Over the past few months, we have been undergoing a bit of construction in our house to create a new butler's pantry and coat closet. As I have mentioned in various posts, while I love my kitchen, it is not the biggest and the storage is limiting for someone who frequently cooks and entertains. Just to be clear, by "limiting," I mean that every time I needed to use my food processor or get out my cake stand, I would have to go upstairs to the attic to pull those items out of storage. Not ideal but hey, it worked.
We had initially planned to have a built-in custom cabinet installed to the right of our existing coat closet, however the quotes we were receiving from various contractors had my husband and I turning white in the face. It wasn't until my mom actually took a look at the space and suggested re-purposing our current closet, that we finally saw the light. She suggested that we consider reducing the existing coat closet and inserting a pantry to create into a hybrid butler's pantry/coat closet. Finally we realized we were onto something! Of course as the universe might have it, a California Closet's Store opened up down the street from our house right around this time, so we decided to go and talk to a closet consultant to see what they could do for us.
After a store meeting and home meeting to measure the space, California Closets sent us 3 different proposals for how the space could be designed (at various price points). My husband and I made a few additional tweaks to the proposal we liked best, the contract was finalized and the building process began!
The whole process took about 3 weeks including construction, below are the details from start to finish along with the options we selected.
Before we could have the new closet unit installed, we needed to have a general contracting team come in and widen the existing door frame. Widening the door frame would provide us with the necessary latitude to install maximum depth shelves, drawers and rolling shelves.
The construction took approximately a day and a half to complete. When all was said and done, it looked great and they were very respectful/careful with our property. The one piece of advice I have for anyone about to undergo construction in their house is -- get ready for an invasion of dust! Our construction team used tarps, cloths, etc… and still the dust that covered every surface post project was incredible. If you are going to have any work done to your home, I would strongly encourage you to avoid having the work take place near any time when you plan to be entertaining.
New Coat Closet
Our new coat closet is now a fraction of the size it used to be, but it's perfect for holding our everyday coats or our guests coats when entertaining, has a storage space above for all of Dolly's supplies (see this bin) and even room for a few everyday cleaning tools like our Swiffer! My husband and I do not have extensive coat collections, so we found it much more beneficial to allocate the space towards kitchen/dining storage.
As I mentioned above, we opted to have the doorframe widened so that we could install the maximum depth shelf option. We have enough room to house placemats, cheeseboards, cake plates, dry goods, baking supplies, the majority of my small kitchen appliances and even a few of these fabulous bin organizers. I feel like I am honestly swimming in storage space these days, which is something I never dreamed would be possible given the size of my kitchen paired with my serious habit for kitchen equipment and entertaining accessories.
Oh what a luxury it is to finally have additional kitchen drawers!! As I have mentioned in previous posts (like this one), our kitchen is only outfitted with two drawers, so having additional drawers included in our new butlers pantry was an absolute MUST. Prior to having these new drawers, I was storing my kitchen linens in a basket situated in a high cabinet, which was a total nightmare. These new drawers have given me the room to store and easily access my dish towels, oven mitts, aprons and table linens. Talk about luxury!
We opted to have 2 rolling shelves installed on the two bottom levels of our pantry. Reason being - who wants to crouch down onto the floor and dig around the back of a shelf for an item? Definitely not me. Adding the roller shelves allows for easy access to all items on both lower levels, which is especially helpful when you are storing big bulky kitchen appliances. In addition, the lowest rolling shelf has doubled as a pet food/feeding storage space. Dolly's bowls and kibbles can finally be stored in the same location, making her meal prep super easy and convenient.
I would have to say that what I loved most about using California Closets for this project, was the ability to customize every single aspect of this cabinet. We were able to choose the doors, interior and exterior hardware and stain colors for all shelves and drawers. The best part? Because California Closets is a closet manufacturing company, the cost to build this pantry was a fraction of what we were being quoted by various independent contractors.
As this project comes to a close, there are a few key takeaways that I wanted to make sure to share with you all while everything is still fresh in my mind.
- Before trying to create a new storage space, see if you can re-purpose an existing space. You will save on expenses and keep your home from looking crowded if you use a space you already have.
- When it comes to specific home improvement work, you will save money by going to the experts instead of an independent contractor who is most likely not readily equipped with the materials that may be needed for proposed project (like a custom closet).
- Err on the side of more details as opposed to less. For this project, I pulled out everything I had wanted to store in this new closet so that the designers at California Closets could get a more accurate idea of my desired end goal.
While we still have a few loose ends to tie up, like the two holes in the floor where the old door frame used to be, the lion's share of the work is complete and I couldn't be happier with the final product. Starting off 2016 on an uber-organized note is the absolute best!