Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pantry Space, Or Lack Thereof

It is freezing today!  I am in my bed, with my heated mattress pad turned up to high, trying to warm my popsicle toes.
Yesterday Greg drove up to Big Bear to check on the water heater that was acting up a bit when we were there last.  I was sitting in my kitchen having a cup of tea, looking around trying to figure out how on earth I could create more storage space.  Our house is old.  It is a one story ranch, with no bells and whistles.  It is really looking very dated to me, and even though we have done many things to it, many more need to be done.  The kitchen in particular!  My kitchen is a very long, galley style kitchen, with an attached dining area.  We have no formal dining here, just the one table in the kitchen.  I have very inadequate counter space, which is the biggest downfall for me, since I like to cook so much.  But we have always made do.  The cabinets are showing wear, and the cupboard space is very poorly designed, as well as inadequate.  A couple of years ago, we reroofed, and got new windows, and did several other necessary upgrades.  It was our intention at that time, to also do a mini face lift for the kitchen.  New counter tops, appliances, and paint the cabinets.  However, home improvement projects always wind up costing more than you intend, and in the end, we decided we couldn't really afford to do anything to the kitchen just yet.  Yesterday, after rummaging in the cavernous black hole, called my pantry, unsuccessfully trying to find something I knew full well I had, put a bee in my bonnet to change it.  So, I waited for Greg to get home to help me, and then we got busy.  I did not take before shots....oops.  I wish I had.  But suffice it to say, that my pantry was chock full.  We have a  heavy oak wall unit that we were no longer using in the house, so we had it in the garage for some extra storage space.  I kept it right outside the kitchen door for easy access to extra dry goods, canned goods, dog food, etc.  I did some measuring and decided I had just the right space for it in the kitchen, to help alleviate the over crowded pantry situation.  It is right next to the existing pantry cabinet.  We brought it inside, and I oiled all of the wood and buffed it to a shine.  Then began to restock my new open shelf pantry, and redid the existing pantry.  Now, each has a much better purpose. The jury is still out on whether or not I want to have doors and sides made for it.
In very heavy rains, our garage floor sometimes gets some water run off from the backyard door, and there was a small amount of water damage to this piece.  So we turned it upside down!  And I hid the damage with the decorative things I put on top.
Now you don't even know it is there.
The top shelf holds canned goods.
The next shelf holds rice, pastas and grains and nuts.  I like to use glass jars for those things, so I can easily see what is inside. 
Next shelf holds some of my often used large counter top appliances.  The kind that are too big to keep out, and hard to store!  I had them stacked between the dryer and a cart in my laundry room, with pillow cases over them to keep clean.  It was always a pain to drag them out!
And finally, the bottom shelf holds beverages.  Our garage fridge recently went on the fritz, and we got rid of it. I am looking for a new one.  I usually keep all of those extra beverages in the outside fridge!
Not exactly ideal, but certainly a huge help!!!  I am hoping to paint our kitchen cabinets this year, and will decide what to do as far as having doors made, or not, for this piece.
Here is the pantry that used to be stuffed to the gills.

The top shelf holds three lazy susans.  One for oils, vinegars, and marinades.  One for baking powders, soda, cocoa powders, etc.  And one for other small jarred condiments like coconut butter, cocoa bliss Nutella and those kinds of things.
Next shelf has removable baskets and trays that can easily be pulled out to see exactly what we have.  One basket holds crackers and such, and the other tray holds all of our cereals.

The next shelf holds baskets with small packages of things.  On the right is raisins, craisins, prunes, nuts, coconut, etc.
The other baskets hold small packages of snacks and things.  And of course, every Gramma needs to have a basket of fruit snacks in her pantry!  Uh oh, looks like I am getting low.  Better add it to my grocery list!
On the bottom are a set of my large red wine glasses, and a few large serving pieces, as well as some large containers I use for flour and sugar when I buy in bulk.  The cornflower blue contact paper than lines the shelves was put up 21 years ago, by me and my girlfriends.  I have redone some of the cupboards in my house, and I thing this pantry is next!
No, it is not what I would choose if looking for things in a kitchen today.  But it will work for us, much better than having that one pantry so full that we had no idea what was even in it!
From the above angle of my kitchen, it is easily visible.  But from the entry of my kitchen it is not.
Some day I will have a nice new kitchen, with new counter tops, spiffed up cabinets, and the apron front sink I so desire!!!  But until then, I think this will save my sanity.
By last night, I was feeling pretty rotten.  I have caught a head cold, and went to bed aching all over.  Today, I am taking it easy.  My neighbor and friend came over with a mimosa for me today.  We sat in the living room, sipped our mimosas and chatted away.
She brought me a nice bottle of olive oil too!
I hope you are enjoying your day, whatever it is you may be doing!
xo  Kris


Holly said...

I have always loved your kitchen! It is such a warm happy space. Doesn't it feel good to be able to find things now? What a great idea to bring that piece in from the garage. I can only imagine how much nicer it must be to have everything right there where you want it and can get to it. Our lives will always be full of never ending projects. I stole your idea when I was there last year for the pillow cases over the small appliances when I was storing them in my garage. I sure hope you feel better soon. I'm am soooo finished with winter, bring on Spring!!

Dawn said...

Love how you refashioned a new pantry. I am so into not spending a penny this year and using what I already have. I think the idea of flipping the piece over to hide the flaw was brilliant. When we built I had a counter built into the pantry with outlets and have my toaster, kitchen aid and the big appliances plugged in, in there. I love that! You can never have enough storage space. Hope you feel better soon, that cold went around our house too. So far I am the only one who hasn't had it. Hope I don't get it either.

a8383 said...

Curtains would be cute over your open pantry! Angela

Lynne said...

Way to go on the reorganization! We redid our kitchen a few years ago and I love it, but still don't seem to have enough cupboard space.
I woke up with that stinking cold this morning. Everyone has had it here except me. Take it easy on the couch and crochet, that's what I'm doing!

Heather - The Good Life said...

Looks like you got a lot of work done. My kitchen is older too and I've been wanting to redo it, but as you say, it is so expensive. Hope you are feeling better. Heather

Debbiedoo's said...

Nice job! Sorry you are so cold. I hate that feeling of cold toes:(

Deb~in~Denver said...

What a great storage space! Turning it upside down was a great idea, you'd never know there was any damage. The top is decorated so cute. Our home is about 50 years old and has NO pantry and very little cupboard space, drives me nuts! I've been known to store things in the oven and have extra dishes in the end tables in the living room. There is a good size linen closet in the hallway and I've turned a few of the shelves into food storage. One day, I'd love to redo the kitchen....right after I win the lottery! ;) What a sweet friend to bring you a Mimosa! I need a neighbor like that! Hope you are feeling better, get lots of rest and stay warm!


Grayseasailor said...

I loved seeing your organizational ideas, Kris. Good work! Combining three households into one has been especially challenging in the kitchen area for us. From time to time we have taken everything out and tried to downsize and rearrange it all to work more smoothly. I think we still need to get rid of more, but we are making progress : )

Be warm and well soon!

Sassy Southern Lady said...

you have some great ideas. Thanks for sharing. I may have to try some of these in my pantry.

Cheapchick said...

Any neighbor who shows up with Mimosa's would be welcome anytime! Great furniture re-use. I like the open shelf look myself.

Lauri said...

There's something about reorganizing things that makes it feel new. I love this time of year for that very reason. I have wanted to re-do my kitchen since I moved here but had to settle with just painting the cabinets. It added a very welcome face lift.

Sorry you're not feeling your best. I had the flu last week and couldn't drag myself out of bed for a few days. Glad to say I'm on the mend now.

by Teresa said...

Good job, Kris! We have a pantry that is chock full, too. We also have an antique cabinet just outside our tiny galley kitchen which we call the "can pantry". I've been "trying" to tackle my problem room.. my "office", but after even a little while in there I get overwhelmed and have to leave it. But I guess if I do a bit every day, someday it will get less "hoard-ish". ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

TACIStudio said...

Great job Kris. I think the beginning of the year brings this organization feelings in all of us. I cleaned my kitchen cupboards this weekend (I mean all of them) it took me all weekend. And now I'm converting part of my craft room back into a tv/study room for my daughter, and consequently reorganizing her bedroom once again ... You would see my upstairs! It's crazy . I think it will take me at least a week to finish it... But when my husband ame upstairs he said " I think it will take a year for yountomhave this cleaned :( it's crazy to reorganize! But after its all done it feels so good.
I love the way you reorganized your kitchen ... Great idea repurposing the shelf :)

Jawed Ali said...
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Kerri said...

I think your open pantry fits in beautifully in your kitchen....good thinking!

priscilla said...

Hope you feel better ! Great idea for extra storage ! Your kitchen looks great !

Nicolle said...

Hi friend, I hope you are feeling better soon. Head colds are so yucky, they just drain you and you feel miserable. Sending you a hug and a prayer! I adore your kitchen. I am weird, but I love seeing other people's pantries! I think you are so organized, and I just love it all. Get some rest and feel well.

Debbie said...

I think this was a wonderful idea Kris! It looks great. Your existing pantry looks just like the one I had at my old house. 5 years before we left (meaning 20 years the other way!) we finally re-did the kitchen cabinets and I put in shelves that pulled out so you could actually see what was on the shelves. It was wonderful. Personally, I LOVE your kitchen! Soo homey and decorated soo cute. But I know what you mean about needing the space too.

I caught that same nasty head cold. Soo not fun! Hope you feel better soon! Enjoy your day!

Mereknits said...

Great idea, you did all that while you were not feeling well? You deserve a lot of rest and crochet time today.

Knitting Nix said...

I love your kitchen, it is so big and spacious compared to my small kitchen. Houses in Northern Ireland (unless you live in the most affluent areas) are small compared to South Africa, so having a small home really took some getting used to. I miss the wide open spaces! Although in South Africa we had a cleaning and ironing lady which we don't have here in NI so I guess on the other hand I am grateful for a smaller house now I have to clean it myself!! :) Thanks for sharing your kitchen and hope you feel better soon. Nicky

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Oh no I hope you are feeling better. That cold going around is a doozy. I am with you on the small pantry space. Great idea.

Genn said...

Great idea with that shelving that was in the garage!!
It looks SO good.
And how great that it didn't even cost a dime!

NanaNor's said...

Kris, I love your creativity! I think the shelf is perfect and if you get side and doors, it will look like it is a built in. I understand about wanting to redo the kitchen-I'd love new cabinets and counter tops but hubby doesn't want to stay in this house permanently so won't do a thing(it will become a rental eventually). As for cold-you have the damp cold but girl here it is freezing-too cold to even go out in.
Have a great afternoon.
Hugs, Noreen

Nana Go-Go said...

Blimey! That is a LOT of food in one kitchen!!Glad you found homes for everything though. What about making a Roman Blind for the front of your open unit? You could keep it pulled up during the day when you need access and let it down again in the evening when the kitchen's closed!!You could still have your apron fronts - over here in the 50's (yes, I'm THAT old!), my Ma and Nana used to hide the ugly utility units in their kitchens with pretty gingham threaded through curtain wires and hooked at either end of the row of units. Hope your cold doesn't amount to a hill of beans (I'm practising my 'Americanisms' in anticipation of 'Lincoln' which opens here next week). Can't wait to see it.Have a good week My Friend. x

Patty@Lemon Lane Cottage said...

Your kitchen is so warm and cozy Kris. The shelving unit makes a huge difference. I can't believe you had all that stuff in your pantry. Such a big job but it looks great!

Annmarie Pipa said...

the open style is all the rage!! looks perfect in your kitchen...good for you!!
what a nice friend to bring mimosas!!

Pammy Sue said...

Your pantry(s) is so nice and neat. I should take a picture of mine tomorrow so you can see what a mess it is...and I organize it pretty often, but it gets messed up so fast. It looks like a tornado hit it right now. I am a food hoarder. I keep way too much food in this house for just the two of us. I'm afraid I'll starve, I guess. What a nice neighbor you have!

Gloria said...

oh dear you have all in order I have to make the same, love your kitchen, and your crazy by this pup :))
hope you feeling best!

Jill said...

Great idea for your pantry items! That really turned out nice! I have to reorganize my pantry on my list again. After the holidays and the girls home it's a bit jumbled up and I find organizing necessary for my sanity, lol. Although it doesn't always work out that way ;-) I would love a larger kitchen with more counter space and new appliances too... good to dream! :-)
Have a great day!


Jann Olson said...

Sure hope you get feeling better soon my friend. Organizing always makes me feel better. Not while your sick of course. I added a bunch of baskets and labels to my pantry last year. Need a good reorganizing. Planning on pulling things out and doing that next week. I don't know what the builder of our home was thinking. I have this wonderfu kitchen and such a small pantry.

Whosyergurl said...

Kris, I have always thought all of the photos of your home are just beautiful! You are talented at decorating...and organizing. Doesn't it feel good to clean out? I'm trying to clean out and get rid of! xo, Cheryl

Tania @ Out Back said...

So I hope you found what you had lost Kris lol!

You have done a wonderful job with your pantry. It looks great and fits just right in that spot...I also love your kitchen!

I am lucky to have a fairly big walk in pantry in this house. I hadn't had one before we moved here and I don't think I could go back to using just cupboards.

Hubby just laid a new floor in ours and it has had a big clean out too!

I am having a bit of trouble blogging at the moment. My old laptop died and I have a new one, but I am having trouble working things out on this one. I must be getting too old for this technology :)


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