Pocket Doors, Pantries, and Canned Good Storage

I know I’m like a broken record here, but yes, I am going to talk again about the kitchen renovation. It’s like the renovation that keeps on giving and giving. ;)

As you probably surmised by reading the title, I am showing you the two pocket doors we installed (love them!), our pantry makeover, and also sharing a cool storage solution I came up with for canned goods.

Let’s start with the pocket doors. I knew from the day we bought our house that I wanted to ditch two awkwardly placed doors and install pocket doors instead. I love pocket doors!

Exhibit A: Awkward Door #1

Standing in the kitchen, there is a door that leads to our pantry/mud/laundry room, which then leads to our garage. It is probably the most used area of our entire house. When we bought the house, there was a door connecting the two rooms, as well as a wall separating the door from where the refrigerator goes.

In addition to ripping that wall out, we also ripped out the door and half the wall so we could install a pocket door.


Read more about installing the pocket doors here

Today we have a lovely cabinet around the fridge, beautiful new wood floors, and a fun space-saving pocket door! (The trim has since been painted. The door will be painted black eventually.)

  

If you stand in the mud room and face into the kitchen, here’s a before and after:

  
Read more about the wall hooks here

Here’s one more of the same door into the kitchen from a slightly different angle showing the pantry, and our 2nd pocket door we installed… (Older picture – all trim is now painted.)

This photo brings me to…

Exhibit B: Awkward Door #2

The pantry door opened into the mud room and was always in the way.

When left open it blocked the walkway and was just really annoying. So of course when we decided to rip out the kitchen and add a new one, I scope creeped the renovation to include a surprise door switcharoo and new shelving in the pantry.

We had to rip out half the wall and several floor tiles to install the pocket door frame, but it was so worth it to not have to deal with a cumbersome door in my way all the time anymore.

Here’s the door after it was installed. We still need to paint it black and add the door handle, but at least the trim is now painted.

Three cheers for pocket doors! A pain in the rear to install after-the-fact, but totally worth it.

Well, now that we are talking about the pantry, I might as well show you the updates in there too.

The pantry originally came with wire shelving.

A lot of people like wire shelving, but personally, I don’t. I’m just not a fan. I’d rather have wood shelves any day of the week. Well, as my luck would have it, those two pocket doors we installed shared a wall with all the wire shelving in the pantry. We literally had to remove the shelving in order to get the pocket doors installed. I couldn’t have received happier news that day. Now I’d be getting some nice wooden pantry shelves out of the renovation too!

Because the renovation of half the house was such a huge job, we just had the trim out guys add our new shelves as well.

We had them do a basic set of shelves on the left…

But we wanted to still have our mini-fridges (blogged about here) on the right, so they installed the bottom shelf to accommodate them.

Last month I shared a project over at True Value’s blog about a Canned Goods Solution I came up with for our pantry. We had a big blank wall at the back of the pantry, but adding full depth shelves would have made the pantry feel way too claustrophobic. At the same time I had been frustrated with trying to store all our canned goods in a way that made them easy to spot and not take up an entire shelf. The solution was to build a 4″ deep wall shelf for all the canned goods.

Isn’t this such a brilliant use of space? I came up with the idea after seeing people use the narrow space behind their bedroom doors for tiny bookshelves. I figured I could create a narrow shelf but to hold all the cans. I managed to build this shelf in only a few hours. Here is a link to the full tutorial.

It’s always so fun for me to see where a project started, and where it’s ended up:

  

Now if only I can bring myself to actually paint everything. My claw hand is still recovering from painting all the trim (3 coats of paint!) so I keep putting off painting all the shelving. Maybe blogging about the pantry progress will motivate me to get it done once and for all.


     

The laundry slash mudroom is almost done

You guys, I am so close to being done with the laundry room renovation. And I am giddy with excitement over how it’s turning out. So. Much. More. Awesome. than I could have anticipated.

We’ve been using the laundry room while it’s in transition, and even with missing trim and much needed paint touch-ups, the room functions as a laundry-slash-mudroom perfectly. Definitely worth the hard work and time I’ve invested in it.

I started a few weeks ago by showing you how to hang beadboard and how to turn ikea furniture into a mudroom locker system.

Then I dove into showing you how to run a vent pipe through your new mudroom locker system.

Today I want to give you a basic update just to show you where I’m at now. I also will give some pointers on hanging wall hooks so they are level and spaced evenly apart.

Here’s the mudroom locker system almost totally finished. All it needs is a little bit of finishing trim and some crown moulding.

I finally hung that shelf across the top (I just followed the directions that came with the shelf from ikea). I also added a strip of MDF across the back and hung up 5 new coat hooks.

I chose to add a strip of MDF across the back before I hung the hooks for two reasons. One, I think it looks more finished and more “built in”. Two, it gives the hooks additional support. The screws had something more than beadboard and drywall to bite into.

I cut a strip of 4″ wide MDF the length that I needed it, and then before I hung it up (with liquid nails and a nail gun) I measured and marked five evenly spaced lines across the board.

Then I marked where each of the screws needed to go for each hook. After I hung the board to the beadboard I drilled pilot holes into each of the screw hole markings and puttied up all my nail holes.

By pre-drilling all the screw holes, you can now prime and paint your board and not worry about where to hang each hook. You will see all your pilot holes after the paint is dry.

By pre-measuring and pre-drilling before painting, once the hooks were hung I didn’t have any paint touch-ups. It was really nice. (The coat hooks are from Home Depot and were around $4ish each.)

Now that the top shelf and the coat rack are hung I can finally focus on adding trim around all the raw edges. I bought some quarter-round I’m going to add to cover those edges. It will help give the unit a much more finished and built-in look.

Here’s how the unit is currently looking. It is fully functional, just needs the basic finishing touches (trim).

I may even add some pretty knobs to the bench drawers. It would be purely cosmetic though since the drawers have a great tap function. You just barely tap on the drawer and it pops open. The kids’ socks are stored in the drawers (they each get a drawer).

And here’s a sneak peek of the entire room. I can’t wait until I finish all the trim and crown moulding so I can give you a full tour of the room.

Oh, and check out the “before” photo. What a dramatic difference!

  

I think I’ve been starved for some serious DIY projects after taking a break from big projects all summer long. I just love transforming boring spaces into super-functional and pretty ones.

For a source list, check out this post.

Part 1: How to install beadboard and turn ikea furniture into mudroom lockers

Part 2: How to install a vent pipe through shelving


     

Laundry room phase 2 + how to run a vent pipe through a shelf

Oh boy am I tired today. Pooped out. In addition to finishing the laundry room, I’ve decided it would be the perfect time to have a huge garage sale this Friday.

Yes, I am insane. I have no boundaries.

{If you live anywhere near NW Austin and would like to stop by my garage sale, it will be this Friday at 7am. I am opening it up to friends/blog readers Thursday night from 9-9:30pm so you can shop/snoop early. Please email me for my address. I don’t feel comfortable just posting it online.}

Anyway, I am so tired. Between tackling this next chapter in the laundry room renovation and planning for a garage sale I have really outdone myself.

I didn’t get that far with the laundry room today because I had to install a vent pipe through the entire mudroom furniture. Do you remember back when I told you about the venting issue we have and how I vented the dryer through the window instead?

Well, we still have the same vent situation. The builder installed a vent up the wall that makes TWO 90-degree turns. The hot air gets trapped inside and it takes forever for the clothes to dry. So I just fixed it my venting through my window instead. Works amazingly well.

So today I had to extend my vent all the way across the laundry room. The only problem is, the new shelves and bench are in the way. This is my solution.

I wanted to vent through the wall. I wanted to hire out and have the vent professionally installed horizontal through the wall and then exit the house next to the window through the brick. However, unfortunately, the wall that I need to vent through is apparently a major support wall.

This is called being stuck between a rock and a hard place. I can’t use the current vent because the hot air can’t escape. I can’t vent through the wall to the front of the house because the wall is a support wall. I really have no options here other than the current solution – venting through the window.

Now that you know the “why”, here’s how I did it.

I started by purchasing a big honkin’ huge drill bit. It’s a little over 4″ wide (4 1/8″ I think). The big round bit and the drill bit attachment had to be purchased separately and let me tell you, they were not cheap. The two pieces cost me about $35. ::sad face::

I tackled the bench first. I needed the 4″ vent pipe to fit through the back of the bench and rest between the top shelf and the middle shelf. Any lower and I’d be cutting into the drawers below. I removed the top shelf, and after lots of measuring and math I drilled my 3 holes. Then I inserted the pipe to make sure it all fit.

From there I measured some more and then cut holes through both side shelves.

Once all the holes were cut, I attached the hard metal vent pipe to the section in the window using foil tape and the accordion-style cheap dryer vent tubing.

After making sure it all lined up and fit snugly it was time to reattach the top shelf.

I added wood glue to the raw edges before attaching the shelf just to insure it fit properly and didn’t wiggle. Check it out. You can hardly even see the vent pipe now that the seat and shelves are in place.

I’ve used the vent a few times already just to test everything, and in case you are wondering, yes, it gets hot. However, I don’t feel like it is hot enough to do any damage to the furniture or start a fire or anything. However, I know this probably isn’t “to code” so if you copy this tutorial do it at your own risk.

I also finished hanging the beadboard behind the washer and dryer…

And I spent the rest of the time filling nail holes, caulking every single visible seam, and painting all the new trim work. If you notice, it is the exact same white as the furniture. I took a shelf to Home Depot and had them match the ikea white exactly. I purchased Behr paint and primer in one. I will give you the exact formula on the next laundry room update post.

So as you can see, the room is coming along. I tried out Restoration Hardware’s “slate” paint on the wall (same paint as my dining room) but I really don’t like it in here, so I’ll try out another color soon. I probably won’t get much done in the laundry room for the next few days now that I’m planning for a big blow-out garage sale for Friday.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section. If you want to flame me because this project “isn’t to code”, please don’t bother. I’m already assuming it isn’t. If you want to pay like a billion dollars to have a brand-new header put in my support wall so I can run a new vent pipe through the wall, let’s talk. ;)

Here’s my 1st laundry room renovation post: How to install beadboard.

Part 1: How to install beadboard and turn ikea furniture into mudroom lockers

Part 3: The laundry slash mudroom is almost done


     
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