Built: One Pantry

The badly needed pantry is done! Well, done-ish. I think one of the challenges of doing something yourself is the never-ending list of details you would like to add (I have trim for the fronts of the shelves). The point is, I can use it. That is the important function of the pantry.

I started this project a while ago and have been chipping away at it when I have time. After tearing out the original shelf and hanging bar that was in here with the side-by-side washer and dryer, I cleaned up the walls and painted it with the kitchen.

The biggest challenge I had was the lack of studs. When the stud-finder couldn’t find more than a few, I resorted to the nail test (just hammering a nail in until I found a stud) and found even fewer studs than the stud finder (maybe the stud finder just couldn’t believe the walls are held up by wishes and dreams?).

Not having a lot of studs to use on this project makes it tricky since I’d like to put heavy things on the shelves. Maybe I should have learned something when my living room shelves pulled off the walls? Late 70s ranch home=not so many studs. Note to self: the next time you buy a home, buy one that WASN’T built in the middle of a housing-boom-greedy-real-estate-era-Gordon-Gecko-business-mind year. A lot of my home challenges seem to have come from sub-standard materials, knowwhatImean?

So I had to make do with what I had. I used the studs where I had them and used mollies where I didn’t have them. Heavy jars and cans are being kept in one of the kitchen cabinets. Although, I have to admit I’m looking at those askance too now. Surely they put more studs on the wall they knew were holding kitchen cabinets, right?

I researched a lot of shelf-building and looked at what other people did for their shelves and I moved forward. I put up support strips. I spaced them out unevenly to accommodate all different heights of food stuffs.

I employed brackets on the ends of the shelves. I considered doing it in the corner for the shelf along the back wall but I didn’t have enough brackets. That wall had the most studs though and the corner supports are actually in a stud so I put the third bracket along the side wall that only has one stud.

This was a tough project. I was really careful with measurements and cutting and took it slow to ensure quality where ever I could but even with all that, when you look closely, there is a lot of wonkiness. This is disappointing considering I even took the time to paint the screw heads to match the brackets. But, I think that is a product of my inexperience and I’m grateful that at a glance, it looks good. Also, I’m using inexpensive pine boards because they are what I had lying around. Pine boards do not really lie flat. If I needed it to be perfect, I’d probably have picked up pieces of melamine.

One of the most confusing parts was figuring out how I was going to do the corner. There are a ton of YouTube videos on building corner shelves and they are all for little corners that hold a plant. I needed strength. Most of the how to blog posts and articles didn’t spend a lot of time on the corners so I had to dig before I saw a picture that gave me a clue. Because of that, I’m sharing a picture of my corner.

There is a support on the side for the end of the shelf along the back wall, a space for a bracket, and then the side wall support. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t feel terribly secure. I’d intended to attach the shelf, through the top into the support pieces but I realized that since the support pieces are MDF, that might just crumble the support piece. So the tops are not affixed to the support boards. I may come back later with brackets of some kind.

I did go ahead and bite the bullet and started stocking the pantry. So far, even though I’m not confident about the shelves, it feels very secure and fine for the load I’m putting on them. I might be a tad insecure. I won’t store my cast iron pieces on them, but they seem to be holding baking supplies just fine.

Also, what you see on the shelves here came from four boxes. Whoo hoo! And I’m finding so many duplicates of supplies because I didn’t have good storage before and everything was kept in different places. I have three unopened bottles of Dijon mustard.

There are also two opened jars in the fridge.

And apparently, I buy a lot of nuts. If anyone needs any almonds, I’m your girl.

Regardless of my insecurities and over-focus on some of the details, this was a much-needed feature for my kitchen. This is a better utilization of the space than how it was previously used. If you are building a pantry and have studs (unlike me) this will be a very sturdy pantry that will hold all kinds of heavy items.

One last look:

The shelves could actually be quite a bit deeper. Until Pantry 2.0, this is a great place to store the vacuum since the wood floors show the tumble fur SO much more!



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4 Responses to Built: One Pantry

  1. Irene Foss says:

    That is a great pantry. If you could find another stud for a big hook your step ladder could be out hung up and out of the way.
    I have a little galley kitchen and absolutely no space for a walkin pantry like my Mom had in our old house we lived in in the ’40s”. Shelves to the ceiling on three sides and always two gal. sz. glass (who ever heard of plastic anything at that time) jars one filled with choc. chip cookies and one with oatmeal cookies. These were on the bottom shelf for easy access for us 4 little girls so we could have a cookie or three whenever we wanted.
    I was able to have my kitchen remodled almost 10 yrs. ago. I wanted a pantry soooo bad but nowhere to put one. So I said why can’t I have pantry shelves in a wall. Sooo I had the workman make a hole in the wall about 3 1/2′ wide and about 6 1/2′ tall. This was just the size I needed in order to have 2 cupboards set into the space one on top of the other. So i have 2 doors on each cupboard. The shelves are about 4 3/4″ deep with 4 shelves in each cupboard. It is amazing how much stuff it will hold. A large round oatmeal box will fit and the doors will still close. One of my best ideas ever.

    • LoveThisSpace says:

      Every kitchen should have a pantry! I think these builder/developers need to talk to more people about the practical stuff! No one should be allowed to build a house unless they have been responsible for keeping a house clean and cooking a Thanksgiving meal in it.

      • Scaloot says:

        Oh so true! Currently living in an older mobile while I ‘rebuild’ my 80 year old purchase… Wall cabs in kitchen start @ 5/12 feet from floor, stove acts as door for ‘dead end’ base cabinet with fridge right next to it. Shower head is 4 ft from bottom of tub, half my bedroom closet is my pantry – mostly without a direct acess to it, must reach into a black hole… I can’t wait to get my new house done so I can move and have some space! And it has a walk in pantry and lots of cupboards in kitchen and storage through out the house! (Oh and I reclaimed the broom closet!)

      • LoveThisSpace says:

        It sounds fabulous! It MUST be “the longer/harder the wait, the sweeter the reward.”

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