This is what our kitchen looked like when we bought our house. I added the wainscotting as an attempt to update the original cabinets and make them taller. Turns out I suck at carpentry! Forgive the grainy picture, I didn’t think I’d be posting this to a blog at some point in the future.
Summer of 2016, we had new wainscotting added by a pro and also installed a cookbook shelf and built in dog bowls to the kitchen island! Next step was giving those original, beat up cabinets a make-over (finally!). We used Sherwin Williams – Alabaster for the majority of the cabinetry and Sherwin Williams – Mourning Dove for the island. We also replaced the extremely ugly fluorescent light with a custom made light from Etsy! It’s amazing what a little custom woodwork and paint can accomplish.
We were starting to love our kitchen, but there was one glaring issue.
Kids and husbands snack, a lot. With two growing boys and a perpetual snacker for a husband, ample pantry space is seriously important. Unfortunately, our tiny pantry seemed like an afterthought. Almost like the builders forgot to include a pantry so they just built on the smallest one possible to keep costs low. Maybe people ate less in 1985? Anyway, we had to get extremely creative with storage, adding hanging racks and canned food storage on the ground. Snack bags just got piled on top of each other making it next to impossible to find anything.
Our laundry room was also just a hall between the kitchen and the garage with the washer and dryer in it (see pictures below) and a completely non-functional, unorganized mess. We decided to solve two problems and knock out the pantry and turn that into extra space for the laundry room! Check back for the laundry room renovation in a future post.
One problem was solved, but what about pantry space? Building on a completely new pantry is costly and wouldn’t create the visual impact we wanted. Storage closets are functional but not necessarily… attractive. We looked into builder-grade cabinets, but there’s not really much bang for your buck and we desperately needed organization. So one Saturday morning, we piled the boys into the car and made a trip to IKEA. Our entertainment center is from IKEA and we have really enjoyed it, and I’ve been in love with the idea of an IKEA kitchen for years! At least with pantry cabinets, I kind of get my dream kitchen, right?! We were wandering around the kitchens when we found them – the perfect cabinets for our space. They were to the ceiling and had a gorgeous built-in wine rack. Not that we keep all that much wine on hand, but hey, it’s a good excuse to buy more.
Seventy-six pieces of cabinetry were delivered to our home. Seventy-six. We couldn’t walk through our garage for the stacks of boxes and we are still trying to recycle the aftermath over two months later! If you want to give your marriage a true test, build IKEA furniture together. Honestly. I’m surprised we are still talking after those two days of torture. And that was just the pantry. We hadn’t tackled the laundry room cabinets at this point! I just kept repeating “It will be worth it! They are going to be so pretty when they’re done.” Each cabinet has four drawers, plus the shelving. It was nice saving the cost of having the cabinets installed, but admittedly, if we ever redo the rest of the kitchen I will gladly pay to have it done.
The torture was completely worth it.
The amount of pantry space we have now is ridiculous. We went from one tiny space that was about 14 inches deep, to two 90 inch by 24 inch cabinets with drawers and shelves. Not to mention the 24 spots we have for wine! These cabinets fit our space perfectly and created a much needed revamp to our old kitchen. The breakfast nook is a cozy, welcoming little spot.
I am thrilled with how this project turned out. You know how normally when you get a vision in your head, the outcome is way off the mark? Well this project exceeded expectations. Pretty sure I smiled for two weeks straight every time I walked into the kitchen!