One Room Challenge, Week Four: Gauging My Pantry Progress (What I’ve Done, What’s Left To Do)

There are only two weeks left in the One Room Challenge, and I’m starting to doubt that I’ll be able to finish my pantry on time. But you know what? Even if I don’t completely finish, I’m just so glad that I finally started (and have made a huge amount of progress) on this room so far, after letting it sit there completely empty (well, other than the piles of junk that accumulated in there) and neglected for a year-and-a-half.

So what have I gotten done so far?

Well, I built the main boxes for the cabinets…

I had four of my five ceiling lights moved and the ceiling drywall repaired, and I had one wall shimmed and redrywalled so that it would be square. (More about all of that here.)

I installed the face frames for the main cabinets…

(Cabinet tutorial coming soon!)

I resined 200 subway tiles to use on the backsplash…

(Click here for the tutorial on the resined tiles.)

And finally, I made a butcherblock-style countertop out of hardwood flooring…

(Click here for a tutorial on how I built the countertop.)

I’ve gotten a heck of a lot done, and I’ve been very busy. 🙂 But I have so far to go!

Here are the items left on my punch list…

  • Finish the countertop (sand, fill the cracks, sand again, bleach, sand again, stain, and seal)
  • Resin 60 more tiles for the backsplash
  • Install the backsplash
  • Built the open shelves
  • Finish framing out the cabinets
  • Build the cabinet doors and drawers
  • Paint the cabinets
  • Frame the pantry doors on the pantry side
  • Figure out why the decorative ceiling light won’t work, fix it, and reinstall it
  • Paint the freezer (yes, I’m painting it)

I can do all of that in two weeks, right? Ummmmm….well…I’m starting to have my doubts. 🙂 But I’ll give it my best and see just how far I can get! One thing’s for sure. If I hadn’t joined the One Room Challenge, I’d probably still be looking at a room with nothing in it but piles of junk. So whether I finish on time or not, I’m happy.

Be sure to check out all of the other participants in the One Room Challenge!

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  1. You are doing great! Starting a room from scratch and building everything takes guts. It has been fun to watch and I am excited to see how it turns out.

  2. I think you’ve made a LOT of progress in 3 weeks. Your list is long but I think you’ll be amazed at how much you can get completed in the next two weeks. You’ve got this!

  3. I couldn’t have done this much in five years. Hats off to you.

    Have you given any consideration to making a front panel for your freezer to match your cabinets?

  4. You are not just re-decorating, you are building everything from scratch! You are truly amazing and have a lot to be proud of! Congrats!!

  5. Strong work. My 2cents— aim for all but last 2 items, if they are left undone I do not believe it will detract from the overall room. You could even mention this in the text of your submission for ORC…” I plan to paint the freezer and you may have noticed there is one light not cooperating…”
    Your fans are cheering you on! Go Kristi!!!👍👍👍👍👍

  6. Am I the only one who had a sudden vision of you figuring out how to remove the freezer door and laying it flat to resin it?

  7. Maybe the way to approach it is by using the software approach of Minimal Viable Product? When you built an app, you can literally keep on adding features forever, so if you set yourself the goal to add all the features before your version 1 is done, you’ll literally NEVER get done with version 1.

    So instead, when you design an app, you figure out the minimum you need in order to have a working app. That’s your version 1. You built that, and get it up and running, and then add to it in increments as you add more features.

    So maybe with the pantry, you need to do the same thing: figure out the minimum you need to do to make it a working pantry. So maybe countertops finished, wall painted, and shelves make = version 1. But there are no doors, the cabinets aren’t painted, and you didn’t tile yet.

    Then for version 2 the added feature is that you finish making the tiles and tile.

    And for version 3 the added feature is the lower doors and painted freezer, etc, etc.

    The benefit of doing it that way is that your list to get a functional pantry just got way shorter (and totally doable in two weeks) giving you more positive momentum as you work towards a finished product. And while you still only have the same amount of time available, because you focus on your MVP first, if you don’t get done with everything by your deadline you have a totally viable functional pantry, instead of an ‘unfinished’ one.

    You also have a tendency to like a lot of variety in what you do, so if you do your MVP first, then you have a finished product sitting there, while you take a break and do something fun/outside/artistic before you get back to it to add more ‘features’.

    You kinda did this already when you split off the pantry from the breakfast room. Your MVP when working on this total space was to get the breakfast room done and functional, while you treated the pantry as a ‘future feature’.

    1. I really like the MVP idea, I tend to do this when I’m in a big project so I don’t get overwhelmed. It’s a great motivator for me.

      Kristi, I think what you have accomplished in such a short time is ah-maz-ing! it will be the most glorious pantry I have ever seen!! Just take things one step at a time.

  8. I’m with you that joining the ORC was great for getting started – and it doesn’t matter if you don’t finish in their timeframe, as it’s your project, your life and your timeframe that matter!
    I for one admire you a lot for everything you do; and I love being able to read about what you work on all year round, not just for these 6 weeks. So I’m cheering you on because it’s great to see the pantry coming to life while at the same time trying to tell you to take time off of it, too, in order to recuperate and enjoy the other bits of life that are so important, too!!!

  9. Not to add any pressure, but I hope you finish, because I think you will be the star. Those resin tiles are just gorgeous and I cannot wait to see them up! Also, meant to respond yesterday. I like the grayer look wood you preferred. Think it will be awesome with the purple cabinets.

  10. You don’t really need to sleep or eat or rest, so you should be able to get it done! LOL! 🙂

    Whatever doesn’t get done doesn’t matter. You’ll get it all done by the end of the year, which was your real goal anyway. And, I agree with another comment, you’re not just redecorating, you’re full on building, including custom cabinetry. Yay for lots of progress!!

  11. You’ve made great progress thus far and it’s been fun to watch. While you may not get it all done, I bet you will have a prettt great looking room at the end of the challenge.

  12. I hope you win, but even if you don’t finish, setting a goal like that has already pushed you ahead of what you would have accomplished probably 1 month, at least. So you are a winner, no matter what.

  13. Following some the other main participants of this challenge, I say you do more than most! Others hire a lot of the “build” items out. So I applaud you! Just keep your momentum going. Turn it into a 8 week challenge ( in your head) and get ‘er done This is a good method to apply to all your rooms, pretend your doing a 6, 8,10 week challenge😃

  14. I agree that the tiles are going to put you over the top in the challenge. Keep going ….it may not be as daunting as you think.

  15. May be time to call in your brother and father-in-law! May you have a burst of energy in the next two weeks like you’ve never had before! 🙂

  16. I do hope you can finish, because I know you would love to check this off your yearly list! But I know the rains have hindered your progress a bit, as well as the wonky wall. AND you are doing this all on your own for the majority of the time. As you’ve said, some are hiring out a lot of their challenge, and that gives them an advantage. But who cares, as long as you are happy with your project.

  17. Counter top finished, painting upper part of room, backslash installed, and upper shelves up, would make it close to visually done.

    The lowers could just have shelves, open, for the reveal, then you can finish them out after if there is no time! Can’t wait!

    You are setting a killer pace, but you thrive on it and of course we all love it too! This is amazing so far, and will be gorgeous when completed!

    1. This is a good idea in terms of what to focus on to get it looking much more complete by the end of the month!

  18. I’ve been watching DécorHappy and she has done ORC before and is having a lot of IKEA cabinets installed in a kitchen. It’s going to look great, no doubt, but you are BUILDING THE WHOLE ENCHILADA – BY YOURSELF!!! It doesn’t sound like you’re having any issues if you don’t finish, which you absolutely should not. I doubt there are very very few in ORC that are doing all the work themselves (I know you’ve had some help, but you are doing the majority by yourself) from designing the cabinets and building them to painting the tiles. You are amazing!! Keep on trucking. I’m curious how far you’ll get in only 5 weeks (I’ve heard of kitchen renovations that took 9 months) and you never know, you might just beat the clock. All the best! I really enjoy your blog!

  19. Even if you don’t finish to your satisfaction in time for the ORC, you’ll still be the winner in our book! You’re an amazingly skilled -not to mention gutsy- woman.

  20. I just noticed how pretty the view is from that window. I can’t wait to see the tiles with that pretty green view.

  21. oh, girl! Look how far you have come in a short time with obstacles being thrown in at every turn! are you going to finish? Heck yeah! It just may not be in the allotted 2 weeks, but what’s most important – doing it right the first time or doing it over? Hmmm, doing it right always wins in my book.

    I just wanted to share this shade of green with you. Why? Why not? I can imagine your cabinets painted in this gorgeous, yet understated shade: Benjamin Moore GREEN THUMB CSP-870

    I can’t wait to see your creative ideas for bringing this room together in the end.

  22. *practicing my cheer-leading skills (of which there are none)* Rah rah rah, sis boom bah, Kristi. Team Kristi all the way!!! You have got this. I’d be truly surprised if you aren’t named the winner! But as others have said, should you not finish in the next two weeks, who cares? Look how far you’ve come!!!!! Bravo to you!!! Now, I just have come up with a specific cheer and make a cheerleading outfit. Bet you finish your pantry before I even start on that!

  23. You can do this! I believe in you! I think the hardest things are behind you at this point (but I could be wrong). I am excited about this project! I’ve been fascinated by your pantry since before you did the breakfast room!

  24. Great Job on taking on such a big project.. from what you’ve accomplished so far.. I can definitely see you completing your to-do list. Good luck and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!