One of the things that was on our list of “wants” when we were searching for a place to live that we ended up having to settle without was a large upgraded kitchen. The Mister and I spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen on any given day. He’s an amazing cook and I pride myself on my baking abilities (never confuse those two skills – I’m a terrible cook more often than not). The kitchen here at Casa Post Grad is really really small. The room size itself is misleading though – there’s so much more room than was utilized when the kitchen was built. In fact other than the 1’x1’x6′ pantry, the entire left wall is bare. It’s like they tried to squeeze an entire kitchen onto one wall.
When our landlord was living there, she’d used an IKEA baker’s rack to fill the void on the left wall and had even offered to leave it for us if we’d wanted. I decided against it with the hope that we could build something ourselves that would provide not just more shelving, but also more counterspace because the Mister knows I need ROOM when I bake. I tend to spread out kind of all over the place, but can you blame me? You can’t exactly shape out a pizza crust in a little 1’x1′ space on the existing counter that was left after we filled the rest with a toaster, knife block, spice rack, and coffee pot. What is this? A kitchen for ANTS?!
So … here’s the plan. As an obsessed follower of DIYDiva (seriously – if ever there was a person I aspired to be, it would be the “power tool wielding badass” that is Kit Stansley), I was obviously intrigued when she posted the final product of her bathroom vanity project.
Photo Source: DIYDiva
You know that moment when you see something really awesome and you pretend that you could actually ever be capable of such awesomeness yourself? Yeah – that’s me and this picture. When the Mister and I started talking about what we could build in that space of our kitchen, I kept coming back to her tutorial. We’d even discussed taking a dresser, removing the drawers to be like open shelves to set dishes on, and refinishing the top, but I couldn’t get this vanity out of my mind. So we started talking about all we could do if we tried to build something from scratch instead and came up with the following list of cool features for a new pseudo-island sideboard:
- a butcher block top – they just look cool
- hole in top that leads to a hideaway garbage bin for easy clean-up
- open shelving for storing dishes, pots and pans, or bakeware
- drop-leaf top to expand counter space only when in use
Taking DIYDiva’s original plan, and manipulating it using the oh-so-technical MS Paint, I came up with the following design (ignore the random numbers and arrows that now point to nothing in particular… I didn’t bother trying to fix those):
I’ve already ordered the legs from here in White Pine (same as used in the vanity project). Unfortunately, the rest of our furniture doesn’t get delivered until the weekend and there will be a week or two of unpacking and settling in more before I’ll really be able to dedicate any time to this project, but it’s already moved up pretty high on our to-do list for the summer. I’m pretty exciting about trying my hand at making butcher block. It doesn’t seem too complicated if you’ve got the right tools and materials… and luckily since we’re really not planning on using the counter as a cutting board, we don’t have to go with the most expensive hard wood material. Hoping to save a little money where we can while still ending up with a quality product.
I also know that it seems a little funny to have a drop leaf covering the cabinet door. We couldn’t have the drop leaf on the back though since this will be up against a wall. I also thought about putting the door to the cabinet on the side, but I’m still kind of hoping I can put a paper towel holder over there. I figure most times we’re using this, the leaf will be upright, so we can just empty the bin before we lower the leaf back down after we’re done. That may of course change once it all starts coming together and I think it looks weirder in person than it does in Paint.