Our Rich Brown Pantry Makeover!

October 3, 2019

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This post is sponsored by The Adorne Collection from Legrand

Over the last few days, we gave our pantry a rich BROWN paint makeover and got her organized and our lives are changed!

Here’s how it looked before. It was a terrible space to be in. No organization. A fluorescent light that was always left on and a dingy paint color that was doing no favors.

Organizing is actually one of my favorite things to do and we just haven’t had much time since moving in a couple months ago, but I knew that getting this pantry organized would improve our every day lives. Of course I couldn’t just stop at organizing when a quick paint job would do wonders. I really believe windowless rooms thrive off of a good moody paint color. Without proper lighting, a light paint color won’t make a dark room look bright and airy–it just won’t.

We were really inspired by the Adorne line from Legrand and their newest finish–graphite! It was developed to coordinate with the growing demand for black appliances, hardware and fixtures and has a really rich, dark finish with some metallic fleck to create lots of depth. We chose a warm, deep brown called Sherwin Williams Van Dyke Brown–a rich, luxe color I can’t get enough of it–to coordinate. (Note: Brown is making a major comeback and I’m into it!)

You can see in the photo above with all the samples I considered and our old white outlet in the background that would stick out like a sore thumb with the new rich color. We are slowly updating all of our switches and outlets to Legrand’s Adorne line–our favorite for style and functionality and for the pantry, we definitely wanted to use their motion-activated light switch (a sanity saver with young kids!) and their distinguished square outlets. (Like, how do they make an outlet and switch look cool!?)

During our kitchen reno, we moved our microwave into the pantry and it has worked so well in here! We’re saving the second outlet to fulfill our dreams of adding a pebble ice maker one day. As for the light switch, because we went the motion sensor route (a must for brief walk-in spaces like closets and pantries!), Chris had to move it inside the pantry from the other side of the wall.

It was pretty straight forward! He made sure the power was off. Then marked all the wires and noted how they were connected. And then put them back together in a new box on the other side. Legrand’s wall plates and devices fit into existing electrical boxes for fast and easy installation and they fit flush within the wall plates, eliminating the need for visible screws.

Now when we walk in, the lights automatically go on like they’re greeting us! And we set them to stay on for a minute after motion is detected. It’s truly a game changer.

I thought it might be fun to share a little video tour next week of how I organized everything. I have a few different systems. Some basics, like a baking section and a drink section and pasta/rice section. But then also a breakfast shelf and lunch shelf and then snacks for Chris and I out of reach of the girls so they don’t accidentally start eating all of our bars.

Also–Chris made a pretty sweet spice rack–he just made it out of the blue!–that I’m sure he’d love to chat about, too. So, video walkthrough party in our tiny pantry coming at you soon! Until then, anyone else on the brown train?!

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What do you think?

  1. alison says:

    I’m curious if you used the same sheen for the walls and the shelves in the pantry?

  2. Lauren says:

    There’s nothing better than painting closet-like spaces dark. I was so inspired by your coat closet in your old house, this is just next level!

  3. Juanita says:

    Gorgeous!! Well done again! You’ve inspired me to install a motion sensor in our mud room to save electricity.
    Please say you’re going to share how you switched the florescent light?

  4. Summer says:

    Can you please share the sources for all of your organizational containers, bins, etc?
    It looks beautiful!

  5. Staci says:

    Looks amazing. Inspired me to clean out my pantry and fridge!

  6. Kate Huether says:

    Love this moody makeover!! Is the light fixture itself also LeGrand or just the switch and outlets? I’m curious what you replaced the fluorescent with!

  7. Amy says:

    I’m loving watching the projects in your new place. And this looks great. But am I the only one questioning how visible dust will be?! Don’t get me wrong, we own darker pieces and items that I’m willing to dust frequently, but dusting a pantry seems like a fairly tedious chore. Items that see more action probably won’t accumulate much but there’s things that always inevitably end up sitting unmoved for a while. (Side note: we’re in Arizona, so obviously dust is a bigger issue here than most places). Would be interested to know how the dust situation pans out.

  8. Olga says:

    I wonder how many people already asked to see how Chris made that spice rack? Lol

  9. Patricia says:

    I painted the wall behind our bed a rich chocolate brown and love it. Also did that in our old house. So yes I’m on the brown wagon.

  10. Ashley says:

    Wow. This is amazing. I just love it ❤️. Great job!!

  11. Geri says:

    Stunning. Like a beautiful warm hug ????

  12. Heather says:

    This pantry is amazing! I wish my pantry could be this organized. I absolutely love the brown. My home office is dark brown and is my favorite! :)

  13. Megan says:

    I love it sooo much!! The only thing that’s sad for us poor folk when organizing with those containers is how expensive they are! One container can run almost $20 and that adds up quick!
    Any recommendations for cheaper or bulk alternatives??


    • Julia says:

      I’ll look for some, but it really is keeping your food MORE fresh to last longer so it’s worth the splurge. Instead of thinking about how much each one cost, I like saying–I’m giving myself this much to improve our pantry. And think of it more as a whole.

      • Maggie says:

        I’ve found great containers similar to this for a decent price at TJMaxx/HomeGoods in the past!

      • Susan says:

        I’ve found many of the containers sold at the Container Store at Homegoods and TJ Max keep your eye out

    • Staci says:

      Megan, Ball jars work great! I think the key is uniformity – buying a set of matching jars instead of recycling spaghetti sauce jars in a mishmash of styles. Pick a look and stick with it! Rubbermaid also makes more affordable containers for cereal, etc.

  14. Jill says:

    Love the pantry and you guys but I’ll never get back on the brown, red or gold train!!!

  15. Cecile says:

    Could you please share where your step stool is from? Thank you!

  16. Molly says:

    I’m here for this color! All in – it’s gorgeous! You turned a really boring plain pantry into something drool-worthy and you didn’t even change that much – the power of paint is amazing!

  17. Sara says:

    So gorgeous!! Love all the drool-worthy organization too! I’m sitting in my living room that’s painted a rich chocolate brown and am all about a brown room! It feels very cozy and warm to me. Thanks for always keeping me guessing on what you’ll do next and always delivering beautiful spaces!

  18. Oooohhh!!! That color is so luxurious! Now I’m wondering where I can put it and if I should have painted my bathroom this color……….

    • Amanda says:

      I feel like brown in any shade is just 100% a no-go for bathrooms….

      • Kimberley says:

        Growing up I had a top to bottom brown bathroom. Brown linoleum, brown shower curtain, brown curtains framing the shower, brown toilet seat cover, brown towels, brown wallpaper. So much brown. I still tease my mom to this day about it. I’m scared for life!

  19. Jennifer Fye says:

    Love it so much, especially that the entire room, shelves and all, are the same color. Really makes the pantry items pop.
    I thought it would be Cavern Clay! I have SW Mink in my son’s bedroom and i love it so much – its a mix between brown and gray. So moody.

  20. Christina says:

    Built our home 4 years ago and put micro in pantry which shares a wall with the kitchen – no door, but open shelves like yours. LOVE it! Never miss it in the kitchen and still so convenient without the huge eyesore. Your pantry turned out beautifully!

  21. Erika says:

    What are the dimensions of this pantry? So roomy – love it!

  22. Joanna says:

    Totally didn’t see the brown coming!! And I can’t believe I am about to say this, but I don’t hate it. What is the world coming to?!

  23. Candace says:

    Oooo browns are so hard to get right! (Same with yellow.)

    And I agree- motion sensor in closets, pantries, and laundry rooms are ESSENTIAL GAME CHANGERS!

  24. Mary says:

    I seriously need to paint my closet now. Did you use a paint sprayer for this? Also, those outlets are ????

  25. Anna says:

    Stunning! Especially the organization. The outlets and switch are, mind bending cool. I’m curious, did you keep the same light fixture or did you swap it with something else? The lighting looks less harsh.

  26. Anna says:

    I love this look; I also LOVE that you all want to do pebble ice one day and would love multiple posts dedicated to the pebble ice maker search, installation, etc. as I am a dedicated fan. My favorite drive throughs and restaurants are based on pebble ice. Thank you for sharing!!!

  27. Carol says:

    Curious – did you keep the same florescent lighting?

  28. Megan says:

    It’s beautiful! I’m not usually a fan of dark brown but wow! It looks awesome.

  29. angela sewell says:

    LOVE IT! I see that you opted to put the door back on and just want to know if you could share your thoughts on that. I’m guessing it’s in too visible a spot, but could you elaborate? Also, if my husband is irritated when I ask him to make our master closet light motion activated, I’m sending him to you!

    • Julia says:

      I’ll sell him on one! We opted to keep the door because we hang all of our grocery totes on the back, when we want to close it to keep little hands out of the cookies, we can, but it’s open most of the day (and hiding some large appliances behind it! double win!)

  30. Ooh! I love the brown! (My guess had been dark orange.)

  31. Katie says:

    Wow- Big improvement from before! Question- do you plan to install any type of lighting/illumination on the shelves? Some areas look really dark and shadow-y, and like you couldn’t see some of the contents on the shelves (i.e. the upper part of the spice jars, back of the chip baskets)… or maybe the pictures just look dark. Anyways, love the containers!

  32. Marjorie says:

    So good! I believe ANY color is a good color when it’s in the right space with the right light. Every time I see fluorescent lights I think of “Joe vs the Volcano” “I can just feel it sucking the life out of me!” This makeover is fantastic

  33. Brittany says:

    My first time designing my own space was me picking a deeper brown color for my bedroom as a kid. Loved it.

    This pantry is awesome! It’s amazing how a little organization and a little design in a utilitarian space all of a sudden becomes a 1000% more enjoyable.

    And motion sensor lights/switches have changed my life. Our laundry room is a closet, and installing a motion sensor plugged-in light makes me so happy every time I open that door. Never have to turn it on, I’m not doing laundry in the dark anymore, and it turns off for me. Also installed motion sensor bulbs on our front porch because I would notoriously leave the lights on during the day. Now you approach the porch they turn on, we no longer have to bat away a 100 different species of bugs that are drawn to the lights, and they always turn on when we open the door to leave the house. Makes me feel fancy.

  34. Heidi says:

    You guys are magic! I never would’ve thought to use brown, but it looks so rich and beautiful! Question: I always use flat paint and am getting ready to paint our windowless master closet a dark, moody blue/black. It looks like you used a higher sheen paint-is that to bounce light around? I love learning from you guys and taking inspiration from your posts ❤️

    • Julia says:

      We used eggshell in here, but it really turned out more of a satin for some reason. It does help bounce some light around though so happy accident!

  35. April says:

    Yesssss, more brown please! Looks so handsome. I did a dark slate for my laundry closet (because why not?) with a hanging lantern, and it’s the sexiest room in my house. Only drawback I’ve found is that it’s hard to see spiders! But out of sight, out of mind, right??

  36. Karen F. says:

    Dream pantry! Everything you guys do is SO. GOOD.

  37. Traci Kirschling says:

    Beautiful! Pantry I wouldn’t mind going into.

  38. Tess says:

    Yay for brown! I’ve been waiting for it to come back around.

  39. Chelsea Jo Calo says:

    So beautiful! Love the moody color! Question regarding painting – I’m in the midwest so I’m not sure how our humidity levels compared to yours might affect this question. I notice when you do a paint project (even your kitchen cabinets) you don’t take very long to load everything back in…so I guess my question is about cure time and how the paint holds up? For instance, on these shelves or with the kitchen cabinets? Do you notice a lot of wear and tear? Is it the type of paint you use that allows you to do this?

    • Julia says:

      We let these cure overnight but we do live in a very dry climate. Humidity levels are generally like 10%

    • Jori says:

      We’re in the Midwest as well (northern IL) and we typically let our paint cure about 72 hours before putting anything back in (my husband is a school teacher with a summer/side job in painting, etc). Any sooner, particularly in the warmer months, and we’ve had things stick.

    • Meg says:

      I was just getting ready to ask a similar question. I’m in the Northeast. Humidity very high. We had our kitchen cabinets painted by a professional cabinet painter. On the cabinets with glass doors, we had the interior shelves painted as well. Over 4 months later and things are still tacky (and smelly) inside the cabinets. It’s incredibly frustrating after spending so much $$ on it. We actually left the cabinet doors open 24/7 for close to 3 months hoping it would help. Nope. I ended up having to buy clear plastic placemats and lining all of the shelves. I got sick of grabbing a glass and every time there was paint stuck to the bottom of the glass. It’s pretty frustrating… and definitely seems like something isn’t right!

  40. Megan says:

    Love this so much! You said that moody colors are great for windowless rooms. I have a windowless bathroom I’m painting this month. What colors would go in a windowless bathroom? And would you paint the trim like you did in here?

  41. Susan says:

    Love the organization and the automatic light. Love that you have a walk in pantry. Not on the brown train at ALL. It may be coming back, and trending, but I’m a child of the 1970s/80s. Even Our Tupperware was chocolate brown. Big nope both then and now.

  42. Pam says:

    Hi! Could you please link all the bins and containers used to organize the pantry? Thanks!

  43. Anna says:

    This color gives me goosebumps :) So warm and comforting.

    We painted our powder room a dark navy and I’m wondering what light bulbs are good for dark rooms without windows, that don’t make them feel harsh. Do you have any bulbs you would recommend?


  44. lynn says:

    Looks great! How lucky to have all that space. What do you have for lighting?

  45. Mara says:


  46. Ryan says:

    I remember about a year or so ago I went to a design trade show and saw an office/study area painted that same deep brown, with pretty oriental rugs and traditional furnishings- I was wildly surprised about how much I loved it! It’s so fun to see you implement these ideas ahead of the curve! I’ve 100% on board and I agree- we will probably be seeing a lot more of it!

  47. Lynn says:

    love the color in the pantry! Doing a video on how you organized everything would be sooo helpful to so many. Nice job with the spice rack too! Look forward to watching your renovations on your home – no matter how small.

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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