Spice Storage: Construction & Installation

There’s this small space between my front door and my coat closet. Originally, I’d thought I’d find some Anthropologie-esque (but not as expensive) shallow hooks to provide somewhere for visiting dignitaries and my friends to hang their stuff when they visit.

Where the Spice Rack will Go

Then, I saw a post on spice racks, and thought, “Aha! I’ll build a narrow spice rack for that space, and reclaim the cabinet above my stove where I’m not supposed to store spices, anyway!”

… Back to the lumber yard I went …
… On my BIRTHDAY …

My plan required:

  • Moulding (11/16″ x 1 1/2″) cut to size (for my purposes, 2 pieces 54″ tall, and 8 pieces 9″ wide)
  • L-brackets for the shelves (6 packs of 4)
  • Corner, L-brackets for the encompassing rectangle (2 packs of 2)
  • 1*2*3 Primer + Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Anchors & Screws to attach to the wall

One, fine Saturday morning, I began construction on my spice rack back laying out the pieces.

Laying Out the Wood ... Getting a Feel for the Project

One-Cat Demo Crew

Now it was time to get to work. The pieces were in their places, the spacing figured out, and the hardware acquired!

First, I used the corner L-brackets to create a sturdy rectangle using the two longer pieces of moulding and two of the shorter pieces.

Making My Marks

Tool Space, Kitchen Space, Lily in a Measuring Cup?

FitzKitty Foreman - Taking the Measuring Tape for a Spin

FitzKitty Foreman - Are We Done Yet?

Basic Rectangle to Outline the Cabinet - Completed

One Squared Off End of the Cabinet - Now for the Shelves

The Other End of the Cabinet - Awaiting Shelves

Frame completed, it was time to add the remaining 9″ pieces ladder-like to create the ledges on which the spices will sit. Each ledge used four L-brackets, two per side. The reasoning for this was to ensure each ledge was stable for the jars about to be placed on it.

Clearly, I'm Impressed with the Corners!

Looking Up The Spice Rack Ladder Style.

Another Ladder Like View of the Spice Rack

Once the building of the “ladder” was complete, it was time to clean it off, and then paint on two coats of primer + paint.

Bulls Eye 1*2*3 Primer + Paint - Genius

Primer + Paint

I let the primer + paint dry overnight. The next morning, I installed the spice rack in the selected location. As you have probably noticed, my cat’s no exception to the curiosity rule. For this reason, I intended to install the rack higher rather than lower. I put it in place, ensured it was level, and used a pencil to mark where the holes should go. Finding the middle ground between holding it securely in place and marking up the wall (scraping metal against paint leaves marks) wasn’t easy without help.

Installation in Progress

Installation Complete - Awaiting Spices

Voila! My new spice rack is installed! With any luck, it looks built in, though I guess showing off my effort here will bely that … Now, to find me some lovely spice jars to replace my plastic, grocery store ones…

Installed Spice Rack with a Few of My Lovelier Spice Jars.

Deconstructed Installation

One of the reasons I chose the paint color I did was because I had a photograph I wanted to blow up, print in quarters, frame, and install above the loveseat.

Horizonless

Horizonless

I took this photograph while on Holiday in Labrador, and I thought it would provide a nice endless view thereby enlarging the tiny space that is my apartment.

Only trouble was, the file wasn’t large enough to print at the size I needed. This means I’m still on the hunt for a photograph. I’m hoping to capture something on my next trip armed with my new-ish DSLR.

Without a photograph, I must admit I wasn’t very motivated to go through the installation process. At the same time, I was tired of having the task hanging over my head.

Blank Canvas

Blank Canvas

Yup, I’m the crazy lady with a black cat who bought a white slipcover.

FitzKitty Foreman is On-the-Job, Literally

FitzKitty Foreman is On-the-Job, Literally

Now, I’ve read all the helpful hints about mapping the installation out with butcher paper or similar. I didn’t have butcher paper. I had something else I could use, but then got frustrated because these IKEA frames have hanging wire on the back not easy to measure mounts. So, I took the best measurements I could and hoped for the best.

Taped Instructions to Neighboring Wall

Taped Instructions to Neighboring Wall

Unsure why that photograph turned out so funky. It’s the kind of thing that happened pre-digital camera.

Measurements, in hand, I taped them to the neighboring wall so I could see them clearly while measuring, marking, and hammering.

Honestly, and because I feel like bragging, the first round of the installation turned out well, except that the vertical space between the frames was considerably narrower than the horizontal spacing, which is what the following picture is supposed to demonstrate.

The Spacing is Off

The Spacing is Off

The horizontal spacing has been fixed.

Deconstructed Frame Installation, Awaiting Photograph

Deconstructed Frame Installation, Awaiting Photograph

Now, to fix the no-photograph situation.

Found! Baskets for the Reclaimed Closet

A few posts ago, I wrote about reclaiming my coat closet. It was a great moment, but I was short on matching storage baskets to fit the space.

I admitted that I build the shelves to fit a (not yet acquired) Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. What I didn’t tell you was that I had built the middle shelf specifically to fit baskets from IKEA. Only problem, IKEA was out of the baskets.

Quick reminder of the installed shelves:

Shelves Are In

Shelves Are In

Over time, the storage was used, but not as I’d intended:

Temporary Storage Solution

Temporary Storage Solution

For some of the baskets, such as the one shown, I made labels out of empty cereal and granola bar boxes.

Storage Lables

Storage Lables

Two fruitless visits to IKEA later, I found myself passing a Pier One that was “closing for renovations”. Uh huh. We’ll see about that. What it meant for me, was that I found lined, bamboo baskets that were just the right size for less than IKEA’s out-of-stock option.

Lined, Bamboo Baskets

Lined, Bamboo Baskets

While I’m busy with the total renovation of my apartment, my toolbox (that woven basket with the (more traditional) blue toolbox on top is where my (unacquired) KItchen Aid Stand Mixer is going to go.

Occupied Shelves

Occupied Shelves

The closet isn’t as streamlined as I’d like it to be, but it is so much more functional! Wow. I can close the door! I can get to stuff! Not only can I hang my coats, I can hang my guests’ coats!

Full View / Coat Closet

Full View / Coat Closet

Verdict: ReClaimed!

Oh Happy Day: Tilt-Down Sponge Storage

I thought I was moving up in the world. Not only did I have my own place, but I picked up a set of Rev-a-Shelf’s tilt-shelf offering sponge (and a little more) storage under the sink.

First, there was the original kitchen without a tilt-shelf.

Before ...

Before ...

When J was over to scope out the “About a Bed” project, I mentioned this acquisition to him. Before I knew what happened, he was under the sink asking for a screwdriver.

It Tilts!

It Tilts!

It Returns to Start!

It Returns to Start!

Gotta love that!

A New Shelf Enters My Life

On a recent shopping spree at IKEA, I saw the EKBY GRUVAN shelf, which I thought was super cool. The only problem? It was too long for the wall against which stood my desk.

EKBY GRUVAN Shelf

Then, one day while perusing the IKEA website, I discovered there was a smaller size! Perfect.

On the very next IKEA shopping spree, I picked one up. This weekend, I installed it.

Here’s what the space looked like when I started:

My First Space Renovation

My First Space Renovation

I’d already made one attempt at improving my Home Office Nook. It was fine; better, even, than what it had been. It could be better, though, and the EKBY GRUVAN shelf was the answer.

At first, I thought it needed to go above the knife rack I’m using as an office organizer. While that is true, the brackets can flank the magnetic strip rather than go above it (making the shelf really, really high).

First Attempt Fail, Second Attempt Success

First Attempt Fail, Second Attempt Success

If you look closely, you can see where I had to patch the wall above the magnetic strip. Then I made the final attempt, and installed the brackets on either side of the magnetic strip, which still puts the shelf high enough but not too high.

Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Installing the Shlef

Installing the Shlef

And then the final, with the desk and the magnetic strip back in place and the shelf put to use.

Finished Installation - It's Like a New Space

Finished Installation - It's Like a New Space

Reclaiming the Coat Closet

When I first looked at apartments in my current building, I saw one where someone had turned the coat closet into a pantry. At least, that’s how I thought of it when I saw the floor to ceiling shelves in the closet instead of a clothes rack.

The apartment I ended up with, though, had a legit coat closet.

Pantry envy convinced me to turn my coat closet into a pantry. It’s a (pretty) well built building, and the clothes rack is a wood rod built into wood railings that line the interior. I wasn’t about to put in the effort to remove it. So that shelves went in underneath, and the closet acted as:

  • pantry
  • cleaning supply closet
  • luggage storage
  • all-purpose-storage

The various layers of the closet:

Kitchen Closet - Layer 1

Kitchen Closet - Layer 1

Kitchen Closet - Layer 2

Kitchen Closet - Layer 2

Kitchen Closet - Layer 3

Kitchen Closet - Layer 3

Kitchen Closet - Layer 4

Kitchen Closet - Layer 4

Needless to say, there was a lot going on. The closet was cramped and overwhelmed. Accessing anything inside was a chore, and forget closing the door!

Around the time I put up the shelves, I tried to put shelves all the way up. I ran into some unforeseen trouble with the upper portion of the closet, and gave up.

Part of reclaiming the closet meant the shelves moved from under the clothes rack to above.

First, I had to “build” the shelves. When I say that, what I mean is, I couldn’t bring myself to buy more lumber (there’s a veritable lumber yard under my bed). That said, I had the right length, but not the right depth. So I put two pieces together using mending plates.

Building the Shelves

Building the Shelves

Shelves – check.
Braces – check.

Braces

Braces

Time to get the tools ready and on-hand.

Tools at the Ready

Tools at the Ready

When I “designed” these shelves, I made sure to make a dedicates space for a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer I don’t have, yet. I’d also like space for a sewing machine I do have … just at my mothers. However, I’m not sure this is the right spot for the sewing machine.

A couple of nails put in place with a few whacks of the hammer, and the braces were up:

Half the Braces Up

Half the Braces Up

The Other Half of the Braces

The Other Half of the Braces

Voila! Nailing braces into the sides of the closet was so much better and fast than the first time I tried this!

Shelves Are In

Shelves Are In

Details

Details

Now, to find baskets for the shelves.

The Tale of the Paint

As I mentioned in my decision post, when I started my apartment overhaul, I thought one of the things I had going for me was how much I liked the color scheme.

Before I moved in, I’d worked with the landlord on that very thing! We’d arranged the colors, which walls, etc. Of course, I don’t live in a high-end building, so, as you can see when you pay close attention to this photograph, they didn’t do a very good job painting.

Look Closely

Look Closely

To be honest, I didn’t even realize what a bad job they’d done, until I looked closely at one of the pictures from when J and I built my bed. If you look closely, you’ll see the yellow only goes up part way.  In fact, it stops short of the A/C cover.

And I won’t even go into how they weren’t supposed to paint the A/C cover, the radiator, etc.

Testing Paint

Testing Paint

After all the colors that were tested, I went with an untested color.

I had a dream that a photograph of mine (taken with a point-and-shoot) could be blown up into a large scale installation above my loveseat, and the final color was picked to go with this photograph.

Naturally, after the painting was done, I realized my installation idea wasn’t going to work. Happily, I have a DSLR, now, and I’m working on another installation.

Two Colors, Three Mix Sticks. I'm Prepared.

Two Colors, Three Mix Sticks. I'm Prepared.

In the meantime, I painted. First, I painted the white walls Glacial White.

Prepping for the White Walls

Prepping for the White Walls

Taped and Painted

Taped and Painted

Trust me when I tell you, the white walls are WHITE. It took awhile for me to come around to the glacial white I picked.

White walls finished, it was time to commit to the blue wall. Let the painting continue!

Painting the Blue Wall

Painting the Blue Wall

The Blue Wall

The Blue Wall

And there you go. A new color scheme. It took the entire weekend, and I was exhausted. I couldn’t be more pleased. Happiness is a freshly painted room.

Hanging My Headboard

Last weekend, I created a headboard from a (broken) mirror frame.

This weekend, I hung the finished headboard … among other things.

I wanted the heabdboard to hand on the wall a few inches above the bed.  More akin to a “legit” headboard than a piece of art.

I’d also picked up a small ANEBODA set of drawers from IKEA that I intend to use as a nightstand.  Of course, I hadn’t finished putting it together when my friend J came over to help hang the headboard.  So I wasn’t quite sure where to hang it, but we jumped in nonetheless.

We both agreed we weren’t fans of using wire to hang anything.  It “gives” too much, permitting fluctuations in location.  After some discussion, we had an idea of what we were seeking, but realized it would come down to what my local hardware store had on hand.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Job Foreman Inspects Work Area

Job Foreman Inspects Work Area

In the end we went with a couple of “keyhole” type devices we attached to the back to the headboard.  We raised them using washers to give plenty of room for the screws to slide in and up.

Drilling

Drilling

Hung Via Raised "Keyhole"

Hung Via Raised "Keyhole"

Hung Via Raised "Keyhole"

Hung Via Raised "Keyhole"

Then came, what I consider, the “tricky” part.  We had to figure out not only where I wanted the headboard to go, but where the anchors and screws should go to get the headboard in that position.

J had a brilliant idea, use painters’ tape!

Determining Location for First Screw & Anchor

Determining Location for First Screw & Anchor

Using Painters Tape to Outline and Install

Using Painters Tape to Outline and Install

If you look closely at the second (lower) picture of the painters’ tape, you can see that the corner of the headboard is outlined, and the screw is installed in consideration (measurement of this).  It was a brilliant idea.  Saved the newly painted wall, especially considering how easily removed painters’ tape is.

Painters Tale Guides the Way for Anchor Placement

Painters Tale Guides the Way for Anchor Placement

Screwing into the Anchor

Screwing into the Anchor

Checking Our Work

Checking Our Work

Checking the Other Side

Checking the Other Side

With the days getting longer, it’s harder for me to tell what time it is or how long things take.  While we did get sidetracked with another project I have in mind, hanging the headboard took longer than either of us expected, I think.  Not that I’m complaining; I’m in love with the results!

Hung Headboard, Installed Reading Lights, and Storage-a-Plenty Nightstand

Hung Headboard, Installed Reading Lights, and Storage-a-Plenty Nightstand

Better yet … it’s got the FitzKitty stamp of approval!

FitzKitty Stamp of Approval

FitzKitty Stamp of Approval

Just wait until you see what I have in store for the ANEBODA chest of drawers turned nighstand.