Straight cuts allow for plenty of design variation while allowing for easy construction. Here the choice of frame, color of glass, and thickness of came combine to suggest a shoji screen.
On the local Historical Society’s annual tour of homes, we admired the leaded glass paneled doors of a kitchen’s cabinets and decided to do something similar as part of the update to our kitchen. While
cutting and fitting curved pieces requires special equipment, the straight edges used here are easily assembled using only a few additions to common shop tools. Simple variations adapt the panels to a variety of styles, including Craftsman, Prairie, and Asian-inspired.
To build your own panels, you’ll need a glass cutter, straight edge, solder, came, a way to cut the came (I used a power miter saw, but a hacksaw will work), glass, putty, putty knife, and an assembly board, a large rectangle of MDF or plywood with two fences forming a right angle at one corner of the board. The panel is assembled from that corner outward, ensuring tight fitting joints and a square panel as glass and came are added to achieve the desired size. The panel is then soldered and puttied. Read more.
Our intention to leave the kitchen remodel for a later date didn’t last much beyond the death of the expiring range a couple of months after we moved in. We bought a new stove and matching OTR microwave. Since there was no cabinet over the wall, I built a couple of plywood boxes and applied a face frame. With the cabinet (the door would wait for a while) and appliances installed, the kitchen looked even more depressing. Fresh paint could go a long way towards lightening the space, but there was still the beige backsplash. And the counters.
We contemplated a staggering array of yellows and the best accent stripe color for the new white subway tile backsplash. I wanted to do soapstone counters since soapstone can be worked with woodworking tools, but the lead time and cost suggested another alternative, one we found in Bungalow Kitchens. Wood counters are period appropriate, and IKEA offers different species at reasonable rates.
With materials and colors selected, we demoed the old backsplash and underlying plaster, installed concrete backerboard, installed the new backsplash using a budget wet saw, removed the old counters, installed new counters, sink, and garbage disposal and painted over the course of a couple of weekends.
The ailing original stove and pot rack.
New cabinets increase storage and provide a place to anchor the microwave.
New counters, sink, and backsplash. The cabinets still need new doors, and the curlicue trim above the sink must go.
Midtown Sacramento is surprisingly pleasant, with tree-lined streets and late Victorian and Craftsman homes still dotting the landscape. These caught my eye on my walk to the office on a recent business trip.
The front of a nicely-restored Victorian in Midtown Sacramento.
The side of the house.
Another home converted for office use