitchen Soffits

We started by hammering into the center of the soffit. This created a hole so we could see into the empty soffit. Bonus points if you vacuum up the insulation and mouse droppings now instead of waiting until they fall out of the soffit!

Removing Kitchen Soffits


Removing Kitchen Soffits

Once you open up the wall, you can see exactly where the framing is. We used the hammer to break up the rest of the drywall on the soffit, then we pulled the remaining drywall off by hand or with a small pry bar. We used the exacto knife to score the edges where the soffit met the actual wall. This helped to give us a clean edge when we removed all the drywall.

Removing Kitchen Soffits

Once all the drywall was removed from the soffit, we just used a screwdriver to dismantle the framing.

Removing Kitchen Soffits Removing Kitchen Soffits

And that was that! We left ourselves with some gross looking holes in the wall, but it immediately opened up the room and really helped us get that extra space we so desperately needed.

Removing Kitchen Soffits Removing Kitchen Soffits


Removing a Kitchen Island

We knew the next step for our kitchen remodel was going to be demoing the island. It was taking up a lot of space, and would open the area up to give us more room for the renovations.  So that’s how we went from this:

kitchen dining view


To this:

Removing Kitchen Island

We started by pulling off the laminate trim that was on one edge of the countertop. I used an exacto blade to cut the caulk line on the top and then a small pry bar to pull off the trim.

Removing a Kitchen Island

Then we unscrewed the laminate countertop from the island which was supported underneath by plywood.

Demoing Kitchen Island

This plywood was then screwed in from the top with a couple of screws. I’m so going to use this plywood for some of the cabinets we need to build on the island. Free wood for the win!

Removing a Kitchen Island

Once the laminate countertop and the plywood were removed, we were left with this sight:

Removing Kitchen Island

Next we removed the 1×6″ wood trim that was on either side of the top of the island.

Island No Side Top Trim

At this point we realized this wasn’t a true island but what used to be a wall. At some point, previous owners knocked down part of this wall to a half wall and then added a countertop to it. Pretty smart for a quick and dirty fix. I think the kitchen feels small now, I can’t image what it was like with a wall here.  Had to feel almost prison-like!

 We then removed all the molding around either side of the island. We used a utility knife and then a small pry bar to pull off the molding. At this time we also took off the paneling, which was pretty easy to do with a pry bar or hammer. Also this is the paint color that was cover 90% of the walls in our house when we first bought. I call it Peaches & Crap.

Demoing Kitchen Island

This left us with a whole bunch of drywall. We pulled up the 2×4 that was running along the top of the island, and after that it was pretty easy to pull the drywall off and just cut it down  so we could easily throw it away.

 Removing Kitchen IslandRemoving Kitchen Island

Then it was just a matter of taking apart the 2×4’s that supported the wall.

Removing Kitchen Island

The hardest part of the entire process was removing the last 2×4 that ran horizontally across the floor. It was nailed every 8 inches or so which made it pretty tough to rip up.

Demoing Kitchen Island

We were left with such a great view. A large space in the wall and a spot in the floor that would need patching.

Of course Penny didn’t know what to think. She was very confused.  It took her a good day to understand that she could walk across the spot that once housed our island.  I thought vizslas were supposed to be smart.  Good thing she’s got the looks!

Removing Kitchen Island

Curtain Call! How to Make Curtains!


Last we left off in the Ladies’ Lounge, the windows were looking a little too Panda friendly. Bamboo Galore!  I wanted to add curtains to help soften the lines of the bamboo and break it up so it wasn’t one big wall of brown. The only issue is that there are 7 windows in this room, so I knew buying curtains was going to be a pretty big expense. Especially when I decided I liked the look of Pottery Barn’s Emery Linen Drape. 7 panels of those would have cost $973! If I had chosen to go down the store bought path, I would have also had an issue with the width of the panels.  The windows are only 30” wide, and I didn’t want them to be overwhelmed by 2 -54” panels framing out each window.

I went to Joann’s and took a look at all the linens they had and found something that is very similar-Sew Classics Linen. I waited until the linens went on sale, and then bought the 19 yards needed to make the 14 panels that would be used for these 7 windows!

Supplies & Tools Needed

Total Cost

  • 19 yards of Sew Classic Linen in Papyrus- normally about $250, I got 50% off- $123.50
  • 3 packs of curtain hooks- $20.91

Total Cost: $144.41

How To: 

1. My windows are approximately 30” wide by 63” tall. Since I wanted each panel to just graze the floor, I needed them to be 90″ tall. This can completely change based on your own window size, so be aware. I first cut the 19 yards down to 7 lengths based on the height that I needed.

2. Since I knew that my curtains were going to be more decorative rather than actually pulled close, I specifically bought the amount that I did so that I could get two panels out of the width of one bolt. My fabric was 54” wide which worked perfectly because I didn’t want the wall of windows to be overwhelmed with so much fabric. You might want to only use the width of the fabric for one panel instead of two. At this point, I cut my fabric down the fold line in half.


3. In order to hem the sides, I folded it over about a quarter of an inch and ironed. Then I folded it over again about ¾”. All of this was done by eye, I did not measure or mark off. After everything was ironed, I pinned it.


4. I hemmed the top as well. I folded it over a quarter of an inch and ironed. Then I folded it over again 2” and ironed and pinned.IMG_0232IMG_0234IMG_0235

5. Sew! This is the part that seriously took forever! With 14 panels that means there were 56 sides that needed to be sewn!

IMG_02476. Then I used curtain ring hooks to place the curtains on the rods to see where they needed to be hemmed to. I used these Bronze Curtain Clip Rings that I found at Lowes. Seriously these are the cheapest that I could find anywhere, and they were half the price of the competition! Awesome when you need it for 7 windows! I pinned up the bottom of the curtain so it was flush with the floor where it touched the quarter round.


7. After pinning the bottoms of the curtains, I ironed along that fold to create a crisp crease. Then unfolded it, and cut the bottom off at 5” from the folded line. Then using a tape measure, I folded 1” in. This created a hem stitch at 4” from the bottom. I then ironed this fold as well.



8. Next I sewed the bottom of the 14 curtains along with the edges and top of the curtain hem.


 9. Ironing….lots and lots of ironing. I did this in front of the tv so it wasn’t so boring.

10. Hang and enjoy! Or let your dog enjoy!

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Installing Bamboo Blinds

I’ve been unhappy with the current window treatments in the Ladies’ Lounge (also know as  our sunroom) for quite some time. When we’d originally moved in, I bought cheap curtains from Target and just threw them up so that it would block some of the light and give some privacy. They were too short, pulled too tight across the window, and had gotten very dirty over the last couple of years. Not to mention Chris complained about them every chance he got!

sunroom old

I originally was looking at doing white blinds with linen curtains, but was thinking that it might look too washed out. While on Pinterest, I found some great inspiration pics. I wanted something that would coordinate back to the wood tones in the room and add some much needed texture. blinds






I found these blinds from Home Depot that seemed to the be the best price for nicer quality bamboo blinds. They are called the Providence and prices ranged from $30 to $40. Each of our windows were slightly different widths, so we had to buy them ranging from 27″ to 24″. One of the many “joys” of owning an old house!

Installation could not have been easier. Each blind came with two brackets that could either be mounted to the window frame from the top or from the side. Since our windows had really inconsistent widths, I mounted from the top of the inside of the window frame.

photo 1 copyThe bracket slipped into the top of the blinds like this.

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I first held up the bamboo blinds to see where I should mark the holes for the bracket.

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Then I drilled in 2 holes for the screws. The instructions recommend mounting with 4 screws, however our windows molding was really shallow and there wasn’t enough room for all of them. The blinds are actually very light weight so this shouldn’t be a problem.

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After drilling the holes, I screwed the brackets into the molding.

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This is what it looks like we both brackets up.

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Then you just slip the bolt thru the gap in the top of the bamboo blinds and then tighten the wingnut.

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Flip the top of the bamboo blinds down and you’re good to go!

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Only issue is that the drawstrings hung down into Penny territory. Notice how there is already one wooden ball at the end of the string missing….Penny!!!!photo 2

Guilty as charged. Sitting in timeout.

photo 1

The blinds came with cleats that you can use to hold up the strings. Only problem is that they were an ugly brass color. Nothing a little ORB spray paint couldn’t fix! I placed the screws in their hole and pushed it lightly into some extra cardboard I had laying around.

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Then I did 3 very light coats, I separated each coat by about 15 minutes.

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And there it is in all is oil rubbed bronze glory!

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Finally the finished product!DSCN2577Next up…. adding curtains!