It’s been a little over a month of living with our kitchen, up and running — hard — in our daily lives.
We use our kitchen, and I was curious to see where the clutter would gather. How the surfaces would hold up. If the gooseneck faucet would have splashback issues. Whether one of our new drawers could withstand the weight of a dozen vintage Pyrex bowls, two waffle irons, and five serving trays.
So far, so good. Last night, we rolled out fresh tortilla dough on the laminate countertop–and it performed beautifully. The stainless appliances aren’t streaking or smudging (relief!). The evenness with which the electric stove bakes a cake is a thing of beauty, and the continuous grill across the gas range is soooo helpful when you’re playing musical pots and pans for a dinner for eight. And if I ever questioned a single vs double-bowl sink, I never will again.
In the Big Reveal post, we skipped over the pantry. And this pantry deserves some attention, because I swear it’s got magical properties. It never seems to fill up. We reduced the pantry size by more than half, and I can still store all of my staples plus weekly dry goods in here, and feel no clutter.
Remember, we started with this:
After removing the horrid accordion doors, we ripped out the shelves, knocked out the back wall, and pushed the whole space back about a foot. This meant losing closet inches in the adjacent bedroom. (We then restored those bedroom closet inches with new framing, sacrificing some bed space — gain a foot here, lose a foot there). It also meant the pantry would have an odd L-shape, because the furnace is located directly behind the back left corner, but it would increase the overall depth of the shelves — and it would let the fridge nook hold a standard-depth fridge, if necessary. Mid-stream, it looked like this:
On our first attempt at building pantry shelves, we went with plywood — inexpensive, large enough sheets to cut out the odd shape we needed. But we cut exactly one sheet before I confessed how much I would hate returning to painted shelves. I lived with painted shelves for seven years. Everything sticks to them, no matter how long the paint cures. They chip, get gooey, and suck to clean. Back to Home Depot went the spouse, for sheets of white MDF.
We made an L-shaped template, decided on shelf heights, attached the support ledgers, cut the shelves, and installed. There was some caulking and possibly a few curse words. We built and hung the over-fridge cabinet (aka, The Liquor Library).
And then, oh wouldn’t it be nice to have the microwave hidden? Wiring an outlet inside the pantry, no big deal, you go ahead honey, I’m just going to make an iced coffee …
Of course, he totally did it. And then it looked like this:
One of these days, we’ll paint the unfinished door. Voila!