January 4, 2013

Yes. I have an unfinished kitchen. Only looongtime readers will remember my first admission of this problem. I’ll summarize for the rest of you.

We gutted and redid the kitchen ourselves. For a detailed before and after of the kitchen, click here and here. We moved in just as the new hardwoods had been laid throughout the main areas, replacing carpet, linoleum and parquet. It was the the second week of new schools, in a new city for the kids, and we moved into a kitchen-less house. I could see the look of concern on the teachers faces as I picked up the kids.

“So, (Thing Two) tells me you don’t have a kitchen right now! How’s it going?”

“Yes, that’s right, we’re managing, but I think it unsettles him a bit, (he was only 4) we’re just trying to sell it as an adventure!”

They stopped asking after a month. We really did manage pretty well out of the dining room, with camping tables set up as counters and a microwave, toaster and electric kettle. It was late summer so we had the grill as well. Without a downstairs bathtub, the washing up was much more difficult than the preparation of meals.

All that to say, when we finally got the kitchen fully functioning around 6-7 weeks later, we were exhausted and we looked over at the pantry wall and said..we’ll get to it in the Spring. Little did we know that actually meant in the Spring FOUR YEARS LATER.

pantry wall

We don’t have the cabinets, and the wall between the fridge and the shelving/makeshift pantry has to come out. It was a horrible realization that we have to undo some previous work. We had opened up this wall and reinforced it/shortened it because we had thought it was load bearing at the time. It used to extend further into the room and we brought it back flush with the fridge….we had it halfway down already! Arrrrgghhh!!!! We all make mistakes in these kinds of endeavors now and then, but it doesn’t make them sting any less.

wall to come out in kitchen

As much as we would LOVE to tackle the master bath, it is a much bigger job labor-wise and with the dog out of his crate the last few months, we figure it’s only a matter of time before he decides to get curious about the contents of these shelves while we’re out.

Also, I absolutely CRINGE having these open shelves for our pantry. Especially when people come over, it feels so exposed. Maybe not as bad as having an open medicine cabinet, but I have struggled with it and threatened to hang curtains over it and all sorts ever since it went up.

Ikea finally got with it and enabled the kitchen planner for Macs, which was not the case when we first did the kitchen, so we got to planning, and this is what we’ll have in its most basic form.

Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 8.39.01 AM

The visuals on the new planner aren’t as good as the old ones! It’s really hard to tell what you’re looking at here. The bottom cabs are pull-out recycling and drawers. The space on the end is open because we have 2 cabinets already for those spaces that didn’t work in the main kitchen.

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 10.54.16 AM

The microwave will move out of the main kitchen to this area of upper cabinets as will the wine rack from above my desk. The fridge will move over to the left a bit to be surrounded by floor to ceiling cabinets.You don’t see handles either since we have several already, so it makes it hard to see the full picture as we cobble together leftovers.

Now to get our schedules sorted for a trip to Ikea…we think we can just do a day trip this time without spending the night in Atlanta. We haven’t measured the car yet, but I think our tallest cabinet will be just a few inches too tall to fit in the SUV and we’ll have to rent a truck or van. The shipping cost with Modernash will be too expensive.

We’ll have to move some electrics as well, so we’ll have to get that started before we install anything. Sheetrock dust and chaos, here we come.

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7 thoughts on “Pantry

  1. Careforapint

    We LOVED our Ikea kitchen! We had such a modern and sleek look with hidden handles and eucalyptus wood veneers (sadly not available anymore, or I’d be ripping out my current kitchen…more on that later). The installation was so easy we were wondering if we missed something. Seriously, once you get that main support hung, it all goes together smoothly. We had a 15 x 13 kitchen with 2 pull-out pantries, 5 base cabinets, 6 high cabinets, and a “closet” (for lack of a better term). The panel that was to go along side our fridge came damaged, but after they sent a replacement, all was well. I would come home from work and put a cabinet or two together throughout the week and then I left the whole weekend to hang and install. I was finished maybe no later than mid-afternoon on the first day.

    That said, we had chosen their laminate counter top for both our locations. They were awful! The laminate is SO thin, that it scratched easily and as soon as any moisture got in, the particle board would swell. I would highly recommend not getting them. Our friends installed a product from Home Depot that looks like soapstone that’s a manufactured product. It really looks stunning.

    A few years ago, we had to move and that’s my only regret…that I couldn’t take the kitchen with us. Our current kitchen is “nice”, but I can’t stand the ’90s green/black granite counter (with the rounded edge). Ah well, maybe after the house is painted and the bathrooms redone, and the… πŸ™‚

    Have fun with your kitchen, it’s the one major home improvement project that we actually looked forward to and were thrilled with the results.

    Looking forward to other posts for updates.

  2. Juliab

    Good luck with the kitchen modifications. We are on the final bits and pieces finishing up our kitchen remodel. We are basically living with what we’ve got until we extend in a few years time. New bathroom going in next week. Can’t wait til this house is finished! x

  3. Terra Vang

    The layout marks you’ve made so far provide a rough picture of the base cabinet placement, but you still need a more detailed map. The wall surfaces affect the cabinet alignment, so use a straightedge to locate and mark any high and low spots (Figure 5). The low spots may require shims behind the cabinet, and severe bulges in the wall might push the cabinets over the toe kick baseline. Mark also the wall contours in the area where the upper cabinets go. Finally, check any corners with a framing square (Figure 6). If a corner is out-of-square either way, the cabinet placement (and countertop) will have to be adjusted to compensate and to keep the cabinet faces in a straight line. More often than not, the irregular angle stems from a buildup of plaster or drywall joint compound in the corner, not from an entire wall that’s misaligned. The offset is usually confined to the immediate corner area, so the gap behind the cabinets won’t keep growing larger.


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