Do you have a closet that just collects junk? Yeah, we did too. Ours is right smack in the middle of our first floor and wasn’t really serving much of a purpose. Our house was built in 1986 and that closet has morphed into several different things over the years; a makeshift office, storage for emergency supplies, and now, a beverage center. One good thing about it is that it sits in between the kitchen, dining room and living room so it’s convenient to anywhere that we hang out downstairs- but that’s about all it had going for it. Y’all, it was looking a little sad. So I started brainstorming what we could use it for that would be a better use of the space, rather than just collecting “stuff”.
Here is what we started with….
We took out the water cooler and relocated it to the pantry. We also knew that we wanted a different wine/beverage fridge so we gave the old one (which still worked great) to our son. My renovation partner in crime (aka my hubby, Eric) removed the door trim so that we could make the opening wider and finish it out with a cleaner look. (If you are doing a project like this please check to see if it is structural before you start removing supports or widening openings etc. You don’t want to be messing around with the structural integrity of your home.)
We took out all of the shelving and brackets which left us with some pretty beat up drywall to contend with. Instead of trying to patch, sand and paint everything we opted for bead board wall panels that come in 4′ x 8′ sheets. We cut them to size, brad nailed them in place, caulked the seams and inside corners and painted. Much faster and easier than trying to correct all of that drywall mess. We also had to do something with those peel and stick vinyl floors. Luckily we had saved a couple of extra boxes of wood flooring from when we replaced them throughout our entire house a few years before, so I just continued the wood floors right into the beverage center area.
I built some simple shelving units to go on either side of the fridge to house glasses, wine bottles, barware etc. I designed these myself but if you need building plans Ana White is my go-to for for pretty much everything. I always check her website first if there is a piece of furniture or project that I want to build.
Then it was time to pull it all together. Since our kitchen is right next to the beverage center we looked into getting a small remnant piece of quartz to match our kitchen counters. BUT we learned really quickly that #1- remnants that match our counters are very hard to come by and #2 it’s very expensive to get even a small piece of quartz because, if you can’t find a remnant, you have to buy an entire slab. Um, no. This was supposed to be a budget DIY. So, I had to put on my thinking cap to come up with a solution that would be beautiful, low cost AND practical. Hmmm. Marble? Beautiful, yes. Low cost and practical? Mmm, not so much. But this one is.
How’d we do it? I bought two pieces of off the shelf lumber that were the depth that I wanted the countertop to be and sandwiched them together so that the thickness would match that of our quartz counters. I used wood glue in between the boards, clamped them and then brad nailed them together. Then I cut them down to the width to fit the space, sanded them smooth and covered them with one of my all time favorite DIY tools: adhesive marble look vinyl. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill contact paper y’all. It is thick, durable, cleanable and so easy to use. (I even used it on a bathroom vanity 2 years ago and it STILL looks great. More on that in another post.) This vinyl looks like real marble. No one ever knows that we didn’t install an actual marble countertop when they see it in person. (BTW, the counter just sits on top of the 2 cabinets and a cleat that I screwed into the back wall of the closet. I caulked around the edges of the counter that meet the walls to make it look nice and finished. (Caulk is your best friend when it comes to making things look built-in.)
And here she is all put together, styled and looking mighty pretty, I must say.
This beverage center has been such a better use of this space for us. Rather than just collecting more stuff behind a closed door, it is filled with things that get used on a regular basis (and, let’s be real, some things that just look pretty, ha!). Having drinks handy for guests sitting at the dining table or for the family during a movie is such a fun convenience. During Thanksgiving dinners and big family events I use this counter area to sit out a large tray that holds pitchers of water and iced tea so that it’s convenient for people to just walk by and help themselves or to grab from the dining table during a meal. We are so happy with how this project turned out.