My New Pantry – Inside, Outside, Resources and more

pantry front

This is probably going to be the longest, photo-heaviest post I’ve ever written.  But I’m absolutely in love with the pantry my dad built for us and I can’t wait to show it to you!

We started with this:  

pantry messy

 

Typical pantry closet in a new house.  Four wire shelves and what looked like it should have been plenty of space.  But it was hard to get to the corners and back.  Things would get stacked or tossed in.  I couldn’t tell what I had or what still needed to be bought.  Periodically, I would organize the space to make it better, but I never got it to the point where I could see what we really had in there.

(I realize that these are minor problems and the pantry closet we had worked fine and would have kept on working.  Don’t misunderstand this post.  I don’t mean to come across as ungrateful for what we had.  But I’m over-the-moon happy with this new pantry!)

One day, when the pantry was a particular mess, I called Dad and asked for help.  My dad is a contractor who has designed and remodeled countless kitchens, including one of ours in a former home.  He is a genius with design.  I think this pantry proves it.

Dad came up with the plan to widen the opening of the pantry so that we could make use of all the space inside.  Then he built a cabinet to insert into the space that has full extension pull-out drawers.  The pantry isn’t just beautiful, it functions like a champ!

Starting at the top, Dad added extra storage to the inside of the doors.

pantry top open right

 

You can see that we still have a ton of space in the top section.  I’ve got quite a few cereal boxes, with extras stored here.  We’ve also got about 4 bags of chips and several boxes of crackers.

pantry top open leftThe storage on the door is perfect for bottles of vinegar, syrups and other things.

pantry peanut butter drawer

This drawer right under the left door isn’t quite tall enough for the peanut butter jar, but it lays down just fine.  For now, I’ve got things in this drawer that I wasn’t sure where else to put.  And there’s a lot of space to spare.

pantry canned fruit drawerThe drawer next to the peanut butter has been set apart for canned and dried fruit.  Somehow, I have a lot of this.  In the old pantry, we didn’t have space for all the food we kept on hand, so we used an “over flow” cabinet.  Some of this fruit had been in that cabinet.  I was never really sure what I had available.

pantry bean drawerUnder the peanut butter drawer, there’s a drawer for canned beans.  I love that even the tall baked bean can fits in here.

pantry tomato products drawerNext to the beans, we’ve got tomato products.  Obviously, I don’t need to buy any more of these for a while.  See that can of tomato juice in the back?  I love that it fits in the drawer!

pantry granola bar drawerI wasn’t sure what I would put in the narrow drawers in the middle of the pantry.  But it turns out we had a ton of granola bars!  Truly, I can’t explain why except that I just didn’t realize I had some so I kept buying.  Normally, I don’t keep so many granola bars so I’m not sure what this drawer will be used for when these are gone.

pantry tea drawerNext to the granola bars, I’ve got tea bags.  These had been sitting out on the counter.  It’s nice to have them tucked away.

pantry rice brothIn the next drawer down on the left, I’ve got rice and broth.  I also put popcorn and dry beans in here.  I may move the beans to be with the canned beans.  But for now, they’re hanging out here.

pantry pasta drawerPasta of every shape and size is in the drawer next to the broth and rice.  I had a lot of angel hair pasta; some opened and some closed.  I combined boxes and tried to make sense of it all.  Now, I can see all the boxes so I think it will be easier to keep track of.

pantry baking drawer

 

This baking drawer may be my very favorite.  It’s also the fullest, so you can see where my heart lies.  I’ve got several types of flour, plus extras.  White and brown sugars are also in this drawer, along with cake mixes, pudding mixes, oils, cocoa etc. Even though there is a lot in this drawer, it isn’t hard to slide in and out.  And the full extension slides makes it easy to see everything in the back of the drawers too.

pantry bottom drawerThe bottom drawer has heavy, large things.  I don’t remember why I have gallon sized jugs of cider and white vinegar.  No idea.  But they fit in this drawer.  We don’t usually keep cokes, but we recently had company and these are the extras.  Juice jugs fit in here too.  And potatoes, onions and garlic.  I’ve also got a few extras of some condiments, oats and more.  And there’s a 5 pound bag of rice in here too.

pantry double sliders

 

Both bottom drawers have double slides on them, as well as double bottoms.  This means they can handle the weight of all the items I’ve loaded in them.

pantry spice pull

 

The pull out spice racks is probably the neatest feature of all.  Dad had a great idea with these!

pantry spice front open bothBoth sides of the trim open to reveal spice racks!  I really wondered if all my spices would fit, but they do.

pantry right spice open

 

On the right side, I organized the spices by type: spice blends on top, Mexican, baking, Italian.  For me, this is easier than alphabetizing.

pantry left spice open

 

On the left, I’ve got sprinkles, oil flavorings, popcorn seasonings and other things like alum and curry that I don’t use as often.

Building Resources

One question that several people asked was, “Do you hire your dad out?”

The answer – yes!  He lives in Richmond, Indiana and has done this kind of work for many years.  He’s working towards retirement now, but would like to do more of this type of custom millwork.  If you live near him and are interested in having him do a project for you, send him an email at jdcon3d@gmail.com.  And if you don’t live near him, I’m sure for the right price he’d be willing to go to a warm, sunny location :)

Dad suggested I order the cabinet hardware from myknobs.com.  I was able to get a great price on the stainless steel European bar pulls that I chose.  I love the way they look!

Thanks for letting me show you all the details of the new pantry!  I am loving it!

 

 

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Comments

  1. H.O.L.Y. COW! That is AMAZING!! When you popped open the sides I was like NO WAY!

  2. I just LOVE your new pantry and I am so jealous! Would it be possible to get instructions and/or material list from your dad? I live in Florida so I can’t hire him to work his magic for me, however my husband is very talented in home projects.
    Thanks so much for sharing the wonderful pictures and this great idea with all of us.

  3. hesshaus says:

    Great work! Your dad is very talented. I’m going to shoos this to my wife. Ballpark, what’s the cost of your pantry to build?

  4. Tracy Jackson says:

    Ok, so I was reading along on the post and I was like…nah…I have had a pantry with pullouts (shelves) and it was just as much a MESS as a regular closet. And annoying because things would fall behind. So, I see that the drawers would be better but no swoon here, UNTIL the spice racks. My mouth dropped open. GENIUS!

  5. Love it! I love how the drawers are the height of a typical can!

  6. What a great pantry! I’m really jealous – I don’t live in the sunny south, so I doubt your dad would want to go from snow to snow :)

  7. WOW! This.Is.Beautiful.!!!

  8. Totally coveting your new pantry!! Love all the drawers and shelving and the spice racks are wonderful. Your old pantry appears to be the same size as a pantry we had, although it was in a kitchen with a very different kitchen layout. I hated the wire shelves and the way the door narrowed the access space. This design really takes advantage of all the available space.

  9. That is amazing! Love it!

  10. It looks fantastic! So happy for you. :)

  11. Janet Grefrath says:

    I LOVE IT! Wish I had room in my kitchen for something like this . You are a very lucky lady to have a dad like yours. My father used to do woodworking projects, he’s had a stroke and is in a nursing home now but my sisters and I still have the china cabinet and server he built . Congrats on your new addition!

  12. That is an ingenious work of art! Your Dad should fund his retirement by selling custom pantry plans.

  13. Nancy A. says:

    Your dad is a genius! This is a beautiful pantry! Love all the drawers for canned foods. He did a great job, must be so easy to find things now. I know how that is, mine could use a makeover, send your dad!!

  14. First off I love your food blog and recipes. They are so easy to read and you aren’t pretentious about your ingredients, I love that!

    Secondly, I love this pantry, I am going to start checking out local contractors right now!

    Thank you and glad to meetya!

  15. I just love your new pantry!! I wish I had seen this before we redid our kitchen! I so would have copied this! Love it!!!

  16. Hi going through my emails and saw theis one with the pantry redo. Fantastic! I see where others asked about the plans. Did your father decide about sharing/selling the plans? If so, I would like to purchase or whatever is needed to do. So if I could be added to that list- thank you

    Ann .

    • Ann, I haven’t been successful in talking him into writing down the plans. He keeps them in his head. But if something changes on that, I’ll be sure to let you know!

  17. THAT is one amazing pantry!! I love it and especially the spice racks!

  18. Your dad did an incredible job! What a fantastic idea!

  19. Popping by from Thrifty Decor Chick to say that your father is a GENIUS. I have been contemplating building in a “linen press,” and now that I see this, I think it will be worth tackling. Of course I don’t have ANY of his skills, so I will buy pre-built drawers and antique doors to make sure the craftsmanship is good (by ensuring that it was done by someone else!), but this gives me a view of what is possible. So inspiring!

  20. So neat and perfect! What a sweet dad you have, he did an awesome job for his lucky daughter! I love it!

    FABBY

  21. Soooo jealous! This is fantastic, you’re dad is a star. The only thing I would add is some printable labels so that you can pop them on the tops of the jars or cans to show what’s in them without having to take them out to look at the label.

  22. Wow!! This looks awesome! What a neat idea to put drawers..ohh I also have to start getting some serious tools now:) my pantry is too small..but hopefully someday :).

  23. Catherine says:

    Wow! Your new pantry is amazing! We have a pantry just like what you started with and, like you said, no matter how many times I clean/organize it, I still can’t see or find what I have. You’re so lucky to have your dad’s expertise on this one!

    I have a question though. In the before photo it looks like there was a main water shutoff valve on the back wall of the pantry. Can you still access it with the new drawers in place?

    • Catherine, you’ve got good eyes! Yes, there is a water shutoff valve back there. We have to take the drawers out to access it now. That’s the reason the two lower drawers are full width. Originally, he was going to have them divided like the others, but the water valve kept that from working. I’m actually glad about that too. Those two huge drawers are great!

  24. Susan M. says:

    MAJOR pantry envy here. Does your Dad per chance want to adopt a daughter??:)

  25. If I were closer *I* would so hire your dad to do this with my pantry!!!

  26. I love the pantry, especially the spice racks. I unfortunately don’t have any room in my itty bitty kitchen to even have a pantry. I had a pantry that an uncle made with pull out shelves and I loved it. Moved from that house and had a huge walk in pantry. Moved again and now I have none. I am also a Hoosier, northern part of the state.

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