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Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Install Pantry Shelves

For the inside, my idea of shelving was completely different from what Rick was thinking. He began building the shelves in the form of a bookshelf. After he built the first "part" of his idea, I knew the design was not going to work for me. So, our first major disagreement happened during the pantry install. What this meant was I had to implement my design of the shelves myself. And with a little lot of help from my stepfather, Ray. (Thank you so much for all your help Ray. I love you!)

I wanted to be able walk in the pantry, see all the items in front of me, and have very little wasted space on the shelves. I hate deep shelving in pantries. My last pantry was large, but it had really deep shelves. Items would get pushed to the back and get lost. I would find things months (sometimes years) later - not even remembering I had the items. Also, I had to get down on my knees to view the items on the bottom shelf. With this design, I rarely have to bend down to see something, even on the very bottom shelves. So nice.

Allison from House of Hepworths had this great tutorial on installing shelves in a closet. I basically followed her tutorial and created an L-shape set in my pantry.

I measured the height and width of the inside of my pantry. I marked where I wanted each shelf. I determined I would need five rows of shelves. I made sure I left enough room at the bottom (from the floor to the top of the bottom shelf) for heavy items I wanted to store. 

I went to Lowe's and gave the guy a diagram with all the measurements. I asked him to figure out how much material I would need. (Remember my lack of math skills?) Mistake. Verify they have it right. I ended up purchasing double the amount I needed because I didn't verify the guy's figures. Ughhhh!  Math. I hate math. Bites me again.

I came home and painted all the boards first. Mistake #2* 

I could've returned the extra boards if I hadn't painted them all first. It was on the second to the last board when the little light bulb went off and I thought I think I have too many boards. Duh!

*I want to clarify that it was not a mistake to paint the boards first. It was just a mistake of not counting the boards first!

We have plenty of shelves now to do the entire two houses. I have great plans for my craft room. And there will be lots of shelves over there, so I guess it isn't such a big deal. Except we have to store the wood for approximately two years now. Great.

Back to the story.

We started off with strips of 1x2 boards. Rick had marked the studs at the top so they were easy to see. Using the strips, Ray drilled 3" deck screws* into each stud along the right side of the back wall.

*Yes, it was probably overkill, but one of Rick's biggest fears was that this type of shelving would not be sturdy enough. There are no less than 300 - 3" deck screws in this baby. There will be no crashing down in the middle of the night, Rick.

He did the same process on the left side.

I bought 1x12 boards for the shelves. They came in 12' lengths. We sat the 1x12s on the edges of the 1x2 strips.

For the left side, we butted the ends of the 1x12 to the edge of the boards on the right side. Then Ray attached a piece of the 1x2 vertically where the L brackets would be placed. This was needed to position the L bracket correctly. If there is not an extra piece here, the brackets would not be able to line up under the shelf. Make sense? If not, see the picture below to better understand this.

Finally, he drilled the L brackets into the back side of the wall and the underside of the shelf like so:

I added a trim piece on the edge of each shelf. This gave it a finished look and also keeps things from sliding off the shelf.

I went back and used caulk to fill in gaps and nail holes. I also touched up the paint.

And here is the final product:

The left side.
 The right side.
 From the center.
Looking up into the right corner. I love how the ceiling planks extend through the top of the pantry.

This is on the inside right side. I found this little word art of spices from While He Was Napping. I just printed it out and placed it in a $3 frame from Walmart. Easy and cheap!
I got this sticker from Ross for $3. No one ever sees it but me. But I like it - it makes me smile every time I look at it.

Here's my cute little lamp. Everyone needs a little lamp on their pantry shelf - don't you agree?

 I use the top shelf to store all my serving pieces. It is so easy to look up there and see what I have instead of digging boxes out from under cabinets. Since they have been stored up here, I have used my pieces more than ever before.

And that is the inside of my cute little pantry. I still need to organize a little better. I have a lot of things in baskets and containers from Ikea and other places. I need to make labels for everything (I will be sure and do a separate post on that later) - I have tons of materials in my scrapbook stuff to be able to make some really cute labels.

If only my craft room was up and organized!

So the before and after...once again, just for fun:
See, I told you that was fun!
Linking up with A Vision to Remember and:
Thirty Handmade Days

Home Stories A2Z
Ladybird Ln 

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Building a Functional Pantry

When first deciding on the layout of my new kitchen, we debated on the area in the corner. Nothing would fit nicely there because of the way the wall with the windows lined up. See picture below. I like to look back at these old pictures and see the progress we have made!

After many hours of "looking" at things, we decided to make the corner area my pantry. At first, I didn't think I was going to be able to have much space at all, but once we decided to put the pantry in the corner, I ended having tons of space. I thought maybe the pantry was going to be too large, but I am so glad we went with the bigger size because now I absolutely love it.

To be honest, this whole design was 100 percent Rick. I was kinda nervous giving it over to him to see what he came up with. We are not always on the same page. I have an idea in my head and he has a completely different one in his. They don't always come together nicely. I try and find images online to show him when I know he isn't getting it. I have learned to show pictures even if it an elementary idea.

He told me he was going to build me a little shelf up top. I was good with that. So he began the construction. I wanted the ceiling to come down through the pantry so I could walk in and look up and still see the pretty planks.

I didn't take many in-progress pictures because he mainly builds late at night since he doesn't have much time during the week. I am usually in bed way earlier than him because my day starts five hours before he even gets out of bed. So this next picture is going to jump to the pantry already sheet rocked.

He is so sneaky!

Everyone knows my affection for lamps. I think it is the bane of Rick's existence. I have lamps everywhere. If there is a plug, I most likely have a lamp. And guess what? There are two outlets on the back wall of this pantry. Bonus! I made sure to tell Rick not to cover them up when he was working on the back walls of the pantry. He asked me why I would need an outlet in a pantry. I can't believe I had to spell it out for him. Of course it is a perfect spot for a lamp. Not a big one. Just one of the cute mini lamps - you know, the kind with the nightlight bulb. Another bonus: we are able to run an extension cord from the lamp on the top shelf to the plug and I can easily turn my lamp on and off. Well, ok...turn it on. I never turn it off!

I painted the outside of the pantry Sherman Williams Kilim Beige. It took me no less than ten different paint samples to settle on my paint colors. (more on that later)

Looking at colors online are completely different than what they look at in person (hence the tons of paint samples). However, I think this is a good example of the color:

In my pictures, it looks a lot lighter than this. In real life, it is closer to the above sample. When I started painting, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not. So I did what I do when I buy a gallon of paint and have not planned for the Oh no...I don't think I like this scenerio...I painted it and look at lived with for awhile. Turns out, I decided I liked it.

The jury is still out on the red color up top. Everyone who has seen in in person gives the thumbs up. There are days when I like it and other days - not so much. So we'll see. It is staying for now because there are 100 other items I need to do. This will probably be something I will come back to in a few years and redo.

Here are the most recent pictures of the outside of the pantry. We need to add crown molding along the top of the cutout (above the top shelf). This picture gives you a sneak peek of the inside of the pantry. The full post on the inside is coming next.

We installed the panels horizontally on the outside and inside of the pantry. I really like the look of this because I think it coordinates with the ceiling planks. I went ahead and painted the inside before installing the shelves. Much easier!

The door still needs to be stained (same color as the planks in the ceiling).

Here is a closeup of the etching in my door. It is hard to see in the other pictures but I seriously love this.

Next, the installation of the shelves on the inside of the pantry.

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Installing Travertine Tile in the Kitchen Using Geometry - Part 2

We decided to lay hardwood floors on a diagonal. Since the main room is one big open room, I thought it would be cool to have the floor define the space. Originally, I thought I wanted all hardwoods in the living/kitchen. Then I saw the water damage by the sink area. Wood? No thanks.

We will install the hardwoods when everything is complete. Who knows when that will be, so we had to figure out the angles before we could install the tile. Now, I am not much into math. Actually, I suck at it. So, I left the "figuring" to Rick.

We have a saying around here. It takes several hours (sometimes days) to look at something before we can actually do something! I don't know where that came from because I never used to be that way. But seriously, I have to look at something for a long time before I make the commitment to accomplish or even start a project.

Anyway...back to my point. Rick had to have days to look at the angles before he could begin marking the angles. He even bought a protractor or something like that. I think it is something you use in Geometry. But, I wouldn't know. Geometry is the only class I have ever failed. A big fat 'F' in that subject. Who knew you'd really use that stuff in real life? If I could go back and tell my 16 year old self - Hey, you better pay attention. When you are in your 40s, you are going to need to know this to lay tile - I would think I was crazy and said I would never do that sort of thing! Oh, the illusions we have as teenagers!

We used a laser level to shoot from one corner of the room to the other. We marked the angle. This first angle is the entrance to the front of the kitchen. The tricky part was the entrance to the kitchen back by the sink area. The angle started behind the one we marked for the entrance. So, after much deliberation, Rick marked each angle and that is the line I followed to start the tile.

Obviously, the point of this story is: If the angles are off, it is Rick's fault. ;)

This is the entrance at the front of the kitchen. I wanted to start the tile so it looked nice because this is going to be very visible.

Sorry about the iPhone picture on this next one, but here is the tile cut at the angle.

Before grout...

With (some of) the grout...there is a sneak peak of my gorgeous cabinets!!

Rick is acting like it wore him out! Not.

I have to give him credit. He did all the cuts for me. Goes back to my lack of Geometry skills. And don't even get me started on trim and crown molding. 45 degrees - what? And level? Yeah, looks straight to me. (This drives Rick crazy.)

And that, my friends, wraps up the tile.

*Footnote: I intend to get better shots with my good camera of the finished project. I am writing these posts four months after the fact and I have found I did not take near enough pictures as I was working through these projects. I will get better. hopefully!

The pantry is next. Really Mom, I promise! ;)
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Installing Travertine Tile in the Kitchen - Part 1

When deciding on the tile for the kitchen, I knew I wanted to go with the same tile I had used in my house in Garland. I installed the tile and knew it was a tile I could easily work with. This picture was taken in my Garland house when I was still grouting and no baseboards were installed at the time.

I bought the tile at Floor and Decor in Plano. It is from the Noce Travertine Tile Collection.

This is a smaller version of the tile I bought. This is a fairly accurate color of the tile.

Installing tile on concrete floors vs installing tile on wood subfloors is a big difference. I soon found out it is much easier to install on concrete than install on a subfloor!

First we had to install cement backer board. We purchased 1/4" HardieBacker cement boards like these:

Here are some pictures of the cement boards already down. This is also a shot of the start of my pantry. The duct tape on the floor is the rough area of where the island would sit.
What a difference my good camera makes! Here is another shot of the cement boards on the floor.
Rick positioned these in the general area of where we were going to tile. He just laid them down. We knew they had to be secured but to what extent, I had no clue. So, I googled it. How did we ever live without Google?

From this site, I discovered you must first use thin set mortar under the cement boards. Really? The instructions said if you lay flooring over just the plywood subfloor, your plywood could swell and contract causing the flooring material to break and buckle. It is especially important to use cement board in areas with high moisture such as a bathroom and kitchen area. Well, crap!

Back to the spread just enough thin set for each piece, leaving an 1/8" gap between the boards. That was great, considering Rick had already cut every single piece and butted them right up to each other. 1/8" doesn't sound like much but when it is all lined up, everything gets out of whack. Then you must tape and mortar the seams together.

Once you have the first piece firmly in place and set into the mortar, you want to secure it to the subfloor using 1 1/4” cement board screws. Drive these screws in every 6 inches around the perimeter of the sheet. Then go through the middle and drive them in every 8-10 inches. Make sure that you counter sink the head of the screw in so that it is perfectly flush with the surface of the material.

Do you know how many screws that is per sheet? After carefully looking at the sheets, I noticed these round circles all over the board. I always wondered about that, but thought it was the manufacturer's design element in it! Ha. Yeah, it was a design element alright. Designed to guide in placing the 102 some-odd screws in each freaking board! This is from a closeup shot I took of the board and I didn't even get the whole thing in view so I could point out all the little places the have marked for your screws.

You must use these special screws for this too...of course you do! Another issue I had to deal with. The guy at Floor and Decor showed me the type to use. When drilled in, they countersink so the head of the screw goes down below the surface of the board. Well, some do. That is...if you have enough strength and enough power in your drill battery to make that happen. My cute little drill gun didn't have enough umph to drill through them. I had to use Rick's Dewalt power drill that he hoards. Whatever. He thinks his tools are better than mine. (and most are, but he doesn't have to always point that out...jeez!)

So, he gives me his drill and I set to work. Keep in mind, I am doing all this while him and Zach are putting up the final side of the ceiling. After hearing me cuss and moan for about an hour, he takes a break and strolls over and checks out my progress. I had only gotten about 20 screws done during that time. (I am not exaggerating!) He says to me - You know, it is much easier if you predrill those holes before you put the screw in. I thought I was going to kill him! Why didn't he tell me that before?  I think he does that just to find some humor in messing me with. Rick? Oh, no! He would never do that sort of thing. After all, he is Every Girl's Dream.

Well, after I figured out Rick telling me to predrill the holes, things did go a lot smoother and faster. When all the boards were done, I added a mesh tape (the same I use between pieces of sheetrock) and used some thin set to hold them all together.

Finally, I was ready to install the tile.
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Installing a Pine Tongue and Groove Ceiling - Part 3

After I sanded and stained all the planks, we were ready to start putting them up. Yay...finally, we could begin to see some progress from a "cosmetic" point of view. That's what I was thinking anyway.

Forgive me for some of the quality in these pictures. It is a miracle that I have as many as I do. I need to start taking better pictures - with my good camera, in good light. I have a lot to learn about all this. ;)

Notice our "moving refrigerator." We have moved it approximately five times now. It always seems to be in the way - no matter where we move it.

Rick and Zach, getting ready to put the last board up.

And the last plank is in! This ceiling project was probably the toughest job we have done to date.

After it was up, and I looked at it for awhile, I decided I really liked it. It adds a lot of warmth to the big room. Things are starting to feel like home. Just have to deal with the exposed insulation and not to mention my pantry items all on the open shelving!

The pantry is next. It is one of my favorite things now!
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Installing a Pine Tongue and Groove Ceiling - Part 2

We did a lot of research and decided to go with tongue and groove planks. During my research, I found Ceiling Ideas from The Lettered Cottage. They used some thin boards, painted white. I loved the "cottage" look and especially liked the painted white planks. Rick was NOT into painting the planks white. He is more of wood lover.

We shopped local home improvement stores and a few lumber yards. We found pine tongue and groove planks with a much thicker feel to them. We finally found what they call "car siding." It had a lot of character, with the pine knots and different markings in the wood. We got an excellent price on it and Rick went and picked up a trailer load of the planks.

So while he was prepping the ceiling, my job was to sand and stain each plank. I decided to do all the staining and sealing before putting them up. I did not want to do that work over my head.

First I sanded them down. Then I applied wood conditioner so the planks would take the stain evenly. Then I applied two coats of stain. This made a big difference. One mistake I made - do not let the pre-stain dry before applying the stain. I did not read the directions carefully. Thank goodness I only did that on about six planks. I had to go back and sand them all down again and start over. Not fun. Once it dries, it does not let the stain absorb.

 I ended up using the color Golden Oak. I bought approximately ten different colors before finally deciding on this color!

As I was staining the planks, I panicked a bit because this was not the look I was going for! I wanted the cottage feel like this:

I called Rick and told him I had decided to paint the boards white. He had a little meltdown and told me if I painted them white, he was not installing them! Ok. I had to compromise. The planks weren't smooth like the ones from my inspiration picture. I did like the character the pine knots added to the planks. I just didn't want the rustic look so much. Or the feedstore look. Or country...get what I mean?

At this point, I didn't have much choice. I knew Rick wasn't kidding about not installing them. I took a deep breath and just applied the stain. And {tried} to lived with it.

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