Here is what it looked like when we moved in. I kind of liked the fake burled wood laminate counter. But the cook top was very old and the knobs were broken off and only one burner worked. The cabinets sagged in the middle--like they were starting to fall down. There was a spot for a refrigerator, but it was missing. If you look near the floor of the cabinets, you can see a rough-hewn 2x8 board as the bottom wall below the cabinets. Originally, we think they rolled the carpet up this wall to meet the bottom of the cabinetry. But we weren't interested in carpet rolling up the walls! There is also a bit of laminate missing from the side of the counter. So we had a substantial amount of work to do!
Another original photo---showing how integral this snack bar is to the family room as whole.
The very first thing we did was to lay flooring in the "kitchen" area of the bar. It seemed silly to have carpet below a sink and cook top! You can still see the long fibers dangling from the previous carpeting that went up the wall here.
The flooring went down rather quickly.
And made a much more appropriate floor choice for that area. But what to do on that wall below the cabinets?!?
Once the carpet was laid...
and we started moving furniture in....we sort of forgot about the bar for a while. It didn't look too badly and we really had no idea how we were going to fix it up right. So we ignored it.
But the brain continues working on problems even when we aren't conscious of it!
And one day, while perusing my favorite home store--something we've done a LOT this winter--I came across this lovely product! Paintable wallcovering! It was the perfect solution! Thick enough to smooth out the rough bits of the 2 x 8 board and yet paint-able to match the rest of the family room walls!
I cut it the right width. Rolled it up and got it wet and then "booked" it so that the paste would get all nice and sticky.
Then I carefully smoothed it on to our board below the cabinetry. It was just the right thickness---as the cabinets came nearly flush with the 2 x 8 board. We knew we could install baseboards to trim it out nicely.
We bought a new cook top and refrigerator to finish out the area. But since nothing is easy at our house....
The cook top was slightly bigger than the old one, so we had to carefully saw out a bigger hole in the laminate. We also discovered that the entire counter was not held up at the back and we had to reinforce it with 1x2s. Luckily we could do that while the cook top was out. How did we know the counter wasn't held up by anything at the back? Well, let me begin....
Remember how I told you that the upper cabinets all sagged in the middle? Well, they sagged SO much that they were a 1/2 inch lower on one side of where the refrigerator was supposed to fit. We got the smart idea of using a car jack to raise them up so that we could slip the new refrigerator in under them and then it would help hold up the cabinets! But when we jacked up the upper cabinets---the counter top started going down! It was a hilarious scene for a while. Something out of a 3 Stooges movie---except there were only the two of us! Things going up! Things going down! Worries that everything would break and come tumbling down! After much ado---we finally got it situated!
Counters reinforced. Refrigerator in place. Cook top installed. It was a lovely scene!
Even the flooring turned out well! The baseboards were a little trouble---going from carpet to flooring was difficult---it left a gap---until we thought to fill the gap with a little bit of shoe molding. And that was the perfect thing!
One Snack Bar! Ready for Service!
What do you think? Did we "Raise the Bar?!"