Kitchen breakfast bar converted to shelf unit

I’ve always hated the breakfast bar in our house. It was never used and always in the way. In the re-design this going to become a bookshelf and display unit. We played around with several ideas and some of the inspiration photos you can view in my Pinterest board for Kitchen (2013), specifically, this shelf design in the kitchen by Ross Chapin.

Supply list:

3: 1x12x12
3: 1x2x8
1: 1x4x8
1: 1x6x8
trim decorative molding
base molding for kitchen area
kitchen_breakfast_bar_before_1
kitchen_breakfast_bar_before_2
First, the breakfast bar countertop is removed and one side trimmed down to the new countertop level. We marked out with green painters’ tape on the ceramic floor the footprint size of the shelf unit.
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Because it would have been impossible for us (with our skills) to redo the back to match the original (see end of breakfast bar) we covered it with beadboard. Eventually, the end of this cabinet unit (where the white outlet is on the right) will also be covered with beardboard and all painted the cream chalk paint color.
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The next step is to start building the frame of the actual shelf unit. These boards are Poplar, a nice compromise as oak would have been very expensive in the size of boards we were working with (and would have been painted in the long run) and pine would have been too soft. There are two upright boards, and three long horizontal boards (one not visible in the photo below) on the floor.
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The left end board has been nailed to the wall. To make these types of units go easily, I highly recommend buying or renting a nail gun. Using a nail and hammer just doesn’t make it go together easily and with less effort as a nail gun and compressor.
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Here you can see the inside placement of boards to allow for the bottom shelf to rest upon, and for the edge to be hidden by the front horizontal board.
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The bottom shelf rests on the boards and is nailed in place.
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On the inside of the uprights, a small piece of wood is placed for the next shelf to rest upon.
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At this point, you can only see it if you look under the shelf. A long, horizontal bracing piece was also placed against the back of the unit to support the shelf. A front piece of horizontal board allows for a smooth profile.
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None of this support is noticeable from above. Two vertical boards are nailed on the front to make a smoother profile:
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The vertical board are not the same height – their shorter size allows a horizontal facing board across the top of the unit.
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Another view of the end of the to show how the boards were fitted together
kitchen_bar_to_shelves_end
The inside uprights, that divided the top shelf into three units is set behind the facing boards. It is nailed in at several points, including the front, the bottom and toenailed in at the back with hand hammering.
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The completed, unpainted unit:
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I’ll put some before and after pics once I get the unit painted. I also hope to get a better diagram of how the boards came together so that will posted at a latter date. I’m not sure when we can afford new countertops as they will be a major expense. My next big investment has to be a new downstairs AC unit not pretty granite countertops! 🙂