Tuesday, February 1, 2011

White or Red?

No, I am not talking about paint, I am talking about wine!  Nate and I are pretty big wine drinkers (not winos, but we enjoy a glass or two with dinner) and we needed somewhere to put all of it.  When the kitchen was being redesigned, there was a space that was going to be created between the peninsula and the drop down into the den.  We knew that the area surrounding the window should be used for some type of storage.

Nate suggested that we do some built-ins around the window that would act as a "wine cabinet" and incorporate some countertop space for all of the cookbooks that I have collected over time.  Off to Bob's workshop we went!
We used MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) to build the wine cabinets.  We made a dado groove (a groove in one piece of wood that will support another piece of wood) in the vertical boards, and inserted the horizontal pieces into the groove.  Those were then glued and nailed into place creating a system of grids.  STOP!  Before we glued and nailed the boards together, Nate and I suggested to Bob that it would be a lot easier to paint everything before we assembled the pieces.  Bob responded with "I want these things out of my shop, so put them together now, and you can paint them at your house."  So, we obliged.  BIG MISTAKE!  I, being the "painter" out of the two of us, was assigned to paint the already assembled wine cabinets.  Let's just say that I put down my very small, custom made, piece of crap roller on several occasions so that I could review the divorce papers that I was about to serve to my dear hubby.  Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but I was seriously miserable.
Nate, noting that I was on the verge of cracking, handled making the seat bench to go under the window and even surprised me with a fully functioning drawer in the bench for additional storage.  Good man!
AnYways, once painted (Benjamin Moore Cloud White, which should be no surprise if you have been keeping up with this blog), we installed the lower cabinets and the drawer/seat bench.
Notice the panel detail cropping up again on the front of the seat bench.  We also added panel details on each side of the wine cabinets to blend in to the adjacent kitchen.  We also had the granite guys install granite on top of each of the bottom cabinets.
The upper wine cabinets were a little trickier to install because of the weight.  MDF is a very heavy material and we probably should have thought about that before building these.  Oh well! Nate put blocks in each of the four corners and nailed the blocks to the wine cabinets.  The blocks were then screwed into the studs in the wall.  The upper cabinets were now securely attached to the wall (fingers crossed, we have a lot of cheap Trader Joe's wine in there!)
We added a base moulding kick plate to cover the area exposed at the bottom.  You will see in the photo above that there was an existing air duct that we needed to vent out from underneath the seat bench.  Nate came up with the idea of drilling a grid of holes into the base moulding to serve as the vent.  It turned out great and functions extremely well.
I found some fabric at Calico Corners and had my mom make us a seat cushion to finish everything off.  This is now Murphy's (our cat) favorite spot to lay because he can see out of the window.

Ready for the before and after?  Ready or not...
We are currently debating on whether or not to hang some roman shades in the window.  We did purchase some cool floating glass balls that hold "air plants" from West Elm and have hung those in front of the window.  We will also be adding some bolster pillows in a solid red color on the seat bench.