With the walls spruced up with a fresh coat of paint, I'm ready to reintroduce some storage to the room. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've opted for open shelving to make the kitchen feel bigger and brighter. The first space I tackled was the narrow wall beside our front door where there used to be a pantry cabinet, as you see in the photo here. The cabinet stored spices and dry goods for the most part, and I wanted the new shelf to serve the same purpose. I'm delighted to say that all the materials for the new shelf for this space were salvaged from the trash. Hooray!
This beautiful old window is the foundation for my new shelf. I found it, along with two others, at the end of someone's driveway on a bulk garbage day in Burlington. All the windows are in beautiful shape: perfect glass, hardware intact, and just enough wear on the frames to make them most charming. And even more exciting, they match the vintage of our 1940's house. All the windows are different sizes, and this one is the perfect width and height to fit the narrow wall space where my old pantry cabinet used to be. Anchored to the wall, it's a sturdy and unique support for shelving. I removed the hinges and latch, and after a good scrub with hot water, vinegar, and soap, it was good to go.
The next step in the process was to prepare the shelves.
I had to shave down the depth and width a little. Thankfully, Dan recently taught me how to use the table saw, and though it still intimidates the daylights out of me, I am getting more proficient with the machine. I ran the shelves through the table saw to narrow the depths, and then used our compound mitre saw to cut down the widths. Through the sawing process, I discovered that the shelves are made from cedar, which is the perfect wood for a pantry shelf because it wards off moths. Ha! And it sure smells nice.
With some 100-grit sandpaper, I smoothed out the rough edges left from sawing. I also sanded the embossed details on the front edges of the shelves to bring out the beautiful pattern. Now, I was ready to assemble!
I cut six each of 6" lengths, 3" lengths, and mitred reinforcements (I think they were 1.8" wide at the narrow edge). Using the same expert painting technique I used on the window, I roughly rubbed some white paint over all the pieces to match them to the window and shelves. I glued the straight pieces together into an L-shape, and later reinforced the joints with wood screws. I marked and pre-drilled all the holes where more screws would go to assemble the brackets and attach them to the window. Pre-drilling prevents the wood from cracking when the screws go in. Part of my pre-drilling process was to use a countersink bit, which creates an inverted conical depression in the wood so the screws sit flush with the wood.
Once the shelf was assembled, I had to get it up on the wall. As you can imagine, this shelf is pretty sturdy and heavy, so it had to be anchored to a stud. And let me tell you, finding studs behind plaster walls is very challenging. We tried a couple stud finders (which Dan is always quick to remind me, never fail in finding him), but got nothing conclusive. So in the end we took an educated guess that a stud would be sitting 16" away from the side of the door. And thank goodness, we were right. The shelf is now solidly in place, and I'm ecstatic.
I spent absolutely nothing on this project, except my time of course. Even the wood screws were left over from other projects. So here's where my spending on the kitchen (almost) free transformation stands at this point:
The Almost Part (including taxes)
$ 100.64 spent to date
+ 0.00 (old window pantry shelf)
Next, I need to trim up the lovely window that I uncovered by removing cabinets. This will be another adventure because I know nothing about trimming windows, and the window is arched. For my mathematically challenged self, this should be interesting to say the least.
And now for one more fancy Pinteresting process collage of my old window pantry shelf . . .