A Home Improvement Story: Building a Coffee Bar

Photo: Richard Lee via Flickr

These days master bedrooms are more than just a place to rest your weary head for eight (okay, six) hours a night. Master bedrooms aren’t just bedrooms these days; they’ve become “master suites” or even “owners’ retreats”. It is important to remember this before doing any home improvements in this space, especially ones that may need a professional, like a handyman, to come in.

When I began making my master plan in my latest home all my own I knew there was one unusual detail I wanted to add to my space. I wanted to put my coffee pot right in there with me. So I decided to become my own handyman on this home improvement project.

Getting Started on My Home Improvement Project

It made perfect sense to me to carve out a niche for coffee service for this bedroom home improvement project. With three young children the “getting ready” process takes quite a while in the morning and it all happens upstairs.

I set my sights on an awkward corner of the sitting area in my room, in a spot where the home builder had placed a standard bookcase. I wanted the bookcase to do double-duty as a coffee bar.

Sourcing Home Improvement Products Online

Armed with a tape measure and the online inventory of a discount store, my home improvement idea began to blossom. What if we built out the bottom of the bookcase by adding a shorter set of shelves paired with a small refrigerator, and then laid a countertop down on top to cover it all?

By searching measurements online we found a short bookcase and refrigerator that stood the same height and would fill the entire bottom of the built-in while sticking out far enough to provide counter space. The perfect fit meant no additional “building out” was needed.

Being My Own Handyman

When the items arrived we removed the lower shelving and slid the refrigerator and shelves into place and marveled at the job we did finding two pieces that fit together so well. I’d rather be lucky than good any day. But you have to be good enough to know when you’re lucky.

Next dilemma: How to put a counter on top of the fridge and the short shelf?

As luck would have it my sister was in the midst of her own home improvement project, a kitchen renovation, and was ripping out her counters. She discarded the granite because it was unusually thin, but that was exactly the reason why I knew we could transport it and make it fit on the new coffee bar.

This is the part where the stars and the universe really aligned. The part where we went digging through her discarded granite pieces and found one the EXACT size we needed and, get this, it was a piece with a finished edge. Score! (Other options were remnants from a stone yard or laminate counters sold in home improvement stores that could have been cut to size.)

Getting a Professional Handyman to Help

A retired handyman helped me remove the bottom two shelves from the built-in to make room for the coffee bar.  We flipped the granite remnant upside down and used a strong liquid adhesive to secure plywood blocks for support. The granite was light enough to slide into place and, with the supports, is able to rest on top of the refrigerator and small bookcase. The handyman added stock molding from a home improvement store where the counter met the built-in, and caulked it into place.

I love how inexpensively this project came together and how functional it makes the awkward end of my master suite. The refrigerator is great for keeping a stash of cold water available and a bottle of wine chilling. And when the alarm sounds and my next crazy day begins, I am never more than a few steps away from a comforting cup of coffee.

By Carla Turchetti

Are you planning a home improvement project of your own, but don’t have the time to do it yourself? Then you should take a look at eieihome’s Handymen and General Contractors.

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