An Idea is Born
As long as we have lived in this house (which is many years) I have not been in love with the kitchen. My main complaint was there was not enough storage. Actually that is my complaint about the whole house but I digress. We are ever so slowly trying to remedy that problem throughout the whole house. It’s slow going when you both work full time and you are DIYers.
The most prominent problem with storage in our kitchen was a lack of a pantry. I don’t know how I didn’t notice this before we bought the house but we used a couple of the cabinets as our pantry for years. This solution presented a couple of problems. The cabinets were not user friendly for a pantry. Groceries get shoved to the back and in the case of the lower cabinets it was a pain to get items out of the back of the cabinet. It just wasn’t working but I had no idea how to fix it. Our kitchen is a galley style kitchen so there wasn’t really anywhere for the pantry to go.
Finally we had an idea. Adjacent to our kitchen was an exceptionally long dining room. It was originally intended to be a combo dining room and formal living room. Alas, we are not formal people so a good portion of that room was wasted. We had a desk in there and our dining table but most of the room was unused space. What if we took a third of that room and put a wall up and expanded the kitchen into that space? We could put in an honest-to-goodness pantry and even add some closets! And so the kitchen expansion project was born.
Constructing the Pantry
The first order of business was to frame out the wall. We also added a pocket door to give us the ability to close off this area should we feel the need to. There was not enough room in the area for a traditional swing open door. My husband used this pocket door kit to install the rail in the wall. And now the door slides into and out of the wall easy!
Speaking of doors we debated for a while on what doors to use. But once we saw this door the decision was made.I loved the look of the arch and the paneling. Choosing this door for the pantry means we have now committed to replacing the other doors throughout our house – which is something we have wanted to do for a while.
Then my husband framed out 2 closets with an area in between for a built in desk. We use the two closets to store office related items and additional storage for the kitchen. One of the challenges was getting the new framing attached to the concrete slab. We have tried anchors and screws on varoius other projects and never got a really tight fit. So my husband picked up a Ramset Hammershot tool from Home Depot. This inexpensive tool was perfect for a small project such as this. It made quick work for nailing the studs into 30 year old concrete.
And the most important part (in my opinion) was the pantry. We debated a good while on what distance should be between each shelf. Cereal is kind of a big deal in our house so having a shelf that would accommodate cereal boxes was important. We went with this board for the shelving. The laminated board is easy to clean and several sizes are available in the dimensions we needed for our shelving. We also really liked the look of the bull-nose edges.
We decided to make the bottom two shelves deeper to add more storage. If the upper shelves were deep it would be more difficult to reach the items in the back. A light was also added inside the pantry.
You can see in the picture how my husband made wooden brackets to attach the shelves. To attach each shelf to the bracket he used Heavy Duty Power Grab made by Loctite. He prefers it over the other construction adhesives because it is more like a caulk, sets quickly and doesn’t have the smell of other adhesives.
Up next we will finish the built-in desk and organize the pantry and closets.