We moved into this house in the summer of 2003. It was a hell of a move, what with the truck company wanting us to get into a bidding war for the last available truck on the Friday of a long weekend even though we'd booked a truck three months in advance. We almost didn't make it.
The house needed major repairs when we moved in, having been rented for nearly ten years with no maintenance performed. Some of the repairs we did right away, like the floors and the electrical and the water leaks. Others we've been working at more slowly, like the bathroom and the kitchen.
The kitchen has proven to be an on-going challenge. I've moved the fridge and stove three times, added an exhaust fan/microwave combination unit, added a dishwasher, and added and taken away storage cupboards. One problem I've always had with the kitchen has been been the lack of storage. There's just never been room for dishes, pots, pans, small appliances and food. The cupboards have been crammed full, not allowing me to see what I have and what I need, and lots of stuff was removed to shelves in the basement, which can be a pain in the middle of cooking to realize "Oh, crap. I have to run down stairs to get that can of _____!"
I had resolved it would always be this way. Until this summer, when we started on the kitchen repairs again.
When we moved in, the kitchen had this partial counter-top along one wall and wainscoting along the other. The counter-top did not allow for us to have enough room for a table and chairs, so it was removed. (It was just a counter-top-- no cupboards.) The wainscoting looked kind of stupid being along one wall by itself. We thought about continuing it around the corner to the other wall, but ultimately decided to remove it. This left us with some electrical sockets arranged in interesting places along both walls. I guess setting an electrical socket into wainscoting can be challenging, so somewhere along the way, someone decided to put them up above the wainscoting. And I guess since they were putting them up higher on one wall, they decided to put them up higher on the other wall, what with that counter-top they had there. This summer we decided they had to come down to standard heights.
That's when we discovered the whole in one wall had a lot of space behind it.
When we looked inside, we found a tiny room with painted walls, a light socket, linoleum floor and stained wood trim. We'd found a secret pantry.
We cleaned it, painted it, changed the flooring, and last week, we added shelves. The cupboards sighed with relief.
Now I have a pantry.
And some day, I might finish painting those walls.