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A dump turned jewel

About a month ago my husband and I took on a quick project in our home that was literally life changing. I wanted to share it with you all now that I finally have photos thanks to a bit of free time over the holidays. My house is quite small as I have complained MANY times here, and has no decent storage. We eat at home alot, and despite having a fabulous new kitchen, there was still not enough storage for food after our trips to the grocery store. Another dilemma we have with this house is there is NO closet on the main floor. When you walk in the front door you are smack in the middle of the living room. This is Ottawa, so having no adequate space to dump wet snowy jackets and boots was beyond annoying. There is a room at the back of the house just beyond the kitchen. We decided to turn the space into a pantry/cold storage(LOL)/coat room. Here is a post of it when I redecorated and made it my office. I am so freaking happy with the space now. We have FOUR Ikea shelving units to store the majority of our food, some dishes, and office supplies! YESSS!!! My husband also built a storage unit to house all of our coats, boots and seasonal accoutrements. :-) A dump of a space turned out to be one of the most useful in the house, and it's pretty cute to boot! (Sorry, I took an overabundance of photos)

This room is not wired for lighting so we had to improvise and bought some cute clamp lights for the top of the shelves. We can finally see in there!

A photo by my friend Maura and my beloved South African Wonki Ware dishes from Green Light District

The microwave is plugged in and now lives on the firt shelf so it's easy to get to. LOVE not having it on the kitchen counter. 

We bought 7 or 8 of the hanging baskets above - they're GREAT!

Thanks to all this shelving I was able to utilize a bunch of my vintage storage containers (I'm a bit obsessed) - apple baskets, metal locker bins, crates... and that's Pheoebe. I could not find a black and white runner anywhere so red for now.

I found an old can of charcoal grey paint in the basement so I painted 2 walls with it, as well as the front vertical sections of the shelving. 

I didn't want the table above in the space but I brought in that succulent planter for the winter and had no other place for it, and one of my cats Lucky adores that hammock so it had to stay. It needs a paint job (we found it in the AS IS section at Ikea for about $50). The white shelving to the right is the cat perch made out of an Ikea baby change table that we chopped in half and mounted to the wall. 

The back door is now our main entrance. And that's Felix. He's huge. 

My husband whipped up this unit out of some plywood one afternoon. It's been over 6 years since I've had a proper place to hang my jackets. :-) I decided to leave it unpainted because it was too damn cold out and I like raw plywood. 

Felix (and Mimin's tongue)


Reader Comments (30)

Where did you buy those clamp lights?

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered Commentercyndee

LOVE that black and white graphic print curtain, and your mix-n-match storage bins and baskets!

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterB.

I love the new room. Dom Fuas´photo is in good company :-)
I remember when you got the industrial metal baskets.
The mud room area is great, Jeff did a wonderful job. Congrats!

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaura

Dom Fuas! (For those who don't know, he's the cat in the bowl in the photo)

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRochelle

love love love the pantry storage! so industrial and so functional-the lights are amazing too!

Where is that awesome curtain from?!

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Bravo, Kim! Nice use of this tricky & chilly space. I love your collection of crates--especially the round bushels (which always remind me of autumn apple picking in Ontario when I was a kid :-)

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNicki

I love it! It's amazing!
And I love your cats!

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoanna

This looks like one of those projects that you slap yourself on the forehead and
say WHY didn't I do this ages ago!

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

Ditto with loving this. Kim, I am trying to picture a black/white rug...I think the red/white is spot on! Just a pop of color.

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCyn

Hello - Love your space. Would you mind posting where to find a few of the items you used? I love the white pendant light, also the tin boxes, and the black rubber tyre tubs. Where to buy? Cheers.

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElle Tee

Thanks y'all!
Just about everything is from Ikea in this room. This had to be a cheap project because I am still set on tearing down this house ASAP so it's temporary.
clamp lights & white light = Ikea
fabric in doorway & cat shelving = Ikea
runner = Ikea
all furniture = Ikea
black tire baskets = a local store that closed down a couple years ago. i've seen these everywhere so check shops that sell random ethnic wares.
plexi shelving unit = taken (with permission) from a Club Monaco store I used to work at years ago
apple crates & wooden crates = antique shops
black plastic bins = Ikea
metal locker baskets = Etsy

and yes, the photo is Don Fuas, international kitty of mystery, taken by his owner, talented photographer Maura

P.S. Margaret = YES!!!!

9 Jan 2014 | Registered CommenterKiM

Kittehs!!! Your Mimin is my Moose's doppelganger.

And your re-imagined space is beyond awesome.

Beautiful and functional. Love it. I'm sure it's changed your lives dramatically.
p.s. snowy winter boots...and coats...I could totally do without it all. Stay warm!

Kim -- I feel your pain living in Ottawa and having no place for coats and boots on the main floor. No closets here either. I admire your thrift -- what a functional, pleasant space.

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Absolutely fantastic! Congrats!

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpilita34

This is great - a totally functional space.

How many cats do you have, by the way? (Just curious; I have two - one huge one like Felix. ;)) Keep meaning to send something in for "Pets on Furniture"!

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjane

Edgar passed in August, and Cheeks in November, so we are left with 5 - Milo, Mimin, Phoebe, Lucky and Felix. A full house. And finally at a level that is legal. :)

9 Jan 2014 | Registered CommenterKiM

Felicitaciones, quedo barbaro. Uno se siente distinto cuando puede arreglar algo que necesitaba. ¡A disfrutar!

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered Commenterandrea

Great job Kim! You and your husband are such a great team! I crack up when you say he "whipped" this or that up. He's amazing! I love your new TV shelf too. I am so glad you have somewhere for your vintage containers. I was worried about that, lol. :)

I adore Felix.

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpeggy

I know it's only temporary, but I love what you've done with an otherwise small useless room! And because it's in 'modular' units you can always re-purpose them!

9 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

What a fabulous space!. Functional AND aesthetic. Well done!!.

10 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

I remember when you first decorated that space as your office! I loved all the pops of colors. The room looks awesome now though! It's like a big beautiful closet! I love all the vintage containers and crates. I'm still a huge fan of your yellow door!

Thanks again everyone!
Don't worry Peggy - alot of the storage containers were hanging out on the shelving in my bedroom. At least now they're more useful.
Katie - repurposing is exactly what we had in mind. The shelving will be perfect in our future garage or basement.
Jessie - it seems like SO long ago that I had that bright, cute office. I'm still a fan of the yellow door too. :)

10 Jan 2014 | Registered CommenterKiM

It looks freakin fantastic. I have a HUGE crush on plywood, so I love the open closet... and the kitty porn is great too.

10 Jan 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

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