Kortney Wilson’s Lake House Kitchen Makeover

Kortney Wilson’s Lake House Kitchen Makeover

When designer Kortney Wilson bought her lake house in rural Kentucky, her goal was to create a space to gather, retreat, relax and enjoy time with loved ones.

As she slowly transformed the space into one that was uniquely hers, while still preserving the rustic charm that drew her to the property, the kitchen quickly became a topic of consideration. To remodel or not to remodel?

The Before

Working her way through updates in the home, Kortney updated the countertops from a tile mosaic island and laminate perimeter cabinets to stunning new quartz, which then drew more attention to the doors looking dated. Since she had just purchased new counters, it seemed wasteful to rip everything out and redesign the kitchen!

After discussing the possibilities that cabinet refacing created in this project, updating the cabinet doors with Nieu was the exact concept she was looking for to make the space feel elevated and cozy for herself and her family to enjoy. The layout didn’t change, but she wanted to create a space where people could gather and hangout while enjoying a weekend or getaway at the lake, and somewhere that felt more on-part with her overall design and style than the formerly “Aztech” looking mosaic tile and wooden cabinetry.

“I had liked a few kitchens on social media that I noticed were done by Nieu Cabinet Doors so they had already piqued my interest. When I bought my lakehouse I had invested a lot of time and energy into making decisions that would last for years to come as I plan to pass this house onto my kids so I was super intentional in the products I used.  I’m beyond thrilled with the outcome. The quality exceeded my expectations”

– Kortney Wilson, Designer

The Process: Cabinet Refacing

From measuring to ordering and installation, Kortney tackled this project DIY style!

A picture of a woman sitting on the kitchen countertop surrounded by grey cabinets.

Key Features

The renovated space is one that encourages you to cozy up with a cup of tea for a long chat, to gather around the island for a meal with friends and loved ones, or to relax and unwind while preparing a meal together. The huge island and built-in dining area encourages togetherness, and the updated space balances both fresh and updated with lake-house charm.

The design encompasses brass and black handles to tie the black countertops, grey cabinetry and light perimeter cabinets together while the shiplap and wood panelled ceiling envelop you into a rustic retreat.

“It was such a win to find such beautifully made cabinet doors to help modernize my lakehouse kitchen while reducing my carbon footprint on this renovation.  I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to just gut it all and start from scratch but that the result looks like I did just that.” 

– Kortney Wilson, Designer
An image of a woman sitting on the kitchen counter surrounded by grey cabinets and white countertops.

Design Elements

The warm tile floor and cozy beams and skylights were strong design anchors for the kitchen. Perimeter cabinets used a light quartz countertop while the island is grounded with a dark counter. Black & brass two-toned handles add to the striking look.

Kortney used the Angela Rose Slim Shaker cabinet doors in Sherwin Williams Westchester Gray (SW2849) to bring her design to life!

A kitchen with grey cabinets, white countertops and a sink in front of a window.

Project Cost

Updating the cabinet doors with Nieu cost only $4,700 compared to the cost, time, and inconvenience of a kitchen remodel! The original character and layout of the kitchen was kept intact, while indulging in some modern updates and finishes. Cabinet refacing typically saves up to 60% of the cost of a remodel!

A woman wearing a white blouse and hat stands in front of a kitchen island surrounded by grey cabinetry.
A woman in a red checkered dress leaning on a kitchen island surrounded by barstools, grey cabinetry and tile flooring.

“I was thrilled to partner with Nieu Cabinet Doors on my lakehouse kitchen. The entire process was so much easier than gutting an entire kitchen.  From measuring to install, I’m a pretty happy camper with the results. I can also see a boatload of people in there making memories for years to come.”

– Kortney Wilson, Designer

Face Framed Cabinets: Increase Overlay to Reduce Reveal

Face Framed Cabinets: Increase Overlay to Reduce Reveal

“How can I make my cabinet doors bigger?” “I want the doors to almost touch”.  If you’ve asked these questions and thought you need to rip out your cabinets to achieve these goals – stop and read this blog that will teach you How-To!

Increasing cabinet door sizes to reduce the amount of frame showing is an easy process that any homeowner can tackle. Older framed kitchens usually show a lot of the cabinet face frame when the doors are closed. Many homeowners seeking a more modern look want to increase the size of the cabinet doors so that less frame is showing.

Key Terms for Face Framed Cabinets

Before we go through the steps to hide cabinet frames with larger doors, we’ll review some important terms around increasing your cabinet door size to reduce the amount of reveal.


The amount of face frame showing when the cabinet door is closed, sometimes called by DIY newbies the “gaps” around your doors. Reducing the amount of reveal is the goal for a sleeker, more modern cabinet look.

A picture of a bathroom vanity showing outdated cabinet doors and an arrow pointing to the cabinet hinge.
The arrow indicated the large reveal on these framed cabinets.

Door Overlay

The amount of frame that is covered by the cabinet doors is known as the overlay of the door on the cabinet frame. In older cabinets, the overlay is typically ½” meaning the door overlays the cabinet frame by 1/2’” on all 4 sides.

A bathroom vanity without cabinet doors with red highlight around the cabinet openings showing where the doors should sit when installed.
The red outline indicated the placement of half overlay doors on this vanity.

Hinge Overlay

Concealed soft close hinges are made for specific overlays. The overlay of your cabinet doors needs to match the overlay of the hinge you are using. Manufacturers make soft close concealed hinges in a variety of overlays, the most common being ½”, ¾”, 1”, 1 1/4”, 1 9/16”. The overlay measured for the hinge side of the door needs match the overlay of the hinge you will use. It helps to think of a door as having 2 sides; the hinge side and the handle side. The overlay on the hinge side needs to match the hinge, while the overlay on the handle side can vary depending on application.

A cabinet door divided into two with a vertical line showing labels for the hinge side and handle side of the door.
Handle vs. hinge side on a cabinet door.

Frame Width

The first step in determining the size of your new door is to measure the width of the face frame that the door will sit on. The width of the frame will determine how much overlay you can add to a cabinet opening and how much frame you can cover. A typical full overlay is 1/8” to ¼” less than the frame width.

A closeup of a measuring tape against a cabinet frame.
Measuring your face frame width will determine the overlay of door you can measure.

Inside Frame Dimensions

Also referred to as “cabinet opening” or “ICW – Inside Cabinet Width”, these measurements are taken by measuring the width and height of the cabinet opening from the inside edge of the cabinet frame. Make sure these measurements are exact to the nearest 1/16 of an inch.

Measuring for Larger Cabinet Doors in 5 Steps

Step 1: Measure Frame Width

Measure the width of the frame that the door will mount to on all four sides. The frame width will most likely be the same on all sides, but it is important to double check.

In some cases, a single frame may have a left door and a right door mounted to it, this is known as a “shared frame”. In this case, each door will share half of the width of the frame. For example, if the frame is 3” wide, each door is allocated 1-1/2” of that frame.

Step 2: Determine Hinge Overlay

Using your frame width, you can now select the correct hinge overlay for your project. A good rule of thumb is to select the hinge overlay that is a minimum of 1/8” less than your frame width. For example, if your frame width is 1 1/8” your ideal overlay hinge would be 1”. This allows for a 1/4” gap between doors which gives enough clearance for the doors to open without touching.

Step 3: Calculate Door Width

Use the hinge overlay and the Inside Cabinet Dimensions to determine the door width.

For a single door cabinet with an opening with of 12” and the 1” overlay described above, the door calculations would be as follows;

12” opening + 1” overlay on hinge side of door + 1” overlay on handle side of door = 14” door width

For a double door cabinet (large opening with 2 doors on it) with an opening of 30”, the math is;

30” divided by 2 doors = 15”.

15” plus 1” overlay on hinge side only of door = 16”.

16” less 1/16” = 15-15/16” wide door for each door (you will order a quantity of two)

Why deduct 1/16”? Deducting 1/16” from the handle side of the door after the overlay is added ensures that the doors won’t touch in the middle when they are closed. By deducting 1/16” from each door you are actually allowing for a 1/8” gap between the doors which is ideal.

Step 4: Calculate Door Height

The height of your doors depends on the amount of frame you want to cover. You can choose to add the same amount of overlay to the height of the doors as the width, or you can make the height overlay whatever looks best for your cabinet.

In this example, the height of the cabinet face from the underside of the countertop to the bottom of the frame was 25-1/4”. Allowing for a 3/16” gap between the top of the door and the underside of the countertop meant the doors were made at 25-1/16” high to completely cover the face frame.

An image showcasing a full overlay cabinet door on a face framed cabinet.
A visual demonstration of door height on framed cabinet to cover the cabinet face frame.

Drawer Above Door

When a base cabinet has both a door and a drawer front, ensure that you allow for a minimum 1/8” gap between the top of the door and the bottom of the drawer face.

The width of drawer fronts should be calculated in the same way as doors. Although there is no hinge to match overlay to, by using the same overlay as the doors you will ensure a consistent amount of reveal throughout the project. Remember, if a drawer is located above a door, the width of the drawer and door should be the same so that they line up.

Step 5: Double Check

Before spending hundreds, maybe thousands on new cabinet doors, its important to double check your measurements to ensure that you are achieving the look you want and that your newly sized doors will fit properly. Doors that are slightly undersize may be workable, but doors that are too large may be unusable.

The best method for double checking requires green painter’s tape and patience. With the existing cabinet doors removed from your cabinet, use your painter’s tape to layout the newly measured width and height of the cabinet doors as you have measured. Taking the time to do this ensures that your doors are sized correctly to cover the amount of face frame desired, while ensuring they won’t overlap or touch each other when closed. This can take a bit of time in a large kitchen but is time well spent compared to the cost of doors that were measured incorrectly.

Painter's tape covers the face frames of a bathroom vanity as a double check of dimensions prior to ordering.
Double checking your measurements with painter’s tape is a great visual check!

In Conclusion

Achieving a full overlay look on a framed cabinet is an easy DIY project that is doable by any homeowner with a little how-to knowledge and some patience. Correct measurements are the key to success, so be sure to double check your measurements for accuracy!

An updated bathroom vanity complete with full overlay doors on face framed cabinets.
After: Full Overlay Cabinet Doors on an updated bathroom vanity.

6 DIY Projects to Beautify Your Home in 2021

6 DIY Projects to Beautify Your Home in 2021

Now that 2020 is behind us and the holidays are over, many of us are looking around the house for something to do. With more time in our homes than ever, it’s going to be a long, hard winter – unless you can find satisfying tasks to fill your time. We’ve got the answer with these fun DIY ideas! 

Keep yourself entertained with a DIY home project – or several DIY projects. Beautify your property with new finishes, colors, hardware and fixtures. Improve your home’s functionality and boost your quality of life in subtle ways through DIY projects. 

1. Glam Up Your Kitchen with Cabinet Refacing

Are you tired of the same old look in your kitchen? Make a change. You don’t have to install all new cabinets to give your kitchen a facelift. Refacing is one way to make your cabinets look new without the expense. You don’t even have to hire a contractor to do the work – you can do it yourself.

Start by measuring your cabinets, then go shopping. You can pick your color, or paint them yourself. Buy your new cabinet doors from a reputable company to ensure long-lasting beauty. 

2. Refresh and Refinish Furniture

Old furniture has a way of getting scratched up. Refinishing makes old furniture look like new. Use environmentally-friendly chalk paint to give your old end table or bench an antique look, or try re-staining your old wood chairs to give them a like-new glow.

Furniture refinishing is something that many people do as a hobby, and there’s also many small businesses that offer custom furniture refinishing. It’s a great DIY home project if you’re looking for an ongoing task to occupy your time. Once you’ve refinished one chair or table, you won’t want to stop! Before you know it, everything you own will look like new.   

A photo of a young woman painting a chair.

3. Clear Clutter with Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are the perfect contemporary furnishing for improving home organization in 2021. Get clutter up off the floor with your floating shelves. If it’s not the kind of clutter you want to see, use attractive baskets to keep it hidden, organized and tidy. 

Customize your floating shelves to get the perfect fit and look for your home. With the right tools, you can install floating shelves yourself. They look great in the living room, bathroom, kitchen and so on. Want to make your small room look a little taller and airier? Try installing them near the ceiling. Want a pop of color in your room? Paint them before installing.  

4. Create a Wallpaper or Mural Accent Wall

Painted accent walls were very popular a few years ago. That popularity has waned, but recently new types of accent walls have taken their place: board and batten accent walls and wallpapered accent walls! Adding texture to a wall creates an intant focal point in any room.

Board and batten, chevrons, plaid, and abstract accent walls can create a 3D effect and add depth to your room. Paired with a bold or neutral color, you can take a bold stance or play it safe depending on your style. Wallpaper accent walls are slightly more understated but still add focus and a sense of thoughtful beauty to home interiors. Installing wallpaper isn’t the easiest of DIY projects, but as far as wallpapering projects go, one accent wall is doable even for inexperienced homeowners. 

Check out this step by step explanation of how to create a board and batten accent wall!

A photo of a grey plaid board and batten accent wall with tall vases and a hardwood floor.
Accent walls can take a variety of shapes, textures and materials.

5. Get Creative with Cabinet Hardware

You don’t have to completely reface your kitchen cabinets to make them look like new. Replace your kitchen cabinet hardware with something unique like leather pulls, ceramic knobs or modern minimalist handles. This is a relatively inexpensive home improvement project that can easily be completed in an afternoon. 

6. Make Rustic DIY Wall Hooks

Just about anything attached to a board can become a wall hook. Wine corks. Old railroad ties. Even a bent spoon! Find a piece of reclaimed wood, refinish it, attach the hooks of your choice, then install your new wall hook board on a space like the wall of your bedroom or maybe near your backdoor.

DIY wall hooks are convenient, cute and and easy DIY for a rainy afternoon. There are lots of tutorials online that you can follow – just find the one that you like best.  

A photo of a bag hanging from a rustic wall hook.
DIY wall hooks can be made with scrap wood for a rustic touch

Don’t wait. Get started with winter DIY home projects today!

Have fun remaking your space for the new year with these DIY projects. Try a kitchen refresh with all new cabinet doors for your kitchen, or to get started with your custom floating shelves today. 

Kitchen Cabinet Paint Colors – Upcoming Trends and Styles

Kitchen Cabinet Paint Colors – Upcoming Trends and Styles

Painted kitchen cabinets are as popular as ever, and for good reason. It seems there’s no kitchen fixture or piece of furniture more beautiful than a lovingly painted cabinet. If you were to visit all the kitchens of all the people you know, you’d probably find that modern kitchen cabinet paint colors span a range, from the darkest blue to the whitest white. This range of choices could leave some homeowners feeling a little uncertain when selecting their own cabinet paint colors. 

It’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed by the idea of painting your own cabinets. Knowing the most popular options, and exploring all the possibilities (including those you might not normally consider for your own home) can have outstanding results. 

Kitchen cabinets are more than the sum of their parts. With the right cabinet paint colors, your cabinets can express feelings that are hard to put into words. Say something about yourself and your home through your cabinets. Putting a little thought and creativity into your selection, you’ll create an ambiance you’ll love for years to come. 

An image of a woman painting the side of a kitchen cabinet using a paint roller.

Popular Kitchen Cabinet Paint Colors

Just a few years ago, white was the cabinet paint color. Today, white remains popular, but homeowner preferences are expanding. Now you could walk into anyone’s home and see cabinets painted in any number of colors, from moody green to deep blue, soft gray to powder pink. 

Grays in particular are some of the emerging colors that homeowners now prefer. Grays are tasteful, and yet a lovely change over the always popular plain white paint. 

  • Deep blue-gray. This color is so flexible that it adds a touch of class just about anywhere. For an example of the perfect blend of gray and blue, try a sample of Sherwin Williams Needlepoint Navy. It’s a combination of moody, thoughtful and elegant. It’s timeless, and yet perfectly suited for our current time period. 
  • Deep brown-gray. As an example for this, we chose Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. This paint color is attractive because it’s both dark and brooding, while also rich and deep. With hints of deep brown and green, it’s rustic, charming and complex. 
  • Faint gray. Think of soft spring mornings just as the sun begins to rise, when whites look more gray than white. That’s the kind of gray we’re talking about, like Sherwin Williams Repose Gray. It’s practical and delicate at the same time, the perfect color for a sunny kitchen.

Of course, grays aren’t the only color that homeowners are drawn to now. Sage green, mint green, earthy green, olive – homeowners are in love with greens! Some are even saying that greens are the new white. Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, a soft nearly minty green with a hint of something earthy, is a color we recommend because it’s balanced, not too dark, and thoughtful, all at the same time. 

Still love white? There’s a good reason for that! White opens up the space and makes it feel bright and cheerful. We love Sherwin Williams Snowbound, which is nicely white but has some warmth and depth as well. 

An image of a beautiful bathroom with shallow shaker doors in a taupe color.
A vanity makeover by @allthingsnew_home uses the Shallow door in Totally Taupe.

What Color Should I Paint My Kitchen Cabinets? How Do I Choose?

Cabinet paint colors are so flexible it can be hard to pick. The question you should be asking yourself when making your choice is: what kind of kitchen do I really want? Inviting and bright? Fun and whimsical? Modern and minimal? Know your goals, and proceed from there.

Start by selecting some samples from your local paint shop. It’s hard to stress how important it is to view samples before choosing the final color. Paint them large – at least one foot by one foot – and in a location with good quality of light.

You may choose not to paint your samples directly on your kitchen cabinets, if you’re worried about making lines that will be visible under the new coat of paint. If this is the case, paint samples on a large piece of cardboard and hold them up to your cabinets throughout the day. Know that the color you choose may look slightly different on your cabinets, unless the cardboard and the cabinets start of as the same shade.

Watch how the sample colors change as the quality of light changes throughout the day. As light from the sun warms, so will the color. As night falls and indoor lights turn on, the paint may seem cooler, darker.

Paint swatches in navy blue, silvery grey and light minty green.

How to Change Color of Kitchen Cabinets Without Painting?

Painting your cabinets is a process that can take days. You’ll need to start by removing all the doors and drawers, and taking off the hardware. You’ll need to remove any gloss on the doors, and prime the surface before painting each piece one at a time. It’s an enormous amount of work!

Don’t Want to Paint? You Can Still Change the Color.

Order all new doors, drawer faces, panels and trim to transform your kitchen with way less work for you. To complete the look, you’ll finish up by painting exposed cabinet frames, and covering exposed cabinet sides with panels. This is far less work, and in the end the finish on the cabinet doors will be even more durable than doing it yourself. Shop Nieu Cabinet Doors products to get started with this process, or check out our online guides to help you choose doors in the right style and size.

A large open concept kitchen with white cabinets.
White shaker cabinets are always on-trend in a kitchen project!

Kitchen Cabinet Paint Colors in 2021

2021 will be an exciting year for kitchen cabinets! After years of painting their cabinets white, homeowners are letting down their hair, so to speak, and going with whatever makes them happy. 

What’s important to know is that colorful cabinets are definitely in vogue. It’s important to choose a paint that you can live with for a while. Don’t worry about making your kitchen colors too matchy-matchy, by matching your cabinets to the floor to counters. A flexible color scheme will make the paint of your choice last longer. 

Not sure where to start? We’ve narrowed it down for you.

Deciding on a paint color is tricky, we know! Using a designer curate palette of 10 on-trend colors, you can rest assured that a new door style and color will be on-trend in the years to come.

Update Your Kitchen with Custom Dovetail Drawers

Update Your Kitchen with Custom Dovetail Drawers

Taking on a kitchen cabinet refacing project is a cost-effective way to upgrade the aesthetic of your kitchen. It is also an ideal time to upgrade the utility of your kitchen by replacing broken or worn out drawer boxes with new, high quality, dovetail drawers with soft close undermount slides.  

Drawer boxes endure a lot of abuse in a kitchen, repetitive slamming causes items to shift, eventually weaking the joints of the drawer. Dovetail drawer boxes are the most durable method of constructing drawer boxes and when paired with soft close undermount slides are a simple way yet highly functional upgrade to your kitchen.  

A side view of four kitchen cabinet drawers, the top three are small and the bottom is taller. The side of the wooden dovetail drawer box is showing againts the Stepped Shaker drawer fronts in Winter White.

What are dovetail drawer boxes?

Dovetail drawer boxes employ a pin and tail method of joinery to lock together the four sides of the drawer creating a very strong connection between the walls of the box. The pins are cut into the ends of one side of the box while the tails are cut into the joining piece. Adding a small amount of glue and locking the two pieces together creates a drawer box that doesn’t require screws to hold it together. Lesser drawer boxes use butt joints and either staples or screws to connect the four sides which can and will inevitably fail.  

Dovetail drawer boxes also add a sense of style and artisanship to your kitchen as the jig-saw puzzle look of the joinery is visible from the sides and harkens back to the days when such joints would have been made by hand with basic tools and not the modern machines of today.  

Dovetail joints have been used in all manner of construction including log houses in colonial days, stone works in India and even Egyptian furniture dating back to 3100 BC. With that sort of longevity there’s little doubt that a drawer box constructed with dovetail joinery can withstand the rigors of the 21st century kitchen.  

A side image of a kitchen cabinet dovetail drawer showing the dovetail joinery in the wooden drawer box.
A side view of a Nieu custom drawer showcasing the dovetail joinery of the wooden drawer box.

Are dovetail drawer boxes worth the investment?

A dovetail drawer box constructed from a birch or maple plywood coupled with a soft close undermount slide will outlive lesser drawer boxes joined with staples or screws. The single most requested upgrade when working with customers on their kitchen cabinet refacing project is upgrading builders grade melamine drawer boxes that have become wobbly or loose due to regular use.

While dovetail drawer boxes are more expensive than melamine drawers, their longevity and utility make them a worthwhile investment for any kitchen upgrade and the simple beauty of the artisan joinery acknowledges the timeless nature of good engineering.  

Where can I add dovetail drawer boxes to my kitchen?

Dovetail drawer boxes can replace any drawers currently in your cabinets. It is a straightforward process of measuring your current cabinet opening, height and depth and ordering custom drawer boxes to fit. An easy upgrade to your kitchen is to convert a standard base cabinet with doors and shelves into a pot and pan drawer stack.  

A pot and pan drawer stack typically consist of two deeper drawers on the bottom, usually 11’’ to 12” in height on the face, and a shallower 4” to 6″ drawer at the top. The two deep drawers are great for reorganizing pots and pans and make finding a matching lid and pot much easier than digging through standard base cabinets with shelves. The small drawer on the top usually serves as home for cutlery or as a utensil drawer for items such as spatulas and measuring cups.  

An image of four open drawers in kitchen cabinets with dovetail drawer boxes and white stepped shaker drawer fronts with squared black drawer pulls.
Dovetail drawer boxes paired with the Stepped Shaker drawer front in Winter White.

Do dovetail drawers improve resale value?

If you are refacing your kitchen cabinets to boost the resale value of your home consider replacing your drawer boxes as well. When prospective buyers are touring your home, they will open and close both a cabinet door and drawer to check for soft close upgrades. Upgraded cabinets doors like our selection of shaker cabinet doors and dovetail drawer boxes will impress buyers and let them know that you were mindful of both quality and utility when you upgraded your kitchen.  

The Summary:

Adding dovetail drawers to your refacing project provides an additional level of upgrade to your kitchen. If you’re getting started on your refacing project, use our free Design Quiz to find your style, watch our How To Measure video, and at any time Talk to an Expert if you need help. A custom looking kitchen is just a few clicks away!