Kitchen Renovations... again

After our big food prep day, we just couldn't bring ourselves to set everything back where it had been. SOMETHING needed to be done to get some more functional pantry space and get my huge, honking microwave off the counter!

I searched online for some microwave carts to replace one of our pantry shelving units, and didn't like what I saw. Baker's racks, however, might give us the depth I was searching for to get the microwave off the counter, and at a MUCH better price.

But sometimes you just get that feeling, and you know what you've got to do. Out the door on a whim to hit the thrift stores. There's one right nearby, but the furniture section is usually a little lackluster. We enjoy going over to a nicer side of town with two major thrift stores, and besides, I just had the feeling that we shouldn't stop nearby first.

We found something we thought we could jerry-rig to work, and went to the next one. Still nothing quite right, and we'd managed to talk ourselves out of jerry-rigging. It was either what we wanted for the space, or buy a baker's rack new. But we also found a small microwave that has all the options we need, and takes up half the counter space. So that was a win, at least.

And then on the way home, defeated by our lack of furniture findings but happy about some books & clothes that found their way home with us, I decided one last ditch stop at the thrift store right by the house. And wouldn't you know it, just then they put out this lovely set of sturdy, deep shelving.

We really wanted the one on the right with the drop-down door, but couldn't figure out how we would use the other one even though it seemed a shame to split them up. Still, we did, and got that honey home and in place. I made that drop-down section a tea & coffee station, right next to the tea kettle and all the goodies inside to make a tasty cuppa. We got all the contents of the old shelves there into it, while still leaving the bottom cabinet section empty! It fit into the same footprint we had open, though we actually lost the 5-inch gap we so mockingly called our broom closet, going from 11-inches deep to 16 inches. 

But then Mr. Moon finally came around to my way of thinking, and we decided to switch out his mom's old sewing cabinet with 5-inch-deep shelves for the other one of these beauties--which again fit perfectly in the same footprint we had for that unit. We decided we'd sleep on it and if the shelves were still at the thrift store when we woke up, we'd get them but if not, then it was not meant to be. 

First thing the next morning, I got myself an iced coffee and we headed out the door. We tried hard not to get our hopes up, but when we saw the other, lonely, formerly-paired shelving unit waiting for us, I'm not sure who was more relieved and excited--us or it! We slid it into the back of the car, butt hanging out just as its mate had the night before, and got it the 15 blocks home and into the living room. "Oh, we might not have time to switch that out today!" we said. "We have Things To Do! Like Laundry!" 10 minutes later, I was too excited and we started swapping out units. 

We got everything from THOSE shelves into the new shelving, and a box that we simply hadn't been able to find room to store yet. We may be using every inch of space, but the room feels more open than it used to--and of course, I failed at getting a good Before picture. 

They flank the liquor cabinet nicely, feel like they were always meant to be that way. They have shelves that hold the tall vinegar bottles right where I want them within reach of me cooking. They hold the gallon vinegar bottles we use to store dry goods in. There's room for our onions, and even the sprouting jar! And best of all: That groom microwave is off the counter.

Because we had coupons, we came in at $75 for this little renovation. A brand-new baker's rack would have cost a minimum of $100, and wouldn't have solved as many problems. All in all, I'm feeling proud of our accomplishments this week. And best of all, next week's prep cook day will be even easier to manage!


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