Prior to tackling the floors, our kitchen extended into the dining area. It was always a little puzzling to us why the pantry was in the dining “room” when there was a blank wall in the kitchen. The only answer we could come up with was that 20+ years ago the builder accidentally made the island too big (it was an odd-shaped monster!) and was forced to put the pantry there? Who knows.
Before we started demoing all the tile, you may remember we tore out the island and pantry, as well.
“Tore out” really meant storing them in the garage to be used after the new floors were laid–and hey, here we are! That monster of an island actually had quite a small footprint of three normal-sized base cabinets once we got all of the extra trim and 400 lb tile countertop off, so we knew we could re-use the storage in a different configuration if we wanted when putting the kitchen back together.
We opted to put the base cabinets in a straight line parallel to the new pantry location:
Adding the pantry back in was as simple as driving a few screws into the studs–after we rallied 5 guys to help carry it in from the garage. We still need to find and reattach the base trim and crown molding and the doors on the island, too. Oops!
If you just screw particle board cabinets together, the screws rip out really easily and it just doesn’t work well. For this reason, when making the island, we positioned the base cabinets where we wanted them before drilling holes between adjacent units, two toward the top and two toward the bottom. Then we pushed narrow bolts through the holes, equipped with washers, lock washers and nuts to draw the cabinets in tight and solid.
We also connected 4 brackets to the screws on the top, so we could screw the counter top into them.
Speaking of countertops, for the very short term, we plopped a cheap piece of plywood on top, screwed it in place from underneath and covered it with a plastic tablecloth so we could have full reign of our kitchen again right away.
We knew it would be convenient to have the pantry in the kitchen, but we’re both surprised the difference it has made to have a straight island. We can open all of the drawers at once if we wanted–something we couldn’t do when they were on an angle. Unloading the dishwasher is a breeze. There’s literally a straight shot to the fridge now.
We’ve come a long way from where we started:
But we honestly feel like we are finally–finally–at a starting point now:
(Yes, the dining chandelier is really that off-centered). In the coming month, we are going to update the island. DIY a legit countertop and open a can of paint on that island. I probably won’t get to painting the rest of the cabinets until summer, but forcing that orange wood out a little at a time has me so excited.