Construction Update – Pantry Cabinets

February 22nd, 2014

So so much to post about! I have a million flagged photos in my iphoto and I get anxiety just thinking about how long it will take me to process them all and post. Things have been moving so quickly, I haven’t been able to keep up. And I wish I could take even more pictures but I’ve been mostly at home taking care of kids, working, and trying to finalize lighting/finishes etc.

At this point the easiest way to do updates is to go by project. So lets start with the pantry space. You can see my inspiration and previous plans on my pantry inspiration post. Between that post, and the actual build, I went through a handful of design changes to accommodate various appliances, and scenarios. Initially I planned a microwave and fridge on the left-side of the space, but ended up putting in a broom closet – you know, for brooms and vacuums. So the microwave spot got pushed to the right-side. I also planned a “command-central” hutch, but then decided to put that in the mud room (I added a mudroom at the last minute instead of a mud hallway). So the command central went into the mud room, and I designed an open shelf dish hutch in that space instead.

Okay lets get started… A few weeks ago the floor was grouted and cabinets moved into the pantry space.



Mr. Project installed them all that evening, and started on the countertop. We decided a wood butcher block in here – they really are a great work-horse countertop as long as you avoid standing water. Even then, keep them oiled up good and there should be no problem. Budget shoppers that we are, we purchased the IKEA beech wood ones, though our store didn’t have enough and we had to order one online and wait for it to be delivered.

Two of the countertops had to be joined for this long span. There’s a bit of a lip showing in this picture, but Mr. Project will make it all work and look fabulous.

Once all the countertops were installed, Mr. Project started on the hutch. He built the drawer unit, each shelving row separately, and the face frame offsite, and then assembled them in place.


Here they are all stacked, with the face frame waiting below.


After the hutch was assembled, Mr. Project installed the cabinet box that will house the microwave and a steam oven next to it.


On the other side of the cab we planned for open shelving with corbels. Lots of corbels. I’ve talked about corbels before and how expensive they can be. We decided to DIY our corbels again (you can read about this process on my DIY Corbels post), so we called around a few CNC places to get pricing, and found a local one to cut these for us:


I have a bunch of pictures that they sent me for another post just on more DIY corbels, but I’ll save those for another day. Basically I designed a super simple corbel pattern in Adobe Illustrator, and emailed the .eps file to the cutters. Then a few days later we picked up 96 of these babies. They used a 3/4″ mdf material and then we glued two of them together to create a thicker corbel. For this wall we used 24 single corbels to make 12 doubled up ones. Before painting, Mr. Project spackled and sanded the seam to make them look seamless.


Oh I forgot to mention the t&g paneling. Mr. Project installed it on this entire wall (except behind the big cabinet in the middle), to add a finished look to the space. Even though he wasn’t too keen on taking the time to install it, it’s one of his favorite features now.

This is the wall all finished up!


And a view of the sink/window side. I love having a window in this room!


The next day, the painters came through an primed the kitchen, and primed/painted the pantry. I love seeing the shelving through the open door from the kitchen.


Here’s a good shot of the painted shelving.


And then later that night, Mr. Project painted the lower cabinets with turquoise conversion varnish.


And the upper cabinets with a white conversion varnish.


It turned out so so pretty! I cannot wait to see all the doors and drawers painted and in place.


Here’s a close-up of the varnish color – this image is pretty close to the real color, maybe a little light.


It is so much fun to see it start to come together. Now I just want to move in so bad and be able to use the space, and enjoy the beauty of it.

Post post notes:

*More updates coming soon, so keep checking back. for daily updates subscribe to my Instagram and Facebook feeds. 

*To see past updates – view my Canyon View House Category.

*If you have any questions, I’d love to answer them, just leave a comment!

11 responses to “Construction Update – Pantry Cabinets”

  1. January says:

    The paint came out amazing! So where did you get the conversion varnish and how durable is it? I love the idea of painting my cabinets but have questions.

  2. Oh my goodness, I just love this! I am also interested in finding out why you chose a conversion varnish for your cabinets. I went back and read your DIY Corbels post and your pantry inspiration post, and I pinned them AND emailed them to my husband with firm instructions to READ them! I LOVE your ideas and your thriftiness. Your projects are a wonderful inspiration! Thank you!!!

  3. Kristi Kearl says:

    Oh so dreamy. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for EVERY post. I saw some photos on Instagram too and can’t wait to see the finished product. Would love to see a post showing your floor plan too!

  4. MWoods says:

    Wow I love that turquoise on the cabinet. I think it’s bold but beautiful. They are staying that way right?

  5. Felicity says:

    I just found your blog (through Pinterest) and so far I love it. I will tell you, it seems complicated to follow your blog through Bloglovin’… It seems like I might have to follow you separately in several different categories… Just thought you might want to know it’s set up weird with Bloglovin’ in case you didn’t know. I look forward to diving into your posts.

  6. Jen Allyson says:

    THanks! I’ll take a look. I’ve never set up bloglovin’ maybe thats why!

  7. Jen Allyson says:

    Yes! I love the turquoise so much!

  8. alicia king says:

    such a beautiful color!

  9. Cathy says:

    I adore your pantry! I’m about to install some shelving with corbels in my kitchen and was wondering if Mr Project had any fixing tips? My local handyman said I would have to attach a batten to the wall first but I see your handy hubby has managed to do it without which I think looks much prettier. Thanks 🙂

  10. Jen Allyson says:

    Thanks! Well technically the whole wall is battens, thats how we got around it. I had Mr. Project panel out the entire wall with 6″ v-groove tongue and groove planks. Our corbels are DIY. They are made of 2 pieces. Mr. Project installed one on the wall with pocket-hole screws, and then installed the second one to the first one with pin nails. In finishing, it’s all puttied and sanded to look like one piece.

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