If you missed the previous Steps 1-4 on my pantry DIY or Step 5 where I made faux butcher block countertops, you can check those out here and here. Now for the fun part – accessorizing the almost-finished pantry! (As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. But it doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps me keep up my site!)
While renovating our living room/kitchen/pantry/front room/etc., I also spent a lot of time pinned under a nursing baby. This gave me hours and hours to shop online for the best deals and coolest stuff I could find to add finishing touches to my projects. Again, I scoured Pinterest for ideas on organization and design, finding a balance between super-functional and aesthetically what I was going for.
Our giant pantry ended up with a kind of “modern fancy farmhouse” style…if that’s a thing. And yes, I’m aware how weird it is to have a design style for a pantry. But this is no ordinary pantry! If you’re converting a dining room to a pantry, you’re gonna have room to decorate around all the clutter that is inevitably going to happen when you start piling groceries in there. I’m realistic enough to know we were going to make this pantry a mess on a daily basis – but the trick is to make stuff look cool around and even under the mess. If you’re making a giant pantry too, figure out what style you like and add touches that will stick out amidst the chaos.
First off, we had a wide gap in the center of our pantry between the cabinet-lined walls. And we had that chandelier hanging in the middle that was just asking for someone taller than me to run into it. Amusing as that would’ve been (for me), it was something I suspected my husband would prefer to avoid. So, as a solution, I texted him one day at work with, “What about getting an island in the center of the pantry?” I assumed he would think I was crazy, but fortunately he must’ve been too busy that day to deal with me and responded, “Great idea.”
My method for buying anything is pretty simple. I like to find something cheap, but not so cheap that it’s likely to fall apart. It’s not worth it to me if I’m going to have to buy the same thing more than once to replace the original – I save up until I can get the thing I want rather than a “good enough for now” version.
I also make sure to read reviews, aiming for something that’s got at least a 4-star average. I fully admit to using Amazon whenever possible because I like the delivery times and it’s the easiest place to do shopping research. But sometimes I will look through Lowe’s or Home Depot or Menard’s, then check for that product on Amazon because they always have more reviews, then once I’ve made up my mind buy the product from Lowe’s or the others. But as far as reviews go, Amazon always is the easiest place to look. It also helps that you can type into their search for topics like “weight limit” or “width” and it pulls up anything with that topic in a review. If you’re worried about something in particular, it’s good to search for that in reviews.
For our island, I ended up finding this one at Lowe’s. It is awesome. And of course it looks like it’s not available right now, but there are several similar. We use the pass-through drawer for tea. We store mason jars in one side of the bottom section, and in the other side we keep an under cabinet wire shelf and little tray for extra produce storage. This works great for storing away produce like potatoes, onions (when I’m allowed to have them in the house), garlic, etc. Not to mention the top of the island is another great place to dump groceries as you’re trying to put them away in the cabinets. We also keep a wooden bowl on top to put fruit in.
The other big thing I purchased for the pantry was the shelving system. Not expensive big, but certainly big in terms of the square footage it takes up along the wall with the narrow lower cabinets. Having open shelving seemed like a good idea, although obviously I could do a better job of making it look organized. But I kind of like how this one part looks like a normal cluttered pantry – bags of chips, boxes of stuffing, cereal boxes, and all.
In any case, if you go this route, it’s a pretty cheap way of adding extra storage. I used old library shelf boards my parents discarded my way, but you could use any boards you want. For mounting the shelves, I used these industrial brackets that look really cool. If you get wider than 8 inches, you’ll need to make sure you get a different bracket size than the ones I got, but they come in a size that will work with boards up to 12 inches. I love these brackets and have used them in multiple rooms in our house. They’re easy to adjust for level, and you just have to make sure the wall-attached end is secured to a stud or else in really well with wall anchors.
For additional countertop storage, I bought this stackable can rack to sit on the narrow countertop. It’s great for storing soups and is easily accessible for mornings when my husband has trouble remembering to grab something for lunch. lol. It’s also a great cabinet space-saver so you don’t have to stack soups or shove them out of the way to find what you want.
To finish off my husband’s coffee corner, I bought this set of coffee mug racks that go well with the other black metal finishes in the pantry. I use it more than I thought I would for tea and cocoa, and it’s a nice way to free up some storage space in our cup/glasses/mugs cupboard. Plus you get to display some of your fun mugs if you collect that kind of thing.
I also built this to hang on the wall and hold fruit. I used these baskets and simply attached them to 3 boards I had lying around from an old pallet. It adds some nice rustic charm and softens the room.
For something extra cool, I got this hanging planter to keep herbs in…or plastic flowers when I inevitably kill the herbs. But it adds something organic to the room and is handy for green onions – the hardest to kill thing I’ve found to put in them.
And finally, to add more “organic” touches, I put these fake boxwood plants along the top of my upper cabinets. I like how the greens play off the green color of the wall, and again they soften up the cabinets. And for something kinda weird, I got these light fixture cages and turned them upside-down on top of the cabinets to put the boxwood plants in. I like how the plants stick out through the cages and are visible, which they wouldn’t have been if I put them in vases or pots. I got a few extra cages to use in other rooms as well – they come in a pack of 4, which is nice.
I’m sure there’s some other accessory that I’m forgetting that’s cool, but if you see anything in my pictures that you’re wondering about, let me know and I’ll try to remember where I got it! Shopping for decorations is my favorite part of finishing up any space, and I hope this gives you some ideas (to steal or otherwise) for your own pantry!