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.
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
Over the weekend Brooke (our social media manager) and I went to the Parade of Homes in the Raleigh area and it was so fun to get a feel of how other people in our new area are living and living large! The purpose of the parade is so that home builders and designers can […]
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