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The Ugly Duckling

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When we first moved into this house, there was a room space that we named the nook. If you can imagine, it’s about the size of a small walk-in closet. It sits just off the kitchen before you get to the dining room. The previous owners had it set up as a tiny office space with a tiny desk and one tiny set of drawers. Tiny. Doll house furniture tiny. It was cute and made some use of this otherwise useless space so originally we set it up in a similar fashion. That is, until it became abundantly clear that no one wanted to sit in a closet for a prolonged period of time in order to use the computer or pay the bills. We would bring whatever we needed from the nook into the living room and work from the couch. We soon wised up and pulled all the office stuff out and it became a catch-all for kitchen overflow. We put two small bookcases in there and stored whatever didn’t fit in our kitchen cabinets. Over time, it grew to look like this:

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She’s a beaut, Clark. (Hides head in shame.)

We became so frustrated with this mess that we, on a total whim, took off to our local hardware store, baby in tow, and bought what we needed to turn this ugly duckling into a swan. We’re going to make it a walk-in pantry! I can’t tell you how excited this makes me. If you’ve ever owned a home old enough to be your great-great grandma you know that it comes with minimal cabinet space. (Thus the overflow disaster you see above.)

We came home and put Evelyn down for a nap. Which meant we had three hours (on a good nap day) to put this thing together. We pulled everything out and were left with this:

See the white squares on the wall? That was my brilliant idea. Before putting up the mounts we had to pre-drill holes into our walls to install anchors to hold up each one. Nick held the mounts on the wall while I slid scraps of paper behind and taped them in place. I simply marked each piece of paper with a pencil through the original holes in the mounts so we would know exactly where to drill. We drilled right through the paper and were left with perfectly aligned anchors on which to hang each mount. Once the anchors were in place we pulled the paper out from behind, hung the mounts, and were left with what you see above. Maybe it wasn’t the simplest way to get ‘er done but it did the job. Nick was nice enough to humor me and my scrap paper technique.

My job was to hang all the brackets in place for each shelf to sit while Nick went to the garage to cut, sand, and router each piece of wood. We could have bought finished shelves and saved ourselves a few steps but in the interest of making this project as cost effective as possible we chose to do it ourselves. The prefabricated shelves cost five times what the lumber cost. Yikes! Also, it didn’t come with nicely routered edges that mimic those of our kitchen cabinets. Since our goal is to make this part of the kitchen, we thought it would be nice to make it as seamless as possible.

Did you happen to notice the banged up paint job on the trim? In order to continue with the seemless look, we will be repainting all the trim and walls in the nook pantry and in the kitchen the same color and finally join these rooms together. Each shelf of the pantry will be painted the same color as our cabinets for an even more seemless look.

At this point, nap time was over. Therefore nook renovation was over. We still have to (1) paint the trim, walls, and shelves, (2) contact paper on the shelves (to protect our paint job), and (3) frame out and install a door in the opening of the pantry. It may take a few more weekends and a few more naps to get through everything. It should be fun to watch it all unfold.

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One thought on “The Ugly Duckling

  1. Pingback: Inspiration: Pantry | houseinspired

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