The Pantry does not seem like such a glamorous thing to write about.  However, we spend so much of our time buying and preparing food, it is an important aspect of the design of a kitchen.  Having an organized and attractive pantry, or space to store food, sets the tone for the entertaining experience!  A few weeks ago, one of my clients sent an SOS text for a quick, ‘get me ready for Spring Break’.  When I got to her house, I discovered, nothing other than, she had been busy living and just needed a couple of hours of getting things organized.  An important aspect of design is to Remember You Live There!  Enjoy your home and know that you have systems in place when you want it to be ‘showstopper ready’!

People often think that when they clean things up or get organized they are done.  That is not the case.  When you have an organization system, it makes staying organized that much easier.  Just like much of life, it is something you have to fine tune every so often.  You have a change in life, your kids grow up, you start a new hobby.  The organization plan is forever evolving with your life.

Storage Solutions as Pretty as they are Practical

Pantry A           Pantry D          Pantry E            Pantry B

It so happens that today I decided to take an hour to myself.  AND of course, I decided to freshen up my pantry.  I know many people will think this is strange.  However, after a week of Spring Break Adventures, I had let a few things go.  One of them was my pantry organization plan….So I decided to review.  First I realized I had all of these cook books that I do not use.  They were taking up valuable space – out they went.  The good ones to the Yard Sale Pile and the rest to recycling.  This freed up over half of a shelf!

Next I decided to go through all of the food items and make sure nothing was expired.  I am embarrassed to tell you I filled up half of a trash back of expired food!  (It was the small size bag).  From there, I went shelf by shelf, making sure everything was were is was supposed to be.  I always put the expiration date on the bottom of my storage container, if I am getting rid of the box it came in.  I also keep the store where I bought it, in case I want more and the washing instructions.

pantry 7

Pantry csa Pantry csb

The Container Store Storage in My Pantry 

Get the Look!

Pantry CS 1       Pantry CS 3         Pantry CS 4        Pantry CS 3

Awesome (and Affordable) Storage Solutions

The pantry basket                      The pantry basket 2                    The pantry basket 3                    The pantry basket 4

A few years ago I started to work with my go to organizer, Heidi Porter from Attention to Detail Organizing.  I work with Heidi at least a couple times a year.  In my busy life, it is awesome to have a professional who helps me stay on track and evaluate the systems I am using and design more effective ones, if needed.

At that time, I went to a variety of stores to purchase containers and contact paper for the shelves, AFTER we organized.  I found this cute blue Moroccan paper for my shelves.  It is so easy to clean up and keeps the wooden shelves in great shape, protecting them from sauce drips and crumbs.

  Pantry redo basket

Let’s face it, many home publications and design shows will have everything in cute boxes.  I just don’t have time to live like that.  And that is okay, I am happy I have a busy life filled with family, friends and a job I love!  If you do have time to do that, more power to you!  What I do try to do is have baskets to keep like things together and items from getting lost in the shelves and getting thrown out because they should have been used three years ago.

Pantry 3

I did decide to keep the few cookbooks that we do use and the Joy of Cooking, that was my mother’s.  Now like my mom, we both do not LOVE to cook.  I would rather be styling a shelf or, quite frankly, cleaning out the pantry.  But I like to eat healthy, so it is great to have a staple cookbook.  AND yes, we like to have an occasional beverage.  I bought Greg some ‘Adult beverage’ books for gifts over the years and we really do use those.  (Or he does).  It is fun to offer guests cool drinks when we entertain.  We also grill tons and we like to bake, hence the Cheesecake book.  I decided to use a sentimental bookend to keep the books up.  It makes the space feel more like, well, a space, rather than food storage.  NOW I have space to find some new books that I will use!

Cookbook Keepers

Cookbook 1        Cookbook 2            Cookbook 3                Cookbook 4

Before, During and After

Pantry before     Pantry redo    Pantry after

I just had to show everyone all three phases.  For the photo shoot, during, I put in a silver bowl and some other accessories from my kitchen.  However, in life, I am not that perfect!  I actually keep fruit on the kitchen counter, not in the pantry, but, boy, does it look pretty in there.  Some easy grab snacks were on sale at Vons and those went in the pretty bowls place.  Either way, my pantry is styled and perfect for us!

Need something in your home spruced up?  Always feel free to call me for in person or e-design services and styling.  858.386.9060 or  We are here to help make your dream rooms, and shelves, come true!

Making your dream room (and shelves) come true!  – Lynn