Archives For Projects

One of the dumbest things about our pantry is the large open area at the bottom. Jack liked to climb inside and shut the door, but in general it was just wasted space that invited chaos. See below.

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I mentioned yesterday that I bought a sheet of 3/4″ plywood with three projects in mind, and one of those projects was a new shelf for this lower area. I had Nick cut a piece to 22″ by 28″ inches for me and then I primed and painted it and a couple of pieces of scrap wood white. Then we just attached the scrap pieces to the pantry walls with some screws and set the shelf on top. I’m realizing looking at this photo that I probably should screw it down in at least one place because Jack is really into climbing lately and it could possibly tip forward. If you look closely you can see him trying to climb onto my back in the reflection of the large pot.

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I left the shelf empty for now because once I get the new doors put on I want to try putting the microwave there. I figure we’ll try it with an extension cord first to see how we like it and if it works then we can consider having an electrician install an outlet. If that doesn’t work out then it’s the perfect height to put baskets with sippy cups and toddler-approved plates and bowls and snacks.

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I also touched up the rest of the shelves and the frame of the pantry while I had the paint out. It looks so much better and already feels much more spacious without those bifold doors cramping the opening.

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I can definitely add this shelf to the list of projects that I can’t believe I waited so long to do. It was so easy and practically free since I needed the plywood for another project anyway. What do y’all think about the idea of putting the microwave in the pantry? I really want to get it off the counter but Nick is hesitant.

I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew this weekend. I bought a piece of plywood fully intending to whip it into three separate projects, but by Sunday evening we’d only completed one and a half. I’m here to show you the half. The bifold doors covering our pantry have always left something to be desired.

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They’re a pain to open and close, they don’t actually cover the full width of the opening, they make it difficult to access the far right side of the pantry, and, most importantly, they’re not my style. So they had to go. I had good intentions to donate them to the ReStore but after several minutes of trying to gently remove them from the track I got impatient and told Nick to “just go Hulk on them,” and he ripped them out. The ReStore has a ton of those bifold doors anyway.

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Bam. I removed the hardware that was holding it in and the old plastic thingamabobber too. I think it was a motion detector for an old security system that was housed in the pantry (you can see that white metal box on the second to top shelf that houses all the circuit board and stuff. If I decided to have an electrician come drop a new light box for me I may have him remove that box, as well.

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So now–so exciting–I need new doors! You can see in this old photo that there are already two different styles of cabinets in our kitchen. If they all matched I might have felt obligated to make my new doors blend in, but since they were already different I figured I could get away with doing something a little different (read:easier). Let’s call it eclectic.

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I bought a 4′x8′ sheet of 3/4″ plywood at Lowe’s for about $50. I wanted to get the birch but they weren’t really labeled clearly and I think I ended up with “blondewood.” I don’t think blondewood is a real thing, probably some generic term for whatever cheap lumber they’re milling, but whatever. I was planning several projects with this one board so I made a diagram to plan my cuts and asked the staff at Lowe’s to make a few of them before we left so we could get it home more easily. This one piece was 76″ by 26″, and the only cut we needed to make at home was one splitting it in half vertically. I also bought four lattice strips for the trim, so we clamped one of the lattice strips to the plywood to use it as a straight edge for the jigsaw.

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This white balance is kind of crazy in the next few photos. Sorry about that.

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Even with the straight edge Nick’s cut still wasn’t perfect. We put the two outer edges together so that the edges that Nick cut were on the outside (where they’d be less noticable) and planned to use trim to give it a more finished look.

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I figured the easiest way to trim it out and still have a professional look would be to do a shaker style. So we used four inexpensive lattice strips to frame out the perimeter. Nick used the same miter box that we used to cut the trim for the beadboard and it was really easy. We placed the two middle pieces first so we could make sure they went together nicely, then filled in the rest of the pieces.

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I attached them with finish nails and just like that, we had two doors. Now I just need to fill the holes and gaps with wood filler then sand, prime, and paint before finally hanging them and attaching the knobs. It’s not nearly as easy for me to get things done during the week, even on the days that I’m not working, so I’ll be thrilled if I can just get them painted and ready to hang by Friday.

Part of my mission in the kitchen is to make better use of the available storage space. To that end, I took some time the other day to corral all of the items needed for baking into one area. I used to keep most of the baking ingredients and supplies on the top shelf of the pantry but it was difficult for me to reach without a stool and there was no prep area nearby. Since this stretch of counter that is sort of like a peninsula is where I do most of my food prep I put my stand mixer and knife block in the corner, then filled the cabinet above with mixing bowls, flour, sugar and various baking accoutrements.

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I’ve had these snapware canisters forever and used scrapbook letters (with clear packing tape over top) to label them years ago, but they don’t fit standing up in the cabinet so I applied some plain white labels to the lids and wrote the names with a sharpie. It’s not the prettiest solution ever but it’ll do.

labeled sugar and flour containers

My absolute favorite part is the hooks! I used some small Command hooks to hang up the various attachments for my mixer. Now they’re always handy. Though I neglected to warn Nick and when he swung the cabinet open rather quickly the other night he was startled by the dough hook swinging around right at his eye level.

baking cabinet

Next I want to move the tin foil, saran wrap, etc., out of the drawer below this area so that I can put the cutting boards there. No other drawers are big enough for the big rolls so I need to get one of those door hanging thingies, and all of my doors are childproofed so I’d rather put it on my not-yet-created new pantry door. Patience is paramount when all these small projects piggyback on each other! But little by little the hardest working room in the house is becoming more efficient (and prettier!).

Thanks so much for reading, yall, and have a great weekend!

Long before I was a blogger I was a blog reader. I spent my lunch break, my evenings, and any other bit of free time reading blogs the way that Nick spends that time reading about sports. The list of blogs I love the most has changed over the years and even the way that I read them has evolved. I used to visit each site individually as I felt so inclined, then I subscribed to them all in Google Reader, and these days I use Feedly. I frequently remove blogs that I don’t feel excited to read anymore and add new ones that have just caught my eye. I love that feeling I get when I find a new blog that is just really great. If you’re looking for some leisure reading then check out some of my favorites. Most are home decor blogs, but not all.

Emily A. Clark

Jones Design Company

Nesting Place

The Hunted Interior

Young House Love

Science of Mom


Fit and Feminist


I’m in kind of a rut lately in that I don’t really feel like I have any peers in the blogging world. I wish there was some mechanism for finding blogs that get about the same amount of traffic as I do so we could compare notes and support one another. It’s hard to explain exactly what I mean, but I guess it’s like looking for friends at work or in parenting circles or whatever. It’s nice to have someone who “gets” it and that you can turn to for advice or support. Anyway, I’m always looking for new reads so if you have a favorite blog that you think I might like do share!

There is no such thing as blogging.