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:
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
I 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.
Pasta 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.
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.
The 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.
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.
The pull out spice racks is probably the neatest feature of all. Dad had a great idea with these!
On the right side, I organized the spices by type: spice blends on top, Mexican, baking, Italian. For me, this is easier than alphabetizing.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!