Congrats on the house! That is such a big deal, esp. with little ones. I live in upstate NY also (way upstate).
I hope you don't have to repaint your apt. kitchen. I also hope you update us here on your new House Project Blog!
I used your idea for the spice cupboard but I didn't mount it on the wall, I just put it next to my stove area. I also have a very 1970's house, the basement was a cheap paneling and harvest gold fiesta. We gutted it earlier this spring and are now waiting for funds to transform it to my sewing/crafting workshop.
So, thanks for the idea!