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Quick and Easy Coffee and Wine Bar

The kitchen in our new house is tiny. There is about half as much cupboard space as in our old house and the pantry is still unfinished. The biggest cupboards in the kitchen are reserved for food items, then there’s the plates and serving dishes. The pots and pans take up all of the space under the microwave and suddenly we find that there’s not much space for cups and glasses. Whatever is a coffee drinking family to do?!

The kitchen in our new house is tiny. There is about half as much cupboard space as in our old house and the pantry is still unfinished. The biggest cupboards in the kitchen are reserved for food items, then there’s the plates and serving dishes. The pots and pans take up all of the space under the microwave and suddenly we find that there’s not much space for cups and glasses. Whatever is a coffee drinking family to do?!

Fortunately, there’s the nook off of the kitchen which we walk through many times a day. It’s an ideal spot for a fancy coffee and wine bar like you see in those expensive home decor magazines.

We moved the buffet into place and I started measuring and plotting. I want to have the coffeemakers and boiler on one side and my wine cask and Sodastream on the other. The best solution for this, would be to build a pair of risers which would raise the machines up to a convenient height and separate the space visually.

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Suddenly, I realized that the two shelves I wanted to build of 50 cm wide by 30 cm deep were exactly the same measurements as the apple crates I keep seeing for sale on Facebook marketplace. The only problem with the crates is that they’re 40 cm high, so more like extra shelves than simple risers.

When I told Phil of my discovery, he perked right up. Crates mean that I can get the most often used glasses out of the buffet cupboards where they constantly pick up the smell of the wood and need to be washed before each use.

There were several people in my immediate area with apple crates for sale but after a week and a half with no reply, I decided to search a bit further. I discovered a hidden treasure trove with opening hours like no store I’ve ever seen in Belgium!

Guy Guy La Brocante is located in a warehouse in the little town of Vitrival between Namur and Charleroi near the N-98. Mister Dethier, the owner of the business is a passionate entrepreneur. He and I chatted for a bit while I was in his shop and he told me about how difficult it has been for him to earn a solid living as a small business owner.

He has a lot of things in his shop which I may have to come back for in the future. He sells wine casks turned into liquor cabinets, for example! He’s got various sizes of casks, including ones large enough for my dream doghouse for Zoubi.

His specialty, however, is apple crates. He has hundreds of them throughout his shop. They’re available in a variety of sizes and you can choose your favorite finishes. There are vintage crates, new crates, flame finished (my favorite!), and painted. Many of them are sold exactly as they’re used in an orchard but he also alters them by adding shelves or dividers.

I chose several different flame finished crates, two of the 50x40x30 crates with a horizontal shelf and several smaller ones for decorating the rest of the house.

I ran home with my haul and was able to quickly set up my drink bar.

Wine and Coffee bar

I had a nasty little surprise while setting up the bar, however. The crates have a bit of a rough finish so when I tried sliding them around to finalize their positions, I noticed that the one on the left was digging a deep scratch into the buffet.

I fixed that issue this morning by buying a piece of thick felt at AVA which I cut into four strips and slipped under the edges of the crates. I’ll probably move things around a bit more in the coming days until I get the set-up perfect for our needs but I ADORE this coffee and wine bar.

If this post inspires you to create your own wine or coffee bar, please let me know. I’d love to see what you make!

By Misty Rae

I'm a 37 year old American who lives in Belgium. I spend the majority of my time being a wife, mother and homemaker. During the Belgian school year I teach a immersion English classes to children through the school Kids&Us in Hannut and I also volunteer as a teacher for the Marchin Cultural Center's weekly English Conversation Classes.

My hobbies include medieval reenactment, bobbin lace-making, creating delicious treats in the kitchen as well as creating various beautiful objects to fill my home.

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