How to Turn Ordinary Cabinets Into Cottage Classics

Our new kitchen cabinets started out as plain looking boxes and with the installation of under cabinet accent rails, cabinet corbels, crown moulding and some cabinet feet we've transformed them into cottage looking classics that suit our old house. Here's how we made the corbels:
1. We started by making a template out of cardboard. We looked all over the internet for ideas and after several attempts (we had so many masking taped to the wall), we settled on our design.
2. We traced our template onto 1X10 pine board and carefully cut with a jigsaw.
3. Then we sanded like crazy, primed and painted them the same colour as the cabinets (our Ikea Stat cabinets are Benjamin Moore Simply White).
4. We installed strapping (they are strips of wood used when building interior ceilings or walls to temporary hold up the insulation or wiring) directly under the cabinet. There are various lengths and widths available, we used 1/4 X 11/2" wood. They corners were cut on an angle and made to fit. They could also be bigger if you wanted to have task lighting underneath, we don't.
5. Because our trim and corbels are for looks only - they do not support the cabinets - they are attached to the wall with Sikaflex. It's a waterproof cauking type joint sealant and adhesive perfect for this application and it's easy to paint over too.
6. We did the same thing for the cabinet feet. We made a design we were happy about and prepared them the same way. They are screwed into the toe kick board and do not support the cabinets - for looks only!
We added some other cottage elements to kitchen too:
- The tops of the cabinets have regular crown moulding on them. We measured the cabinets first and made them so that they would be separate from the cabinet and they can be removed for cleaning etc.
- Our floor is pine 1X6 wood. We used a marine grade sealant for between the boards and we painted it with porch paint. Sometimes I seal it but I didn't with this colour as I might repaint it soon...
- The stools are plain ole' garage stools from the hardware store and I had slip-covers made for them - they are easy to remove & clean.
- The farmhouse sink, butcher block counters and cabinets are from Ikea. We put all that together ourselves!
- The backsplash is just chalkboard paint right on the wall with a little piece of trim nailed & glued on and then painted the same.
- This isn't a cottage element but my Island floor cabinets are the perfect height for an Elementary school kid to hang his stuff. It's right by the back door too - perfect!
- The curtains are some fabric I found and since I don't sew, they are glued together - nobody can tell they are home-made and I don't care, they match the floor colour (for now).
- When we installed the new windows we framed them with some home-made brackets and a narrow upper shelf and then painted it trim colour.
Thanks for reading ~ Heather

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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  • Linda Linda on Mar 04, 2016
    Any ideas for making a sofa table?


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  • Meme2013 Meme2013 on Oct 23, 2016
    Love it!!

  • CKimball CKimball on Oct 24, 2016
    I read the entire post and wow! These ideas are great. I like the simple way you've done this. Adhesive for the corbels is a superb idea. Thanks for sharing.