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Inspiration: Pantry

Alas, the pantry is still not done due to life. Seriously, I’ve been working some long hours and Nick’s 9-5’er hasn’t stopped there. We’ve done some fun little projects including adding some [fake] flowers to the front porch and creating a little (real) hydrangea garden in the front yard. I read something online (because you can believe everything you read online) that said hydrangeas are easy to take care of and keep alive. Well, so far, they’re not. I guess I have to consider that my black thumb might be part of the problem. We will soon have some before and after pictures of the front porch (once it’s all done). And I know the suspense is killing you as to whether or not I kill the hydrangea by the end of the summer. I may give up completely and plant fake flowers all over the yard. Don’t judge, the thought has crossed my mind a time or two. It’s something this black thumb can handle.

Moving along on the pantry front, (verrrrry slowly) I thought I’d show you the inspiration  that spurred our impromptu trip to the hardware store.

This photo is from House of Smiths and you can find the entire pantry makeover here. I salivate a little every time I see this. Don’t you just love the organization? Granted, our pantry won’t look exactly the same. We have textured walls and won’t be able to wallpaper (sob) and we have a different kind of shelving. But we aren’t trying to reproduce this exactly, just take inspiration from it. I am still sampling paints to find that perfect grey color for the walls. The shelves (and trim) will be painted with a Valspar paint called ‘Doves Wing.’ One of the paint samples I picked out for the wall color is called ‘Dove’s Cry.’ We could have a whole dove theme going on in there.

I have started picking up, little by little, some storage options for the pantry to keep everything in place and organized once it’s all completed.

My in-laws got these for me for my birthday last month. I asked for them and was so excited to see them in their pretty little box. These are from Hobby Lobby and were purchased 50% off. They are great for keeping things fresher for longer and (even better) more visible and easily accessible. I like the clean, sleek look of it all.

I also picked some of these up from Target for less than $5 each. Wouldn’t they look cute with some black and white labels? Something simple to identify each food item like these.

These were on clearance for $7.48 each at Target so I picked up two. I was thinking about finding some cool looking potato sacks and putting them in each basket to hold, what else, potatoes! (And onions, garlic, and such.) I was thrilled with my clearance find!

My favorite addition to the pantry…

A banana hammock! Nick laughed at me for this one. But it’s totally worth it! At least aesthetically. You should get one, your bananas will thank you.

The photo above gives you a little sneak peak of some of the paint colors we are looking at for wall colors. The one on the left is ‘Dove’s Cry’ that I mentioned earlier. On the right is one that Nick picked out called ‘Roasted Garlic.’ (Both by Valspar.) I’m not dying over either one so we’ll keep shopping around. Maybe something a little darker, but not too dark. Something with a little more contrast to the trim, shelves, and cabinets. Suggestions?


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The Ugly Duckling

When we first moved into this house, there was a room space that we named the nook. If you can imagine, it’s about the size of a small walk-in closet. It sits just off the kitchen before you get to the dining room. The previous owners had it set up as a tiny office space with a tiny desk and one tiny set of drawers. Tiny. Doll house furniture tiny. It was cute and made some use of this otherwise useless space so originally we set it up in a similar fashion. That is, until it became abundantly clear that no one wanted to sit in a closet for a prolonged period of time in order to use the computer or pay the bills. We would bring whatever we needed from the nook into the living room and work from the couch. We soon wised up and pulled all the office stuff out and it became a catch-all for kitchen overflow. We put two small bookcases in there and stored whatever didn’t fit in our kitchen cabinets. Over time, it grew to look like this:


She’s a beaut, Clark. (Hides head in shame.)

We became so frustrated with this mess that we, on a total whim, took off to our local hardware store, baby in tow, and bought what we needed to turn this ugly duckling into a swan. We’re going to make it a walk-in pantry! I can’t tell you how excited this makes me. If you’ve ever owned a home old enough to be your great-great grandma you know that it comes with minimal cabinet space. (Thus the overflow disaster you see above.)

We came home and put Evelyn down for a nap. Which meant we had three hours (on a good nap day) to put this thing together. We pulled everything out and were left with this:

See the white squares on the wall? That was my brilliant idea. Before putting up the mounts we had to pre-drill holes into our walls to install anchors to hold up each one. Nick held the mounts on the wall while I slid scraps of paper behind and taped them in place. I simply marked each piece of paper with a pencil through the original holes in the mounts so we would know exactly where to drill. We drilled right through the paper and were left with perfectly aligned anchors on which to hang each mount. Once the anchors were in place we pulled the paper out from behind, hung the mounts, and were left with what you see above. Maybe it wasn’t the simplest way to get ‘er done but it did the job. Nick was nice enough to humor me and my scrap paper technique.

My job was to hang all the brackets in place for each shelf to sit while Nick went to the garage to cut, sand, and router each piece of wood. We could have bought finished shelves and saved ourselves a few steps but in the interest of making this project as cost effective as possible we chose to do it ourselves. The prefabricated shelves cost five times what the lumber cost. Yikes! Also, it didn’t come with nicely routered edges that mimic those of our kitchen cabinets. Since our goal is to make this part of the kitchen, we thought it would be nice to make it as seamless as possible.

Did you happen to notice the banged up paint job on the trim? In order to continue with the seemless look, we will be repainting all the trim and walls in the nook pantry and in the kitchen the same color and finally join these rooms together. Each shelf of the pantry will be painted the same color as our cabinets for an even more seemless look.

At this point, nap time was over. Therefore nook renovation was over. We still have to (1) paint the trim, walls, and shelves, (2) contact paper on the shelves (to protect our paint job), and (3) frame out and install a door in the opening of the pantry. It may take a few more weekends and a few more naps to get through everything. It should be fun to watch it all unfold.