Are you ready to look at our progress in the kitchen?
My husband built this open pantry for us, but to fully appreciate it you have to see how the original pantry looked.
When I first viewed the old pantry, I didn’t see green contact paper from the seventies, I saw…
There was enough room in this kitchen to build a wide pantry in the center. Our first plan included pantry doors, but it’s so convenient to just reach in and get what you want that we might leave it open like this. Plus I think the food looks pretty, which is a good thing because everyone can see all of it all the time.
In this post I’ll show you how we built it and how I organized it to keep it looking nice.
We took square footage from the living room to expand the pantry. The living room didn’t need that incredibly useful space.
First we knocked down the wall.
Then my husband framed a new wall and the pantry.
He constructed shelves, and we painted everything white.
Then we moved in our stuff. I had serving platters and bowls that I hadn’t been using on a regular basis, so I took those out of the boxes and employed them full time for pantry organization. The bottles of oil are corralled on a tray that can easily be cleaned.
To make the most of the hard-to-reach space on the top shelf, I put a big lazy susan to hold bottles of syrup and canned goods.
A wooden bowl holds small things that would otherwise be lost.
I mostly use glass canning jars to contain our dried beans, fruits, and nuts. The price of new kitchen canisters is crazy compared to canning jars that you can buy for about a dollar. I like having the uniform size that you can stack or interchange the lids. You can find them at Ace Hardware, Walmart, or even the grocery store. The wide-mouth quart and half-gallon sizes are the most useful.
I usually don’t label the jars because it’s an extra step, and I can see if it’s popcorn kernels or noodles or raisins. But on the top left, some of the baking ingredients all look the same. I label those with a piece of clear scotch tape and a Sharpie marker so that I don’t have to remember when it’s something random like arrowroot.
I found baskets to hold onions and potatoes.
The spices are on full display. (Good thing I decluttered the spices.) The salt and pepper shakers were nearly identical except one had four holes at the top and one had five. How was I supposed to remember that? I took a paint pen and labeled them.
The small trash cans are a throwback to our apartment days. We empty them into the larger bins outside. I labeled those too with a Sharpie marker. Classy.
Clothespins to fasten the chip bags.
The baking mixes are all together.
One concern with open shelving in the kitchen is keeping it clean, but we installed a very effective range hood over the stove that vents to the outside. It works really well, so the shelves stay clean and only need a little dusting every few weeks. Which I probably should be doing anyway, but now there’s incentive.
More home improvement to come!