This is the corner of the kitchen into which the hutch was supposed to go, left of the fireplace. I mentioned yesterday or the day before that I was going to have a problem because the hearth, which is some sort of stone, is sticking out into that space and was going to make building the hutch a real pain. Not that building the hutch wasn't going to be a pain in the first place. The hearth just further complicates matters.
Since shelving seems to be my strong suit, I've decided the best way around this conundrum would be to install shelving into that corner. But instead of having it go straight across the back, I'll have it hug the corner so that it will be on both walls. I'll nail up firring strips across the studs first, and then nail up wood (probably a 2-inch thick cedar) vertically across the back so that I can attach my shelving directly to that. That way, it should easily hold all the weight I'll put on it. I'm really happy with this solution because it will make better use of that corner by increasing my storage, I'll be able to get it done fairly quickly because it will be much easier to accomplish than making a hutch, and it neatly solves my problem. Open shelving is an inherently dustier proposition, but I like the way it looks, and it kind of makes up for the dust with greater accessibility. This will keep me busy for awhile.