Old Stone House

Our New Pantry

February 9, 2009

Filed under: Kitchen @ 8:01 am

Anyone with an old house knows that storage space is always at a premium, thus it’s advantageous to maximize  storage capacity whenever you can.  Such is the case with our pantry…

When we first moved in to this house we remodeled the kitchen, but we didn’t bother to change the pantry – we were overjoyed to have such a ‘luxurious’ room!  However, over the past few years we’ve learned to hate the pantry. First, the door was an apparent salvage project – framed and hung poorly – light escaping from three of the four sides when closed. As for the light, it was constantly being left on. Despite best conservation efforts, the pantry light would be forgotten and stay lit for days…

These complaints are mere trifles compared to the real problem – wire rack shelving.

Wire rack shelving may be suitable for some rooms, but a pantry is not one of them.  We discovered that if you spill sugar on the top shelf it will happily cascade down each of the shelves. So too will corn syrup. Cook books need to be stacked on their backs otherwise the slip through the wires (bending all of the pages) and inevitably tip the corn syrup and sugar. Finally, the shelves are floating – which means if you happen to snag the end of one one your sweater as you walk by, the shelf will come right off the wall and shower your feet with tinned tomatoes, crackers, corn syrup and sugar.

Our pantry became a catch-all-garbage room.

The frustration became unbearable.

Last week we finally renovated it.

Several hours were spent rebuilding the door and installing a door switch for the light. (Open the door the light turns on; close the door the light turns off.) As for the shelving, I had a notion of what I wanted to build, but rather then draft a plan we decided to let ‘supplies and time’ determine the final design.

A trip to the DIY centre revealed that 12″ laminated pine shelving was the best value (not the cheapest option, but we refused to use press-board). We purchaed 80 board-feet of shelving and a dozen 1×2 pine straps. Total cost: $230.00.

We winged the entire design; referencing cereal boxes, buckets and vases to help determine shelf height. No fancy finishes here, just plain wood shelves. Truth be told, the original vision had been to paint the shelves and try to give the room a more ‘finished’ look, but having the contents of the pantry spread about the house was more then we could bear;  we decided to keep it simple.

And hey, it’s a pantry for goodness sake!


  1. Nice!I really understand the storage woes so appreciate what a wonderful space this is!

    Comment by Nicole — February 11, 2009 @ 4:27 pm

  2. Nice to see a new post. Your pantry looks excellent, but for us a door on a storage space has always been our downfall. When we had a little closet as our kitchen pantry we would use it as a convenient concealment spot for just about anything unsightly and the necessary things we stored in there became almost irretrievable. This is not to suggest that you have any of our bad habits–even your before shot looks pretty good (I like the drill in the second photo).

    Dear S and N,
    We have the same bad habits… I cleaned the pantry previous to the ‘before’ shot. I am ashamed… 😉

    Comment by S and N — February 26, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

  3. Wow! Looks great!

    Comment by Sandy — May 16, 2009 @ 9:13 pm

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