Kitchen Update: Pan + Spice Wall

My friends are probably sick of hearing me complain about my kitchen, but of all the rooms in my house, it is by far the least well laid out. Especially for how much I am in the kitchen. I honestly feel as if most of my time is spent in there, washing garden veggies, prepping meals, and doing dishes. And it has always been a struggle keeping this particular slice of the house clean. 

I guess this isn't a big deal, but for me, if the kitchen is messy, I feel really anxious and scattered. I can be working on something totally unrelated yet still feel uptight and overwhelmed because in the back of my mind, I know the kitchen is a total disaster. 

All this to say, I have wanted to rearrange our kitchen practically from the start. But the idea of doing a full fledge remodel all in one go sounds stressful, overwhelming, expensive, and impractical considering how often it is used. Instead, my approach to transforming the kitchen has been this: One project at a time. That way, nothing feels too overwhelming, and we still have total use of our kitchen. 

For our first project, I really wanted to address two things that were driving me absolutely bonkers. The first was storage for our pots and pans. Every time I wanted to use a pot or a pan, I'd have to either contend with pulling out a very heavy stack just to retrieve one specific item, OR (much more common) I'd open our cabinets to find just a mass of pots, pans, lids, etc all flung about. It made it challenging to retrieve the items needed to prepare a meal and always added to my irritation, which is exceptionally high when I haven't eaten yet. 

The second issue I hoped to tackle was our spice cabinet. I am a lover of all spices and add loads of different combinations to every dish I cook. I think spices make food much more exciting and fun and interesting! The issue I was having, though, was that our spice cabinet was deep but not tall. It had set shelves that made it impossible to add a stacking system where I could easily see the spices that I had on hand. Instead, every spice was crammed into this deep cabinet and required taking out ALL the spices to find the ones I would use for dinner. 

Also, keeping these spices out on our counter wasn't an option as we have limited counter space, so that is prime real estate. 

Ugh - can you feel the tenseness in my shoulders as I type this? I know these are all very small issues, but they both really took a toll on my experience in the kitchen. 

TACKLING THE CLUTTER

To tackle this issue, we decided to put up a pot and pan wall as well as a spice shelf! This project was super easy and finished within a few hours (it would have been done sooner, but we didn't have all our materials when we started). It was also relatively inexpensive!

The materials we used for our project were:

  • Seven 1 x 4 x 6 Common Boards (2,5 cm x 10,2 cm x 1,8 m)
  • Four 2.5" (6,4 cm) L-Brackets 
  • Thirty 2" (5 cm) Screws
  • 8 L-Hooks

That's it! And installation was even simpler. The first thing we did was locate all the studs in our wall. We don't have a stud finder, so we had to do this the "hard" way which isn't all that hard, just requires a bit of patience. We took a hammer and nail and simply hammered along the wall in a straight line until we found a stud.

We didn't quite cover our initial holes with our board- whoops! I will go back and patch these at a later date. 

We marked this space and then measured to find our next stud. Most studs are 16" (40,6) cm apart, so we measured 16" (40,6cm) from our first stud and then hammered a nail to see if there was another stud. 

There was! All our studs were exactly 16" (40,6 cm) apart which made this a super easy job!

Once all our studs were located, we marked a vertical line on the wall so that we could easily locate them as we added boards. 

If you look closely, there is a line right down the center of this L-Bracket - that was the initial mark we made from the top to bottom of our wall to help guide us in our screw placement. 

 

Next, we took our first board and put it flat against the wall. We placed a level on top of it to make sure it was placed properly. As one of us held the board in place, the other used a drill to screw through the wood into the stud. We probably should have pre-drilled to make this part a bit simpler, but we only have one drill and changing out the bits is a tad inconvenient. 

Once the first board was up, we moved on to the second, then third, fourth... all the way until we had 6 boards on the wall. The spacing between each board is the exact width of our level. We really wanted to make this a quick and easy project!

Finally, we added the spice shelf. This time, we turned our board out so that the wider portion was perpendicular to the wall. While one of us held the board in place, the other came and attached the L-Brackets to the wall at the stud points. We wound up using the screws included in the L-Bracket package + a few 1.5" (3,8 cm) scrap screws we had in our tool box. 

Once the brackets were in place, we set the board on top and screwed the brackets into the shelf from the bottom. 

To complete the pots and pans portion of the wall, my husband carefully placed each L-Hook into the upper most board. He did this by grabbing a pan and holding it into place then making a small indent with the L-Hook through the pans handle (there is a little hole at the end). 

He then "Pre-Drilled" a hole for the L-Hook by hammering a thin nail into the indent and then removing the nail. This is a great option if you don't have a drill or are like us and don't want to change your drill bits out!

Finally, he screwed the L-Hook into place using a thick pair of pliers. Those hooks were super heavy duty and difficult to turn by hand!

He continued this process -- picking up a pan, marking the space, screwing in the hook -- until we ran out of space. 

Et Voila! We were officially finished with our project and it took less than an afternoon (in total) to complete! We managed to fit all of our spices on the shelf which has been incredible. I can SEE everything!

We weren't able to get our colanders or pots to hang on the wall (they jutted out in a funny way) but we managed to get ALL of our pans up there which has been Ah-Mazing! Luckily, our next project involves extending the countertop / cabinet right next to our stove, and I think that will be the perfect place to store our pots + colanders instead. 

I hope you enjoyed this little walk-through of our new Pan wall + Spice rack! I am sorry I didn't capture images of the actual process. I was honestly just at that point where I needed something done in our kitchen before I went bananas 😂 But I promise to include more images in our next kitchen renovation project!

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