One More Kitchen Thing, One More Homies Thing.

I know I posted yesterday all about the kitchen, but I totally spaced (or strategically spaced? We’ll never know, will we!) that there was actually one more notable thing I’ve done in there that I’m super pleased about. It’s been slow-goings around here what with school/midterms/dog/remembering to sleep and shower, so I’ll take what I can get in the way of small victories.

I’ve gone back and forth a lot about what to do with the five original cabinets in the kitchen (six if you count the corner base cabinet, which is really just a face-frame tacked onto the two surrounding cabinets). I could paint them, but then I’d be left with mis-matched white finishes (even if I got the IKEA doors color-matched, they’d still never look quite right), not to mention the horrible routed bevel “detail” on the doors. I don’t know who designs these cabinets, but I would vote in favor of having them sent to an island populated only by their own monstrous design creations. We’ll see who’s laughing then.

Of course, replacing the cabinets is kind-of-sort-of an option, but that can get pricey really fast.

In search of some kind of happy medium solution, I’ve spent a lot of time staring at these cabinets. Pondering. Becoming acquainted. Taking measurements. Stroking them softly such that they might surrender and decide to play nice. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that the original base cabinet to the left of the stove was essentially the exact same dimensions as the one I added to the right side of the stove. And that got me thinking: what if I just took off the doors and the drawer front, and replaced them with matching IKEA doors/drawer front?

Having nothing to lose and everything to gain, I carted my ass to IKEA and got 2 doors, a new drawer front, and four hinges. Which is really half the battle.

Of course, the face frame of the cabinets is very different than the IKEA ones, meaning that I had to cut away sections on the sides to accommodate the hidden IKEA hinges. I just measured where they had to go and used a regular handsaw to make two horizontal cuts, and a sharp chisel to bang out the vertical cut. BAM. DONE. SEXY DOORS HERE WE GO.

Of course, the cabinet was still a little wide, so I mounted the hinges on 1/4″-ish pieces of shims, and just used longer screws to secure them to the cabinets.

The drawer was super easy, I just unscrewed the existing front and put the new one on, very carefully making sure that it was centered.

PROGRESS! I still need to affix matching hardware, and I’ll take everything off at some point just to paint the face-frame white. It’s so hidden anyway, but it’ll make a difference in making it look nice and polished.

Check it out! They match! Fuck yes!

Of course, that’s one out of six. But it was super easy and shouldn’t be too hard to replicate with a couple of the other cabinets—and combined with a couple of new cabinets, we should be able to get everything matching without totally ripping out and scrapping everything.

NOW, back to business. I know I’ve been relentless about the Apartment Therapy Homie Awards, but I swear, I’m done after this. Because voting ends TODAY AT 3 PM.

That’s two hours from now. I never thought I could actually win this thing (on the heels of giants like Remodelista, Design*Sponge, and Young House Love), but I’m only about 300 votes behind the lead and…LET’S GO PEOPLE. If you voted in the nominations round last week, but not in the finals, go vote again!

So Let’s pull an upset. Let’s make home design blog history. Together. GO VOTE YOUR SEXY LITTLE HEART OUT.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 3.9.12

    So I voted a few days ago.
    Should the voting mechanism be RESET for today? Because it’s not for me. It doesn’t allow me to vote today. Is this some sort of 2000 Presidential Election shenanigans?!?!

    • 3.9.12
      Daniel said:

      If you already voted in the FINALS round, then you can only vote once. If you only voted in the NOMINATIONS round last week, then your vote doesn’t carry over and you have to vote again! (sounds like you already voted in finals though, thanks Jason!)

  2. 3.9.12

    My mother did the same thing with her kitchen island doors! She replaced all of the perimeter uppers/lowers with IKEA cabs/doors, but she wanted to keep the original island’s construction/functionality. It came out looking great. Just like this.

  3. 3.9.12
    Emily said:

    OK, you won me over. I went so far as to finally bite the bullet and register just so I could vote for your strange and lovely mix of DIY confidence/snarkiness/cute dogginess/youth/vim/vigor. Good luck!

  4. 3.9.12
    Martha said:

    Um, WHY is the other blog leading in the Homies? It’s fine and all, but given the competition… Anyhow, love your faux-kea cabinets!

  5. 3.9.12
    hannah said:

    man alive i love you place. it’s truly amazing and i am beyond envious.

  6. 3.9.12
    B said:

    I can tell you why the other blog is leading: Katie is Young House Love’s Sherry’s best friend, hence her oddly huge following, and her nomination got a mention on YHL a day or two ago. It’s a nice little blog but it definitely does NOT belong in the same category as the others. It has a heavy emphasis on family, domesticity, and photography, as opposed to actual design.

  7. 3.9.12
    Alison said:

    You’re amazing. Fer realz, I’m totally amazed by your resourcefulness.

    Only 279 more votes to go – it’s SO possible!!!

  8. 3.9.12
    Logan said:

    Hey just so ya know, if you do more of those doors, they sell a face frame adapter plate for those Blum hinges.

  9. 3.9.12
    Nat said:

    it is funny and sad how ikea is the answer to so many of our home reno projects…

  10. 3.9.12
    Emma said:

    I hate ApartmentTherapy but love you and since you consistently refrain from falling into the trendy “couple this, couple that” phraseology (seriously, is it so hard to say/write “of”? A couple boxes – NONONONONO) I will go vote for you right now.

    But if you stop using “of” I will secretly jinx your next paint job.

    • 3.9.12

      Eww, that’s a thing? Dropping the word “of”? Oh dear.

    • 3.9.12
      Emma said:

      Yes! It’s everywhere. It drives me absolutely crazy. Yours, Daniel’s and Kit’s are the only blogs of my daily reads that refreshingly do not make use of this monstrosity. Thank you for that!

    • 3.9.12

      I promise never to do that.

  11. 3.9.12
    Erin said:

    Looks fresh!

  12. 3.9.12
    Monica said:

    I am so glad they got the voting debacle straightened out. I had just told my husband to sign up and vote and then it went on the fritz. Anyway, you so have our votes and you so have to win this!

    Your kitchen looks fabulous! Love the new prints (and the rest of the shop) that Max picked out. I think he has redeemed himself for the pumpkin decor.

  13. 3.9.12

    Already voted… hope the 300 votes come through! Love having a guy’s opinion in this area, plus, everything you do flat-out rocks!

  14. 3.9.12

    You HAVE to win this thing. It will be shameful to the world of decent taste if you don’t.

  15. 3.9.12
    runswithscissors said:

    Thank you for not making this a post about babies. Unless they are being repurposed or painted I’m weary of blogged bower babies.
    A blogged dog however is more than welcome. Especially one that works with the color scheme.
    Your kitchen cabinet solution is fantastic, as is the window covering and the cute dining area & art from previous post.
    Going back now to read the how-to on your old apartments opaque corn-starchy window treatments (darn nosy neighbors) and also paint something black before the day is over.Thanks for the many inspirations.

    • 3.9.12
      jeannette said:

      oohhh grrl. no flame wars here but….ohhh grrrl.
      dogs 4eva.

    • 3.9.12
      runswithscissors said:

      You’re right of course. But I’m cranky, this is worse than watching political election results, and the suspense is killing me~!!!

  16. 3.9.12
    Mom said:

    I have to tell you that I love you SO much. Even more than Anna. Really. Even though her post about you brought tears to my eyes. Whether you win this Homies thing or not you are awesome.

    • 3.9.12
      Daniel said:

      I love you too, Mommy! Looks like I lost but it’s OKAY! I’m not about to get all bent out of shape over a contest.

  17. 3.9.12
    mia said:

    Great job as usual… I can’t wait to see the finished kitchen! :)
    Btw have you considered painting the fridge that you hate so much with chalkboard paint?… I know that it won’t make it work better but at least it would make it look a bit better!!!

  18. 3.9.12

    Wowsies. You think of things that wouldn’t cross a normal persons mind. Um, that was meant as a compliment. Whatever happens in the Homies I’m pretty sure you’re my no. 1 read. You’re so honest and real and FUNNY. Hats off to you sir.


    • 3.9.12

      Also, your Mum is awesome. Sorry, I mean ‘Mom’, I’m British. :-)

  19. 3.9.12
    Lena said:

    Love it! Just one thing, if you do the same thing with the upper cabinets, the side and underside will still be visible right? I mean, I assume you will paint them white but like you wrote, even if you get it colour mateched to Ikea, it still will be a little bit different. But it will look so much better than before for sure!

    • 3.11.12
      Daniel said:

      Yeah…if we can swing it, I think we’re actually just going to replace the upper cabinets for a few reasons, but mostly because they’re horrible cheap cabinets and the IKEA ones aren’t that expensive when you’re only buying a few of them. Haven’t quite decided yet, but I’m leaning that way. (if we keep them though, then yes…probably just new doors and white paint.)

  20. 3.10.12
    terrie said:

    So sorry you lost but you really did not.I Love your voice AND the posts and fog. Great style and ideas for the NW which is not as hippie as folks think. Keep writing!

  21. 3.10.12
    Naomi said:

    Oh man, I’m offline for a few days and I completely missed the vote! Sorry you missed out on the award, but you’re the winner in my book!

    I’m continually inspired by your relentless pursuit – you don’t just think about beautiful design and wish you lived in those magazine apartments – you actually go ahead and transform a shitty apartment into one! With every post, I become more and more motivated to try a bit myself – I know, I know, still hadn’t taken the plunge. So far, I created some storage in my one room flat that I can remove when the time comes to vacated my rented home (very soon, too!) Which makes me wonder, I know my landlord would be beyond pissed if I tried making any improvements to the space, and you are actually making a lot of changes, even remodeling your kichen. Are you allowed to make those changes? What happens when you move out? Does the landlord fine you? Do you reverse the changes? Do you take all the fixtures with you? It would be gut wrenching to leave this beautiful apartment you made and have all your work dismembered.

    • 3.10.12
      elisabeth said:

      Hmmm, I am thinking that he loses his deposit at the very least. (Not that I am hoping that this happens) I wonder too, though, Daniel, if you got permission to do this to cabinets….if not, it could get you into some trouble with your landlord. The cabinets in my apartment are metal, and I painted them a while back and changed the handles. I know, that minute I move out (probably when I die) my landlord is going to renovate the kitchens and rip them out before I am out the door five minutes and thus, my landlord wont care. Your might though.

    • 3.11.12
      Daniel said:

      I get this question a lot (A LOT!) and all I can say is…it depends on your apartment and landlord situation. I know my apartment looks pretty nice, but it’s only because I’ve made it pretty nice…it’s an apartment with beautiful bones in a really badly managed building. My landlords are just NOT the types to care about anything I’m doing. I’m not destroying any original fixtures or anything like that, but I do feel like it’s okay to take a really poorly designed, completely dysfunctional kitchen and make it functional and pretty with higher quality materials. I can’t imagine how that’s not okay.

      I don’t ask permission. For anything. I didn’t in my last apartment either, and they knocked $100 off my deposit when I moved, which was ostensibly for something that was “broken” that I didn’t actually break (it was broken wellll before I moved in, and documented as such, but there was no amount of convincing I could do). I know many of my neighbors, and in this building, tenants routinely do the type of work I’m doing (not quite to my standards, if I’m being honest, but still.) and the landlords just don’t care. I’m really lucky, because that works FOR ME, but is probably horrible if you actually need maintenance performed and don’t want to do it yourself.

  22. 3.10.12
    Sophia said:

    What I’m about to say is purely selfish but I’m gonna say it anyway…I so much enjoy that you and Anna are part of this internet world because everytime one of you is doing what ever else has to do away from the net the other is here to feel the void.

  23. 3.10.12
    furpants said:

    U WAS ROBBED!!! Those cheesy family blogs and their paint-a-dresser-turquoise-and-stencil-on-some-damask can suck it!

    And another thing; other people’s baby pictures — not that interesting! There, I said it. <3

    • 3.10.12
      carmencatalina said:

      Oh, I don’t know. Other people’s baby pictures, other people’s dog pictures, same thing, really.

      Now, if people have CAT pictures, that’s a whole ‘nother ball o’wax.

      (Joking! Love for dog = cat = kid at our place. But the cat is prettiest, says me.)

    • 3.10.12
      Christine said:

      Hahah!! Not that I want to encourage this kind of criticism (everybody’s got their own taste and all), but this comment is hilarious.

      I think that, in the eyes of the people you would want judging you on this sort of thing, you were the clear winner. Don’t change a thing!

    • 3.14.12
      Aww Helll Nah!!!! said:

      Furpants is right. u WAS robbed!!! Sorry Daniel. You had my vote.

  24. 3.10.12
    Juliska said:

    Dang, I registered and voted twice just so those …. Other people could win? Unfair! Unfair! I want a recount! I want sanity tests! Or at least eye exams!

  25. 3.10.12
    fremontfaris said:

    I hope you really aren’t bent out of shape over the contest. You’ve made a lovely nest for yourself and we’re all lucky to get the behind the scenes tour. Thanks for sharing and can’t wait for more.

    • 3.11.12
      Daniel said:

      Oh, trust me, I’m not bent out of shape at all!! I’m REALLY not the type to get too worked up about contests and stuff, but competing was a good time, haha. Plus, I’m plentttty lucky that I was even in it at all, let alone that enough people voted for me to come in second!

  26. 3.11.12
    jared said:

    i am all for non-normative types winning… your writing is awesome. the tasks are sincerely interesting.

    omg i want that stendig calendar so so so bad… i can not find it anywhere in austin.
    i really like your sketches by the way! do more of them!!

  27. 3.11.12
    Jen said:

    Oh sorry you lost! I just discovered your lovely blog through D16.

    The kitchen cabinet doors look amazing. I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing but was wondering how on earth to do it! I can go for it now!

  28. 3.11.12
    Jessica said:

    Daniel, when I stumbled upon your blog via Door Sixteen, with no other context, I thought you were a hilarious, brilliant 40-year-old gay man. Turns out you’re a hilarious, brilliant 22-year-old gay man, and I love you all the more. If stunning creativity and a discerning taste were the sole Homies criteria, you’d have no competition. I live in Park Slope and I’ve recommended your blog to every New Yorker I know with a shitty apartment and dreams of something greater… which is to say, every New Yorker I know. I’m sure so many good things will come into your life as a result of this blog and your talent, and I can’t wait to read all about it.

  29. 3.12.12
    Wendy said:

    Love love love – is this all you? how does max fit into the scheme of handy helper?

    I admire your willingness to change a rental – not enough people do it. After all, it is silly to put up with crappy surroundings just because you dont “own” it.

    • 3.13.12
      Daniel said:

      Max…well, he lets me do it? Sometimes he jumps in to help out if I ask, but mostly he just watches…and shakes his head…and tells me I’m crazy? He always caves in the end though. EVERY TIME. I have this cohabitation shit figured out.

      Actually, for this particular cabinet re-facing thingy, I did the whole thing while he was at work so he wouldn’t be able to stop me!

  30. 3.12.12
    Aleth said:

    Yay! 2nd place.

  31. 3.12.12
    Lesley said:

    Kitchen looks awesome. I can’t believe you lost.

  32. 3.12.12
    Tisha said:

    That is one lucky dog!

    Were you in Buffalo recently…noticed the Darwin Martin house photo in your Instagram collection. Lots of great places to see in Western New York.

    • 3.13.12
      Daniel said:

      I’m there now!

    • 3.13.12
      Tisha said:

      Hope you’re having a good time! Lots to see and do … Albright-Knox, Burchfield-Penney, Elmwood, Delaware Park, Guaranty Building, City Hall, and if you venture out about 20 minutes, there is East Aurora with the Roycroft Campus, Knox Farm…I could go on and on… Have a good visit to my hometown.

  33. 3.13.12

    So sorry you didn’t win! Although 2nd place is pretty awesome considering you were facing the legions of fans for YHL and BP (seriously scary!).
    I love love love your blog and your continuous battle to turn ugly into beautiful. Keep it up and next year you will win this sucker!

  34. 3.13.12
    Kevin said:

    I have to agree that you were robbed. Homegirl’s blog is staked down in boresville. Better luck next time.

  35. 3.13.12
    Keren V. said:

    This small change made a HUGE difference in the color scheme and mood of your kitchen. I cannot wait to see the clean and minimal effect of the glossy white once they are all finished! Brava!

  36. 3.14.12

    Funniest blog I’ve read in like forever. You are fucking hilarious! And talented, if I’d discovered you earlier, I’d have voted for you, For sure.

  37. 3.17.12
    Fat Cat said:

    Just emerged from several months of hibernation and checked out all the changes in your place.
    Your bathroom looks amazing – black & white ones are simply the best ! And your kitchen is really getting there. I like the prints your boyfriend bought – thanks for including the link to the etsy shop (it’s now all saved up in my favourites :-)
    Sorry, I didn’t get to vote for your blog. Not to scratch a fresh wound, but I can’t believe you lost against the scary Jesus freaks with horrible decor taste…

  38. 3.17.12
    Yvette said:

    You were robbed, Daniel. Not quite Korto on Project Runway robbed
    But in the same tier.

  39. 3.17.12
    Rachel said:

    If I was your landlord I would be thanking God that you were my tenant!

  40. 3.20.12
    Izzy V said:

    I love love this blog! Great writing, great decorating/DIY tips. But I have to say, I would NEVER do this much work to a place I didn’t own. I don’t know… to me, those kind of investments of time and money are only worth it to a place I own! But all the best and good luck with all your endeavours!

  41. 3.21.12
    Seneca said:

    I’m so glad you’re back from that lil break. And you’ve been busy with some great renos! Yay.

  42. 3.25.12
    Melissa said:

    This looks amazing.. but Im curious how you figured out what size panels to get? This is exactly what i want to do in my kitchen (I rent from my mom.. so surprise mom!) because i just can not take the nasty white textured cabinets and shiny pulls any longer.