…where the lists get made and the photos get displayed!

One of the very small projects we took on at our Port St. home was creating a message center.  It started out of necessity to find a creative way to hide the circuit panel box and electric meter which were oh-so-prominent in the kitchen by the back door.

Very old and blurry picture of the chalkboard cabinet we built to cover the electric meter and breaker box in our old home.

In writing this post we realized that we didn’t have any good photos of our message center on Port St. This was an iPhone picture of Anthony writing a message to the new owner of our house on our last day there, the day before we settled.

It definitely got lots of use!

One thing we learned from that project is that we LOVED it.  We decided that no matter where we ended up next, we needed a space just like it, and bigger if possible.  So when we embarked on the design of the entire kitchen, the message center was an actual item that we thought about and placed in the overall design.  Yup, we like to be THAT organized and we’re completely OK with it!  When laying out the floorplan, we wanted the center in a convenient spot, but a little hidden so that notes and clutter didn’t smack you in the face as you walked in.  The back wall of the entrance way from the foyer was perfect because it was out of sight as you walked in and because we were building out the pantry units, it would also be out of view from the dining room.  The spot was chosen!

first floor proposed copy

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We found that we really used the chalkboard for making grocery lists and found that we would like a little more cork board area to pin up coupons, invitations, photos, etc.  So as we debated back and forth on which parts should be chalk and which should be cork and do we split the large wall in half vertically or horizontally; ultimately, we decided to keep it simple.  If we made the large back wall all one material, we could then carry the line of the upper cabinet down on the side of the pantry and use the other material there.  Did you follow that?  Need a visual?  Ok, first we put up some trim (that we had extra in the basement) to fill the gap between the top cabinet and the wall.  Then we put a vertical piece that aligned with the edge of the upper cabinet down to the countertop.

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The large wall got the cork and the side wall got taped for chalkboard paint:

Do all the alignments make some sense now with this photo?  Our contractor thought we were crazy for wanting this cabinet mounted so high, but it all made sense in our head!

Then came the fun part:

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Really love Frog Tape for projects like this that need clean, crisp lines!

Two quick coats later and we had the beginnings of our message center.  But what would be put up?  We started with the collection of items that have been living on the counter since we moved them from our old home.  One big addition was the framed color swatch calendar that N gave me for Father’s Day (which she had commissioned by her sister- thanks Raq!)

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Before:

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After:

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The microwave cabinet now feels more balanced with the ‘command center’ in place! (don’t mind the clutter on the counter – in an attempt to get artwork and photos up around the house, we have nails, screws, a hammer, and screwdriver ready at a moment’s notice)

This whole project took about an hour to complete but now that it’s finished, the kitchen, as a whole, is feeling much more pulled together.  It’s great to finally be able to keep the grocery list in a central spot instead of on scraps of paper here and there.  It’s also great to be able to put up some of the photos and stuff that we get from friends and family.  It has gotten us even more excited to get the backsplash up.  Our white kitchen is VERY white right now and the idea we have for the backsplash will really help warm it up.  More to come on that (and hopefully soon!).  And because this message area has grown in size, Naomi thought it more appropriate to call it the ‘Cataldo Command Center’ (after reading another blog that referred to their similar area as the ‘command center’).  Yes, she was very excited about the new name.  I just smiled and nodded.

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2 Comments

August 1, 2013 · 1:27 pm

2 responses to “…where the lists get made and the photos get displayed!

  1. Shannon

    Love your command center – especially since Baby Wicky’s birth announcement made the photos!

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