DIY Drawers and Doors – Classing Up the Joint One Room at a Time

This post shows the drawers and doors we made to help beautify, organize and help put this long project to rest.

Making an honest woman out of me, through my drawers.

See the red bag in the photo below? That bag has been my underwear bag since 2010. It’s not a sexy homage to Ken Griffey Jr., although I think he’s a doll.This bag has been the place that I keep my underwear because I have had no other place to keep them. Yesterday marks the first day in approximately 4 years that I have had a real, 5-sided, stuff doesn’t fall out of it drawer. AND NOW I HAVE 3! I think Barry wants to keep me around too because he lined the bottoms with tropical cedar or cedro as it is known here. Pretty darn nice of him.




If I’m going to be in there awhile I might as well have something to look at – The Bathroom

We were able to make the first floor bathroom vanity out of gavilan wood. The tree that fell gave us our steps, our bar top and this lovely vanity for our bathroom. The only thing missing was the type of door that we were going to put on the front. We are slowly running out of usable wood so a solid door wasn’t an option. We decided on using a piece of colored glass or plastic but were never really sold on the idea. Then after moving these copper wall hangings from one pile to the next until we decided where to hang them I had a wonderful idea, use these as the center piece of the doors. So Barry made two frames using all scrap wood and set those into the main door frame.

copper inserts door

It just looks great in there, really classes up the joint.


Piecing together the Kitchen with old and new ingredients.

In our last kitchen post we showed how we used a common Tico way of framing kitchen counters using concrete blocks. You can see in the picture below the supports are covered with ceramic tile pieces. Barry then added wood supports only where we wanted cabinets to be.


We ordered the cabinet doors in the sizes we needed and made the drawer fronts ourselves. We used a local furniture maker who charged us $20 for each door, stained and finished. He started out at $50 a piece. Luckily I had done my homework and knew that a furniture store on the other side of town charged $20. Now what the guy didn’t know is that the $20 doors at the furniture store were basic, without stain and only in certain sizes. I’d say we ended up getting a deal but the finish is not the greatest. Nothing that stands out to much but if a quality inspector came for dinner I would want to change the subject to something more pleasant.


So Barry made the drawer fronts and I stained and poly’d them. All of my other paintbrushes had gotten hard or dirty and I did not want to run all the way into town to get another one so I used a basting brush from one of those cheaply made, free with purchase BBQ sets. It worked pretty well except for all the bristles came out on my poly finish. It’s a good thing I used it for painting and not on chicken.

Dressing it up

I have been collecting antique hardware for some time. When I lived in the U.S. there was always an estate sale or an antique shop to visit on Saturdays. Most of the stuff is better quality, less expensive and more fun to own then brand new furniture. Sadly, I sold all of my favorites and instead brought down with me only a bag of brass hardware. Barry and I poured it all out on the floor and took some time in considering which drawer pulls to use in the kitchen. As you can tell by the pictures, the dishwasher and top of the oven are stainless and the fridge is brushed silver. So not a single drawer pull matches exactly but we don’t care. When we need a spoon we can get a spoon and that is all that matters.

Building-April-2014-007 Building-April-2014-006

The finished kitchen.


 An unexpected cost

We added this awning on to the front of the house because the windows were just to tall in the front. We had rain soak the back of the couch three times before we knew something had to be done. I like the way it looks and it keeps out the sideways rain but it took away a lot light.

metal awning


I love the house. It is my dream home. The only downside is that it is a lot more to clean than a 1 room cabin!


14 comments on “DIY Drawers and Doors – Classing Up the Joint One Room at a Time”

  1. June Roberts Reply

    Wow…just, WOW! I followed your blog in the beginning–all that hard physical labor and mud, and was astonished that the two of you would attempt such a project. Then life interrupted, and I didn’t get to see anything after your difficulties with the ceiling–until today. Looks like you are finished, or nearly so, and the result is seriously beautiful. I’m so sorry I didn’t get to see everything, but I’m so happy for you that you’ve been so successful. A new life on a beautiful farm in a part of the world many of us would love to live in–lucky? Maybe, but you’ve earned it with all that hard work, and I wish you the joy of it for many, many years to come. ~And I love the vanity doors!

    • Kimberly Beck Reply

      June, thank you so much for following along with us and thank you kindly for the compliment. It really is my dream house. Even when days are hot and work is hard I can still look around and appreciate this beautiful place. I so appreciate your taking the time to say something nice. It really means the world to us. – Kim

  2. Kim Deprenger Reply

    Wow!!! I can’t believe that your house is so beautiful! I was just in Mexico in the Mayan village I used to live in and we were still cooking with wood sitting on low stools.

  3. Art Sulenski Reply

    I am so glad to see your dream home coming together. The woods you are using are fantastic, they will last a lifetime. The copper pieces you used in the vanity are awesome, a great touch of class. Something I did for pot and pans was to take metal towel bars and make good strong hooks on the towel racks. I placed them in the laundry room for all of those seldom used pots and pans. I rolled the hooks to fit completely around the towel bar so they don’t come off and hold the pots and pans very securely. Keep on keeping on!

    • Kimberly Beck Reply

      Thanks Art! I have seen towel racks being used to hold pot lids, which is a great idea but never whole pots. We would love to see your set up for that in case it sparks an idea for us.

  4. Anna Webb Reply

    Yes, an overhang of at least a foot is a necessity both to keep most of the water away from the foundation and out of the windows. Gorgeous – I can certainly see your style splashed in every room!

  5. LivingLifeInCostaRica Reply

    I LOVE your home & what all you’ve done to it! The drawers with some sort of opening so things can breath are SOOOOO IMPORTANT in the tropics!!!

    Do you have glass in the windows or is it just open (it looks screened in)?

    Did you build the house yourself? At least the bottom part looks like if it’s not glass, could be VERY inexpensive to build (considering the higher cost of building things these days).

    • Kimberly Beck Reply

      It’s just screen Vicki. There are no neighbors close so no need for privacy & the air travels completely through the house. Yes, we built every aspect of it ourselves which I have posted as blog entries. Thank you for the kind words.

  6. carolyn tait Reply

    J’adore! And I *will* be there some day to see this in person….

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