This post is sponsored by OXO, and is in collaboration with Grace This Space Interior Design and contains affiliate links, however, all opinions are my own.
Before My Pantry Refresh
I'm so excited about this post, friends! This year, as we are TTC for baby #3, I will be needing to get my house completely organized and ready to function with three littles.
Chris and I have decided that we want to change things up in our home, and are going to be doing a lot of home projects this year. I think we got so stuck on the idea of this house being our 'starter house' that we haven't really taken the time or made any effort into really making it ours. We are planning to move in the next year or two to be closer to Chris' work as well, so there hasn't been much motivation to do any remodeling.
But the way I see it, I spend most of my time here at home, and I think just the idea of having three kids under this roof is giving me pre-nesting vibes. Is that a thing? If it is, I totally have it.
I want to organize our home as best as I can so we can function and thrive in our home.
When I think of the many projects I want to take on this year, the first that comes to mind is our pantry. It's dark, it's brown, and it's at the bottom of the stairs in the basement. Not ideal in any sense!
Truthfully, I didn't even want to watermark my BEFORE photos of my pantry because they are just plain ugly! I still needed to go grocery shopping too, so my pantry is usually much crazier looking than these photos can convey.
My end goal was to go from Ugly Pantry to Beautiful Farmhouse Pantry!
For my Pantry Refresh, I collaborated with a local interior designer, Orna Fathers of Grace This Space. She's a fantastic local interior designer who has a real knack for organizing. She also has the cutest Australian accent ever. I sent Orna a photo of my pantry as it was (in all of its eyesore glory), and told her my design plans and how I wanted to transform it. We both agreed that it needed a brighter feel.
The brown and yellow was just gross feeling. We also had things we haven't used in years like puppy training pads, wine bottles, fabric, dog food canisters, and other random items.
Looking at these shelves, it seems as though the previous owner either built them herself, or she simply stacked two strangely-made bookshelves on top of one another. I can't be sure, but I will say that I thought about tearing them off of the wall completely and starting fresh. Unfortunately, I would have needed four burly lumberjack men and a few crowbars to remove these shelves, so my little remodeling project would need to include them.
Did I also mention the oddly placed water pipe in the middle of our pantry? Odd, just odd.
Shopping Haul: Organization Supplies
Here's what I used to transform my pantry:
- OXO POP Airtight Containers
- Baskets (4)
- Paint Brush/Roller
- Painter's Tape + Tray
- Printed Contact Paper
- White Contact Paper
- Floor Protection/Covering
To get my pantry organized, OXO generously sent me two sets of their OXO POP Airtight Containers to store our family's snacks and dry foods in. I love their POP tops, which are easy to clean, seal, and remove!
I also picked up some baskets and contact paper. I knew I wanted to do a printed contact paper against the wall of the pantry, so I picked a clean-looking print that still brought in some color and dimension.
For the shelves, I purchased some plain white contact paper so I could easily slide my baskets, containers, and cans without worrying about chipping the paint.
I already had some leftover white paint from painting the boys' dresser earlier this week, so I didn't need to purchase paint for this project.
First Things First: Remove Everything
To start with my pantry refresh, I removed everything from the shelves and wire racks. I got up close and personal with my pantry shelves - and was really happy that I chose this to be my first project towards organizing my home.
My pantry desperately needed attention and a facelift.
I went through all of the items in my pantry and organized them into groups. I also took note of expiration dates and threw out all of our expired food. I was holding onto so many expired cans and boxes that I had no clue were even there!
P.S. I know that's shipping tape pictured on the shelf instead of painters tape. It was 10:00 p.m. and I couldn't find my painters tape ;). It worked just fine to keep the plastic floor covering in place to protect the carpet.
Using Contact Paper As Wallpaper
Now, it was time for paint and faux wallpaper!
I was able to easily paint the shelves, walls, and shelf supports white with a paint brush and roller brush. The color of the wall behind the water pipe was a light cream color with a yellow tinge to it whereas the wall color behind the hand-built shelves was yellow, and needed two coats of paint, while the dark wood shelves needed three coats of paint.
I then carefully placed the adhesive-backed printed contact paper (which was around $5 a roll for 18" by 20') against the back wall of the shelves, trying to line up the pattern as best I could. I measured and cut the paper about an inch longer and wider than I needed so I didn't end up with a naked spot on the back wall. This was my first time working with contact paper, and for some shelves, it took multiple pieces of paper to get it right.
With a razor, I trimmed the excess paper on both the sides of the shelves and along the bottom where the wall met the shelves. I was more nervous about the razor part than the actual application of the contact paper, but found it was easier than I thought! For the shelves, I applied white contact paper over the white painted shelving and cut off the excess with the razor.
*I originally thought I would be fine just applying the white contact paper without having to paint the actual shelves white - but the brown wood could be seen through the thin contact paper. So if you are tackling this same type of project, I highly recommend painting the wood white before applying the paper because it is very thin.*
Storing Food With OXO POP Containers
This step was so much fun! I went grocery shopping the day after I painted, and started transferring all of my dry food into my new hand-washed POP Containers from OXO.
Our dried fruit, sunflower seeds, chocolate-covered espresso beans (Chris' favorite), pasta, and baking goods went into our new containers with ease. I think two 10-pc sets of their containers was plenty for my smaller pantry.
Orna from Grace This Space came over and graciously helped me organize my containers, food items, and kids snacks into an easily accessible organization system that works for my family. The OXO POP Containers look clean (especially with Orna's custom labels she crafted for me), and help give my pantry that beautiful farmhouse feel I was going for.
I also discovered a skylight adjacent to our pantry that my husband had blocked with some pillows for his basement theatre. Look how much light I have downstairs now!
The Water Pipe
For the water pipe that sticks out in our pantry, my husband Chris painted a foam pool noodle with white spray paint, cut a line down the middle vertically, and fit the noodle around the pipe.
Luckily, this pipe is not a hot water pipe and only works to provide cool water to the water hose on the side of our home.
If it was a hot water pipe, we wouldn't be able to get away with this.
Kid-Friendly Snack Shelf
For the kids, the four baskets on the bottom shelf contain all of their snacks for easy access! My boys can reach into one of their baskets and grab a treat whenever they like.
The sweeter treats are kept up on the top shelf to discourage them from wanting those as much.
I love my new pantry, and was so happy to collaborate with Orna from Grace This Space and OXO! If you are in the Metro Detroit area and need a helping hand or a special eye for design that you might not have, I highly recommend Orna! She made the process so easy and even shopped for some of my organization and decor items pictured here. She also has experience working with OXO Containers, and uses them in many of her pantry designs, as they are great airtight containers!
We will be painting the rest of the basement light gray with white trim later this year, so my pantry will look even more beautiful then! I can't wait to update my photos once the basement is painted as well.
Did I mention I'm on YouTube now? I just published my first video, and although it isn't perfect, it really conveys the work that went into this project. Check it out step by step in the video below!