Monday, 24 July 2017

Walk-In Pantry–Complete!

This morning the electrician came to fit the light in my new pantry. After he had gone, I finished putting the food in, and added the things to the inside of the door, so the job is now complete.

46 Pantry Complete - Gen View 24-7-17

Here’s another view, standing slightly further back.

47 Gen View Including Door

Here is the new light. To the right of it you can see the sensor. This detects movement, and turns the light on, so it comes on when you open the door. If you don’t keep moving, the light goes off again. There’s something you can adjust on the sensor to set this time interval.

48 Top Shelf and Light Off

The light switched on. In the photo it looks very dark beneath the top shelf but in reality the light illuminates the entire space very adequately.

49 Top Shelf and Light On

All my jars with their labels. I am more than delighted with how they look!

50 Labelled Jars

The marble slab. This feels lovely and cool. When I was growing up, my mum had a huge walk-in pantry with two vast slate slabs, and a ventilator window to one side. Every pantry should have a slab! My hubby and I chose this light colour, thinking that it would reflect the light and keep the interior of the pantry nice and bright. You can see I’ve got my water filter, the egg rack, some tomatoes and cherries, and the butter, keeping cool on the slab.

51 Marble Slab

The spice rack on the right-hand side of the pantry.

52 Spice Rack

Before replacing all the spices, I cleaned them all with a sponge and warm soapy water. When the spice rack was in the utility room, they got very dusty. The jars are now all in alphabetical order, making them easier to find. I have had to put the larger jars in the shelves at the bottom, and there are also some spare ones down there too. This rack was made for me many years ago when I got my first place, and it’s been with me on every move since. The top part of it has two rows of hooks for hanging utensils on, but I haven’t filled these yet. It will be good to free up a bit of space in the utensil jar beside the cooker, which is bursting at the moment – I will be hanging the ones I use less frequently on the spice rack, and now it’s in the pantry it is much more accessible.

Here is the left-hand side of the pantry. There are tins at the top, and the taller spaces are occupied by things in constant use.

53 LH Side

The temporary arrangement under the bottom shelf.

54 Temporary Floor Layout

I have taken one of the moveable shelves that I made from the top and put it under here for the moment – I can’t have it on the top shelf because if I do, there isn’t room for the really tall jars of pasta etc. The right-hand side of this space under the bottom shelf will eventually be occupied by the wine rack, which will be reduced in size to fit, but in the meantime it will be used by the new kittens as a climbing frame! Two previous generations of kittens have used it and they have all absolutely loved it.

Underneath this moveable shelf I’ve got a couple of plastic baskets with miscellaneous things in – these will occupy better places once we start munching our way through the huge number of duplicates found when I sorted out that horrible old cupboard!

Inside the door.

55 Inside the Door

This afternoon I put the finishing touches to the pantry by fixing the three metal mesh magazine racks to the inside of the door, for storing my rolls of paper etc. The top one holds greaseproof paper, baking parchment and foil – packets which are open and in current use. The middle one holds the centres of rolls of kitchen paper. Each one holds different sizes of freezer bags, and I’ve written on the top of each roll what it contains, e.g. “LH,” “M,” “S” – “Large with Handles,” “Medium” (without handles), “Small” etc. This was a storage tip I picked up years ago and it’s brilliant for keeping your freezer bags organised and tidy. Unless the bags have been used for meat, I wash them and re-use them. I used to keep these rolls in one of those red plastic baskets, but this way, they take up much less room. The bottom rack holds unopened rolls of baking parchment, cling film etc. To the right is a hook on which I have hung my apron. All this stows away tidily when the door is closed.

I thought long and hard how best to attach these racks to the door. I got this idea from Pinterest, and it seems that most people attach them with Velcro, but I didn’t want to do this. Because the racks are so thin fore-and-aft, there was no room to insert a screwdriver to screw them to the door. I drilled holes in the door where I wanted the fixings to go, and wrapped a cable twist around each screw, which I then screwed into the door. I marked the positions of the screws on each rack with a thread tied through the metal mesh, and lined these markers up with the screws, threading the cable twists through the mesh, and twisting them together to secure the racks in place. It was an awfully fiddly job but it works a treat! The racks had to be placed with plenty of space above them, in order to be able to get the paper rolls out.

The rest of the kitchen is still somewhat chaotic. Now that lots of things have migrated into the pantry, I’ve got the chance to free up space in the rest of the kitchen and get things organised better, which will mean having fewer things out on the tops, and the whole thing will be a lot tidier, and easier to keep clean. Positives all round!

Finally, a review of the journey from chaos to order, with some pretty horrendous stuff in between (dry rot!).

What the space originally looked like. When we moved, I had asked the kitchen fitters to leave this cupboard as it was part of the character of the old house, but this proved to be a mistake because it was a complete pain to use.

01 Original Cupboards Closed 25-3-17

You can see from this photo of the top half that it was absolutely full of stuff, but what I wanted always seemed to be at the back, and I had to take everything out all the time. My hubby put the intermediate shelves in for me which helped a bit, but the whole thing was absolutely awful and it made me tear my hair with frustration on a daily basis! I used to dream of a walk-in pantry but couldn’t envisage how it might work.

02 Top Cupboard Open 25-3-17

The bottom half of the cupboard, cleared, and with the old heavy duty sheet of lino on the floor removed, revealing the dry rot underneath.

03 Bottom Cupboard Open and Cleared 25-3-17

What a total nightmare!

04 Rot in Bottom Cupboard 25-3-17

05 Detail of Rot in Bottom Cupboard 25-3-17

It turned out that the rot had only invaded two short joists, and once these, and the rotten floor boards above had been removed, it was just a case of replacing what was lost. In order to do this, the whole of the old cupboard had to be taken out.

During the time the work was done, we decamped into Mum’s tiny kitchen in the flat. It did us fine! How fortunate we are to have access to two kitchens! (You can see how long ago this all was – there are primroses growing on the bank outside!)

08 Decamping into Flat Kitchen 1 8-4-17

The old cupboard and rotten timber removed.

09 Cupboard and Rotten Timber Removed 18-4-17

New joists going in.

14 New Joists 19-4-17

New rendering on the walls after the old had been hacked off – they had to remove quite a lot of material to make sure the dry rot hadn’t tracked up into the wall.

16 New Rendering on Walls 19-4-17

New floor boards.

18 New Floor Boards 19-4-17

The repairs completed, waiting for decoration and the construction of the new pantry.

20 Work Completed 20-4-17

The old defunct ventilator blocked off, and a new one installed.

09 Ventilator Plaster Completed

New flooring.

01 New Flooring and Skirting Board 4-7-17

The frame of the new pantry being constructed.

03 Frame 5-7-17

New shelves installed. When this work was finished, I applied several coats of linseed oil to seal and protect them, and finished them off with a coat of beeswax polish.

18 Shelves Completed 7-7-17

The door with the side panel made from spare laminate floor pieces. The cornice from the side of the double oven unit has been put along the top to complete the finish.

16 Finished Pantry Door Closed 7-7-17

Making additional free-standing shelves.

31 Shelf Factory 18-7-17

The additional shelves completed, and waiting for the slab to arrive.

38 LH Side with New Shelves

My beautiful new pantry all fitted out and filled with food and lit up!

47 Gen View Including Door

I am beyond thrilled with it. It probably sounds silly but to have a walk-in pantry like this is a dream come true for me. I am going to enjoy my cooking so much more now.

The whole project has been finished in time for the arrival of our new kittens on Thursday. This is a fresh start in so many ways!


  1. Lovely to see it all finished at last! You can have lots of fun in your kitchen now....

  2. Looks great Shoshi! Compared to how it looked before, it's infinitely better and integrated with your kitchen cabinets. That dry rot was a blessing in disguise! Without it, you may not have converted those cupboards into a pantry!

  3. Great space and thanks for sharing xx Jan (36)


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