Pantry Remodel Part 1: Going from Pantry Problems to Pantry Pretty

If you’ve been following along with me here or on my social channels, you know that I’ve shared nearly every nook and cranny of my home at some point.  But there’s one space I’ve never shared in the 3+ years I’ve been posting photos – my kitchen pantry.

Why haven’t I shared this space before?  Simply put, it’s a disaster zone!  When we were building our house, I had grand plans for this pantry.  Tucked under a stairwell right off of our kitchen, the pantry was a last-minute addition as we were reviewing blueprints and making final changes.  “We could easily put a closet there and turn it into a pantry to keep canned goods, paper products and other stuff organized!”  I remember saying.  So we built the pantry, installed one narrow, ill-fitting bank of wire shelving and started piling stuff inside.

A couple “before” shots of my pantry space…can’t believe I’m posting these for all to see!

A couple “before” shots of my pantry space…can’t believe I’m posting these for all to see!

Fast forward 4 years and the pantry is a disorganized collection of chaos.  That one shelving unit is home to scattered light bulbs, cleaning supplies and cases of water.  The floor is home to stacks of other items like crock pots, paper towels and a rolling cart that I bought 2 years ago in a feeble attempt to restore order to this space.  Spoiler alert: it didn’t work! 

This space is front and center in our home and stores a lot of our daily-use items, so I’ve been looking for a way to make it work harder and smarter for our family.  Enter KraftMaid.  KraftMaid is celebrating 50 years of designing beautiful, custom cabinetry for kitchen, bath and home.  I’m no stranger to KraftMaid’s quality and craftsmanship – I used KraftMaid cabinetry in our downstairs kitchen and couldn’t be happier with the beauty and durability.  So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with them to transform my pantry from messy and disorganized to stylish and functional! 

From the mood board I created for this space!

From the mood board I created for this space!

The first step in this process was a call with one of KraftMaid’s amazing designers.  To prepare, I gathered a variety of information, including measurements and photos of my pantry, as well as inspiration photos.  The latter wasn’t hard considering I’ve been brainstorming ideas for this space for years.  Case in point: my Pantry Pretty board on Pinterest!  I also created a mood board with inspiration photos and resources/ideas – many of which I found on KraftMaid’s website.  Whether you’re only in the planning stages or you’re ready to start work, KraftMaid has a lot of great planning resources online that can help to streamline your project.

My “Pantry Pretty” board on Pinterest.

My “Pantry Pretty” board on Pinterest.

My pantry is long and narrow – roughly 4 foot by 8 foot.  Combine that with a sloped ceiling that starts at 10 feet high and drops down to under 4 feet high, and we have a very awkward space on our hands!  It wasn’t in our budget to start knocking out walls or rearranging the layout of the pantry, so I had to work within our existing footprint.  But designing around such a challenging space definitely had me worried.  As someone who has a tough time envisioning things in my head or on paper – I’m the one who’s always armed with a tape measure and painter’s tape to mark things off – I was really struggling to see possibilities for my tiny, awkward pantry.

As I was talking with my KraftMaid designer, she kept throwing around phrases like, “I love a challenge!” and “I have ideas!”  And she wasn’t kidding!  She took my notes, measurements and inspiration photos and came back with proposed layouts that incorporated all of my wish list items, along with suggestions for some pretty cool KraftMaid innovations – like a toe kick drawer and various cabinet organizers.  My designer also took the time to explain different cabinet finishes and styles and even helped me order samples so I could see the finishes in my space.  On a side note, I’m SO excited about the finish I chose and can’t wait to share more later!

A preview rendering of the pantry space!

A preview rendering of the pantry space!

We worked together to fine-tune a few things and finalize the layout.  It was a seamless process and the KraftMaid design team had some amazing ideas for really maximizing my space while working within the existing footprint, which helped significantly in keeping my overall project costs down!  At the end of the design process, which took less than two weeks, I had a final set of drawings and 3D renderings of what my updated pantry would look like.   

So how did the final design shape up?  You’ll have to stay tuned for Part 2 of this story.  All the details are coming together as we speak and I can’t wait to share the final space with you guys…it’s going to be sheer pantry perfection!