BIG BIG News {!}, Plus My Pantry Redo Reveal

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pantry redo***The BIG, BIG news first, because I can’t stand not to tell you right away–my kitchen redo is going to be featured in a Better Homes & Gardens magazine!  Their Real-Life Kitchens & Baths magazine comes out seasonally, and one of their editors contacted me about including my kitchen in an upcoming issue!  After I got up off the floor, I agreed immediately because, let’s face it, this sort of thing doesn’t happen every day.  I will, of course, be the example of the “shoestring” budget renovation, but as more of us have small budgets than large ones, that’s just fine with me.  We should be doing the photoshoot next month, and of course I’ll keep you updated every step of the way!***

While it’s going to be impossible to top that, I’m so happy to tell y’all that I’ve checked off another BIG item on my 2012 to-do list for the house–the pantry.  It has been an eyesore since we moved in last June, and when I redid the kitchen (those posts are here and here) I was so DONE with that room that I skipped the pantry.  It’s a great size, though, and I knew it had so much potential.

I made a few quick and easy changes to our cabinet-sized pantry in our North Carolina house, and loved how that turned out.  Regardless of the space you have available for your pantry, it’s easy to make the best of what you have.  In our NC house, that meant chalkboard contact paper, polka dot ribbon, and lots of mason jars (easy! cheap!) to jazz things up a bit.

Our Nashville house has a big, corner pantry (because that was at the top of my wish list!), but sported white wire shelving (which I hate, hate, hate!!).  Here is the “before” picture:

Pretty scary, huh?  I hated how my cans always fell over sideways, plus my shelves were just a little too short to hold my small appliances (bread machine, blender, etc) on any shelves but the top one.  My kids like to make smoothies, and they couldn’t get the blender down easily on their own.  Small things, but they annoyed me.

My husband was out of town Palm Sunday weekend, and so late Friday night I decided to just go for it.  I took everything out of the pantry and ripped out the white wire shelves, taking a picture of the empty shelves first so I could sell them on Craigslist.  They’re already gone; I sold the whole lot for $30 and considered it good riddance!

My recommendation if you’re doing a pantry renovation is that you use a bunch of cardboard boxes or plastic storage bins and put your pantry items in there in an orderly way.  Even if it takes only a few days, you’ll still want to be able to find your cereal, peanut butter, and other essentials without searching through everything.  It also keeps you sane, as you don’t have to cover every single kitchen counter with pantry stuff!  I stacked my boxes in the dining room, which is used more as my workshop than as a dining room these days.

The next step was to patch the holes in the drywall–there were so many holes that I really despaired at this point, but spackle can work miracles.  I then gave the pantry a coat of paint that matches the kitchen (Benjamin Moore’s Alexandria Beige), as it was still the contractor color that it was painted originally.  That gave me a clean slate to work with!

After measuring several times, I headed to Home Depot.  I wanted to use solid shelving, and I wanted it to be white, but I didn’t care too much about whether I used melamine or wood.  Once I looked at my options and realized that with wood I would have to prime, sand, paint, sand, and paint again, I decided that melamine would be just fine, thanks!  I had the nice guys at Home Depot cut my melamine so that I could build five shelves high, and I bought 1″x 2″ x 8′ primed pine fingerjoint board to use to build the supports under the shelves.  I also bought five brackets so that the “floating” shelf would have a support in the corner–pantry items can be heavy!

As I tried out the shelves, I ran into my first problem–while I had measured several times, the front of my shelves needed to be wider than the back of my shelves.  Why?  Because my pantry isn’t square (!) to the tune of 3/4″.  That’s WAY off!  I will admit to thinking a few bad words as I loaded all ten pieces of melamine back in the car, and the kids and I headed back to Home Depot after church to have the pieces re-cut.  The guys only said, “Measure twice, cut once,” about a thousand times, and how silly of me to expect that a room would be square!

Look how far off the edge is from the front of the shelf to the back–crazy!

It took me about three days to build all five levels of shelves, but only because it was a busy week, with a couple of functions for hubby’s work in the evenings, plus kid activities and homeschooling during the day.  It was so exciting as I made progress, though!

I won’t lie–getting the shelves level at the corners where the two pieces met up was a bit tricky.  A laser level would probably have made my life easier, but I made it work with just a regular level.  I used a combination of 2″ and 2-1/2″ #10 screws to secure the supports to the walls, and where I couldn’t screw directly into the studs, I used Pop-Toggles as my drywall anchors because the nice hardware guy said they’re his favorite and they hold up to 60 lbs.

I spaced the shelves 15″ apart, which is a little taller than the norm, but I wanted everything to fit and there’s always so much wasted space in the top of closets and pantries.


When I had all the shelves built, I realized that I needed to come up with something to hide the fact that the pantry wasn’t square and the shelves were all wonky.  After using my brad nailer to secure the shelves to the supports for all eternity, I cut screen trim with my miter saw and used Liquid Nails to glue it to the ends and fronts of the shelves.  Take a look at the before and after–the finishing details really make a big difference!


And after:

I also dabbed a little white paint on the screw heads in the supports and the brackets to camouflage them, although I will admit that I didn’t paint over the primed wood of the supports.  They really didn’t need it.

When all the shelves were in place and level, it was time for the fun–moving back in!  One idea that I love for a corner pantry is to use lazy susans.  What a great way to utilize the space in the back corner that’s usually wasted!   I went to the store and bought five 18″ turntables {see them here}.  My shelves are 16″ deep, so that diameter worked perfectly.  Here we are with the turntables in place:

Now I’m just going to show you a ton of “after” pictures without much text.  I know the pantry looks styled and it won’t stay this neat forever, but the solid shelves and the turntables created SO much additional space for me that I really do have room to leave the serving pieces and cookbooks in here for the long haul.  I love

The stoneware crock on the floor was my grandmother’s and it holds my onions and potatoes.  An old freezer basket holds my cracker boxes and large chip bags.  And the blender’s low enough for the kids to reach now.

 The chip rack was an Ebay purchase; I have two of them in different sizes and love them, but here’s a similar one.

 The Jessie Steele apron was a birthday gift from my friend, Andrea.   I love the colors

I also got the idea of hanging a wreath in the pantry from Decor Chick.  Why not decorate this often-used room?  I also added a plain black “B” from Hobby Lobby on the other wall.

About a week after I finished the rest of the redo, the chandelier I had ordered arrived.  Our friends were visiting from Virginia Beach, so I pulled the box out one morning and put them to work–Robyn put the crystals on with me, and Steve hung it (that was a nice break!).  I chose the same little white chandy that’s in my laundry room, as they’re just a few steps from each other and I thought it would provide continuity.  It’s impossible to get a decent shot without it being on, but here it is:

Why not hang a chandelier in a pantry? 🙂  I left the white wire shelves on the inside of the door, although I am debating whether to build a wooden spice rack to take its place on the door, or to replace the door itself with either a screen door or a frosted glass paneled door. Does anyone have an opinion?

I can’t tell you how good this redo made me feel, and even though the shelves were a huge pain because the room wasn’t square, it was still well worth it.  With the chandelier, lazy susans, and the shelving materials, I spent about $260.  I consider it money well spent, because now I like opening the pantry door!

Here’s one more “before:”

And one more “after:”

Aaahh…much better!

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  1. You did a wonderful job! I would have never thought to hang a chandy in a pantry. Too pretty.

    In my opinion a frosted glass door would look spectacular!

  2. Ahhh it looks so organized….I love it!
    Congratulations on your kitchen feature – that is wonderful! You must be so excited!!

  3. WoooooHooo! congrats on the kitchen feature!!! That is definitely big news!
    The pantry looks incredible. Do you mind me asking where you got your chandelier?
    Great job on everything. I’m so happy for you.

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  4. wendy Phinney says

    Christy the pantry looks great, Congrats on the magazine, and I vote on the frosted glass door, you’ve seen the one that cousin Angie has that says PANTRY on it, that would look nice painted white. just my opinion lol, Love you, hope to see you at reunion

  5. It was hard not to say anything last night when I was commenting, but I have one more bit of good news for 11 magnolia lane….I’ve nominated y’all for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you will accept this award. You can find out more about it at my blog.

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  6. First of all….Congratulations…What a thrill…every decorator’s dream…!!

    Your pantry renovation is beautiful…I love that you made it both utilitarian and also a pretty place to be!…It is so very well organized….Fantastic!

  7. Debbie Nelson says

    Wow! It’s a beautiful sight, but I’ve come to expect no less from you now, girl!

    Congrats on the magazine and while I love the frosted glass door look, all I can think about is something else to have to keep clean on a regular basis!

  8. Congrats on the magazine! And wow…I am seriously impressed with your pantry handy work. You did an amazing job and it looks great!!

  9. Congratulations on your upcoming magazine feature! That’s fabulous! I love how you’ve organized your pantry! I’m trying my best to get organized and ‘stay’ that way! 😉
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

    • Organization is a constant process, isn’t it? If I skip a day it all starts to fall apart. If I skip two, it’s like I’m starting from scratch!

  10. I love your pantry!!! I am a sucker for a good pantry makeover, and you did a great job. The chandelier is a nice touch.

    • Why not have a chandelier in there, right? I probably spend more time in my pantry than my closet…of course, I want a chandelier in my closet, too. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Kelly!

  11. Why hide that beaut oh a chandelier? I would use a cottage style screen door.

  12. Fabulous pantry makeover, so organized and pretty!! thanks for linking up and in your free time you can come reorganize mine LOL

    • Thanks for your kind words, Kristin. I’d love to come organize your pantry, but I highly doubt that you need my help in your fabulous house! 🙂

  13. That is big, big news. Congrats on the BH&G feature!! …and your pantry in amazing. I think you are the first person I’ve met with a chandy in the pantry. I love that you started it while your husband was gone! That does it I’ve just got to follow you.

    Great work!


    • I start a lot of big projects when hubby is gone–but that’s just because he’s usually gone and I have more free time then. Sometimes I save really fun stuff for him, like cleaning out the garage! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Congrats on the upcoming feature! I would put a chandalier in every single room if it were left up to me but since it’s not I’m glad I came across this one for my laundry room. Another room we spend way too much time in!

  15. Where do I start with the list of things I love in your pantry!
    1. The chandelier
    2. The chip clip stand
    3. The scale
    4. How beautiful and finished it looks.

    Thanks so much for joining the DIY Talent parade.

  16. Love the pantry and congrats on being featured in BHG!

    We are running a Before and After Link party to support Habitat for Humanity, with a chance to be featured on other big blogs and win gift cards. Would love if you entered!

  17. Thanks so much for linking up and for grabbing a button! Good luck and make sure and keep checking our FB page for updates on weekly winners. 🙂

  18. Chandelier and wreath in the pantry…love it!

    I love that you used lazy susans in the corners to make use of all that space…

    Sharing at my organization board at Pinterest.

    Congrats on the BHG feature!

  19. Ahhh! So fantastic. I love a great pantry. And congrats on the BHG issue feature. Has it already come out?

  20. Julie Sarquist says

    What store did you find the corner turny things at?

  21. Came over from iheartorganizing, and you have inspired me and my husband! We’re redoing our pantry today! Well, starting today… Thanks for the inspiration! Yall have a new follower!

  22. Thanks so much for sharing your project. There might be hope for my pantry too! (lol) I love the wreath, it was so unexpected.

  23. Your pantry looks great! I will be redoing ours in the next few weeks. Thank you for the great tips and detailed explanations!

  24. Great redo! Those wire shelves hurt to look at, haha. I love how you trimmed out your shelves and made the whole thing cute. Hey, I have that same scale and I love it! I got mine at a yard sale, where did you find yours? See mine here:

    • Amanda–your shelving looks AMAZING! I had to pin it to my Kitchen board. And yes, I got my scale at a yard sale. Mine was $2. Did you get a better deal than me?! Thanks for stopping by–followed you on Facebook and Pinterest so I can keep an eye on you! 🙂 Christy

  25. Ahh- I love this too- I hope it’s okay to feature you twice because that’s what I’m doing! Thanks again for linking up and linking back:)

    • That’s great news, Megan. Thank you! Don’t worry, you’re not really featuring me twice, because the pantry redo is mine, and the workroom redo is Amy’s!

  26. Great job! I see you staged in some pictures the antique scale with the Perregrino cans above them. But in the last shot you don’t show it… did you keep the scale in the pantry or was that picture only for “looks”?

    • Hey Crystal–
      The scale is still in the pantry. I did take the pictures over a period of a couple of days, and I tend to move things around a lot because I think that’s fun. I think I pulled it out for a few pictures, and maybe it even went back upstairs for awhile, but I brought it back down because it just works best in there. You have a good eye for detail to notice it!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  27. Can you tell me where you got the baskets from? I just got back from Bed, Bath & Beyond and bought the turntables Now I need the baskets. LOVE your pantry! I’m inspired. My guys are up north and I’m updating minus paint and chandelier this weekend.

    • Hi, Cherie–
      Sounds fun! The baskets are from TJ Maxx or HomeGoods. The wire one on the bottom shelf is an old freezer basket (I find them at thrift stores and yard sales) and there’s some old enamelware in there, as well. Good luck with your project!

  28. I am planning on removing our wire shelves in the pantry and have been looking on the net for ideas. Your site is perfect. I now know what I plan to design and build.


    • I’m so glad it was helpful, Bob. I did the same thing before I started this project. As an update, the solid shelves are rock solid and I absolutely love them. Good luck with your project!

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  31. WOW! Amazing modification! I love your wooden cupboard. It’s absolutely beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Greetings from Helsinki, Finland

  32. Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for some time now
    and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!

  33. Hi, very exciting and looks fabulous!! What are the interior dimensions of the pantry? We are remodeling our kitchen and have a very small space to work with for pantry. Thanks!

    • Hi, Pamela–

      I’m sorry to say that I don’t know…this was two houses ago for us so I can’t go back and measure. I’m guessing maybe about 3′ x 3′?

      Good luck with your pantry!

  34. Kelly Marie Christiansen says

    All in pw much did you spend on redo????

    I have the exact pantry size/shape and I want to plan the same thanks!!!!!

    #copycat #iloveit

    • Hey, Kelly–

      OK, it’s been almost five years, so this is just a ballpark figure, but a couple of hundred dollars for the shelving, hardware, and brackets. The chandelier I ordered was about $100 and the 18″ turntables are about $15 each.

      Good luck with your pantry; I know you’ll love it when it’s done!!

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