Above the creepy stairs leading to our basement are a series of tiny shelves that I lovingly refer to as my pantry. I’ve never had a pantry before, so I’ll take it! Honestly, our kitchen is huge and we could probably fit the food in our cabinets, but all of the uppers have glass fronts, so I prefer to store all the food in one (concealed) spot.
And guys, this pantry is SCARY! The paint is brown and its dark and the whole thing is just gross and sad. But I was DETERMINED to make it better. And dare I say, Pinterest pretty?! Here’s the before:
Right? I told you it was scary. The lack of light and the dark walls made it REALLY hard to photograph and, frankly, live with. When we moved in, food was put in there without rhyme or reason and it hasn’t really been organized in a thoughtful way since.
I found this inspiration image scrolling Instagram one day and finally had the vision for how pretty the pantry could be:
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the formula for a pretty pantry
One thing I like to do is scroll through Pinterest and pin my favorite photos for a space. And then I stare at them and decide what is similar about the photos and what makes them special. I come up with a formula and then I replicate it in my space. This is so nerdy, but want my secret “pretty pantry” formula? If you’re trying for an organized and pretty pantry, this will help you too!
- wallpaper behind the shelves
- food in identical containers
- labels on the containers and on the shelves
- space to breathe between the food containers
- baskets to break up the food containers and add texture
- a few fun items to give the space personality- a cute recipe tin, a timer, utensils in a crock, decorative bowls, etc.
1. labels for the food containers / 2. clear food containers (the best value I’ve found for these. I’ve had some of these for years and the quality is great. Plus they keep your food super fresh) / 3. cute owl timer / 4. woven basket (SUCH a good price) / 5. brass labels for the shelves / 6. bowls for decoration / 7. crock and utensils / 8. clear bin for can storage / 9. floral wallpaper for between the shelves
Before I did any renovating at all, I stood in my pantry with paper and a pen and I made a list of everything in my pantry. I then decided how I’d organize the food and what container it would go in. This was a little tedious and took a lot of time, but it was necessary to I could buy the right containers.
Next, I took that list to order labels for my food. I got 40 of the square of the 2.8″ white square. It cost me about $23 with shipping from this Etsy shop to get all the fancy labels I needed for my pantry.
Additionally, I used that list to order food containers for everything in my pantry. While I was waiting for those to arrive, I started in on the actual renovating work.
To get started on my pantry, I took everything out and gave the shelves a good cleaning. At that point I got a little overwhelmed. I could see that essentially I’d be painting my whole stairwell and all the shelves to do the job well. Regardless, I got started on the paint.
And do you know what? It sucked to do. There was lots of crooks and crannies and it took forever to cover the brown paint with white paint. I shared the progress in my Facebook group (which you should totally join if you’re working on your house and want to share progress and inspiration with me). Someone in my group asked me how I push through the crappy parts of DIY to get to the final result. I thought I would share my answer here.
how to push though the crappy parts of DIY
Most DIY projects have a not so fun part that you just have to get through to get to the decorating part or being done. I personally believe that having a home that you love is the best investment you can make. You will feel better living in a home that is full of memories and that serves you.
Here’s some tricks for how I push through the hard parts-
1. I have an actual picture of the inspiration or “vision” for the finished space. Above, you can see mine. I can clearly see in my head how amazing this pantry can be and that makes a BIG difference!
2. I hate living in clutter and my counter tops are full of all the food in my house. To get those cleaned up, I need to finish painting and get the wallpaper up. Once I start papering, that’ll be fun because I’ll be to the point where I’m seeing real progress!
3. Mentally, I try to not think about how crappy the painting will be. I just put on my paint clothes, turn on an interesting podcast or good music, and get going. If I really hate the project I’m doing, I’ll set a timer and only work on it for a set period of time (like 30 minutes or 1 hour) so I know there’s an end in sight.
4. get a helper. If you can, get someone to help. My husband did all of the caulking in here (bless him)! He talked on the phone to a friend for most of that tedious work to help the time go bye. Splitting up this task helped it not be so daunting.
Anyway, those my tips I use to get through a DIY project! I’d love to hear what you do or see any in-progress projects you’re working on!
Then, I started putting everything in. It’s looking so, so much better! I am still waiting on the labels to arrive for the plastic bins. I also need to install these label holders on the shelves. Make sure to check back next week for the final reveal!!!
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