Pantry Update

I know this has been incredibly slow going, but the un-fun prep stuff takes awhile with little to nothing to show for it. BUT, that said, starting this weekend, things should start moving a little more quickly. We can’t install cabinets until the wall is up to code, with an outlet for every 4 feet of counter space. Plus outlets for under cabinet lighting…oh, and we have a switch hanging from the ceiling that needs to be dealt with.

We decided after taking out the wall last weekend that it was worth the splurge to get an electrician in. The CC is pretty good with electrics, but he’s one guy with a day job, and for what we need done, a team of 2 guys is going to get us ready to roll in about 4-6 hours. They come early Friday morning, which means Friday night, we can start busting out some progress. We have one lot of cabinets sitting in the garage waiting for assembly. I’ll probably drive to Atlanta sometime next week to get the second lot and the other bits like handles etc…

As a reminder of what we had on this wall of the kitchen…this is as it was the day we looked at the house….

fridge pantry before

…and this is how we’ve been living with it.

pantry wall

We eliminated all the wasted space behind those tiny bi-fold doors, but never quite finished.

pantry wall coming down


It’s a project, so that means only one thing….OTTOBOMB.

kitchen/pantry ottobomb

This is our highly scientific way of showing the electrician where we generally want the outlets.

kitchen/pantry electric sketch

kitchen/pantry hanging electrical

pantry cabinets

More later….I HOPE!

Pantry Update

We’ve made some changes to the pantry plan.

Because I am very lucky to have talented and sensible friends, we have been saved from creating a “stuffed mastodon/hummer” in our kitchen. BEST ANALOGY EVER BTW.

Angie Keesee-thank you!

If you remember, the previous plan looked like this below. The empty end would be filled with cabinets we already own…this is a mock up via IKEA that works with your shopping cart, so you don’t build in what you are not buying. The main reason we had decided to put the high cabs around the fridge was because of the door opening. We had originally wanted to have them on the opposite end of the fridge, but thought moving them was a fair work around at the time….wrong.

Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 8.39.01 AM

It is just too heavy to have it this way, and she drew up this for us.


AKK Revised Pantry Plan


Much better, right?  She reaffirmed all my doubts and reservations about the current plan, and I love her plan. This is how we will roll.  To solve the door problem, we will either remove the door altogether, or perhaps put in tiny solid french doors. We can’t switch the opening to the left side because there’s a lot going on with the mudroom corner on that left side. We can’t do a pocket or barn door either. Quite the persnickety situation. The cabinets to the right of the fridge are the wine rack and the bottom cab we already have.

Now to get our trip to IKEA coordinated…things have come up, and it’s looking like late February before we can go.  Thanks again to dear Angie and studio aka! Onward!


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.

Crafty Time: Holiday Projects Edition

We are geeky crafters. We are not ashamed of it…although, there was a period in our youth it seemed like a dirty secret…. 20 somethings with no kids who were home making things instead of..I dunno, doing whatever the hipsters were doing=Decidedly Not Cool. We got over it and decided to embrace the craftiness, since it typically yields things we like. Funny how that can happen.

I’ve rounded up a few projects from past years for your holiday pleasure.

Airplane and Helicopter Ornaments

Wood Veneer Ornaments

Every Year, The CC makes the kids an ornament, and every year, he frets about running out of ideas, but he always pulls it out in the end. Can I just say, he outdid himself this year and I can’t wait to show you. Dr. Who fans will enjoy them.

DIY Agate Slice Ornaments

agate in light

Heat embossed gift wrap

bag graphic detail

Map stenciled gift wrap


I mix up the decor every year. I like trying to find new ways to use my decorations each year to keep it fresh. I can’t imagine having to put everything in the same place, put together the same way, every year. Is that weird?

On a general decor note, most of this stuff, and the food gifts and projects just end up on Instagram, but a few had posts….might need to be better about that? Posts like this and this.

BTW, ditched Followgram now that Instagram finally has static pages for users, so the IG link above and in the sidebar will now take you to my page on Instagram instead of a 3rd party site.

The disco balls have been making our holidays sparkly for a couple of years now…


Bucky gets into the spirit.


Last year was the too wide taper caper for the brass deer….

And then there’s that damn elf. Don’t EVEN get me started.

I’m slowly getting this year’s vibe going…far from done, more to come!

Crafty Time: Bauble Edition

I made a garland of wooden baubles. Why?

Once upon a time, when people only read magazines made on paper, I tore out an image from Real Simple. Since then, it has made its way to all the digital formats like Pinterest etc.. and I still like it after all this time, so maybe this is the year I actually do something about it? OK, then.

Here are the original shots, back when Hable Construction textiles (see the napkins) were all the rage.

The simplicity and crispness of this styling still works for me and I wanted to make that wooden garland the minute I saw it. When everyone was going ape about the Ferm Living candleholder, I remembered this tablescape and knew it was time.


So, I braved Michael’s during the holidays to gather my supplies.

Instead of red string, I decided to try this red suede cord. The larger balls were not drilled, so I had to do that myself. Luckily the CC has a drill press he lets me play with now and then.

Without a vise, I had to hold the balls in place and hope I could stay on center.

Then, I strung them all up on the cord very loosely.  I don’t know yet how I will arrange the table for Christmas, so I decided to err on the side of caution. I can always tighten, but can’t add length once it is cut.

It was super simple and quick to put together. I might have to go to the woodcrafters shop and look for other woods. I’d also like to see if I can find even bigger spheres since the biggest ones at Michael’s are still smaller than the RS balls, but if I don’t have time for all that, I’m still happy knowing I can add on and tweak later.

You can see above that the red suede is creating a dust, but I’m hoping that’s just a temporary settling in thing. It might be a problem for someone using a white tablecloth.