Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Pantry! For me!

Warning: This is a long one.

When we first came to see our house, the previous owners' refrigerator was in this alcove in the kitchen (as seen from the dining room doorway):

empty alcove from dining room

Naturally, when we moved in, we put our fridge there too. The problem was that it stuck out a few inches too far (as theirs had as well) and made the doorway seem awkward and tiny.

So a few months back, I moved the fridge to a different space and put the Craigslist hutch in the alcove instead:

moving stuff around in the kitchen

A much better fit and we loved the way it opened up the kitchen.

BUT. We still did not have enough storage space.

So to jump around a bit more, remember this door I trash-picked back in the summer?

trash picked door

For a very long time now, I have been working on a use for it in the back of my mind. For some reason, the other week, something just clicked.

The alcove! Could be a pantry!

So I took some measurements and drew up some plans based around the dimensions of the door and what I wanted to store in there. And when my parents came to visit last Saturday and brought a bunch of good scrap wood, I got to work that night.

You can sort of see where I marked on the walls for shelf support placement:

empty alcove from kitchen

Stud and furring strip pieces in place:

scrap wood supports in place

Inside painted and shelves in place:

painted and shelves in place

And a closer look at the shelves for no apparent reason...

shelf detail

I put some awesome brown and blue polka dotted contact paper on the shelves and stuck a few things in where they belong (and put some tools and stuff in there to get them out of the way while I was working).

temporarily filling it with random stuff

And then it was ready for some framing so I could hang this beauty, seen here with the first coat of stripper on:

stripping the door

Prior to stripping it, I of course removed all the hardware and washed it and laid it out to dry.


I may have mentioned (once or twice) my love of antique hardware.

hardware (1)

The way metals rust, tarnish or even corrode with use fascinates me and makes for some beautiful colors and patterns.

hardware (2)

hardware (3)

hardware (4)

hardware (5)

And there is always the excitement of seeing what lies beneath the parts you remove, like the tiny patch of original finish that was lurking under the front plate of the mail slot.

hardware (6)

The one thing that went wrong:


The window frame stripped beautifully, but I did not take the time to mask the glass because I thought, wait for it, Oh! That stuff will wash right off with some soapy water like the "Peel Away 6" tub says.

Wrong. I had to scrape every pane of glass around the edges with a razor blade for a very long time and THEN wipe them all down with mineral spirits. What a pain, but a lesson learned I suppose...

Anyway, once the door was stripped and cleaned, I took it over to the pantry (which now has a frame in this picture!) to line things up. The door was cut at an angle along the bottom and I had to cut a long wedge off to make it level.

lining things up

Hung and ready to stain!

framed and hung

I cheated and used the combination stain and clear coat because I wanted it to dry and not smell bad by Saturday.

I think it turned out pretty great.

Here it is with one side of a reversible curtain I made for it:

done! with flower side of curtain

And the other side:

done! with lemon side of curtain

And that's that! I have an idea for some matching reversible curtains for the kitchen windows, but I think I came up with an interesting idea for making them fade-proof, no matter which side is facing in or out, so I am slooooowly sewing them with plenty of pictures so they can become a tutorial.

Thanks for being here to share my projects with me. :)


Kristina said...

Oh, I love this Amber, you did such a great job! What a great use for the pretty door and maximum use of the space you have. Also I LOVE your reversible curtain, can't wait for the tutorial :)

Amber said...

Thanks Kristina!

I'm hoping to work on the other curtains some more today, so hopefully the tutorial won't be much longer. :)

Herringmcinvale said...

I love your new area. You did a great job with the door.

Amber said...

Thanks so much! :D

Sudstolove said...

What a great idea Amber, it looks great!

Bambinosteps said...

Amazing! I think I've told you this before, but you remind me so much of my sister. She always finds the best things and so do you. AMAZING JOB! I am totally blown away with your hammer and nail skills.

Amber said...

Thanks! I love it and the storage space is unbelievable! :D

Amber said...

You make me smile! Thank you so, so much. Does your sister have a blog too? I would love to see her scores. I haven't found anything lately, but luckily I have a stockpile of stuff to work with for now. ;)

Jo said...

You ARE amazing!!

I love that door. I love everything you did, but I have to say, I think you don't need a curtain. That door is so pretty, seeing through it's glass has its merits. What about something almost invisible? Or nothing at all? Would that work or no....?

Amber said...

Well, as pretty as the glass is on its own, I do not want to have to look at the microwave, so the curtain is a must for me. The pantry itself will soon be filled with other practical items -- cereals, huge bags of flour, canned goods, etc -- so I really don't want to see them on a daily basis, you know? The white cabinet with the glass doors is now on the other side of the kitchen and has only nice looking stuff in it, so I at least get to enjoy the view in there. :)