Making a Pantry Pt 1

Oh, ummmm, geee… its been over a month since we last posted.  Wow.  April came and in on its way out.  The Parker Haus has been quite busy the past month and there is lots of catch up on.  We are now the proud owners of a much-needed pantry. WOOT!

This is perhaps our biggest victory yet, or at least it feels like it.  Let’s start with a look at our kitchen situation back in March.

Matt and I love to cook and we have the kitchen to prove it.  Pots, pans, dishes, mixers, spices, flours, bowls, everywhere!  Our kitchen is pretty good sized but is greatly lacking in cupboard space.  Before we moved in we added an island from Ikea which helped out with much-needed prep space.  But your can see it didn’t give us enough storage space.

The corner by the fridge is extremely deep and not easy to use as prep space.  It ended up being a dumping ground for breads, crackers, and baking dishes that didn’t have a home in our cupboards.  The cupboards in need of the most help are the ones in this corner area.  Let’s take a look inside.

Above the stove we stored cooking wines and booze (for cooking- really I swear).  The box for the stove vent takes up a lot of space and makes this space difficult to use.

Immediately to the right of the microwave is our spice/vinegar/cooking oils, baking cabinet.  Finding things in here is impossible and we ended up with multiple jars of celery salt as a result.

To the right of that cabinet is where our pantry type items were stored.  The cabinet is deep and extends into the corner but it is difficult to reach items stored back there.  I will bet you that a fair amount of the stuff in this cabinet is expired.  Just sayin’.

Next to the fridge is where rice, quinoa, mixes, and pastas are stored.  The top shelf is hard for me to reach and I know for a fact that the Fruity Pebbles up there are way past the expiration date.

So obviously we could use more storage space in our kitchen.  When we were looking at buying the house I was so happy that it had a coat closet.  Matt and I had our first real fight about the importance of a coat closet.  I insisted that we needed a place to store our coats and the vacuum.  I have since realized that a pantry is much more valuable than a coat closet and I am eating my words now.  Let me introduce you to the worlds most useless coat closet.

Situated between our kitchen and our living room this tiny closet was home to our coats (crammed full I might add), the vacuum, hats and gloves, and an assortment of board games.  However, this closet was poorly designed.  It’s not very deep, but deep enough for a coat hanger to properly fit in the closet… that is if the bar was not situated too far towards the front.

The clothing rod is 2 inches to far to the front, which causes the hangers to hang  out past the door jamb.

So, our closet door would never close all the way if there were coats in the closet.  Stupid. I finally agreed  insisted that we cannibalize our coat closet to make a pantry.  First we had to find room for the items currently in the closet.

Games went in the small buffet in the dining room, handy for when guests are over.

Coats, hats, and scarves went to live on a clothing rack in the garage.  The red cabinet is a shoe caddy that stores our less frequently wore shoes.  To the right of the shoe caddy is the door into the house so the coats are in a convenient place.

Just on the other side of the door in the garage is our teeny tiny entry way.  We installed sleek coat hooks to hold our most frequently wore coats or guest coats.  The hooks are on hinges and fold up when not in use.

The vacuum now lives behind the door in the office, not the most ideal location but it will have to do.

Just like that we had an empty closet.  Ok, not just like that. The clothing rod was adhered to the side walls with construction adhesive and removing it left damaged walls.  One weekend I learned how to patch walls, apply orange peel texture, and paint.  Above is the fruits of my labor.   I was damn proud. All we had to do is install the custom Elfa closet system from the Container Store. Easy right? Not really. When drilling pilot holes in the back wall Mr P discovered a surprise hidden in the back wall of our closet.

Ducting.

F$%#^*!

We checked and the whole wall was drywall directly on top of ducting and we couldn’t find any studs.  If you haven’t thought through why this would be bad let me explain.  First, the closet system hangs from a header bracket screwed into the wall. The weight of the whole system and of everything that you put on the shelves is carried by the header bracket. If there aren’t studs to drill into, the whole thing would come crashing down.  Second, if we put holes in the ducting the warm air that we pay to heat and circulate through our house will have an escape into the walls of our house, not good for the heating bill.  We patched up our pilot holes and went to bed defeated.

For the next 24 hrs this roadblock was all I could think of.

Have you gotten halfway through a project only to be stopped in your tracks by a hurdle?

Up next, making it work.

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3 Comments

Filed under Our Haus

3 responses to “Making a Pantry Pt 1

  1. Meg

    I love all the bright colors around your kitchen. I also like that you can tell it actually gets used- I hate when kitchens are too “done” and don’t look like anyone ever really cooks. That said- I had to laugh at the notion of your lack of storage… I would have thought the same way before moving to England. Now I’d kill for the amount of storage you have! 🙂

  2. Are you totally sold on the shelving system you have picked out? You could install separate shelves so that each shelf is only supporting itself instead of the entire system and its contents. Honestly, I’m not sure of the strength of your walls but we recently installed shelving in a closet (the white metal wire kind that you cut to size) and it never even occurred to me to look for studs. We’re storing some pretty heavy stuff on them (in a storage closet) and no crashing down yet!

    • Thanks for the idea Kira, however, nothing can be mounted on the back wall because the mounting screws would pierce our heat ducting which is immediately behind the sheetrock. No worries though we figured out a solution.

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