A lot of people have been asking about the renovation work we did while Michael was on sabbatical over the summer and we’ve been a little slow to share the photos as the entire project isn’t quite complete, but we are excited to share one particular part of our DIY summer renovation – our new built-in bar!
For years we talked about converting a closed off stairway just off of our kitchen to a little bar nook and this summer, with Michael on sabbatical, we finally took the plunge. The room above this stairway had been converted to a bathroom years ago, and since it was already easily accessible from the main stairs, the old ones were capped off to add floor space, and the new “tiered closet” became an eye-sore junk closet, complete with plumbing and electric for the bathroom above. Sadly, the stairway couldn’t be removed entirely because of the utilities and because the reverse side is our indoor cellar access.
Over the course of a few weeks, we installed a wall inside the closet, opened the doorway, and built a cabinet around the bottom steps (you can even still see the old steps when the doors are open). We opted to paint the cabinet and floating shelves Benjamin Moore’s Gentleman’s Gray and added a Carrara marble top and full-height backsplash to match the rest of our kitchen. After demoing the old doors to the stairway and our living room, we were left with a section of wall between the two that made the whole bar feel a little off-center, so we opened it up and converted it to much-needed cookbook storage and a small wine shelf – the perfect size for a few of our favorite bottles.
Although my stepfather assisted with the initial demo and I picked up a paintbrush here and there, Michael deserves all of the credit for how well this project turned out. From the first design sketches to the final finishing touches, this bar was certainly his pet project of our summer renovation, and I couldn’t be happier with the results or prouder of his work.
And a big shout out to calligrapher extraordinaire, Li Wardian, for our beloved ABCs of Cocktails piece, featured below.