The kitchen renovation is still ongoing in the Vanderhouse but we are on schedule for finishing before Thanksgiving! I've been woefully slow with updating social media about our progress but that's because almost every waking hour of our lives have been devoted to scraping paint, cutting wood, caulking seams, installing cabinets, plumbing, electricity, Lowe's trips, the list goes on and on! In an effort to catch you up on our progress before the big reveal, here is the kitchen renovation story part 2...
The kitchen really can be split into two halves, north and south. In the first post, we had made a lot of progress toward our new kitchen by building up the south side to include more cabinets and updating our appliances. But the work on that side of the kitchen didn't end there. We needed more storage, both for food and for other household and kitchen items.
A piece from Ikea that I didn't talk about in the last post is the pantry. Because we were able to mount the microwave above the stove, we were able to give ourselves a lot more flexibility in its former space. Here is an embarrassing picture of how we were using the space before (bulky over the range microwave included since we hadn't installed it yet):
We knew that this space could be better utilized and Ikea helped make it possible. We bought a 30 x 24 x 90" pantry with double doors. Our goal was to make it appear built in thanks to the lower ceilings in this area of the kitchen. The pantry would hold all of our dry goods instead of separating them into several locations throughout the kitchen. The bottom cabinet you see in the photo was actually a free moving piece of furniture so that was easily removed. The top shelves, however, seemed to have been permanently fused to the house using some sort of ancient technology now lost to mankind. But it met its match in Denny.
Not satisfied with such a surface level of destruction, he continued until he had revealed the studs, and we added new drywall to give ourselves a good clean surface to build on.
Then we quickly and easily put the cabinet together thanks to our familiarity with the process from just finishing the other bank of cabinets. In no time at all, we were figuring out our shelf heights (based on cereal boxes, naturally).
The final task was to fill it up with food and organize. It's so nice to finally have everything in one place!
We achieved the "built in" look by using a piece of filler panel provided by Ikea and some ceiling molding at the top. Once attached and painted, they gave us the desired effect.
Directly across from the new pantry is a closet, probably built during the addition of the spare bedroom in the 1950's. It's use was pretty limited for us due to the spacing of the shelving inside. The upper half had two shelves, both too high for me to reach comfortably without a step stool. And the bottom cabinet had no shelves to speak of, limiting its use to storage of junk hanging on some nails and crowding into the limited floor space. Not functional or usable in any way. It was clear that we needed more shelves and where in the world where we going to find wood for those shelves? By tearing down another cabinet, of course!
Now please don't worry, Denny hadn't suddenly become a mindless demo machine. We had clear plans for removing these cabinets to make way for our new open shelving. We just demoed this one a bit early to be able to repurpose the wood (reuse, repurpose, recycle).
If you're unable to fully imagine the horror of the condition of these cabinets, let me make it clear with some photos. I'll let you mentally insert the image of the rat droppings that rained down on us as we demoed the top shelf.
Using the shelves we pulled from the north wall, we configured new shelving at intervals that made sense for what we were planning to store on them. We cut them down to size and used wooden cleats to anchor them in the cabinet.
See this weird box? When we bought the house, one of the requests in the inspection report was to seal this box, which is just a leftover electrical box with nothing in it. Didn't our guys do a good job of sealing it up! (No.) Let's just cover that up...
A little caulking here, a little paint there and voila! A usable cabinet.
The new hardware includes knobs from Ikea that match the rest of the knobs in the kitchen and the original hinges from the cabinet, just reversed and spray painted a hammered bronze color. I love me some spray paint! During this process, I also stripped and repainted the door knob to the spare bedroom. It's a pain to remove all of that old paint, but it's worth it for such a great (and cheap) finished result!
As always, there is so much more to show and tell but so little time. Keep checking back for progress updates! I think there will be at least two more posts before the final reveal. Hopefully we'll be decking the (newly finished) halls for turkey day very soon. Happy Thanksgiving!