Here is my baby. The pantry of my dreams. My weekend creation. I can't tell you how happy this makes me.
After Friday's tour of the beautiful, historical, art- filled home of Eliza's art teacher, professional painter, and now my new friend, I felt inspired and motivated to take on the project of my pantry.
It had always been a beast for me. When we remodeled our kitchen a few years ago, I was disappointed that the newly hung pantry doors could never be lined up correctly because of a framing error. The white of the doors seemed so stark to me compared to the warmth of the wooden cabinets and paint color throughout.
Trying to find a better way was taking out the doors and replacing them with some homemade plaid curtains. (They will now be recycled into a tablecloth for the kitchen table.) They always bothered me because they ended up not being long enough and people never closed them, exposing the hodge- podge of horrid, "can't ever feel clean" plastic containers, assorted ugly food packaging, and small appliances. To make matters worse, we've been dealing with (and just got control over) a terrible moth fly infestation. I had enough and needed to start clean.
I was on fire Friday night. I couldn't believe how much energy I had. (Maybe from those green smoothies!) It would be so fun to surprise Keith when he gets home tonight from his 4 day stay at Grandpa's. After Sam's basketball game on Friday, dinner out (it was 9:00 by then), a stop at the hardware store, and the grocers for some glass canning jars, I got home and didn't stop until I lay my weary, but happy, head on the pillow at 3:00 a.m. (A funny thing to note: Gary came home after midnight so surprised to find all the lights on, the kitchen in chaos, U2 blaring loudly, and his crazy mom an absolute mess with paint all over her hair.)
I finished painting, purchased more jars, and put everything together yesterday. This morning while lying in bed, I felt like child on Christmas morning, so excited to put everything on the shelves.
I wanted to make this area both functional and beautiful. I wanted it to say ME and reflect the colonial decorating style I like and am going for. I wanted an apothecary feel with the jars. To let the contents of those jars add beauty and color and texture. A old- time general store type pantry that I would feel proud of freely displaying and not hiding with doors or a curtain.
Top shelf includes a scale, large serving pieces, Portuguese pottery, pottery jugs, a little copper for interest, and some baskets.
Second shelf includes spices in bulk, baking items, grains, cereals, nuts, dried foods, dried sweeteners, pastas, powdered milk.
Next shelf down brings dried beans, teas, more grains we eat regularly, flours, snacks, a basket for bread and baked goods. I want to note that I have another space in my basement where I store more of these items long term in buckets, as well as various canned goods and paper products.
I have a lazy Susan (corner turn table) and another small cabinet near the stove where we'll now store the liquid sweeteners, oils, other baking sundries, smaller amounts of spices, and small appliances.
One thing that was so nice was to be able to bring most of my cookbooks to the kitchen. The rest (that aren't used as frequently) are stored on shelves in the music room.
The shelf below my cookbooks and mixing bowls are baskets filled with lunchbox paraphernalia, a basket for napkins, and two baskets filled with paper products. Love how they are all corralled neatly, are accessible, and still pretty.
On the floor sit the baskets for winter squashes, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic, and red and white potatoes.
Thank you Lynde, for inspiring me and giving me the push I needed. This home project has given me a boost of sunshine during this cold, dark season between Christmas and springtime--the hardest part of the year for me.
Now, off to the kitchen to smile and do what I love and do best-