Thursday, March 6, 2014

Smooth Operator: Coffee Bar Update

One of the things I love best in the world is having a coffee bar in the house. I love a beverages area that is prepped and ready to go at all times. The idea that a guest or visitor to the house could come in and make themselves a cup of tea or coffee easily thrills my heart. 

In our first house we had a little bar off to the side of the kitchen next to the fridge. The top was our coffee station and underneath sat all our supplies for drinks. More photos here.

Then we moved to our new place and the VERY first thing I did was make a coffee station....and more it shortly after to its permanent new home

Over time it changes slightly as different types of tea and things are brought into the house. Here is how it looked last week. 

It was organized and efficient but I wasn't loving how cluttered the bottom was looking. We'd been given two tazo teas as a gift, and then our roommate Duncan loves Davids Teas so he's got a stash down there, and on top of that we have ground coffee hidden behind the stack of tea. Ever time I'd look at it I would notice all the mess and feel frustrated. 

Another issue was that the counter top was so small - there wasn't really room to stir your tea or coffee or add your sugar, they would have to walk over to the table, causing a back jam at bigger parties. I wanted a bit more counter space AND something to cover the stuff in the bottom. 

I was out at MCC (a thrift store) on Friday and stumbled upon a cabinet. $35 with a great looking base. I took some measurements but wondered if it was too big for our space. I snapped a photo, bought the rest of my stuff and thought I would come back with Paul in 4 hours when he was free. If the table was still there AND if Paul liked it then it was probably meant to be. 

When Paul came with me to look at the piece he could immediately see why I liked it, but thought the price was a bit high considering the top was just flimsy unfinished wood and would need finishing. He hummed and hawed and got the store to go down $5. He decided it was probably worth $30 and said that yes we buy it!

We loaded it up in the car and headed home. We needed to further push the screws in on top and use wood filler to fill in some grooves and holes. While Paul did that I got the names of the primer and white paint I'd previously used so that we could match what was already in the house. We realized that since the top needed wood filler we couldn't just coat the top, but would need to paint it a different color - white matched our table and is an easy choice. 

We went to Home Depot and grabbed more primer and paint and picked up other little pieces. When we got home we sanded the surface, then wiped down the based and insides as well. We ran Frog Tape around the base so we wouldn't drip and then painted a layer of primer. The instructions said to wait two hours for the next coat. We played a game of Agricola and watched some Mighty Ducks two and then came back for another coat, this time of our paint. 

We had initially thought we would leave the edge neutral but it looked silly so it ended up being painted white as well. After that coat we left the desk overnight (it needed 6 hours) and then in the morning applied the last coat. A few hours later it was dry and ready to go upstairs. 

We let it sit for 7 hours before moving it upstairs and putting things on it and oh were we pleased with the result. Days later I'm still super excited. 

And close up

Organized, tidy and great to look at. For under $40 ($30 for the piece and less than $10 of paint used) we're even more pleased!

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