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I have more of the leveling, grading, and sinkhole saga coming to you soon, but I also promised another sneak peek this week, so I wanted to go ahead and show you something I’m installing in the kitchen:

front angle new bar area in kitchen

It’s a wall-mounted breakfast bar! Or, well, it’s really just IKEA shelf brackets that I spray painted black, along with some leftover butcher block from the kitchen renovation mounted on top. Still, if it all goes to plan, it’s going to be a nice little spot for my morning coffee (I haven’t even routed or screwed the thing in yet, but I’ve already been drinking my coffee here all week… so you could say the dry run went well enough to proceed).

small kitchen bar left side

So far, everything is exactly level, according to that giant level that I believe used to be my grandfather’s. I think it’s kind of cool to use things like this that were handed down over the years, especially since he passed away before I ever bought this house or began my renovation/blog journey (and considering how close he and I were and how much he liked to tinker with things, he probably would have been the biggest supporter if he’d been alive to see it). So, it’s just kind of nice to have a piece of him around.

I still have to route the edge, install a third shelf support (I would have done so already, but I needed to pick up a few more wall anchors since this one isn’t going into a stud), and treat the butcher block like I did with the rest of the kitchen, but I think it’s a perfect use for this wall. The patio and backyard are to the right in front of this area and the dining room is just behind it, so it felt too cramped to put another table and chairs here. Instead, a more casual setup with some industrial bar stools (you can see a peek in the pic above, but I’ll share more on those next week) and a narrow counter will work well. Then, it’ll be time to add some art above, and I’ve already got a plan for that too!

At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep the height the same as the rest of the counters in the kitchen (roughly 36″), but when I tried out the first bracket, it just felt too low, so I raised it to standard bar height (usually between 40″ and 42″). This feels much more appropriate for the space, and the shallow depth of the counter will allow me to set out platters and such but not get in the way of foot traffic going out to the back yard (keeping the entire space designed for casual entertaining). I cut the remaining piece of butcher block that I had been storing in the garage to make it, and it’s basically half the width of the counters (12″). I never wanted to get rid of the extra walnut if I could come up with a use for it, and I’m so glad I did!

cutting butcher block counter outside

This of course means I still have an identical strip at about the same length and width as this piece, but no plan yet for what to do with it. Feel free to suggest some ideas. I’m going to spend the rest of my afternoon outside though, as I’ve got more of the backyard transformation to take place and I just heard a loud pop of a fuse outside (or the transformer blew), so my internet and power will be down for the rest of the day anyway (I’m guessing). Then, I’m going to actually get out of this house for a change and try to even out some of these weird tan lines I earned this week while on that backhoe.

staining adirondack chairs
just as soon as I stain this chair… and the matching one

So, about six things going on at once… kind of the UDH as usual! What are your weekend plans?

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  1. We installed a bar at the pony wall that sits between our kitchen and living room about a year ago and LOVE that it provides space without taking up too much room like an eat in kitchen table would. I love it most for a serving area when we have friends over since it keeps cooking space clear while allowing everyone to congregate. In short: I think you’ll love it!

    We are finishing the install of our floors this weekend under appliances in the kitchen and caulking the new baseboards! Bless my knees!

  2. Very cool idea. Reminds me of a vacation rental we had in San Diego. Great spot to have a coffee and read the morning email. Nice job so far.

  3. Love it! Love everything about it!

    As for the extra piece, can you do the same thing on an outdoor wall and use it as a bar outside? Or make/buy some legs for it and make it a bench? I’m not sure what your needs are so I’m throwing random ideas out.

    1. I’m holding onto it until the right idea comes, but I was definitely thinking table too. But we’ll see!

  4. What a great idea! It’s going to look fabulous! And be super functional. Love it.

  5. I have the same brackets that I plan to use in my kitchen! I plan on painting them black. Did you have any trouble getting all the surfaces covered? I’m going to use spray paint and I’ve been putting it off ’cause nothing ever goes as planned and the simplest thing like spray painting can turn into a long drawn out process. I just need to put on my big girl panties and get it done! Yours look great!

    1. As long as you make the coats thin, you should have pretty good success. That’s what I did! there was a little bit of scratching but I plan to do a touch up if needed (I haven’t really noticed it yet though).

  6. Kitchen bars serve two functions at once: they provide some extra prep and surface area with just enough room to pull up a chair for a meal. You are doing great!!!