After living in our home for 5 years, we are finally re-doing the pantry! When we were planning and building this house, we knew we wanted a big pantry with some bells and whistles but we also knew our budget was not as big as the appliances and features we wanted to include. The compromise was to build the pantry and just do open shelves until we could do what we really wanted to do!

Our cabinets should be ready to install at the end of February and I’m really excited to see it all come together. Since I plan to share the finished space when it’s done, I thought it would be fun to show you what it looks like now. So, of course, I had to clean the entire thing to take pictures because it looked like a herd of rhinos had run through it. Or my kids. In my ideal world, it would look like this all the time and I’m under no illusions that even this tidy version is near perfect. I think all the gorgeous photos of staged pantries have poisoned my mind to what a realistic pantry should look like. Thank-you social media! In organizing, I also learned that I may have some food hoarding issues. Apparently I’m very worried about running out of soy sauce and raspberry jam.

Now it’s time to channel my inner Brené Brown values on vulnerability (what are those again?) and show you my ‘before’ photos.

This is a view of my pantry from the kitchen. The barn door is nice for hiding the mess when we have people over but in my real life, this door is never closed. We currently have an extra fridge in there because I wanted the “garage fridge” idea without having to walk to the garage. Good idea, right?

We have very simple open shelves for pantry staples and no matter how many times I try to organize it, it just looks like a bunch of containers and bottlers in colors that don’t match. It’s also turned into a great place to toss my food storage lids. I’m sure you’ve never experienced that special kind of rage when you’re in a hurry, packing school lunches and you cannot find the lid for that certain container. It’s just too much for me before 8am. So now they’re ‘open concept’ on the floor. Those 2 little black things also on the floor are wine fridges, one for reds and the other for whites. They weren’t expensive and made a big difference, especially for the reds, which taste so much better just below room temp at 60 degrees.

This last area with the fridge gets ugly really fast. The way it looks now is AFTER I cleaned it up if that helps. Lol!!! The metal shelf is where anything of interest to my kids is stored and every item gets moved and sometimes spilled in search of the sweetest treat they can find. I basically try to ignore this spot and move on.

And finally, after all the before photos… This is our plan for the pantry!

That weird space above the fridge won’t be there so don’t get too worried about it. The handles, etc aren’t exactly in place either but those are details that don’t matter on the plan. Our current fridge will be sold and we scored a counter depth 24″ fridge/freezer that will be paneled so it looks like cabinets. We’re adding a built in wine fridge and then to the right will be a paneled fridge/freezer drawer unit. I think it leaves us with a little less total space than our current fridge but will obviously be much prettier! The open shelves are disappearing and all the mess will be hidden behind cabinet doors! Anyone glancing in the pantry from the kitchen will see a glorious void of mess. As I type that last sentence, I have to admit that we are who we are and there will probably still be some mess!

My main kitchen is painted ‘Simply White OC-117’ by Benjamin Moore but the new cabinets come from a supplier that uses Sherwin Williams products and the color match was horrible. It looked like that really cheap yellow vanilla ice cream that’s only sold in the 4 gallon buckets from the 1980’s. Apparently paint matches aren’t exact because the base is so different. This is true even of different levels of paint from the same brand. I had to go through my paint chips from Sherwin Williams and find a match that worked as closely as possible. We landed on ‘High Reflective White 7757’ and the new paint sample came back looking so much better! We’ll do counter that matches our island, which is slightly like ‘Mysterio’ Quartz.

Well, that’s the ‘before’ of my pantry. I’m excited for everything to come together and I’ll post an update once it’s all installed! Thanks for reading

xo, Bonnie

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