...because home doesn't happen overnight.

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Chris who plans on using the cabinet fronts in a tiny guest home she’s currently building!

studio dry bar 3

It’s about time for a studio update, right? I could list a dozen valid (and another dozen invalid) reasons why I haven’t done this sooner but I won’t waste your time. The truth is I’m embarrassed. A few weeks turned into a month. A month turned into a few months. A few months turned into six. Now it’s December. Life is crazy like that.

Anyhow, the studio!

I think the last time I shared pictures the walls and ceiling had just received a few coats of white paint. I went with Sherwin Williams pure white (SW 7005). Since then, the drywall dust has been cleared (Oh my word! Such a mess!! Cleanup took me forever.) and the concrete floor has been painted.

studio floor paint 1

studio floor painted 2

The original concrete was in rough shape. There were cracks, stains and some spalling. I could literally sweep chunks away with a broom. The space is accessed via a loading dock so all kinds of dirt and grease are tracked in on a daily basis. I decided painting the floor a dirty gray was the way to go.

To select the perfect gray I spread out a bunch of color swatches on the floor then walked all over them and picked the one that hid my footprints best. Oh, if only picking a paint color was always so easy! The swatch that made the cut was Sherwin Williams dorian gray (SW 7017) and it’s actually a really great color, a warm muddy gray. I had it color-matched in Valspar’s latex porch and floor paint then rolled on three coats. (That makes it sound so quick and easy but, I assure you, painting a floor with kids underfoot is anything but quick or easy. I do not recommend it.)

studio radiator paint

Way back when, there was discussion about what to do with the grimy radiator. After giving it a good scrub, I ended up spray painting it white. I did not attempt to do this with kids around (which made finding time to do it even more difficult) and I tackled it before painting the floor. It took an insane amount of paint (eleven spray cans I think?) and I’m pretty sure I lost whatever brain cells I had left after baby #3 was born. Which explains why maybe this post isn’t the most bestest.

studio dry bar before 1

After everything was cleaned and painted, I got to work on the dry bar. (I also scored six Bentwood knockoffs at our local Habitat ReStore for $12 total!) I used cabinets from the SEKTION line at IKEA. I bought a pair of 36″ base cabinets with two drawers each and one 15″ base cabinet with three drawers. I chose the Ma drawer style and, since I planned on painting the fronts a dark color, I chose the wood effect brown frames which I so wish had been available when we were renovating our kitchen. (Our fronts are dark and slivers of the white frames peek out in a few places.)

studio dry bar progress 1

I built the cabinets and Steve helped me install them. Everything you’ve heard about assembling IKEA cabinets is true: Staring at all the boxes and pages of instructions is daunting but, after you’ve put one together, you can put together a hundred. We opted for steel legs instead of a toe kick since it is a warehouse after all.

studio dry bar progress 2

After that, the studio turned into a drawer graveyard. Layne offered to help. Start ’em young! Seriously. It’s so easy even a ten-year-old can do it. We had a drawer building race and he totally beat me.

I’d been itching to try Semihandmade for a long time so I ordered seven of the DIY slab drawer fronts with notched pulls and painted them using a 4″ foam roller. The MDF really soaked up the paint. It took three coats of Valspar Reserve latex. The color is Valspar sable evening in a satin finish and it’s one of those chameleon colors. Depending on the light, it can read charcoal or green-gray. I love it.

Semihandmade fronts come pre-drilled so I simply screwed the hardware (included with the IKEA drawers) into the proper holes and snapped the fronts onto the drawers.

studio dry bar drawer

Voilà! Super easy.

studio dry bar drawer 2

IKEA drawers have special mechanisms on them to tweak the fronts so they line up properly. I didn’t have to adjust them too much. The top drawers open by pulling on their bottoms via the notch below.

studio dry bar 1

Just as we did for our laundry nook, Steve built a wood top out of boards we found in our attic during renovation. Being the typical engineer, he fretted over the warped boards but I told him not to worry. That’s the beauty of the studio! Nothing has to be perfect! We sanded the wood but left it raw for a rustic look.

studio dry bar 4

Along with the drawer fronts, I also ordered a panel from Semihandmade to cover the exposed side of the end base cabinet. We cut it to size for a custom fit and I painted it the same color as the fronts.

studio dry bar shelf

The shelf is made from off-the-shelf brackets and more reclaimed lumber from our attic. Once again, Steve was worried because the wood was warped and the tone of the shelf didn’t match the bench top. I’m like, “It’s free! It doesn’t have to match!” One thing I don’t like is the spacing of the brackets but we didn’t have a choice. We had to tie in to the studs.

studio fridge

The kids’ favorite part of the studio is the mini fridge. I bought an inexpensive model and Steve made a platform using leftover plywood and IKEA legs to level it with the cabinets. Then he cut a piece of filler from scraps of the Semihandmade side panel to fill in the gap at the top. I painted everything to match.

studio dry bar 5

Overall, I’m super happy with how the dry bar came together. I’m impressed with the Semihandmade fronts. They have more weight to them than IKEA fronts and I like that there are more options for customization. I should note that the notched pulls are no longer an option. The notches had to be cut by hand and creating them became dangerous and time-consuming. I love the clean, modern look of the notches but reaching down to open the top drawers does feel a little awkward. If I were putting these fronts in my house, I would probably spray them or have them professionally sprayed for a perfect finish. The foam roller worked great but I would be pickier about the finish in a real kitchen.

I’ve had experience building cabinets from both the IKEA AKURUM and SEKTION lines and, in my opinion, the current SEKTION line has better hardware when it comes to assembly and stability. A few things that were plastic in the AKURUM line are now metal in the SEKTION line. I don’t know if or how that will effect longevity but it’s a difference I noticed.

I know this setup probably isn’t feasible for a house (um, no sink) but my hope is, even though I’m putting my spin on a workspace, someone out there might find something that translates to a living space. If you’ve been considering Semihandmade for a project (they do IKEA wardrobes and bathroom vanities too!) then you might want to check out entry details for the giveaway below. Hint, hint.

PRIZE: one $500 credit to Semihandmade (Offer is not redeemable for cash.)

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address (no P.O. boxes please) within the continental U.S. or Canada. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post proclaiming “SEMI ME!” Double your odds by liking this Instagram post.

DEADLINE: Enter before 9:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, December 20th. One random winner will be announced Monday, December 21st.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: Share what project you would tackle with the prize money. New kitchen? Bedroom wardrobe for clothing organization? Bathroom makeover? So many possibilities!

Good luck!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

493 Comments

10.December.2015

Semi me! Have been dying to try these.

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi Me! My hall bath is due for a makeover and this would be fun way to spruce it up!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME!

I’d love to win

reply )

10.December.2015

semi me my fugly bathroom

reply )

10.December.2015

Love your initial building blocks for your studio. I love that everyone in the family is helping out.
“SEMI ME”

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! :D thank you. Loooooove the studio.

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME!

We are buying a sektion kitchen within the next 3 months and I’ve been ogling semihandmade’s stuff. Glad you did a little feature with them – and a giveaway :)

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! The drawer fronts look beautiful! I have been very interested to try these. A nice way to personalize the ikea cabinets. I’m thinking kitchen or bathroom reno in my future…..

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME!!!!! Love it all @kellykeitzer1

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME!
The next major project on my list is the kitchen. Right now, and for quite some time, the Ikea / Semihandmade combination has been at the top of the list for how we’re going to tackle the cabinet portion. The only issue is that Semihandmade has so many great options… But I have been checking out the bathroom vanity options they have now…

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! My small galley kitchen is in desperate need of new cabinet fronts so this would be perfect!

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi Me! ♡ I get to build a new work shop /me space and I’d love to be able to incorporate semihandmade into the space.

reply )

10.December.2015

I’m imagining all the creating you’ll do in your work space. How fun! Oh, and SEMI ME!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! I am just about to create a laundry room in my basement and this would be awesome!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! Just bought a fixer-upper so this would be perfect to help with all the projects!

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me! Looks great. Hoping to use their fronts on some of the Godmorgon bathroom cabinets in a new addition we’re adding.

reply )

10.December.2015

This space is really coming together. Semihandmade is a genius concept. Great work. Now, tell me about that table!

reply )

replied on December 10th, 2015

Coming soon! Hint: local ebay snag. Kinda wish it was in my house.

reply )

replied on December 10th, 2015

Seriously. SOO cool looking!

reply )

10.December.2015

semi me!!! My house is small and cozy and I love most of it, but my master bath is outdated and downright ugly. I’m looking for ways to update the space and create a relaxing oasis

reply )

10.December.2015

Um deets on that table please!

reply )

replied on December 10th, 2015

Coming soon, promise! The space is just one big rectangle so I’ve zoned it off into areas…the dry bar being one area, the table being another area.

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me! Been interested in checking them out for a while!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME!! Love the cabinet fronts.

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME!!

I would LOVE to update my ikea kitchen with some new door/drawer fronts!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME!! I’d love to have any sort of budget to work with our 100+ year old house!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! We just experienced a leaky dishwasher disaster and now would be the time to put this prize into action!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! My little 1960’s kitchen is itching for an update!

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi Me!! My bathroom(s!) need a makeover badly!!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! I need more storage space for art projects!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! We’re looking to buy a house and it’ll be a fixer. I’d probably start with the bathroom! So many great options.

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me! We need to replace our cheap flipped house cabinet fronts. They’ve been chipping and pulling away for a while, one is actually glued back together and shoved on… talk about embarrassing. Ignore the elmers dear guests! Pretend it’s not there!

reply )

10.December.2015

My wife and I are saving for a remodel and we have had our eyes on semi homemade . Your wet bar looks great!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME!

Basement remodel in process and installing IKEA cabinets. Love these doors!!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME!!!!! We want to try them in our master bath!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! My bathroom, I would love a vanity with drawers!

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me!! Pretty please??

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! We are building an addition so I am outfitting the master bathroom of my dreams. Already spec’d out the vanity and Semihandmade fronts I want: Walnut, to match our headboard. Dreamy.

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me! Would love an ikea\semi kitchen

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me! Remodeling our kitchen this summer would love to try these.

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me! Is it crazy that I want my husband to make a bedroom dresser out of the new Sektion cabinets?? I just imagine how useful that hidden skinny utility drawer would be for bras and underwear and I’m almost positive he could figure something out to put legs in the back so it wouldn’t have to be screwed into the wall like our kitchen cabs. I might be crazy. But I also think you sorta have to be to be a DIYer.

reply )

replied on December 10th, 2015

I think it sounds awesome!

reply )

replied on December 11th, 2015

Try Pretty Pegs for the legs, many great options!

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME!! I would love to update the fronts of several IKEA cabinets in my home.

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me! Looks good–always love your projects.

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! need help with my bathroom remod!

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me! My bar area in the basement is ready for cabinets and I can’t wait to get started on it!

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me!! We’re about to buy a house and I can’t wait to get started on the kitchen.

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me! We’d put a credit towards new kitchen cabinets! Oh great, this post has got me going down the kitchen reno rabbit hole again….

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME! New kitchen cabinets:)

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me!
Just had a baby and am so sick of my house right now! I NEED a new view around here

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me! We want to put IKEA cabinets in our basement for a dry bar area, so this would be perfect!

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi Me! I would upgrade our college chic pressed board bookcases to something solid and beautiful!

reply )

10.December.2015

Semi me! My 1960s condo has original cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. I love having the originals in the kitchen but am definitely looking to upgrade the bathroom cabinets! :D

reply )

10.December.2015

SEMI ME (please)! My husband and I have an Ikea kitchen and would replace the doors in a heartbeat to freshen up the space… especially the two that I mis-drilled for the hardware. Oops.

reply )




This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.