Having to decide what one wants to do with their life at the age of 16 is
one of life's cruelest jokes.  If it weren't for earning a scholarship to attend
nursing school, I might have taken a much different path.

If I'd known I could build forms with balsa wood, cut things with
X-acto knives, use a hot glue gun, smell magic markers,
and see the inside of a million different houses, surely I would
have wanted to become a counter templater.

I've never seen this done before and I thought for sure they
would have arrived with laser instruments to ensure a perfect
fit right down to the micron.  But, no, it's still a very old-school
process.  Simple square of wood are made to outline each section of
counter. Smaller squares of balsa wood are lined up tightly against
the wall to follow any small curves in the wall.

And each template is marked with instructions such
as the size of the radius cuts in the inside and outside curves
of the sink and notes where the counter is to be placed.

This is the template that shows a tricky portion
of the counter next to the fridge.  The "No BS" means
no backsplash as well as the one place in the kitchen
where I needed to have a seam in the counter.

This area will end up a built-in for a small microwave,
a small TV, some cookbooks, and other doo-dads. 

Just under the counter, you'll see a gap next to the fridge.
There was a little four-inch gap there so instead of filling
it with a panel...

...the little bit of mahogany countertop that could be reclaimed
from the store counter got cut up to become little shelves
for a wine rack.  With a little sanding and about seven coats
of tung oil, they're almost too beautiful to hide.

My desire to have no upper cabinets in the kitchen
required a solution for adding some good storage.
That proved to more difficult than I expected.

This beautiful piece from Darby Road was too wide
as were many I found over the past several months.

This one was too tall as were most that I liked.  Also
from the Darby Road warehouse. 

I've also been on the lookout for some cool old doors
or window to do a custom built-in piece between the 
dining room and kitchen, but, after a year, nothing. 

I finally found a piece over the weekend that seems
just right to hold many of my dishes and serving pieces at
European Country Antiques right here in Cambridge.
(Sorry for the blurry iPhone photo.)  It's a great place to
check out if you're in the Huron Village neighborhood.
It's just packed with rustic European pieces.

It's nice and deep with really sturdy shelves to hold the
weight of dishes.  I was hoping for something with a little
hidden storage but I could put baskets in the bottom to
hide some of the less pretty stuff.  

I look forward to the day I can have it delivered and
start putting things on their forever shelves.