We’re back for more updates at Project MillOnChelt- this time adding much-needed function to their kitchen.
The “before” wasn’t a bad one. In fact, it was lovely, and in good condition. But, it just wasn’t working for this family. There were two full upper cabinets, a small cabinet above the fridge, one lower cabinet, and a desk with four drawers. However, this great house had a tiny pantry- in the hallway! For a family with two active young boys, making snacks and storage more accessible was exactly what they needed.
There’s a spacious office near this kitchen, so the desk space wasn’t necessary here. It usually ended up as a dumping ground, as horizontal surfaces like this often do. Basically, everything below the upper cabinets was wasted space for this family. They also didn’t love the cabinet above the fridge. As storage, it wasn’t terribly convenient, and if we were going to put in a full-size pantry, it would be nice to free up some visual space on this wall.
The wood tops from the desk and lower cabinet were really gorgeous, solid walnut, and I knew I wanted to incorporate them in the redesign of this wall. I made a chunky floating shelf for above the fridge- this area isn’t really great for storage, especially since they have a pretty deep fridge- but it’s a great spot for decorative items. I also wanted to use this wood as handles for the pantry doors. Because there are a lot of the original cabinets along another wall, it was important to really differentiate this pantry from the cabinets. How I see it is: you either have to match exactly or specifically not match. Since we would be detailing the doors differently, adding the special wood handles also makes the pantry really stick out. In a good way. Here’s the original concept:
And the final result!
When we got there to pull out the original cabinets, we ran into a few super-fun* surprises.
*But not really.
These cabinets were original to the house, and the builders had only extended the hardwood floor to the front of the cabinets, so once they were pulled out, two large squares of subfloor were exposed. Also, the tiles were applied with a ridiculously thick layer of grout, and demoing them turned the sheetrock into shambles. So.. a quick pantry install turned into patching drywall and tie-ing in a new hardwood floor.
But! All of that extra work turned out beautifully! We were able to stain the new flooring boards to a ridiculously close match- you’ve got to really search to find the new boards now. And removing the tile allowed us to make the pantry flush with the left wall and turn it into a real built-in by making all the trim fit around the pantry perfectly.
I’ve got two more simple pieces coming up for Project MillOnChelt, but we’re calling a wrap on Project Kitchen, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the final result!