Amazing built-in from Bauer Brothers (pantry project)

About a year and a half ago, in the dead of winter, (I still remember the snow blowing across the ice on the road) we chugged over to Bauer Brothers to pick out a built-in for our pantry nook in the kitchen. When we bought the house, the pantry was under the stairs and while practical, I guess, it was dark, dingy, and kind of spooky. We decided in the corner of the kitchen, on the wall we closed up leading to the bathroom, we would do a square pantry with a door, or we would do a built-in style piece of furniture that could function as additional counter space but also pantry storage (big drawers and whatnot).

I know it’s hard to see the logic behind the decision so here is an illustration of what we changed in the space. Essentially we had more wall, given we moved the bathroom entrance out of the kitchen. It created a perfect little corner, for the pantry, so we could get it out from under the stairs and make it more accessible. More accessible, less creepy.

See that dark sliver of pantry?

Where’s this pantry that you speak of…

We are SO GLAD we decided on the built-in. We painted it Dutch Boy Manatee to contrast against the walls and cabinets. I wanted to make sure it looked like a piece of furniture and stood out against everything else. We chose butcher block counters because they stood out from the concrete counters on the other side of the kitchen.

Cut in half (eeek!) and painted

Ross actually had to cut the hutch in half in order to add a countertop. Originally it was all one hutch/built-in, so this part scared me, and I wasn’t sure it would look good after we split it in half. Needless to say, he knew what he was doing and it looks great!

It’s the perfect size for this smaller kitchen

Bottom piece and countertop installed

It was my idea to use two corbels on the sides instead of a plain piece of trim. We bought the corbels (green and pretty beat up) from Bauer Brothers Salvage as well as the hutch/pantry. I’m beyond thrilled with how it turned out.

Getting the top installed was a bitch! I burst a blood vessel in my eye holding it up!

We’re using the original hardware

Corbel cut and installed

Finished built-in!

I would love one of these in my kitchen – big drawers for canned goods or flour and sugar, glass doors to display all of your pretty dishes…it’s perfect!

Patching hardwood floors

Ross spent a ton of time patching hardwood floors where he had made the narrow doorways wider. We used some of the older flooring from the upstairs – we had cut out some hardwoods to make room for the new bigger bathroom. We’ll be putting some sort of hex tile in the upstairs bathroom anyway so we didn’t want hardwoods in there.

Wider threshold between dining room and living room

Wider threshold between dining room and living room

The wider doorway/threshold being patched

The wider doorway/threshold being patched

Underneath the stairs was hardwood that we also took out. Previously there was a little weird pantry under the stairs that you accessed from a corner of the kitchen. Instead of using that space as a pantry we are adding a pantry type of unit (salvaged from Bauer Brothers) for extra kitchen storage. Then we can use the space under the stairs for coat hooks, a small cut out of a bench perhaps, nooks for shoes and shelves for hats, purses, gloves and mail.

Upstairs bedroom patch to cover the odd little open square in the floor

Upstairs bedroom patch to cover the odd little open square in the floor

On the pantry/buffet unit, the drawers on the bottom will be awesome for just about anything you need to store, while the upper cabinet doors will be great for dishes or ingredients or whatever, and you will see those items through the glass doors. The counter top will be more workspace, although we are undecided on what material to use. We are wondering if this pantry/buffet should have a similar top to the rest of the kitchen or maybe something a bit different so it looks more like a furniture piece. I’m leaning towards painting it a grey or navy and having a different-color counter top so it looks like a separate piece of furniture than the kitchen cabinets and counters.

Threshold between entryway and living room being patched

Threshold between entryway and living room being patched

The patching took a lot of time but was totally worth it – wider doorways will help with letting more light into the rooms, making the space appear larger, and keeping the smaller spaces (like the entryway) from feeling claustrophobic. Ross made it look very easy, but patching floors is very detailed and putz-y work. He used this tip from The Craftsman Blog and made a putty with clear glue and sawdust to patch any small cracks or holes.

Completed patch of the threshold between the dining room and living room

Completed patch of the threshold between the dining room and living room

He used the following tools to patch the floors:

Completed patch of the upstairs bedroom flooring

Completed patch of the upstairs bedroom flooring

The floor patches are so difficult to find, you would never know they were done. I cannot wait to see these finished floors sparkle…sigh.

Completed patch on doorway from entryway to living room

Completed patch on doorway from entryway to living room

Bauer Brothers Salvage haul

We went to Bauer Brothers Salvage for the first time on our way to a birthday party, thinking we would be there for an hour or two tops. We even brought the kids with, which was just silly. It was way too cold in there for them and they clearly didn’t have as much fun as we were having.

We only made it to the first floor out of five floors!

We only made it to the first floor out of five floors!

I kept telling George “Look at those stained glass windows!” and he had zero reaction. We just decided to come back when we had an entire day to look around, when we didn’t have the kids, and to bring the truck and trailer. We can’t wait to go back. We have a gigantic list!

You can find just about anything there...storage, decoration, architectural materials...

You can find just about anything there…storage, decoration, architectural materials…

My favorite part of the trip was seeing super-expensive items that we had purchased on Craigslist for next to nothing. Right when we walked in, there was a cast iron clawfoot tub for $1200. The only difference is we had to clean ours. We also saw the exact same cast iron farmhouse sink we have, for a $1k price tag. This made me really glad we drove all over the state to find rehab materials on Craigslist; it was totally worth our time and gas money.

They had a huge collection of cool knobs and hardware...I WANT

They had a huge collection of cool knobs and hardware…I WANT

We left with two items which was all we could fit in the truck. We bought a buffet for the “pantry” corner and a medicine cabinet for the downstairs bathroom. They were willing to make a deal on the buffet because it had been there since at least 2014 and they wanted it gone. We were actually looking for one with a counter for additional workspace but those were all $1k or more and Ross said he can just split it in the middle to add a countertop and back/sides. I’m not sure when he’s going to have time for that but it was such a deal and the perfect width, so we couldn’t say no!

We need to clean up our buffet a bit but we got a deal on it

We need to clean up our buffet a bit but we got a deal on it

We almost got into a bidding war for the medicine cabinet. A party of three came by and started touching it so I stood closer to it and said it was mine. With a warm smile of course. The Bauer Brothers worker had to come by and haul it so we had to wait, but I put my arm on it possessively. They started asking what we needed it for and who was “doing the work” for us….what a laugh! I pointed at Ross and said “He is!”

#diy = do it yo’ damn self

Our new medicine cabinet from the side

Our new medicine cabinet from the side

We are going to use this in the downstairs bathroom

We are going to use this in the downstairs bathroom