I’m so excited because today marks the first project post in our new home, the home which we’ve lovingly dubbed “Orchard House.” If you’re new around here, we recently sold the townhouse that we had lived in for 7 years and built a new house a few miles down the road. We are so excited to have a blank canvas to make our own!
As much as I would have loved to jump right into full on room makeovers, the reality is that there are some basic things we wanted to tackle first to make our day-to-day lives a little easier, so I decided to do a little “First Things First” series to focus on some of these small-but-mighty projects that make a big impact on the home.
First Things First: Hardware
First up: hardware! Now, our builder (Ryan Homes) has a standard set of hardware that they are willing to put on your cabinets before you move in. However, I am just a teensy bit picky 😬 and didn’t love the option they provided, so we opted to have them leave their hardware off.
If you’ve ever tried to open cabinets and drawers without a knob or pull, you know it can be a huge pain, so before we even unloaded one box or began organizing one cabinet, Donnie took the time to install all of the kitchen hardware.
our kitchen in the townhouse
These are actually called Palermo pulls, which is kind of ironic because the model of our home is also called Palermo– it was meant to be! And the pretty Capital knobs coordinated with the pulls perfectly and look great on the cabinet doors.
How to Install Kitchen Cabinet Hardware
To install the hardware, Donnie first picked up some cabinet hardware templates from the home improvement store. We used both a door template and a drawer template when installing our hardware.
door template (left) and drawer template (right)
Instead of using a tape measure, level, and pencil to individually mark and measure every door and drawer, the templates have a number of pre-defined options. Once we found the one that worked best for us, we used a marker to circle it, and it was easy to mark a drilling spot on all of the cabinets with a pencil.
To prevent the wood on the back of our drawers and cabinets from splitting as we drilled, we applied some tape on the back to hold things together. Ordinarily Donnie would use blue painter’s tape, but that was in a moving box somewhere so I found the next best thing — washi tape. (I mean, every creative blogger carries a roll of washi tape in her purse, right? 😉 ) It worked like a charm! The important thing is to use a tape that can be removed easily, unlike something like duct tape, which will leave a residue.
Next, we drilled all of our marked holes with a bit that was only slightly larger than our cabinet hardware screws. After drilling, the screws should slide easily into the hole without having to thread the screws into the wood.
Donnie’s pet peeve is when he installs cabinet hardware only to have it loosen up a few months later– he hates to have to re-tighten it all the time. In the past he’s tried all sorts of techniques to prevent this.
He tried lock-washers, but they dig into the cabinet wood. To prevent the wood-gouging, he’s tried lock washers with a normal washer next to the wood. This keeps things tight, but having all of that extra hardware on the inside of cabinets doesn’t look great.
For this hardware install, Donnie used a different method – Loctite. Before attaching the knobs and pulls to the screw, he put a little dab of blue Loctite onto the end of the threaded screws and then attached the hardware. Once it dries, Loctite will bond the metal together and hopefully keep everything tight.
Donnie repeated the same steps with the drawer hardware, using the drawer template rather than the door template, and our beautiful new knobs and pulls were good to go!
While we were on a hardware kick, we also decided to replace the white plastic switch plates and outlet covers with more substantial looking versions that matched our hardware. So far we’ve only done this downstairs, but I really love how it looks, so I think we will do it upstairs as well eventually.
And it might seem like overkill, but we also replaced the vent covers on the floor with a prettier version. It’s just a tiny detail, but I think it improves the overall look and feel of the space.
So those were some of our first projects! Only about 967,493 more projects to go! 😂 Progress, however small, feels so good, and we’re making more and more headway each day!
Thank you so much for following along with our progress on Orchard House! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!
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