Renovation Allows You to Build Quirky Things

August 28, 2010

framing, kitchen, smart fixes

One of the best things about renovating an old house is all the quirky stuff you can do, now that the walls are open. It makes all the blood, sweat, toil, and tears worth it.

Previously, there was a make-shift pantry “closet” under the stairs. I disliked it, because you had to squeeze around a corner of a wall to get into it (and if you tried to use that section of the kitchen for a fridge or to store boxes, you could not access the stair pantry at all). It had no light, was cramped, and was ugly. I vowed I’d totally close up and waste the floor space before I rebuilt that horrible alcove.

When designing for the new kitchen, I decided to utilize the same space, but make the access from the open side wall of the stairs that faces the kitchen, and not from under the stairs.


Old Entrance to Closet. You can see all the kitchen floor space that was wasted just to get IN there.

So we’ve been working on a few creative ideas for this unusual spot beneath the stairs. For one, I wanted a tall, narrow pantry between two studs. It’s VERY tall, and VERY narrow, alright!

Building Pantry


Narrow Pantry

I’m not very concerned that it is so deep. I know there’s the possibility that boxes or cans will be pushed to the back, lost forever… but I don’t care; I need the space. I’ll get one of those grasper-things on a long pole to reach the backseat cans. Or I’ll only stuff big items back there. Whatever. I like the quirkiness of the pantry. šŸ˜€

Next to the pantry shelf, we’ll be placing a large cabinet box with slide-out trash cans. This is a little trickier, because I have to design the cabinet and the various shelves within it all. More to come on this project, later.

So, now this is how the tall pantry shelf is developing. I have to even things out, install trim around the wood to cover holes and straighten the appearance, and of course I need to work on the larger cubby hole to the left… but things are coming along.


Anyway, it’s little things like this that make renovating an old house fun. I’m also going to create a time capsule box with a newspaper, a Bible, and perhaps a note, and place it in one of the interior wall studs should a future remodeler find it. Although, to even consider that someone may rip all this out someday in the future makes me very queasy…

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4 Responses to “Renovation Allows You to Build Quirky Things”

  1. Janiss Says:

    I love quirky little cubbyholes and storage spaces. Since I have lived in a variety of vintage homes, I’ve had quite a few of them. I love what you’re doing with these spaces!

  2. Marg Says:

    I love the cubby holes. Those are terrific. We know you will figure out a way to get the stuff in the back. If you can do all that you have done, we have confidence that nothing will get lost or forgotten in the back of the cubby holes. Just don’t let Livvy get lost back there.
    Have a great day.

  3. Jay Says:

    Wow!!! I really, really like the way that shelf looks painted!! Your kitchen is looking soooo good! I’m going to have to see it for myself once it’s done. šŸ™‚ I love that second picture, too. šŸ˜€