Monday, June 6, 2016

Our Kitchen Pantry

It’s done!  Well, almost.  I still need to add a light fixture to replace the bare bulb, but that can wait as we were anxious to move all the pantry items back IN to the pantry!

A little background info….after almost 10 years in our home, we finally reached the point where our walk in pantry was just too frustrating to deal with a moment longer.  Our builder had only installed 4 non-adjustable shelves on one wall and at the time we thought it would be fine, but after moving into the house, quickly realized it was a completely underutilized use of what could be an amazing space.  With 5 people living in this house, we would continually organize and reorganize the space but it always ended up looking like this…   

Yes, it really was that bad.

I started by removing the shelves (along with a spice rack I’d created from some pallets years ago) and was left with a blank slate.   

After sketching up some plans and getting the ok on the design from my hubby (he’s the main cook in this house) I went shopping! 

I started with 3 sheets of maple purebond ¾” plywood that I had cut in half so it was easier to transport home in my van.  Once home, I ripped down the sheets into narrower widths for the cabinets.  The cabinets on the left are 11-1/2” deep while the cabinet on the right is only 10” deep.

Unfortunately our walls were far from perfect, so when I went to install the cabinets, quickly realized I had some issues, one being that the front edge of the bulkhead was ¾” lower than the back.  Of course when I measured, I only measured the back.  This picture is a bit deceiving as it looks like the cabinet is quite a bit taller, but it’s just the angle. 

After removing the metal edge and drywall on the bottom of the bulkhead, I was able to slide the cabinets into place.  Adding a few shims, I was able to get the cabinets level and plumb and screwed them into the studs in the walls so they're not going anywhere!

Each cabinet is backed with a sheet of 1/8” hardboard and then I chose to try some beadboard wallpaper to tie it in with our kitchen cabinets which have a similar look.  I’d read that once painted you can’t tell the difference, but I find that it still has a sort of spongy feel to it and could get damaged if something sharp pushes in to it.

Because we have 9’ ceilings, I wanted to utilize as much space as possible so took the cabinets up to the ceiling. 

I decided to add some crown molding to finish it off and cover the gap between the top of the cabinet and ceiling as well as try to camouflage the bulkhead a bit more.

Once all the plywood was trimmed out, caulked and primed, I painted everything with a couple coats of glossy white enamel paint.  For the adjustable shelves, I chose to purchase 5/8” melamine shelves that I cut to fit.  They’re easy to clean and it was so much easier to just cut and put in place. To allow the shelves to be customized to whatever height we need, I have them sitting on ¼” shelf pegs, with the exception of the center shelf which is permanently attached in place for stability  

And....tada!  Here it is! 

 For the corner, I designed the cabinet based on a design I’d come across online.  After the cabinets were installed, I measured the distance between the left and right cabinet and cut shelves to fit the space which I then permanently attached to the shelves on the left which gave me the “L” shape.   

Because I’d drilled adjustable shelf peg holes on both sides of the 10” cabinet, this allows three sides of the shelf to be supported by shelf pins so I don't have to worry about any other support taking up room on the corner shelves.

We knew we wanted to incorporate a space for our spices again, so I added a narrow cabinet along the right with adjustable shelving. It's over 6' tall so I thought that would give us plenty of storage.

To create the spaces for the shelves to slide into, I cut a series of dado cuts 2” apart along the entire length of 7” wide piece of plywood.  After the dados were cut, I then ripped the board in half so I knew the shelves would line up perfectly.  For shelves, I’ve just cut up some leftover hardboard I had on hand but they may be replaced with a slightly thicker material at some point down the road.  

And just for fun, here's a before and after....

I plan to add a couple more shelves to the main pantry cabinets, but for now it’s just so nice to have a use able pantry that will make keeping it organized EASY!

Thanks for popping by!  If you have any questions, definitely let me know. 

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