Dan's Kitchen: Almost There!

Renovation Diary

One side of the finished kitchen – only the cabinet hardware is missing.
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Name: Dan Bailey
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: East Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
Type of building: 2nd Floor Condo in a Greek-Revival Row House

Editor's Note: After a little break to check back in with Christine and Pierre and see their finished kitchen, we're back with Dan. This was supposed to be his last weekly update, but an unexpected surprise led to the Big Reveal being delayed a bit. Look for more on that tomorrow — and the Big Reveal of the finished kitchen after that!

At the end of this past week, my contractor, Gregg, cut and installed a shelf for the refrigerator alcove and placed the final shelf in the pantry. And with that, construction work on the kitchen came to a close.

I decided against an over-the-fridge cabinet early in the planning stages of the renovation. The space that I set aside for the fridge is a small alcove next to the window, and I didn’t want to further crowd the window with a large upper cabinet. But I didn’t think about what to do with the space over the fridge until this week, when I decided at the last minute to add a simple over-the-fridge shelf. Gregg cut the shelf from an MDF panel. But like most spaces in the condo, the walls in the refrigerator alcove don’t meet at 90 degree angles. So it took some careful measuring and finesse for Gregg to create a sort of parallelogram-shaped shelf that fits perfectly into the alcove. He mounted the shelf using wood cleats and added a block of trim along the front to hide the cleats and give the shelf a finished edge.

The lowest pantry shelf and vertical side panel divide the lower shelves into cubby holes.
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Once the over-the-fridge shelf was in place, Gregg installed the final, lowest shelf in the pantry. I decided to run the lowest shelf halfway along the rear wall of the pantry, leaving a large, open space on the lower right side of the pantry to store bulky items like folding chairs or a vacuum cleaner. Gregg ended the shelf with a vertical panel, which supports the next shelf up and prevents stuff from sliding off the end of the lower shelf at the same time. The vertical panel also divides the lower shelves into cubby-hole-like sections, which should be useful when I get around to actually putting stuff in the pantry.

I spent most of my free time this week making progress on a long list of finishing details. I caulked and painted trim, polyurethaned the pantry shelves, caulked around the countertop, and patched and painted some of the nicks and scrapes that have accumulated since the drywall was installed. Gregg and I also spent a frustratingly long time making tiny adjustments to the cabinet doors to make sure that they’re spaced evenly. Only a few finishing details, like installing cabinet hardware and oiling the countertop, remain. At the beginning of next week Gregg and I will take all of the extra debris that has accumulated over the past few weeks to the dump. And now that everything has been cut and sanded and installed, I can finally clean up the thick layer of sawdust that has settled on every surface in the kitchen.

The freshly-painted custom panel and casing under the kitchen window.
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And once the kitchen is clean, I’ll spend the next week moving all of the pots and pans and dishes and silverware and food that I’m currently storing in a living room closet into the kitchen and pantry. I’m actually looking forward to organizing the kitchen – it will be my first chance to see how the layout of the kitchen will function.

Estimated time for project: 33 weeks
Time remaining: 0 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us tomorrow for installment #37 of Dan's Kitchen Renovation.

(Images and diary text: Dan Bailey)

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