05 June 2014

Pantry Build {Cherryland Cottage}

If you know anything about the San Francisco Bay Area, you know rents are ridiculously high.  Therefore, to find a rental that isn't an apartment, has a yard, is within a reasonable commute*, and affordable.... well, it has it's challenges.  We were fortunate recently to find such a cottage, with history and charm, and a yard perfectly sized for us.  {History and charm is my way of saying the cottage is old, strangely built in sections, and has plenty of quirks.}  Most importantly though, it is affordable and 25 minutes to work!

*Everyone's idea of a reasonable commute in the SF Bay Area is different.  Mine is less than a 30 minute drive.

With this affordability came a lot of elbow grease.  We've been working hard to turn our cottage into a home.  One of the biggest challenges was storage.  There are exactly 2 cabinets in the kitchen.  One of which is under the sink.  A big change from the 11 cabinets, 6 drawers, baker's pantry, and large pantry in our last apartment!  {Geez, we were spoiled with storage!}  Pinterest, being my best online friend, gave me a lot of affordable, DIY ideas to build a pantry where there wasn't one.  My only electric tool is a screwdriver and I'm handy, but not on a professional level by any means.  So for our pantry, I settled on cement blocks and wood planks.  Simple, affordable, and easy!

 The pantry was painted a dirty mauve - not my style.  The floors were torn up linoleum.  I asked the owners to replace it before we moved in, and they did, with a rose quartz-colored linoleum.  Definitely not my style!  But at least it's new.  I'm still looking for that perfect indoor/outdoor rug for this room - to cover that hideous floor.

After I spent 2 weekends painting the bathroom, I knew I would never get around to completing the rest of the cottage before we moved in.  {We gave ourselves a month to get the place in order.}  So I hired a painter to paint the whole cottage an Off-White and 2 accent walls in Olive - one in the pantry, one in the living room.

 My husband gave me a hand with buying the blocks and wood planks. He's got a truck and muscle!  I'm certain I couldn't have hauled it all myself. {Although, I'm quite stubborn - so I would have tried.}  Building the shelves were easy.  I went to Home Depot's website, got the measurements of the blocks and began drawing out the shelves.  The 2 top shelves are 1" x 10" x 6' and the 2 bottom shelves are 3 planks each of 1" x 6" x 6'.  The wood is called Common Board - it's the cheapest they have.  The whole thing ran about $75 to build.

 I sewed double-sided curtains for the small windows in the pantry.  Partly because I just love to sew curtains and partly because from the outside you could see the back of a cement block through the window and it looked tacky.
{From the inside the double sided curtains look a little crazy, above, so I took a photo from the outside, below, so you could see the lovely pattern.}

 The lighting was a bare bulb in the middle of the ceiling.  So a quick, inexpensive fix was to put a lampshade over it.

 I had to get creative without having drawer space.  Our flatware is in picnic style containers that spin.  Our kitchen utensils are in under shelf storage bins {see below}.  The pan racks work beautifully for upright storage.  And I'm a big fan of sticking things in the holes in the blocks!

Next up - the other side of the Pantry Room is the Laundry Room.

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