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The Pantry, Reconfigured

As previously stated, the 90s are alive and well, at least in the aesthetic of our home.

Very little of it aligns with my taste, so while I've been eager to begin putting my stamp on things, I made sure to sit with everything for a while. I wanted to get a "feel" for the house, the layout and the surrounding area. Since everything here was functional, I wasn't in any rush.

Now, I believe there is always a better way to utilize space, and we recently reconfigured one of ours.

The kitchen has a lot of storage.


In the nearly two years we've lived here, we've never once used the garbage compactor installed within the pantry wall to the left in the above image. 

To the left of the desk is a narrow "galley" with a small closet on one end and garage access on the other. Up to this point, our garbage and recycling bins were kept in that closet. A pocket door closed off the space, making it feel claustrophobic. We had to enter the house single file.

We decided to remove the garbage compactor and install a pull-out drawer for the bins.

I painted the interior and the new shelf bottom, leaving the final installation up to the men. We also tore out the pocket door and removed a large portion of the wall, which really opened up the space.


This reconfiguration flows so much better for us, for our needs, and with how we live in our home.

Tile Install and Other Updates

Dear Diary,
When it comes to projects, it's imperative to prepare and budget for the unexpected.

You just never know what you'll discover when you rip out flooring that is 25 years old.



I hated the square, Miami Vice-looking tile in our kitchen. We discovered that, when the home was built, concrete was poured as a base. It was an insanely labor-intensive process to remove, during which I reassured everyone that I loved the new tile I had picked out!

The pattern in this tile reminded me of the waves on nearby Lake Marion. There is a mix of blues, grays and browns that flows with our hardwoods and the direction I wish to see the design go.

Someday we'll update the appliances ...


We also discovered a rotten subfloor because the door that leads out to our deck was improperly sealed. A new door was purchased and repairs were made. It was an added expense of approximately $2,500 but it had to be done.

We ordered a lot of take-out during this time. I like that the windows and the new door are cohesive in size and shape. Natural light floods this part of the house. I could go on and list all of the other things I long to update, but like the appliances, it'll come in due time.


Lastly, I want you to look at the spaceship-looking light over cooking area of the kitchen. I hated that damn thing, and when it was turned on it made this humming sound as though it were summoning the mother ship.

We sent it packing, and refreshed the space with this.

It ties in with the updated drawer and cabinet pulls.

Quick Cabinet Refresh

Dear Diary,
I never thought I'd come to the strong defense of hardwood cabinets.

But here we are. (In fact, I kind of love them in this house!)

Still, I wanted to find a way to pull them out of the early 90s and into this current century.


There was no coming to their defense. I'm fairly certain they're original to the home's 1994 construction and design choices, and I don't have anything nice to say about them.

I wanted something simple yet substantial. I wanted something that was current yet would withstand passing trends. With this house, I'm leaning towards darker finishes to complement the moodiness of the hardwoods, and the first step came in the form of 3" bar pulls.

We found a really good deal on them at Menards (forward our mail here please), and purchased 7 boxes for less than $175 plus an $80 mail-in rebate. I spent two days switching them out and polishing the cabinets. Polishing brought out the wood grain, which made the hardware really stand out.

The kitchen, hall cabinets, guest bathroom and master bath received this upgrade. I was so excited that such a simple change could have such an impact on the look and feel of the spaces.


The hinges were also updated.

As you can see in the pictures above, the hinges were that same faded brass color that seemed to age the woodwork. The darker hinges changed that aesthetic for the better.

I'm currently searching for new doorknobs, light switches and outlet covers to match.

It's also inspired us to upate our home in other ways ...

To be continued.