Andi's Kitchen: Cabinet Shopping

Renovation Diary

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Type of Project: Kitchen Renovation — full gut remodel
Location: San Francisco, California
Type of building: 1890's Victorian condo

The Renovation Diaries are a new collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style.

Week 3 of construction was less exciting than weeks 1 & 2 — in a good way. On the weekend I visited the architectural salvage yards in Berkeley: Ohmega Salvage and Urban Ore. I was hunting for a vintage hutch, buffet, or piece of cabinetry that could serve as a pantry, with open storage for our dry food, as well as a pastry-making station. This older piece is important because it will bring character and provenance to a room full of IKEA cabinetry (which I happen to like, but in a different way).

I found three cabinets that could work. I decided to buy a 1930s/40s buffet from Urban Ore for $100, because the dimensions were perfect for our space and I liked the slot for a built-in cutting board. I carted the Urban Ore buffet home and cleaned it up. The back of the cabinet had water/mold damage, so I removed the wood backing, threw it out, and cleaned everything with a spray bottle of bleach. Dean designed a hutch that will sit on top of the buffet and store much of our dry food. We will build that next weekend.

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The "new" salvaged door from the laundry room to the hallway is just around the corner from the old door, but this location saves quite a bit of space.

We also finished framing a new door from the laundry room into the hall, rectifying the old “S” traffic pattern that curved from the deck to laundry room to kitchen — a mandatory wiggle to get to any other spot in the house. By making the laundry room exit into the hallway, we could redirect foot traffic and add three additional feet of counter space and cabinets in the kitchen. (You can see diagrams of how we're changing the floor plan here.)

Over the a day-and-a-half, Dean knocked a hole in the laundry room wall, cut out the studs, installed a header, and framed the new door. We saved an old Victorian door from our master closet renovation and installed that in this spot, with used antique hinges from Ohmega Salvage. It looks like it has been there forever.

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This left an opening where the old door had been. Dean closed it in with plywood, which will get covered with drywall next week. He also built some laundry room shelves in the remaining door nook. The traffic flow makes much more sense, and now we can extend our kitchen counter all the way to the wall, adding good counter and cabinet space.

During the week our electricians also came and did their work, removing all of the old knob-and-tube wiring and adding more lights and outlets. That went smoothly. We were thankful to have no more big surprises this week, save for a leaky dishwasher upstairs which was dripping on our construction site, but promptly got fixed. Again, we were glad to catch that little issue before it became a real problem. By opening up all of our walls and renovating our kitchen now, we saved ourselves a whole lot of trouble later on.

Estimated time for project: 9 weeks
Time remaining: 6 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us next week for #7 of Andi's Diary.

(Images and diary text: Andi Forker)

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Renovation Diary: Andi's Kitchen

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