Friday, January 31, 2014

The happiest girl on the block

When we moved into this house, we were aware of the shortage of storage space in the kitchen.  We quickly learned just how short that space was (meaning we couldn't find a silverware drawer organizer to fit inside any of our drawers and we have two pans that don't fit into any cupboard).  We also don't have any kitchen cupboards that can be used for pantry storage.  We had used an old shelf inside a nook for a long time, and then in November I spotted the perfect cabinet at an antique store with my dear visiting friend, Jamie.  Since we don't own a truck, we used ourselves and a dollar bill to measure that it would fit in the nook (pretty close!) and coerced my in-laws into picking it up for us a few weeks later.  The best part: this baby was only $130.  boom.

Before.  With the drawers removed to air out

Norm impersonation

We quickly discovered the antique quirks to this cupboard.  One hinge was installed with the wrong kind of screws so that the door couldn't close properly, it's missing knobs on the top and bottom, it needed some shelves, and it had the familiar "antique store" odor to the inside.  Dillon quickly fixed the problem keeping one door open by switching out some screws in the hinge. By the way, if you know me, you realize I have a little thing for Norm.  So this fella of mine, working with tools and in flannel was well-documented in photos. 

I finally got around to painting the interior a few weeks ago.  Using the quart we had purchased to test our our nursery wall color, we just went with the same light gray.  So I sanded the whole inside (not super smooth, but enough so that the paint would stick), vaccuumed all the dust, and wiped it down several times with cleaner and water/vinegar.  The smell persisted, but I figured the painting would cover it up.  Two awkward and contorting-my-pregnant-body-to-fit-inside coats of paint later, it looked great! 
Shelf bracket
After the paint, with our shelves installed (one more shelf will go on the top)

My father in law had helped and installed a couple of horizontal braces for the shelves to sit on, and even gave us some great shelves.  These were pieces of something that had been in the family farm for decades that he wanted to give us to keep the antique feel of the cupboard. Let me tell you, they are beautiful!  But also had been left in the farmhouse for awhile.  Meaning they smelled a little ripe.  If you smell what I'm stepping in.  If you're catching what's wafting your direction.  So father-in-law Tom was quite the gentleman and took them back to the farm for some sanding and polyurethaning. 

Last night, Dillon discovered a wonderful sight in our breezeway:

We have no idea how long those shelves were waiting for us to notice them outside, but I am so thankful that Tom dropped them off.  First thing this morning I was installing these shelves and loading them up.  Now, our kitchen looks like this:

Another stressful view of food.
Yuck. Stressful view of the food.

AFTER. With all the food contained.

Rather than the stress-inducing view of all of our food from every angle in our home, everything is contained and pretty.  I can't even express how happy I am! 

There is one more shelf to install (someone needs to cut notches in the back so that it will sit on the horizontal braces, and then we have to install some hardware to the front.  I'm currently in the middle of an experiment that will hopefully age these faux bronze knobs we got to something a little less "HELLLLLLLLLLLLLO I'M FAKE BRASS".  
I'm also thinking about adding cork to the inside of one door to  serves as our grocery-list holder so that our fridge is nice and empty on the front.  And just in case you are wondering, it no longer smells like an antique store OR a farm.  Horay!


  1. In the event that your antiquing attempts on the fake brass don't pan out, another option is liberal/stylistic application of a blow-torch to encourage a little discoloration of the metal. That, and possibly using some steel wool to vary the surface texture a bit, may give you a few back-up options.


  2. I never heard of blowtorching those things! The experiment is going well though, and is a lot more "hands-off". Just letting them sit in vinegar overnight is a lot easier than tracking down a blowtorch. But much less fun. I'll post another picture of the finished products sometime!