The Nest: Perfect Pantries

By Meg Harrington

With one little birdie already out of the nest and another birdie not to far from flying away, we’ve decided it’s time to downsize.  After years of living large (and admittedly loving it), we’ve made the decision to go small, smart and stylish.

The Cast:
Meg and Scott: the homeowners
Molly and Lily: college and high school-aged daughters
Linda MacArthur: the architect
Michael Ladisic: the builder
(…and a delightful cast of characters who make it all happen with sledgehammers, wheelbarrows, screwdrivers, sheetrock and shovels.)

Update: Hooray—the footings have been poured for the new porch, but Mother Nature decided to wallop us with a dose of wet, blustery weather followed by freezing cold. Framing for the porch should begin this week and we’re sending our revised plans down the city for approval.

The family room vaulted ceiling has been framed and we love how much volume it’s going to add to this space.  I’m already picturing two black iron street lanterns (that we uncovered on a buying trip to Paris) hanging in this room and looking gorgeous with the white shiplap we’re going to put on the walls.

Don’t worry. We’re taking care of that mantel soon enough.

The newly framed vaulted ceiling in the little family room.

And, we’ve met our nice cabinet builder (he built all the cabinetry at the old house and I loved everything he did) and have started finalizing all those little nitty-gritties.

The kitchen in our old house and the cabinetry I just loved.  Photo: Josh Vick.

We left a wonderful walk in pantry at our old house and I got terribly spoiled with tons of room to stash food items, appliances (the bread maker from 1994!  The Soda Stream machine! The food processor!), extra rolls of paper towels and endless supplies of plastic cups, paper plates and all the bits and pieces that managed to find their way into that space.

Fast forward to our funny little rental where the pantry consists of two closets in the kitchen.  At first I whined about not having enough room but lo and behold, I’ve now embraced our pantry closets.  Surprise, surprise:  I really didn’t need all that room to stash a few containers of chicken broth and a bottle or two of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

In the Nest, we’ve decided to go with a wall of four pantry closets that will have to house all the foody inventory plus pots and pans, baking dishes and lots of other stuff.  We’re not doing upper cabinets so space will be at a premium and we need to really put our heads together with the design.

(Three of the pantry closets will be for pantry stuff. The fourth one has been dubbed “The I.T. Closet” and that’s where we’ll have a couple file drawers, a nice wide junk drawer and shelving for things like the printer, router and music components.)

Here’s what’s making my heart race when I think about pantries:

We’re picturing something just like this: very simple, very clean.

Everything rolls out for easy access.

Ooooh, I love this one. So organized with a spot for everything and everything in its spot. My mantra for The Nest.

Nice and wide and not too deep.

The pantry wall will face our little butler’s pantry with a bar sink, an ice maker and a beverage refrigerator, sort of like this gorgeous inspiration photo from Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles and designer Kay Douglass:

I could be so happy with this perfect little butler’s pantry.

Doesn’t every pantry need a crusty mirror and plenty of charmingly mismatched white china?

This caught my eye, too. Very charming and cottage-y.

This is so cute.

Some good storage ideas here…

So, I’ve got my work cut out for me: giving my pantry wishlist to the cabinet guy…and thinking about how much kitchen stuff we haven’t even unpacked here in the rental. Uh-oh.

What’s your dream pantry like? Let me know!

(All images via Pinterest.)