Updated: Oct 13, 2019
I have Facebook to thank for the opportunity that was given to me to work on Maria's pantry. She saw the work I had done on Desiree's pantry and reached out immediately. I was so excited to work with someone who was so ready to have their space organized.
When I asked Maria what her goal for the space was, she exclaimed, "I just need it done." Right away Maria struck me as one of those Mom's that does it all and with three young children, she just needed this springboard to begin the process of truly settling into their new home.
Design with Ease
“I just need it done.”
I also have a reach in pantry, so I was familiar with some of the challenges in Maria's pantry. But the major difference was that there were really only three usable shelves for daily access. I wanted to leave the top shelf for back stock as well as the floor for some bakeware. So I had to be as creative as I could to use up all the vertical space. Maria has a great passion for baking so appropriate air tight vessels were going to be a necessity. I spent a lot of time making sure I was using every possible inch. I had a very specific design plan, but I brought some back up items just incase I needed to tweak the space.
Remove. Reorganize. Reimagine.
I removed everything from the pantry and Maria removed the items that she didn't want to go back in the pantry. I grouped similar items and learned that they had A LOT of canned beans, pancake mix, and nuts. Sometimes you'll group things into general categories, like SNACKS. And something like nuts might usually fall into this category, but when you have 5 different nut types in different quantities and it's going to require it's own category/ vessel.
“that's a lot of nuts.”
I started by placing the vessels in the design I had created. Everything fit flawlessly and I started placing the food items. I got the majority of the way through filling the pantry back up when I just wasn't happy with how full some of the categories were, I knew I needed create more detailed sub- categories and find more space. I brought some really cool under shelf storage baskets that I figured may come in handy with amount of space between shelves- in this case it was used a special space for an extra house guest. I also decided to use the floor to hold some bakeware that was taking up valuable food storage space. And finally it started to come together, everything clicked.
Its hard to know when to pull food items out of their packaging and when to leave them in their original packaging. While it does visually look prettier I don't always love to put EVERYTHING in a vessel. I like to find a balance between grouping items items into bins in their original packaging and putting items into clear, airtight, stackable vessels. When you put perishable items into a clear airtight vessel it will last longer, you'll be able to clearly see how much you have and it will fit into your space better. I tend to lean toward vessels that are square and stack on top of one another. I haven't found another brand I like more than OXO for this reason. However, OXO's are investment pieces and you can blow a clients budget very quickly if you get carried away. My advice is find a balance; consider glass vessels which are often much more affordable, and use bins to hold items that are categorized together in their original packaging while still looking visually appealing. I think we found a beautiful balance here in Maria's pantry.