Over the past year two home improvement projects have been on my mind quite a bit. I figured if I did these two things I'd be able to create some much desired counter space and improve the efficiency of my kitchen. I love my little kitchen and if there was one thing I'd improve, if I could, it would be to add just a little bit more counter space. Well, at long last, I did just that.
First up was to get that microwave up off the counter and free up that space that I desired so much. As it turned out the cupboard above the nuker was the perfect width to house that puppy, but I really didn't want to sacrifice my storage space. So I kept on thinking...
The cabinet over the range was almost useless as it housed the vent for the range hood and other than a few cookbooks and a few glass bottles I didn't really use it for much. But I put on my thinking cap and came up with a plan. With much thought I figured out that if I replace the range hood with a ductless one I could remove the venting and open up that cabinet. It would take a little work, but it would totally be doable.
I adjusted the shelves above
After emptying out the cupboard I got started by making sure the microwave would truly fit and it did.
|A hole in the back to feed the cord through|
Then I used a spade bit to drill a hole in the bottom of the cupboard to fish the plug through to the outlet.
|I had this wood piece in my scrap bin. Perfect width too!|
I moved the shelves and added a piece across the bottom shelf to finish it off above the microwave.
|Cut to size with a new trim piece and re-hung|
Then I did the most nerve racking part of the project which was to cut down the cupboard door to fit above the microwave. I measured it once, twice and then a third time (said a little prayer) before I cut it with my circular saw and then sanded the newly cut edge. I had to redo the trim pieces along the edges when I was done. Luckily I had an extra piece of the trim I needed in my scrap bin to finish it off. I also had to move the hinges and then I hung the door back up.
|This wasn't even connected|
After the microwave project was done I removed the box that covered the vent and discovered the stupid thing wasn't even connected and as a result didn't vent a darn thing.
|So freaking gross inside! Uck!|
Instead it just filled up the inside of that box and the cupboard with grease and filth. So disgusting. But I got it all cleaned up and tossed out that nasty vent pipe. Then I removed the range hood and cleaned up the 20 years of accumulated grease and grime from behind it and underneath the cupboard. The range hood went right into the trash.
I used luan I had in the garage (purchased last summer for some Laverne projects) and cut two pieces to reline the top and bottom of the cupboard.
|Bottom piece in place|
|A piece of insulation - just sounded like a good idea|
|Scrap of luan to cover from underneath|
I used some of that pink foam a coworker had given me last summer to fill in the hole under the cupboard, between the range hood and the cupboard, and a scrap of luan to cover the hole from underneath. Then it was off to Lowes with my $50 gift card to pick up a shiny new range hood to replace the 20 year old one I had tossed out.
|All wired up and ready to install|
|Must've done it right. Everything works!|
When I got home I installed the new range hood and I have to tell you - I LOVE IT! Not only is it clean and shiny and new. But the light is much brighter over the stove and the fan is much, much quieter. BIG improvement.
|All nice and clean and new inside|
|Way more storage space!|
After cleaning up the mess and putting away all the tools I just stood back and admired my work. Two projects completed in one day and did I mention neither one cost me a dime?
I used all stuff I already had on hand, except for the new range hood of course. The gift card I earned by participating in a wellness program at work last summer. Whoo hoooooo. Now that is what I call some fine and thrifty home improvement projects.
|LOVE it! It's the little things that bring me so much joy|
Next up.... more kitchen projects and I'm super excited about them too! I can't wait to get started.