Friday, August 24, 2012

Inspiration Friday: The Pantry!

With summer produce coming out of the garden and colder days looming ahead in the future, I get into the "nesting" mode. Kind of reminds me of a squirrel! Putting food aside for days when the garden is sleeping.

This week alone, we've canned, dehydrated, and frozen food. And with the exception of the freezer items, all that food has to go in the pantry (no root cellar yet!). Any items left over from the year before were moved directly into the kitchen for immediate consumption in order to make room for the 2012 harvest.

All this "pantry time" sets the stage for a little re-organization and yes... even a little glam! Here's some favorite ideas to inspire you, even if you don't have a pantry... yet! No two pantry spaces will ever look exactly the same, so glean a few ideas and make them work for you in your own home.

Pantry Inspiration

The vintage look of this first one wins me over every time! Any standard closet could be converted with wall paper and a gingham curtain as well as a single vintage metal sign (don't over do it with a bunch!). Check out the light that comes on when you open the door! And speaking of the door... if you REALLY want the vintage look, find one like this at a salvage store or add boards and paint to create it yourself.

If the "country" look isn't your thing, you can still use a curtain to hide items that don't look as pretty. Just go neutral like this one from One Perfect Room.

Imagine how cheerful it would be to wake up and make pancakes using ingredients from the yellow gingerbread shelving below. (Note the ticking curtain in the bottom left! Darling!) This one was featured in Country Living, but if you have a handy-dandy husband who does woodworking, perhaps he could cut out that decorative trim and add it to some simple shelving. Then all you would have left to do is paint it and dress it up with goodies!

On the other hand... this wire shelving unit is fairly inexpensive and yet, looks really good when paired with various kinds of baskets to keep things organized (See House Tweaking). Here's a tip that will make a big difference... Don't let your pantry get cluttered. It needs to function and W.O.R.K. hard for you, but periodically purge it of things that "just wandered in" and don't belong. Throw out items that have expired or use them up if they are close to the deadline.

A lot of us have a pantry like this one (as seen in Better Homes & Gardens), either in the kitchen itself or in a mud room. In fact, my mom had this kind when I was growing up. However, it didn't look like this! Wow! Are you noticing a reoccurring theme in each pantry?

Repetition, graduated sizes, and baskets... lots of baskets! These are the baskets I have in my pantry (photo below). I really like how they don't waste any space because of their straight sides. Check out the top shelf... a decorative display, and yet the space is still working to store vases, bowls, and other serving pieces used less frequently.

Speaking of decorative pantries... One of my favorite decorators, Joan at For the Love of a House, has a casual, yet very elegant pantry. Her extra wire rack adds needed storage and still manages to give it that Dean & Deluca feel. And the artwork and rug... perfect for a small cottage for two! (Although, I doubt it would work well for a family of 8).

Here's another rack just like it (see at BH&G), but this one is used right in the kitchen as a pantry. I really like how utilitarian it is while still looking great! The baskets, wood bread board (under the jams), and antique urns (on top) help to soften the industrial look of the shelving.

If you're going to bring the pantry out into the open, go BIG and devote an entire wall in the dining area to your pantry space. The vintage lockers and large sign make a big statement but I'd say it  really holds a LOT and gets the job done! (Country Living)

Even if the industrial country look isn't your thing, nearly everyone could use a LITTLE extra storage space right in the kitchen. Here's one that's easy enough to make from scratch or you could find wood boxes and repurpose them with a little paint. Just add an old curtain and voila! (Country Living)

I could go on and on... there are so many cute ideas out there! I'm always pinning more at Pinterest if you want to see some of them there. But if your kitchen pantry is blah, take some time and think about how you can give it a little face lift. Sure we'd all like to have something like this... {sigh...}

but most houses aren't going to have that kind of extra space with all that lovely cabinetry. But you can take something you like from the picture and add that to your own pantry...

The same jars look just as great on simple shelving! (The Farm Chick)

Make sure your pantry works hard for you and is functional, but "pretties" can always be worked in somewhere! Adding one thing each month or making one change each season will eventually transform your space into something to crow about!

So what are you going to do to your pantry to transform the space into something beautiful?


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