Kitchen and Dining/Living Room Furnishings

With the flooring finished it was time to get started finishing the interior. Several months ago we found a giant apron style hammered copper kitchen sink we really liked so we decided go with copper or antique bronze for all our metal finishes. 

We got cabinet quotes from Home Depot and several on line suppliers. We ultimately went with Prime Cabinetry. I liked that their cabinets were made from plywood rather than press board. $700 less expensive than Home Depot, a 10 day lead time and free shipping didn’t hurt either.

The cabinets came flat packed on a pallet. Jean and I spent a whole weekend assembling them. The instructions included in the boxes were pretty generic and looked like they had been translated with Google translate but the company’s website had some good instructional videos.

I had some difficulty finding studs to attach the upper cabinets to. The stud finder tool didn’t know quite what to do with a light straw clay wall. With a little exploratory drilling I was able to mount the cabinets. In retrospect I would have placed the horizontal furring framing members more strategically to provide more mounting points for the cabinets.

I made the counter top with some surplus tongue and groove boards from the roof build. I’ll go into more detail about how I attached the the tongue and groove boards together in another post. After I installed the counter I applied several coats of tung oil. I’ll plan to reapply every couple of months and see how it holds up.

For the living/dining area I built a banquette. I’d originally planned to do an L-shaped bench around a pedestal table. After doing some chair and seat
design research I made a few modifications to the bench plan:

  1. Seat sloped at 5°. A slightly sloped seat is more comfortable and prevents you from sliding forward.
  2. Back rest sloped at 5°. Once again, more comfortable than a straight back rest.
  3. A recessed seat base(heel kick). Provides more comfortable feet placement while sitting and the banquette has a smaller footprint making the whole space appear larger.
I didn’t build any lumber support into the back rest. We’ll use pillows for that. And there is of course storage underneath the seat.

Here is the time lapse:

And here are some stills with more details:
Staging area for our flat packed cabinets

Jean attempting to decipher the cryptic instructions before we found videos on the distributors website

It’s nice to see all the base cabinets laid out but it’s a lot easier to install the upper cabinets if they’re not in the way

Clamps weren’t on the required tools list but I found them useful

Exploratory drilling for studs

I used 6″ lag screws to attach the cabinets to a structural beam

The temporary ledger board made hanging the upper cabinets fairly easy to do solo

Notching out the counter top for the apron portion of the apron style sink

Slightly easier to do than if this were granite

Drilling out the hole for the faucet

Here’s the kitchen in working state.

Here’s a first look at our shallow open pantry. I’ve since modified the shelf spacing and done some significant reorganizing. I’ll make a separate post about the pantry. 

Most of the time lapse of construction of a section of the banquette was obscured by the camera strap 

Here’s the frame work of the love seat and a section of banquette before putting on the plywood.

Here’s the banquette with cladding. Along the base I used tongue and groove pine board rather than plywood.

The banquette covered three outlets so I extended them out to the banquette base

Here’s the finished project with trim. The banquette is also the first step for the retractable stairs going up to the loft. More on the stairs in a later post.

All the seats also have hinged openings to access storage underneath

Banquette with the stairs up

Jean making one of our first meals in the new kitchen

The kitchen island serves as another work surface, my standing desk and possibly a space for a slide out freezer. More on that in a later post.