When we started to plan our main floor reno, one of our goals was to maximize space, starting with the area above our stairs to the basement. As you can see in the “before” photo, the old railing was ridiculously long. Placing a buffet in front broke up the space somewhat, but we knew there must be something better we could do with that area.
Our contractor (Darling Contracting) said it would be no problem to drywall in a small space before the exterior wall to become our new pantry…and believe it or not, we were still left with a fairly long railing and more than enough headroom for tall folks going down the stairs! While most of the time my designer (Meredith Kirk) and I were on the same page with things, the white newel posts were her idea, and I had a hard time envisioning how that would look…now that everything’s done, I love it!
Now on to the interior of the pantry!
I’ve always agreed with organization experts like Marie Kondo that it’s not about the cute containers – it’s more important to focus on purging and decluttering, not what your storage system is going to be. That said, I did get sucked into the idea of canisters with nice little chalkboard label stickers (all from Your Dollar Store With More).
The shelving was custom designed by Kawartha Closets ‘N Shelves, and they left us the perfect space as requested to tuck the vacuum cleaner away. On the side walls, I used 3M Command Hooks (and a special clip hook for the Norwex mop) to keep floor cleaning tools up off the pantry floor. (Unsponsored note: I am absolutely loving the Norwex system. You can see three mop pads on the shelf – one for dry sweeping, one for damp mopping the hardwood, and one with more texture for wet mopping the bathroom vinyl floors. I do still keep disposable Swiffer cloths on hand for odd occasions, but I am happy to be using something chemical-free, landfill-friendly and more cost-effective when I can.)
Since the pantry is right by the patio doors, it’s also the perfect place for hot tub chemical storage during the winter, along with all the other typical pantry staples.
I’m sure people who come to our home for the first time would never have a clue that the pantry was a recent addition (and I bet past visitors may not even notice the change either) as it works so well in the space. Definitely one of our best reno decisions!