Steal This Kitchen Idea: Creative Spice Storage

Architectural designer Chris Greenawalt's Boston kitchen renovation includes a striking approach to spice storage: a back-lit shelf accessed by a library ladder. Here's how he did it.
To access the spices and the cabinets above, Chris added a Putnan rolling library ladder he purchased at <a href="http://www.restorationresources.com/">Restoration Resources</a>, a Boston shop that offers used and vintage architectural artifacts. Though t

Resident Chris Greenawalt founded Bunker Workshop in Boston. Renovating his new kitchen was one of the firm's first projects—and challenges. Photo by Kate McElwee.

Greenawalt completed the project in just six weeks, with the help of friends, families, and subcontractors. His smart design makes the space feel far larger than it is—and much more grandiose than its pre-renovation state. The element that makes the kitchen pop is the built-in spice row. "Typically every design I do is white so it's nice to have something that adds color," Greenawalt says. He determined the size of the gap by the heights of the standard Ikea cabinets he installed. "From there it was a trial-and-error hunt for jars that would be as big as possible to fill the space but still be able to tilt out."

To access the spices and the cabinets above, Chris added a Putnan rolling library ladder he purchased at Restoration Resources, a Boston shop that offers used and vintage architectural artifacts. Though the ladder was originally too short for his purposes, jerry-rigging the hardware did the trick and a fresh coat of paint finished the job.

The element that makes the kitchen pop is the built-in spice row. "Typically every design I do is white so it's nice to have something that adds color," Chris says. He admits, however, that it's more for show than everyday use; "we've only used six of tho

A close-up look at the ladder hardware and spice shelf. Photo by Kate McElwee.


Chris made the counter with a Trespa surface, which costs just $9 per square foot and was available in a large enough size to cover the six-foot-by-10-foot island without any seams. Chris cut the edges with a circular saw and the inside holes for the sink and cooktop with a jigsaw and finished the edges with the help of an orbital sander.

Check out the "before" photos, and learn more about this kitchen renovation!

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