homestead :: the pantry tour

Don’t we all love a good before and after story – well this is one with quite a transformation. The space we now call the pantry started life as a downstairs cloakroom positioned just off the kitchen and one that we hardly ever used; sometimes it was a job to squeeze in there at all.

It was really a forgotten and unloved space with a basin and toilet, tiles and wallpaper from the 80’s.

Many of our neighbours have knocked down their cloakroom walls to incorporate the extra space into a bigger kitchen. With our layout this would not really have helped us so we chose to take out the basin and toilet and make the room into extra storage; after all it had become a dumping ground anyway!

So after a good declutter and a little rearranging and a lot of hard work from DH we have gone from this…….

….to this……

and finally this.

……..And this…….

………to this

These Ikea cookie cutters are too big to fit into the large glass storage jar on the windowsill so I found two of those clear licker sticker hooks and attached them to the window to hang them on. I quite like the way they are both decorative and useful.

I now have a home for my juicer too and as DH has put in some sockets I can use it in here – we could also fit in a small microwave should we ever decide we wanted one.

Starting at the wall cupboard to the left of the window on the back wall – we had to cut this ordinary wall cupboard down to half its depth as the base units we used beneath are actually Ikea wall units too, without doors, but we didn’t want the wall cupboard to stick out quite as far. We used a full length door with aluminium frame and frosted glazing so I can hide away medicines and homeopathic remedies in here as well as small jars of cake sprinkles and other baking goods.

The bread bin is a new addition (John Lewis Home £16)- we chose it because it has a flip up lid which I prefer, it is stainless steel and not as wide as our previous roll top wooden one so saves on space too.

We had one of those ‘left over’ narrow spaces which has actually turned out to be quite useful. The long slot at the bottom stores cooling racks, my glass pastry making sheet, large chopping boards and other things too large to store elsewhere. In the slots above I managed to find some clear plastic long and narrow fridge storage containers that slide out and are good for holding packet foods, such as stuffing, and my selection of herbal teabags.

There are three large open shelves beneath the counter top which go right into the corner and I can store less used items here – the maslin pan, baskets and mats and cake making and decorating items as well as some cake tins.

Above the counter top DH built some fixed shelving. I liked the look of the painted wooden brackets that we got from B&Q. I doubt I will need to alter the depth of the shelving in the future as the glass storage jars will last a lifetime (well mine anyway) and I don’t envisage needing to replace them. It is wonderful to see at a glance now what we have and what needs replenishing.

The very top shelf is now home to my old tin collection.

The tall fitment has shelving that is flexible – I have been moving the shelves around until I have (I think) finally found the best combination of shelf positions. The top few shelves have stores of staple foods such as canned foods, nuts, dried fruit, baking goods, packets of pulses and tomatoes, tea, coffee and oil. I can now buy stocks of these when on offer.

The shelves lower down contain my baking trays and tins.

The smaller undercounter fitment at the back of the room is again fitted with flexible shelving but for the moment I am happy with this arrangement and have used these large white plastic bins from Ikea as drawers and these contain snacks and crisps.

On the two lower shelves I bought these two wicker baskets from Ikea for £6 each. I like the fact they add a little rustic feel to stop the pantry looking too clinical. I keep onions in one and potatoes in the other. Most of our other veg is kept in a larder fridge. Tomatoes, bananas and ripening fruits are kept out on the counter top.

The drawers beneath the wall cupboard – two narrow and three deeper all have a purpose. The top one contains our old cutlery set that we were given as wedding presents – very useful when we have a party or get together.

Under this I keep all those odds and ends of gadgets that are used infrequently like an apple corer and pie slice.

This drawer is a work in progress – I will keep the paper serviettes in here but I am on the look out for better drawer inserts that don’t leave wasted space.

A drawer for tea towels and kitchen hand towels.

And the final drawer for aprons, tray cloths and tea cosies.

Organising the pantry has been one of the hardest things and DH is quite amused when each day he struggles to find something but I feel everything is at last in the right place. I shall be on the look out for anything that is not used and I am adamant that this space will not require decluttering as I won’t be filling it up with unecessary purchases. Other than a new icing turntable and a larger scraper for cake decorating I am pretty much sorted with equipment.

I have space now to stock up on a few basics that I find on offer and a place for all the items that are little used such as the maslin pan and the Easter basket. I couldn’t be more pleased at how it has turned out.

No pantry would be complete though without a notice board where we can jot down the items we need to buy on our next shopping trip.

DH painted the wooden frame of this whiteboard, originally pine coloured, to match the paint colour of the walls.

He then made a little wooden pen holder tray to fit along the bottom.

I have tried hard to only use plastic storage where it will be used for a long time and where possible have opted for glass, metal and wood. The old tupperware that I had some foods stored in will now be used for the freezer or storage in the garage so nothing is wasted.

The flooring is only temporary and we used some stick down dark grey vinyl tiles onto a sheet of hardboard – it will be much better than dusty floorboards until we have the new kitchen fitted and the same wooden flooring will be put down throughout.

So that is the end of the tour – I hope you enjoyed it as much as I love using it, and I am sure you will be seeing a lot more of it very soon – like my tablemats it is just a joy to photograph.

49 Replies to “homestead :: the pantry tour”

  1. I have major pantry envy! Your hubby has done a wonderful job building everything in and you have fantastic organisational skills too. I have a kitchen (which you can’t swing a cat in!) but I do have a full length larder cupboard, which I love. It is due a stock take and I’m doing that one shelf at a time. I hope you enjoy your pantry for many years to come 🙂


  2. Holy Moly, that is Pantry Heaven 💖 What you have created is absolutely drop dead gorgeous and I am most envious. (Also grinning slightly because you seem to shop & stock exactly the same way I do!)

    There is no such thing as coincidence . . . last night I was having one of those idle fantasies [as you do, ha ha] about a new kitchen with no cupboard doors so I could see everything all the time. Some of your beautiful pictures are almost exactly what I was imagining.


  3. This is such a wonderful space Vivien! I love it! I only wish I could turn our downstairs cloakroom into a pantry but it is always in use! I bet you will have great joy in rearranging and replenishing your stock for the cupboards. This has to be on my wish list along with a utility room! 🙂


    1. We have kept our utility room as well although many neighbours have knocked these into their kitchens too to gain more space. I am not keen on listening to the washer all day in the kitchen – we don’t hear it much out in the laundry room.


  4. Wonderful! The design, the execution, the before and after photos — all of it is just terrific. A labour of love for you to get it just the way you want it, I know. Only those of us who struggle to organize unwieldy kitchen spaces can truly appreciate what this pantry means to you. Bravo DH and you for an absolutely superb renovation. So happy for you.


  5. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful!!! I can imagine you walking in, just to admire it. I’d love such a space. Also admire the glass jars.

    And I learnt something new. Never heard of a maslin pot before.


  6. Now that is a wonderful transformation. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. You and your DH did an excellent job of bringing new life to this space. Everything is so well thought out and organized. How nice to have a window in there and I really like the cookie cutters hanging on them. I am now curious to know if you have found favorite combinations of fruits/veg to use in your juicer. Mine has been languishing under the cupboards for years collecting dust. I think I need to get in the habit of using it as I know it offers wonderful health benefits.


  7. Martha Stewart could not have done better. You and DH are an awesome duo. Our pantry could take a lessons from yours. I had to Google “maslin pan.” We learn something new every day. Thanks for inviting us in.


    1. Pots and pans and cooking dishes, cereal, tea coffee for drinks and herbs and condiments – anything we need while making a drink or during cooking. Wwe can now fit pan drawers and a slimline dishwasher into the new kitchen.


  8. What a fantastic transformation and a great use of space. I have a pantry that, like yours, has been converted in use. I would not be without mine and I hope yours brings you happiness for years to come every time you venture in.


  9. Wow, your pantry is fantastic. Well done both of you for making it work so well. I’m very envious in the nicest possible way. Enjoy.


  10. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your fantastic new pantry. Your husband has done an amazing job building it! I have always wanted a pantry (my grandmother had one and it was wonderful).
    I can’t wait to see your new kitchen. You are a very talented organizer and the little cookie hearts on the window….brilliant!!


    1. Thank you Margaret – it has been a long wait. We have decided to have the kitchen installed professionally so I am hoping it will be a little quicker. I am sure DH could do it but I know it would take him a long time and being without a kitchen is no joke.


  11. What an amazing transformation! So much hard work and obviously well worth it. All that planning should stand you in good stead for your kitchen. I chuckled when I saw that one of the items in the infrequently used objects drawer was a corkscrew. It was an object that went into our ‘frequently used items’ box for our current kitchen renovation! I also had to look up what a maslin pan was – it’s not a term I’ve ever heard used in Scotland. Try it out on your Scottish neighbours in the south west and see if anyone knows it! Since Moray is a soft fruit growing area I have inherited my mother’s very large jam pan, and part of our new utility room has been designed around the size of this pan!
    I don’t blog at the moment but I will be posting photos of our renovation on Instagram so if you’re curious about another kitchen you can have a peek at @occasionalscotland on the laptop. You will probably see just how slowly our kitchen is coming together, since my husband is fitting it. I am very envious of you getting it done professionally!


    1. I will look you up on instagram if I can remember my password – I don’t tend to go on there, I have to limit myself to blogging. Funnily enough I bought the Maslin Pan (which is just a posh name for the common jam pan) in Scotland!
      We have little use for the corkscrew for everyday – DH often treats himself to a box of red wine that has a tap or has whisky. I find drinking does not agree with my hypothyroidism so only do at special occasions like New Year or celebrations but it goes straight to my head!
      DH would have fitted it and made a good job but I wasn’t sure we would live that long! It will no doubt cost us dearly – so it will be bread and jam for a few months!


  12. It looks so lovely, and has given me some inspiration for how I can better use our appliance cupboard to add in a shelf for cake tins.

    Thank you!


  13. That is a beautiful pantry. So clever to take out the bathroom and convert. Our house is very small and I keep my pantry stuff in the ONE closet we have. I am planning on going to Ikea and check out what they have that could fit in the kitchen area. I would like it closed for the most part. I do keep jars( just like yours) on open shelves but the other stuff just gets too ‘cluttered’ to look at.
    It’ll be exciting for you to redo the kitchen.


  14. I am just loving the transformation you did. It looks organized, beautiful and lively. It’s absolutely drop-dead amazing and I envy your pantry collection……. rearranging and replenishing the stocks you find great joy. Hats off DH and you for an absolutely superb renovation. So happy and delighted. GOOD LUCK!!!


  15. Wow, you have really nice collections. I could not see much plastic in your kitchen. I appreciate you for minimizing plastic usage. I have seen most kitchens with a lot of plastic stuff. I am an employer of music institute Coimbatore and ensure to strictly avoid plastic in my house.


    1. Hi Mayura – what a lovely name. We had a plastic free kitchen when we were students back in the 70’s and that was quite an achievement. We had a slate worktop and enamel buckets and bowls and certainly no plasti pots (tupperware food containers).


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