In my kitchen I have a little nook in the corner between the doorway to the living room and the doorway to the laundry room. Ever since I have owned my house and remodeled the kitchen it has just sat there empty. Long term I have plans to build myself a hutch in that space with an outlet and a place to store my counter top appliances out of the way.
If I am being realistic, however, there is no way that I am going to have time to build the hutch anytime in the next few years with other projects taking precedence. I finally decided to get myself in gear and give my little nook some love to make it useful for myself in the meantime.
Since this is only a temporary solution I wanted something inexpensive but that would also match the style of the white cabinets in my kitchen. I searched around a bit and found a small pantry on Overstock for $115. The style was pretty close and the price was right so I bought it.
When the pantry arrived I opened the boxes and set out the pieces to start to put it together. It was at this point that I noticed that the back was actually two pieces hinged together with a piece of tape. It looked a little cheap so I decided to cover the back with some cute paper that I bought at a local stationary store.
I've had luck with hanging wallpaper on the back of my bathroom built in with double sided tape so I decided to use the same method again. I put tape along the edges of the board and down the middle. The board needed two pieces of paper so I lined one up along the left side edge and the middle of the board and the second piece above that but aligned to the right edge. This made it so that my seam would be hidden behind the middle shelf and so that the repeat of the design would be staggered. Also, the tape is super sticky so to attach it I rolled it up, aligned it and then rolled it out over the tape, smoothing it as I went. To finish I just trimmed the excess paper from around the board.
With the back decorated I set about putting the pantry together which took about half an hour. In addition to adding the paper to the back of the pantry I also decided to swap out the knob. The knob that came with the pantry was a plain square wood knob painted white, which didn't really go with my other cabinets. I had already purchased extra knobs and pulls (Season from Restoration Hardware) for when I build my hutch someday since I was worried that maybe they would be no longer available by the time I got around to it. Using the knob that matches my other cabinets is a small detail, but I think it really helps to tie the pantry in with the rest of the kitchen.
Assembled, I think the pantry is pretty cute and I quickly filled it up with food. You can't see much of the paper once the pantry is full, but I still like the added touch.
The pantry looked a little bare on the wall by itself so I decided to hang my French fruit prints over it. I bought the prints on my first trip to Paris back in 2002 from one of the little book stalls along the Seine. As an aside, when Frank and I were in Paris this spring I spotted the same exact prints for sale as we were walking along the Seine so I bought another set, just in case my old set fades over time from sunlight. They were only 50 Euro cents each so I couldn't resist.
Years ago I had put the fruit prints in Ribba frames from Ikea (the ones I have are no longer available) and have hung them in the kitchen of my previous homes, but I've never gotten around to hanging them up in my current home. This seemed like just the perfect spot.
I have ten prints but a three by three grid seemed to fit the space best. To make sure to have even spacing I used some painters tape and my level to create a level line where I wanted my bottom row to hang. I then measured up 8-3/4" (giving a 5/8" gap between frames) and put up another line of tape, again making sure it was level. I repeated one more time to have three rows.
Next, I measured to the middle point of the wall on the middle piece of tape and made a mark. I then lined my level up to the mark, made sure it was plumb and then used my level to mark the top and bottom piece of tape. I measured to the right of the mark 6-3/4" (giving a 5/8" gap between frames) on the middle piece of tape and then marked the top and bottom piece using my level again. I repeated the same steps to the left to finish my marking.
I sunk a picture nail at each mark and then pulled the tape off the wall, leaving me nine nails in a perfect grid to hang my pictures.
I really love these prints and seeing them up reminds me of walking along the Seine and all the wonderful memories of that very first trip abroad for me. I can't believe it has been nearly eleven years. I also can't believe that it has taken me so long to get these hung...
As a last step the pantry needed a few items on top to balance things out. My coffee grinder that I bought in Sicily has a wood tone that is a great match to the wood frames of my prints so I started with that. I then placed an antique tea tin that I found at a shop in Ontario in the back with a tiny tea pot I picked up in Taiwan in front. Cute, simple and full of memories: just the way I like things.
I am really happy with how my nook turned out and very glad to have the extra food storage space. For me it is a great temporary solution until I build my hutch someday. Someday...
Have you given an unloved space in your home an update recently? What did you do?