diy pantry update

Before I begin, I want to throw it back to what our kitchen looked like when we moved in, and the projects that the pantry has already undergone. This poor pantry has been through a lot, beginning with that huge hole in the wall.

Fast forward to the present day and our pantry ended up looking like this. I was growing more frustrated with the builder grade wire shelves and the amount of stuff we were accumulating was weighing down each shelf. So, we got to work.

pantry before

While it as a big undertaking, I was so happy to start taking everything out of the pantry. There was food in there that was long expired and owner’s manuals piling up for product that we don’t even own anymore. If I had any doubt that we would use it or eat it, it went in the garbage. I bagged up everything else in totes and reusable grocery bags and put them in the laundry room for later.

pantry before 2

Greg removed all of the shelves, filled all of the holes, sanded, and we both painted. We went with the same color grey that was on our walls since we already had the paint.

pantry empty

Leading up to the big project, Greg had done a lot of work on the back end. He researched the best possible options for shelves and went through all of the links I sent him that I found on Pinterest. We landed on floating shelves because they look nice and clean, but are also very sturdy. Greg built and painted all of the shelves beforehand so once the pantry was ready, he could start installing the shelves.



My absolute favorite part is the little cove for our garbage can. Due to the awkward hole in the wall, the wire shelves were cut, always leaving that little space for the garbage can. But, now it looks so much cleaner like the garbage can is meant for that space.

pantry cutout


Greg put in a lot of hard work on these shelves and I would love to say they were installed without a single hitch, but it was a process. He went back and forth from the kitchen to the garage on numerous occasions to cut, and re-cut, to make them fit (builders don’t particularly care to make sure everything is perfectly square when framing). Then, there was a lot of touch up paint that needed to be applied, and a few choice words that were used in the process. But, his hard work did not go unnoticed and it totally paid off. The pantry looks so amazing!

diy pantry shelves

Once he was finished, I got in there to put everything back in it’s new and improved spot. Organizing the pantry alone would have made a difference, but the paint and new shelves make a HUGE difference. It is so much easier to find that things we need. I have found myself not buying things that we don’t need since I know what we have now!

pantry floating shelves

After a couple of months, I am happy to report that the pantry is still very organized, though the floor has acquired a few boxes here and there.

diy floating pantry shelves

As far as the door, I love having the chalkboard on the front and it gets a lot of use for our weekly menu, but it has some wear and tear. I would like to remove the contact paper and paint the class with chalkboard paint. Hopefully I can accomplish that in 2017!

{diy} barn door

If you would have told me two months ago that I would be telling you about a barn door my husband built, I would have laughed out loud. Then there was this day he came home and told me he was going to build a barn door. I brushed it off and immediately thought of other projects I would rather get done first. Little did I know, the wheels were already in motion and this project was a go.

Let’s rewind. The kids’ bedrooms are right off the kitchen and we had talked about how we wanted something there to divide the space, more so to act as a sound barrier. We love hosting parties and get-togethers, so we figured it would be used for many years to come. Our initial thought was to install a pocket door, but the door frame would have to go inside the wall that houses the pipes for the laundry room sink. We quickly realized that this would be a much bigger (and more costly) project than we wanted. One that would require hiring someone to move pipes, tear apart the wall, then install the door. No thank you.

{diy} sliding barn door

[[ laundry room on left / kenley’s room ahead ]]

{diy} sliding barn door

[[ kitchen ahead ]]

{diy} sliding barn door

[[ kids’ rooms on right // guest bathroom straight ahead ]]

{diy} sliding barn door

[[ kids’ rooms on left ]]

I had put this project out of my head while Greg was busy thinking up a solution….and then it came to him: a sliding barn door. After doing some research, he came to the conclusion that installing a barn door would address the issue of separation and sound while also being more cost effective and significantly easier to install. Not to mention it would look awesome too (hopefully).

As usual, Greg looked on Craigslist to find a beat up door that he could re-purpose to fit our needs but there wasn’t much out there. There are websites that sell custom-built barn doors but we needed an 8′ door because of the arched opening and those aren’t cheap. Greg then began researching tirelessly on how to build one. One of the pros to building our own door was that we could pick the stain color to match the wine rack to maintain some uniformity throughout the house.

Once he knew he could do it, Greg drew up the specs and headed to Lowe’s for the supplies.
For the door:
2 – 1 x 10 x 8 piece of wood
7 – 1 x 6 x 8 piece of wood
1 – 1 x 3 x 8 piece of wood
2 – 1 x 12 x 4 piece of wood
Wood glue
Wood & pipe clamps (borrowed)

…and so it began…

{diy} sliding barn door

Greg divided the door build in half to make the gluing more manageable, once both halves were dry, he glued the two pieces together. To keep the boards flush while gluing, he clamped the door with six clamps and two pipe clamps and used cauls (crosspieces shown above). He worked on gluing the boards over several days since he had to wait for the glue to dry before moving on to the next step. Once it was a complete door, he began sanding and staining the wood over the course of several days. Once one side was complete, he and my dad flipped the door over so he could work on the backside. Once both sides were sanded and stained, he added the trim pieces for the door.

{diy} sliding barn door

We chose to get the barn door hardware from Rustica Hardware, specifically this one. We figured it was worth the money to get a nice track system since the door will be used so often. It’s amazing how easy the door slides for how heavy it is.
Kenley can open and close it with no problem. 

{diy} sliding barn door

{diy} sliding barn door

The finished product…

{diy} sliding barn door


Greg installed a small track on the tile for the door to slide in, so it will stay flush against the wall while sliding. I don’t think this is entirely necessary, but since we have small kids, we figured it was a good idea just in case someone were to push on the door from the backside.

{diy} barn door

{diy} sliding barn door

{diy} sliding barn door

The door handles were purchased from Amazon: Large Pull and Flush Pull.

This project was very labor intensive but overall not too difficult given all of the research he did and the videos he watched. It took about two weeks to complete but most of that was down time since we had to wait for the glue and strain to dry after each step. It was nice that he decided to do it over Christmas break while my parents were in town, both to help with the kids and to help carry and hang the door. We definitely benefited from having two extra sets of hands around.

I will be the first to admit that I had doubts about this project, so I can honestly say that I am blown away by how awesome this door is.
I also cannot believe that Greg BUILT A DOOR!
It works wonderfully and looks so freaking awesome (if I do say so myself).

If you have questions regarding anything about this project, leave them in the comments, or you can shoot me an email!

Small update, big difference

As the weeks dwindle down until Baby G2 arrives,
we are trying to get things settled around the house as much as possible.
You could call it nesting, but honestly, it’s coming more from Greg than me!
I said it once, and I’ll say it again, men nest too.

A couple months ago (yes I’m a little behind), we were strolling through Lowe’s,
and passed by one of their tables full of random clearance items.
I was stoked when I saw a small can of the Rustoleum Countertop Transformation tint,
even better, it was marked down to $2.50! At that point, I didn’t care what color it was.
The dark gray/putty color was exactly what I was thinking for the counter top in our laundry room.


I don’t advise any pregnant women working with this product… it is strong!
Greg ended up doing all the work and airing out the laundry room as best as he could.
The wait time between coats was three days, which I thought was a little absurd,
but we marked it up in less than three days, so I recommend following directions.

The original counter top in the laundry room was less than desirable.
You can refresh your memory here.



I’m not sure if I’m more obsessed with how good it looks,
or the fact that we only paid $2.50 for the can. Either way, it’s a dramatic difference.

The second update was a slightly bigger project than the first, but it’s something
that was on my to-do list from the day we moved into the house.
Finally, Greg was on board and all of a sudden, just wanted to get it done! I gladly accepted.
I am and have been obsessed with the long, skinny handles for the kitchen cabinets,
so I knew that’s what I wanted. It was just a matter of buying them and getting them done.
IKEA had the best price on them and had different sizes to choose from.
We went with the 13 9/16″ LANSA handles for the regular cabinets & drawers,
and the 17 1/2″ LANSA handles for the wide drawers.

It took Greg about four evenings after work to change out the 50 cabinets and drawers in the kitchen.
This included drilling an additional hole for all the cabinets since there were knobs previously.
He also had to patch all the holes on the drawers where the previous handles were
in order to drill two new holes for the new handles.



You can see our previous kitchen updates here.
We love the new look and I’m so happy we finally got around to doing it!

Slowly but surely, we’re making progress.

what’s cookin’ {kitchen update}

There has been a lot happening in the kitchen, besides cooking…
obviously, because I don’t do that…

Here is our kitchen on the day we closed on the house.
I love it. We love it. But we want to make it our own.



I’ll start with the most weird obvious thing in the kitchen.
Yep, that’s a huge hole in the wall.
We aren’t sure what it’s all about, but after much speculation and
conversations with our realtors, we think the previous owners had a beverage fridge in there.
I, at first, would have loved to put another beverage fridge in there,
and we even looked and looked for one.
No luck. The size of the opening was very odd and those things are expensive!

Kenley had a hay day when we first moved in. She couldn’t reach the door handles yet,
so she used this awkward opening as her own, personal door to the food.
Obviously, that got old real quick.
Greg did an awesome job patching it up with dry wall.





Our walls are tricky, too. They are all textured, so to create just enough texture to match wasn’t easy.
He pretty much rocks and you can’t even tell there was a gaping hole there,
unless you’re really looking for it.



Moving on to another part of our pantry… the door.
I cannot even begin to explain how much I loathe this door.
I’m sorry if you have a pantry door like this and/or love it,
I’m not trying to step on any toes here, but it’s just not my style.
So much so, that when Celeste was here to visit, she immediately made a comment
about how she just couldn’t see me liking it… without even knowing just how much I hated it!
My friends know me.

I was actually surprised to see a similar door installed on a recent episode of
Cousins on Call (one of my fave shows by the way… how can you not love these guys?).
I started to second guess myself and thought that maybe it wasn’t all THAT bad…
but nope. I still dislike it (a lot).


Like everything, doors are not cheap, so I thought about alternatives.
I got opinions of friends, did some research, etc. and decided
we were going to paint the glass with chalkboard paint,
until we stumbled upon this little gem… chalkboard contact paper.
We thought, for $7.50, we could give it a whirl and if it didn’t work, we weren’t out a ton of money.

It wasn’t super easy to put on, but we did it and it looks great!
I cured the chalkboard twice by completely covering with chalk and wiping down with a dry paper towel.
I. am. obsessed.
I love it!


Lastly… sorry, this has turned into quite the post, we replaced our island counter.
This was one of the things I wasn’t in love with, but I didn’t dislike it as much as the door.
I just always thought the counter looked too small on top of the island,
and I wasn’t a fan of the cut… triple pencil is the technical name.

We posted this puppy on Craigslist and in 12 hours it was sold.
I could go on and on about how much I love Craigslist, but I’ll save that for another day.


We decided to go with a butcher block style island and purchased the NUMERÄR countertop from IKEA.
Greg cut it to size and sanded the two edges that he cut.
We love it!


There are certain things that keep reminding me that we aren’t the first owners of this house,
but the more we do, the more I really feel like we are making this house our home.


So, that’s what’s cookin’! We hope to keep improving it!