Hey hey! How the heck are ya? There are some beautiful projects linked up at the before and after shindig – check it out here to see them or link up yours!

Today I’m back in the dining room – or is it the library? This room is a little confused right now. :) Last year we decided to do away with our dining room (that we used twice in seven years?) and make it into a more functional space for us. I shared the progress on this DIY built in project early last year and the final result here. The “book” part of the library is done…but we still need a cozy place to sit.

I love the built ins for so many different reasons, but one of the BIGGIES is all of the glorious storage they provide:

DIY built ins cabinets as bases

I chose to use upper kitchen cabinets as the bases, which I’ve done a couple times elsewhere in the house. They aren’t nearly as deep as a regular cabinet base (12 inches instead of 24), but I knew they would still provide plenty of storage.

I use this area for most of our serving stuff – the items we don’t use every day or even every week, but I like to have it all for special occasions/holidays/parties. You know – all that pretty stuff you hardly use but still need (want)?

When I finished the built ins I was so excited I just shoved everything back into the cabinets and called it done. For a long time now I’ve been wanting to clean them out, purge some of the stuff and pretty it up just a tad.

I started by pulling every single item out of the cabinets. You know, the whole it gets worse before it gets better thing? Yeah:

decrapifying

Well the dog wasn’t in the cabinets, of course. He just has to be in front of the camera every. single. time.

And this is another reason the room is still in limbo – the table and chairs from the kitchen were moved in here temporarily and have stayed. Hubby sits here to work most days lately instead of the basement so we’ve kept it for now. I’m itching to get those comfy chairs in here though. :)

So I cleaned them out and then cleaned them out – vacuumed all the leftover sawdust (nice) and wiped them down:

Side note – no I don’t paint the insides of the doors. SOMEONE (me) doesn’t have the patience for that.

I pulled out the top shelf in each one to cover them with some cute contact paper I had picked up for this project a year ago:

contact paper on shelves

But I ran out of it before I could do the bottom shelves. I was just going to leave them as is but it looked wonky. Sooooo I quickly taped them off and did one coat of the color I used on the backs of the built ins – Storm Cloud (I think it’s Sherwin Williams?):

label cabinet doors before painting

Do you see that little piece of Frogtape on the back of the door? That’s been there all this time – I used those to number the doors when I took them off to paint them. I highly recommend doing that because otherwise you’ll have to do a lot of adjusting to get the doors just right again.

Anyhoo, did I need to paint the inside the cabinets no one but me will ever see? (I mean, obviously I have no life.) No. But there’s something to be said for having an organized space look pretty too. It only took me five minutes for each one, so it wasn’t too bad.

storm cloud gray

I only had to do one coat each too – which totally surprised me. The paint is the SW Duration kind and it covered great.

After it was dry I did a super quick purge and then loaded everything back in. I have a cabinet for holiday stuff:

organizing holiday dining items

One for vases/pitchers/birthday party supplies (there’s no rhyme or reason to this as you can see):

organizing serving ware

One for random serving stuff, with room to spare:

organizing serving dishes

I have more in the kitchen that will fill that space, don’t you worry. ;)

And finally, one dedicated to dishes. My vintage glass plates (from Goodwill) for showers and small get togethers, our white dishes for big meals and some serving plates and linens as well:

organizing serving dishes

And, I gotta say, it doesn’t ever get any less weird that I share the insides of our drawers and cabinets with you, even after five years. ;)

It is SO GREAT to have a spot for all of this stuff! Most of it was in the basement before – now I like having it close by in a pretty spot:

DIY built ins using cabinets as basesI still LOVE how this all came together. So very much.

We’ve lived here for nine years and I feel like I am on the cusp of having a good spot for everything – it’s taken that long. If you’ve been around for awhile you know I have to live with things for some time before making them right for us – the same goes for how I (try to) organize the STUFF in our house.

How do you organize all the dining stuff you rarely use but want to keep? :) Or do you use them often? I think I need to throw a party.

 
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