When I designed the kitchen, I was SUPER particular. Charts and Lists, and more Lists. I made an inventory of EVERYTHING in my old kitchen, and designed the new kitchen to hold every last spoon and whisk. But, with many things in renovation, you make mistakes. And I began to LOATHE one thing about my kitchen – the kitchen that is PERFECT in every other way. You probably think I’m nuts (and I probably am). But I didn’t plan the spice storage well. Or, at all. Because it looks like this.

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It’s so bad that I can’t even take a clear picture of it.

When your spices are all jumbled, you end up with three jars of curry powder, when you can’t even remember the last recipe you made that HAD curry in it. (Actually, it was African Groundnut Stew. But it sounds SO MUCH MORE DRAMATIC if I pretend I never use it at all).ย 

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This probably should be about fourย posts, but I’m too excited, and it’s been too long since we’ve finished a project. So, you’re getting this in two posts. Sorry.

Step One : Hate my Spice Cabinet.

Step Two : Finish the Butler’s Pantry, and have a cart from your old house that just isn’t fancy enough for this house.

DSC_0498Step Three : Put the cart in an empty space in the kitchen. And realize that it’s WAY too empty. And still not fancy.

DSC_0396A normal person would just buy something else.

So, I decided to keep it! Another thing that I’ve always wanted for my kitchen was something that was a bit more furniture-like, in keeping with traditional Victorian Kitchens. So, the moment I decided to turn the rolling cart into a hutch, I found this :

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This hot mess of a hutch cabinet needed LOVE. I found it at Small Town Salvage in Bargersville, Indiana. If you’ve not been to Small Town, GO. It’s pretty stellar and has some really unique things. We excitedly bought the hutch, and came home, and it was 2 inches too wide for the cabinet.

So, that just means I need a new top for the cart, right? Right.

Back to the hutch : It was exactly what I wanted, except that it wasn’t structurally sound. The doors didn’t close, they wobbled….

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….the back was cracked and missing….
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….but it had potential.
DSC_0393Also, it had this little latch inside, which is AMAZINGLY adorable.

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Doug really did most of the structural work for the cabinet. I was his right-hand gal. Gather Tools!

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The joints weren’t solid or glued anymore, so we worked on that first.ย 20150405_150629 20150405_154439 20150405_154135

Before Doug cleaned the joints :

20150405_164632And after! Amazing, and ready for glue!

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We glued using baby paintbrushes to get the wood glue into every nook and cranny. And then, Doug clamped everything together.

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Next up was the back, which was a MESS. The wood was warped and rotted and cracked, so we needed to replace it.

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There was a groove in the back, and all the wood slats slid out. They look so nice, leaning against the staircase! (No.)

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So now we had an empty frame. Our thought was to do a traditional tongue-and-groove beadboard. Doug was staring at it, trying to figure out how to make it work, and I walked by and said, “Why don’t you install it horizontally, and just use the channel that already existed for the old slats?”

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I’m not going to lie. That was a pretty damn good idea.

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Next, I began the process of finishing the piece, starting with a dark primer. My plan was to paint it black, to match both the rolling cart, and the cabinetry.

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Remember that the hutch is too wide, and I said we could just get a new top? Why not go marble? It would go with the floor, and work with the granite, while not matching it exactly.

I really, really like granite and marble yards. They are such a source of inspiration to me!

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We found this piece of Danby Marble that was PERFECT. The difference between Carrera and Danby, is that Carrera is from Italy, and Danby is from Vermont. Since I like syrup and skiing, this was a good choice.

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Doug took the old top off, and added supports to handle the extra weight.

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The marble had been hanging out in the dining room, where it had been since Doug and our neighbor Chad brought it in. I asked Doug why he rolled the cart in the dining room, and he said, “Because, I’d prefer to not carry the marble into the kitchen. You?”

So smart, that one.

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We got it up! Seriously, I’m going to guess that I actually carried 6.3% of the weight of this, and I felt like a beast, or The Hulk. That is one heavy piece of gloriousness.

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I mean, really……

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Coming up next : the cabinet gets color and texture and patterns and SPICES!

(Okay. I can’t help it. Here’s a sneak peak. You can see the rest tomorrow.)

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