Friday, October 14, 2011

Second Stage of Kitchen Renovation: Pantry

Linking up to OrgJunkie as usual, this was our project this week (and it's COMPLETE!)

The Container Store has been having a 25% off sale on their ELFA systems for some time (and hurry if you want to buy; it ends this Sunday, October 16th. Drawers for the system will be going on sale starting 12/24 so hold out on those! *wink*)

I apologize for the quality of my pictures, and lack of before pictures - my camera battery again wasn't charged (need to invest in a 2nd battery) so I just used my ubercrappy 3G no-flash iPhone to snap a couple of shots.

We have a pantry that is reach in only. There are bifold doors which open, and the interior measurements were 55" across and 22" deep. I know that is larger than many pantries some families have access to, but since I cannot use the back sides of the doors (and can't go to different than bifold without running into the kitchen table) this presented some unique challenges for us and made it the smallest pantry we've ever had, including in our first college apartment.

We did the platinum finish (to eventually match our stainless steel appliances), and painted the interior of the pantry to match the kitchen (kind of a cafe au lait color). For a little under $300, we got 4 supports (one spaced oddly, and extra, but will allow us to add drawers later if we wish), one 12" deep shelf, and four 16" deep shelves as well as the brackets and other items required for installation.

On the very top shelf we had to go narrow as it's above the door opening and we must reach above and around the second-to-top shelf to reach it. I chose to use containers that had handles on them so I can easily pull them down when I need them.

They were around $4 at Walmart when I first got them years ago. I freshly washed each of them and gave them all new, extra large font labels (sorry, blurry in the pic but not IRL). These hold castor sugar, brown sugar, granulated sugar, coffee creamer, pancake mix, steel oats, dried fruit (to add to oatmeal), and flour. To the right of these canisters are containers with built in handles; a large gallon of vegetable oil, a large container of soy sauce, and a large container of syrup.

The second shelf down holds steel mesh bins but will be changing the contents of these bins into some matching mesh DVD holders that the Container Store also has on sale (they are large enough to hold tuna packets, kraft dinner boxes, and other things using the space more wisely). Then I will be using these bins to hold taller, lighter objects such as chips and also heavier items that need to breathe like root vegetables.

Here is the best picture I could get of the entire pantry assembled:

Next shelf down holds 3 larger style containers, same as the top ones, in which we hold cereal and granola (I'm a coupon shopper, and each of these babies holds about 6 boxes of Cheerios!). The Bread Box is next to that and while I don't have any right now, I'll be adding a basket on top of it to hold bread mixes. The empty space next to it will be holding the stackable mesh DVD holders I mentioned above for boxed dinner mixes.

Then follow the cans. I was actually really upset that I had to reuse my "ugly" white extra wide can holders, as I wanted to match the stainless look. All of the metal ones available are not wide enough for cans, only for spices. Darn you, Container Store! That's okay, as you can see at the bottom, my bulk bins are also white. My lovely husband has it in mind to experiment with the Krylon for plastic spray paint in a silver or grey finish on these white objects ;) The surfaces won't come in direct contact with food, the bulks are individuals like Capri Suns, dried fruit packets, applesauce containers, etc. I'm still considering if we will "go that far" or just deal with the white.

The second to last shelf - you can't see all the way to the right hand side of the pantry - holds 5 packs of bottled water where previously my 12" deep shelf could only hold 3. That's almost doubling my space right there! Yay!

If we do decide to add a couple of drawers, we will move up the canned shelf a few notches and do it under that shelf, above the water.

I'm so happy with how this turned out. The "old" pantry had a lot of wasted space, lots of badly used organizers (like the baskets that "hook" onto the shelves and then leave a not stable thing on top of the shelf you can't set anything on), irregular shaped baskets and general bleh. The walls were badly stained and so were the bowing particle board shelves from the previous occupants. We have been "fighting" this pantry for over five years... and enough was enough! Who knew we could knock it out in one day? :)

We need to wait for our next paycheck, but we also plan to replace the louvered doors with solid six paneled types that match our interior and exterior doors. I don't know why these were ever put on there, and they are impossible to keep clean and several of the "sticks" have been chipped over the years due to catching on things and people.


  1. So organized and eye-pleasing. If only my cupboards looked half as good.

  2. Looks fantastic! I used the Krylon paint on some shelves and really liked how it turned out. On the flip side I thought it was a little expensive (needed more than we thought) so leaving them white would probably be more economical.

  3. That is really wonderful!! What a great job! I never thought of using containers with handles for stuff way up high... Smart idea!!

  4. Wow that's a thing of beauty!!

  5. Thank you, everyone :) Looking into this pantry just makes me feel calm and happy now. The DVD containers are in, and in use! Yay! They work great and are long enough for spaghetti and sturdy enough for *gulp* 10 jars of peanut butter (no really, the price is about to go up about 30%, so I stocked up).

    The mesh bins match perfectly including the handle style. I have chips in one, crackers in one, miscellaneous baking in one (Jello mix, cocoa, cake mixes etc), and left one empty for potatoes and onions.