There are a lot of things to consider when updating and renovating spaces in your home. As first time home buyers and newlyweds, the home we currently live in is not our “forever home.” We view our first home as a long term real estate investment that we eventually will turn into a income producing property.
One of our biggest needs in our home is to redesign and create functional spaces that meet our short term goal of more storage space and long term goals of a rental property. There are several spaces in our home that just never made that much sense to me, but I do understand track homes are not custom homes and builders will maximize their building supplies to stay within a tight budget.
The first space that we identified as a home improvement project was our awkward hallway with a built-in desk and limited storage. This space is directly off of our kitchen, leads to the two spare bedrooms, and is next to the guest bathroom. While this built-in desk is a convenient location to just sit stuff down, we never used it for it’s indented purpose and it ultimately became a dumping ground for our miscellaneous junk. The location is perfect for a faux butlers pantry. I have a slight obsession with butler pantries and I hope to have one in our forever home some day. Once we decided to repurpose this space, as our first home improvement and renovation project, we created a plan to create a wine and coffee bar. This plan also included increasing the storage space for holiday dishes and kitchen linens.
As you can tell by the photo above it’s a small area, but the amount of wall space we had to work with was in our favor. Our number one goal with the new wine and coffee bar was to create hidden storage areas. While I absolutely love the look of glass cabinet doors over a bar, it didn’t make sense for us because we needed to maximize this small space for storage.
Choosing the Wine and Coffee Bar Design Elements
Before we started construction, we went to several home improvement stores to see what materials were available and in-stock. Again keeping in-mind that the homes in our neighborhood are track homes and not custom, we wanted the design elements to be very simple and classic, ones that might appeal to a home buyer in the future if we ever decided to sell the property. This design approach also saved us money in the long run and these items were readily available at our local home improvement stores.
Our kitchen is finished with the classic horizontal white subway tile backsplash and the cabinets are a rich cigar brown (almost black). In the new space, adjacent to the kitchen, we decided to stay with a classic subway tile but opted for a diamond shaped subway tile and installed the tile vertically. We also changed the grout color to grey to bring in the color of the darker kitchen cabinets.
The cabinets in our kitchen are prefabricated and we were able to locate identical upper and lower cabinets to pull the two rooms together. While all of the old cabinets were removed we took the opportunity to add additional outlets on the wall that would be convenient for plugging in small appliances, such as our cappuccino machine and blender for margaritas.
Unfortunately, the depth of the new cabinets did not allow us to reuse the original granite top from the built-in desk. Instead, we selected a new granite that had a slight marble pattern in it because my husband and I often need space for our product photography. We will upcycle the old granite for our outdoor kitchen space at a later date.
Keeping the granite color light was also a good selection based on the color we chose for the bar cabinets. The cabinet color is one design element that can easily be changed in the future, so we selected a trendy color. If you are painting cabinets, instead of staining, I would recommend using a color that inspires you and that you love, after all it’s just paint. Mike and I love the color of the cabinets, it brightens up the space and brings life to the hallway.
The wine and coffee bar project was finished with the installation of two trim pieces, LED (battery operated) under cabinet lighting, and hardware. We decided to use the same hardware we installed in the kitchen to again pull a few of the design elements from the kitchen into the new space. We also upgraded the beverage cooler for a dual zone wine storage fridge. If the next owner of the home wants to use the space as a desk, there is still a option to do so by simply removing the wine fridge.
If you are thinking of starting a project like this in your home, here are a few questions you should ask yourself to help you prepare for your home renovation:
- What will you use the space for? What will you do in this space?
- Will the renovated space solve your needs for home storage?
- Will this renovation help or hurt your home value?
- What are the comps in your neighborhood? For example, do other homes have a similar setup and are neighbors updating their homes in the same way that you are considering?
- Who is doing the work… Are you hiring a contractor or are you attempting to DIY?
- What is your budget?
- What is your timeline?