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If you remember our kitchen remodel, the previous owners spent a good chunk of time and money creating a beautiful gathering space. We simply hated the paint and fixed that.
The one great flaw was that for some reason there is not a pantry. I’m betting this is largely due to the fact there just isn’t a convenient nook for one. On one side of the kitchen “L” is the garage door and on the other is the back door. The opposite wall just separates the kitchen from living room. There isn’t a natural corner to build in to, but regardless it’s a huge flaw and a real pain.
We really needed some space, so we solved the problem by re-purposing a piece of furniture as a pantry. I didn’t want to build one from scratch, and there are so many old entertainment centers build for large, deep tv’s that they’re really cheap.
Step 1 was to hit up my long-time favorite – Craigslist. I’ve discussed how we use Craigslist before, so I won’t get in to that here, but let’s just say it took a month or 2 of patience to find what we wanted, but it was worth the wait!
I managed to score a custom built, TEAK, solid wood entertainment center for only $100. As you can see in the picture, this included 3 drawers at the bottom, a really large main space, plus a glass side cabinet that we’ve turned in to our liquor cabinet.
We did have to make a few modifications in order for the entertainment center to work as a pantry.
The first change was to the doors. The original design had them swing outward but then slide in to the entertainment center and sit flush inside. This was a problem for us because we needed to add internal shelving in order to stack everything. I spent about $10 at the hardware store and switched out the internal swing mechanism for some basic hinges.
As you can see from the photo, I did crack the wood. The location of the hinge is really thin and the wood split when the screws were about halfway in. It looks pretty terrible in this photo, but if you scroll up you probably won’t notice it in the main image. It works the same way in person. You almost have to point out the crack in order to notice it from more than 6 inches away.
I was pretty bummed that it happened though. I’m not really sure how I could have prevented it, but I was pretty upset at the time. Now I don’t really notice.
Here you can see the pantry empty. I forgot to take a photo before I did any drilling, so there are already a couple of holes. As you can see it’s just a totally empty space.
This was actually a pretty easy job because I bought the right tools. I purchased the Kreg Shelf Pin Drilling Jig from Amazon to use in concert with my Kreg Jig 5. The shelf pin jig makes it a breeze to just line up where you want the pins to go and just work your way up.
All I did was start with a spare piece of board, line the jig up on top of that and along the back wall, and drill right up the holes.
I followed that process all the way up the walls on both sides in 4 rows. The reason for the 4 rows is that I wasn’t positive how deep I wanted each shelf, so I drilled it in a way that I could add a single 12 inch wide board across the back pins and if I wanted, I could add a second board (or a wider board) across the second set of pins, increasing the depth.
The end result, turned out quite well ( I think). We now have a living room pantry that appears to be a very nice and expensive piece of furniture, and I managed to add enough shelving to add quite a bit of square footage to our storage space, plus a liquor cabinet.
In the future I plan to add some small spice racks on the door in order to maximize the space even further.
I hope you enjoyed another DIY post from the Chudy household. Just goes to show what you can do for a $150, a bit of handyman skills, and a vision for what you want.
I’m still not working on the level of Mr. 1500 or MMM, (or likely even the Frugalwoods) but I am proud of the projects we’ve managed to put together, like our kitchen redo, chalkboard wall and the garden build. Hopefully the skill set continues to compound.
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