Week of Kitchen Renovations: Extra Counter and Cabinet Space

I’m kicking off the new year with a full week of Kitchen Renovation updates. Our kitchen has been done since July and I’ve been slacking on posting the “after” pictures. So this week I’ll be featuring various aspects of our kitchen that we love. On Friday, I’ll be posting the back to back before and after pictures for the entire project (well for what’s done until now). Hubby and I still have a few minor things to finish, including some decorating and paint touch ups.

As I mentioned over the summer, we absolutely loved our kitchen designer (I made her some peanut butter brownies to show our appreciation). She really did come up with some creative ideas to increase our counter space and storage space in the kitchen. Since our budget couldn’t accommodate moving the sink or stove (moving gas or water lines can be very expensive in old buildings), we couldn’t change the layout very much.

One thing we did to increase our cabinet space was to take advantage of our 108″ ceilings. We went with 42″ tall cabinets on the top. These are very tall cabinets (look how high above the door frame they go!) I’m a tall girl and I still have to use a little foot stool to reach the top shelf. Luckily, Hubby can reach without the step stool.

The single best thing we did to increase the counter space was to move the fridge into the dining area. This allowed us to have a counter over our radiator. It also allowed us to add another small cabinet where the fridge used to be. This was BY FAR the most creative idea our designer came up with. It’s actually quite funny because we had gone in to order our cabinets and she said she had one last idea. I was getting antsy to get the renovation started, I almost didn’t hear her out. I’m so glad I did. By moving the fridge from in front of the window, we also get a lot more sunlight through our gigantic double window. I was a little apprehensive that the fridge would seem out of place in the dining room, but you have to keep in mind that this is a very small space, so it all really just flow together as one large room and the fridge doesn’t look lost in there.

As yet another obstacle, we didn’t want to move the windows and we also didn’t want to cover them at all. So the counter that goes over the radiator is at a lower height. It sits at 30″ where normal counter height is 36″. You can see how low it is in the picture above. So it’s not very ergonomically friendly for Hubby or I to be cutting vegetables, but it’s a great space to put things, like cookies cooling, or plates waiting for dinner to be finished. It’s great because it allows us to keep the main working space to the left of the stove cleared off at all times.

As I mentioned, this also allowed us to have a small cabinet in the corner, increasing our cabinet space even more. AND, for even more storage, we use the space near the radiator to store serving plates and extra rolls of paper towels and toilet paper.

You might notice that the cabinet doors in front of the radiator look like an actual radiator cover. This is a project that Hubby and I did ourselves. Our designer ordered doors that would normally have glass in them. But instead of ordering glass to fill the doors with, we bought some metal mesh that is used in radiator cover construction. It’s carried in large 36×36″ sheets. Since they were a shiny metal, I took them outside and spray painted them with black matte spray paint. It took about 3 light coats on each side. Hubby then used wire cutters to cut the sheets down to the appropriate size.

To attach them to the doors, we were worried about the sharp edges, so I decided to just use hot glue and really goop it on there. As you can see, these sheets are not going anywhere and there’s no concern of catching your finger on a sharp metal edge. These doors allow the necessary level of ventilation for the radiator and look great in the kitchen.

Check out my Week of Kitchen Renovations here.

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19 Responses to “Week of Kitchen Renovations: Spice Rack”

  1. #
    Jennifer — January 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I LOVE those spice jars! And the storage for it. I wonder if we could do something like that in our kitchen….

  2. #
    Julie Q — January 7, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Before I read the sprinkles comment, I was uber eager to find out what spices you were rocking over the sink! Great idea 🙂

  3. #
    Jeanette — January 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Love the idea! What a great use of the space. Thank you for sharing.

  4. #
    Cathy — January 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    your spices were the first thing I noticed when you started showing pics. I love it! I sort mine in alphabetical order, so it’s a little easier for me to find them.

  5. #
    Jen — January 7, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I wanted to alphabetize, but Hubby isn’t the most organized person so I’m not sure how long they would stay organized since he does most of the cooking in the house.

  6. #
    carrie1 — January 7, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    What a great idea! Yesterday when I was looking at the pictures I thought it was tile. (thats the blonde in me) =)

  7. #
    Laura — January 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I love it! That is such a neat idea.

  8. #
    Ingrid — January 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I LOVE it! I’m intending to “revamp” my kitchen this spring and add a back splash but wasn’t certain what other changes I might want to add. I’m going to show this to my honey and keep this in mind. Thanks!

    Oh, and Happy New Year!

  9. #
    ~ Kristie — January 7, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Your renovation posts have me dreaming of updating our kitchen. I absolutely LOVE the backsplash and shelf!

  10. #
    Sheltie Girl — January 7, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    This is a fabulous idea. I love how you color coordinated the different spices across the shelf. It’s very practical and gives your kitchen a very stylish presentation.

    Natalie @ gluten a go go

  11. #
    Katie — January 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I love that idea! I looks so great with all of the different colors of the spices and sprinkles. And talk about handy, they are so easy to reach!

  12. #
    mamakrystal — January 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Love your kitchen posts…the spice & sprinkles jars are what stands out to me..aside from the backsplash. You have such a cutesy kitchen!!!

  13. #
    nutmegnanny — January 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Oh my! I love love love love it!!! I just sent and IM to my boyfriend that said “I want to do this in our kitchen”…haha.

  14. #
    Megan — January 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    That is a gorgeous display of spices… I would love to do something like that!

  15. #
    lifeandkitchen — January 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I love that idea! The spices add such good color to your kitchen (and extra space, i would guess!).

  16. #
    Michelle Rago — January 7, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you ahead of time for building this in my kitchen when I get my own place.

  17. #
    Amanda — January 9, 2010 at 3:36 am

    From all your renovation posts…the spice jars are my favorite. I can’t believe there are 60! I wish I could figure out some place to do that!

  18. #
    kermiefrg — January 25, 2010 at 1:58 am

    I love your spice display! It must be so convenient to have everything right there whenever you need it. AND it looks fabulous in the room!

  19. #
    SpiceRack — April 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Spice Rack
    I’m amazed on the way you created your own spice rack. It really complements your kitchen design, much more it helps in organizing various spices.

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