The Finished Pantry!

November 11, 2015

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. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

final pantry 2 copy

The pantry is complete and I’m sharing a bunch of photos today! We actually finished it a couple weeks ago, and it has been a dream to have and use. It signifies the completion of a year of hard work and transformation in our home, but specifically this corner of the home. The best way I can show you is through this before and after floor plan (substitute “current” with “previous”; we drew up these plans before the hammer swung):


After gutting a 4th bathroom and turning it into our laundry room with a coat closet and completely renovating our kitchen, the last project was this pantry. And it’s emotional being done. It really is. The layout of this home makes so much more sense to us now and it feels more usable, too. So here’s visual evidence of what was where the new walk in pantry is now:

laundry side before

Obviously I don’t have a straight on view because there wasn’t a doorway into the pantry/old laundry room from the kitchen at the time. But the photo below was taken during the demo phase of the kitchen and you can see the new doorway to the pantry on the left side.


When we were designing the pantry, I just wanted it to be simple and practical, really. A friend asked if we would tile the whole thing, and as dreamy as that sounds (so dreamy!)–there’s no sink in here so what would be the point? We had a $1000 budget from Lowe’s for this project, and we came in a few hundred dollars under budget (woot!) after paint, baseboards, MDF to frame in the freezer, white melamine shelves, brackets, support boards, food canisters and the wood crates.

pantry progress

After a lot of measuring and researching, we determined to store a variety of foods and supplies most efficiently, the best depths and heights of the shelves would look like this:


We supported the shelves with small support boards all the way under them (I painted to match the walls–Valspar’s Soft Wool) and the white brackets provided extra support to where the two shelves met in the corner. Once everything was painted out and loaded up, we had ourselves a real live pantry.

final pantry 8

final pantry 1 copy

We went back and forth on whether we were going to match the above the freezer cabinet in here to the kitchen cabinets (Ikea Laxarby) or to the laundry room cabinets (Ikea Bodbyn). In the end, it felt more balanced to go with the off-white cabinet and match the color scheme in here similar to that of the laundry room since both rooms are directly off of the kitchen and, generally, simultaneously visible.

final pantry 3

A big chunk of our budget went to those Cuisinart food storage containers with black air-tight lids we picked up from Lowe’s. We love them so much–we are ready to get some more so everything can match (not just the main wall when you walk in–haha). It’s been so great to easily see all the dry goods we have in stock. No more buying double quinoa or more cereal because we weren’t quite sure how much was in the box before heading to the store.

final pantry 4

final pantry 7

The bottom shelves we lined with wood crates from Lowe’s. We designated them for chips, squash and onions, potatoes, breads/tortillas, and packets (oatmeal, protein bars, cocoa, etc.). I used a white paint pen to quickly label each chalkboard and it has been such a simple solution to chaos that tends to exist in a pantry.

final pantry 9

We had to leave the wall by the freezer pretty bare so that it could open, but also our circuit box is right there so it worked out. We were able to squeeze in some hooks for a broom and mop–handy! As a finishing touch, I hung a photo of a very young Greta cooking on the wall as you enter. Her smile is contagious and reflective of what we really hope this space is in the coming years–a place for all of us to cook and laugh and make some really great food.

final pantry 6

We close the pocket door when we leave and at night so Charly doesn’t get too curious, but most of the time it is open for easy access from the kitchen to the freezer and dry staples.


final pantry 2 copy

That’s a wrap on project pantry! If you’ve missed a step of this colossal renovation cluster along the way, you’ll definitely want to check out the before and after of the laundry room, coat closet, and kitchen, too!

Paint color: Valspar Soft Wool | All Freezer : Frigidaire Professional | Upper Cabinet : Ikea Bodbyn | Cabinet Hardware: Rejuvenation | Cuisinart Food Canisters : Lowe’s | Wood Crates : Lowe’s | Pocket Door  (stained with Minwax English Chestnut) | Pocket Door handle, Amazon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. Laura Romero says:

    The remodel looks great! Curious about your experience with the freezer in the pantry. We are remodeling and the new pantry is really large so I’d like to put our spare fridge in there vs. the laundry room so I have more space in there. My husband thinks the heat will spoil the food. We used to keep bread in a cabinet by the oven and it would ruin in days. We are just nervous to go through the work of putting it in to find it’s bad for the food. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thank you!

    • Julia says:

      We have since moved from this house, but we enjoyed this arrangement for YEARS and couldn’t recommend it more. We LOVE LOVED LOVED it.

  2. Hi Julia & Chris!

    I am an interior design in Denver and find your posts and projects so inspiring. I’ve recently fallen in love with the Frigidaire professional collection and have proposed a double range, like yours, on one of my projects. We are also interested in putting the freezer in the pantry as you have! Question, how far does your freezer door open with it being against the wall? And are you able to remove the interior drawers with ease? The product manual recommends 20″ of clearance which is crazy and I am hoping 3″ of clearance would be enough to maintain functionality. Any insight you can provide is so very appreciated! Thanks!!!

  3. Melanie says:

    Hi! I realize this comment comes years after your project is complete… but curious if your storage crates from Lowe’s have a brand name to them? No surprise that Lowe’s no longer carries them :) Did they come as is or did you partially make them? Any insight would be great!

  4. Heather Stoker says:

    We’re in the process of building and it recently occurred to me that we could do the all fridge/all freezer thing too!! We have a pretty big pantry in our plans… Do you know offhand the dimensions of your pantry? I just shared your photos with my husband and he’s super stoked at the idea!

    • Julia says:

      It’s kind of an L shape, about 8′ long and 6′-4’wide.

      • Heather Stoker says:

        Thank you so much! And I finally went back and watched your kitchen cabinet video… Super helpful!! I was trying to explain those hidden drawers to my husband… I’ll have to make him watch!

  5. Barbara Ruka says:

    Can I ask where you got that butcher block that is on the left, opposite the island?

  6. Jessie says:

    How do you get your pocket door to stay closed? Manipulation until it leveled out or do you have some sort of closure?

  7. Haley Hepburn says:

    Question: When you decant all your dry goods, etc, how do you know what the cooking instructions and serving sizes are? Also expiration dates? Or do you just cook the same things often enough to know and go through them fast enough to not have to worry?


    • Julia says:

      Sometimes we’ll cut the instructions from the box and put them in the tupperware, but for the most part, things like pasta, rice and oatmeal are pretty straightforward.

  8. Carrie Brewer says:

    I would like to 2nd the request for your pantry dimensions! In fact I am pleading. Last night I went to purchase the fridge/freezer set you have and learned the fridge door swings the wrong way for my plan. And no, sadly it can not be switched. in order to not start from square one on all my planning, I need to install the freezer into a pantry similar to yours. Please, please, please share the dimensions of your interior pantry. I am unsure if I will have enough depth to live with the freezer in a similar placement to yours.

    Thanks a gazillion if you are able to help!!!

  9. Sheri says:

    Can I ask the dimensions of your pantry room? And the dimensions of your mud/laundry? And also how do you like having your laundry in the mudroom? We are building a new home and struggling to get a separate laundry without adding more sq ft. My concern is the clothes won’t make it into the hidden laundry basket in under the counter. They can’t even manage to get it in a basket right infront of them.

  10. Pam says:

    Great pantry design. Is there a way to get a list of materials used and the brackets used?

  11. Val says:

    I’m so in lurve…this is ahmazing. I’ve been most excited about the pantry from the very beginning and the end result does not disappoint.

    Did you go with the melamine for easier clean-up on spills and things? Would it look okay for open shelves in a kitchen without a pantry? Or would it look chintzy? The idea of not having to do all that priming and painting is seriously appealing.

    • Julia says:

      For easy cleanup but also we were worried painted shelves would probably chip easier over time. I’m not sure how open shelving would look in melamine. It could look kind of thin?

      • Val says:

        Yeah, like not sturdy/beefy enough visually…kind of what I was thinking. Still, great for this application.

  12. Jenni says:

    hi julia! (and chris) i would love to know which broom holder that is? i searched on amazon but there are so many, i’m a little overwhelmed. i love the simplicity of the one you chose. Your pantry (and truly everything you touch) is absolutely amazing!

  13. Megan says:

    This looks AMAZING! Great job! :)

  14. Dakwerken says:

    This is just beautiful! Superbly executed! Thanks a lot for sharing this information. :)

  15. Kerily says:

    OMG, complete pantry envy. I don’t even have a full cupboard. Looking at converting a room and powder room into a laundry and pantry, hopefully in the near future, cross fingers…

  16. CT says:

    The pantry turned out so great – amazing eye for detail and I know you’re going to love it for years to come since your kitchen actually makes real food. Enjoy the fruits (haha) of all all your hard work! Cheers – CT

  17. Alexandra R says:

    I was just looking at their calendars today! I think the wood board on them is so nice, would be a great christmas gift!

  18. Jeanna says:

    Honestly, I can’t get over the before and after. It’s such a beautiful space :)

  19. April says:

    Hi there! Where did you get the photo of Charly printed/framed? Sort of looks like Print Studio… but I’m not totally sure. Adorable!

  20. It looks beautiful! What a great addition to the kitchen and perfect finishing touch!

  21. Gina says:

    This is so crazy amazing I can’t stand it. We are working on redoing an old farmhouse, and have plans for a walk-in pantry, but I hadn’t even started to think about the actual design of the interior of said pantry. I will for sure be referencing this post!

  22. Anne-Marie says:

    Ok – this is such a stunning transformation! Your style is so gorgeous and your home really should be in a magazine!!

    Also – copy cat chic featured this GORGEOUS bench today and it just made me think of you all and your style!!

    Again – amazing job!!

  23. Evelina says:

    Your pantry is heavenly! I seriously love every single thing about it. Your pocket door, crates, separate freezer, and picture of Greta are all perfection!

  24. Lilly says:

    The pantry is beautiful! Simple, functional and spacious, love it!

  25. Sarah says:

    Gorgeous! You’ve done such an amazing job on your entire house. Love the posts. Please do a DIY on the pantry shelves

  26. Gina says:

    OMG Julia! I remember how you transformed the kitchen in your previous home, and can’t BELIEVE the beautiful space you’ve created here. Looking at the ‘before’ pictures, it’s amazing to see your vision…and then watch it come to life over time. You are such a gifted designer…thanks for sharing your journey. Cheers! Gina

  27. you always know how to finish a space off with perfection. this pantry is just amazing.

  28. Danielle says:


  29. Kates says:

    If I had your kitchen and pantry I would never leave my house to eat! So so great on so many levels! Swoon worthy for sure!

  30. Wow – so nice to have all of that storage!

  31. AnnMarie says:

    I know the main function of a panty is to store food, but this is just so pretty to look at — I spent a good minute just ogling your chopping station. Those knives on the wall–! Be still my heart. Your kitchen feels so homey and welcoming, plus all that counter space…I live in a old, rented home (which I love) with almost no counterspace, and I can’t wait for the day I can realize my own kitchen dreams. ^_^

  32. BeccaS says:

    Absolutely beautiful! I was reading one of the comments asking about so little food….we have changed to pretty much a no processed food life and I have to say that it is amazing the amount of space we have in our pantry now. Now the refrigerator is another story! It is bursting at the seams so good call on the full size fridge!

  33. Tiffany says:

    Yes to the variety of hot sauces!!! Yall need some Frank’s RedHot & Sriracha… I would lose my Mom license if we run out at our house.

  34. Angie says:

    Wait, do you not have to refrigerate sauces after opening? For a second, I though, “I could declutter my fridge door!” but then I remember I also have no room in my pantry. Love the wide open space you’ve created where nothing feels smushed.

  35. Abby says:

    And JUST when I thought I couldn’t be more obsessed with your kitchen…uhhhhhg it’s seriously (seriously) amazing. :)

    such good work and thank you for the inspiration!!!

  36. Kate S. says:

    Do you normally keep such a small amount of food in the house or was this mostly staged? It looks beautiful, but I am so amazed to see such a small stock of ingredients, since Chris is a chef. I mean, I didn’t expect to see dozens of boxed dinners, but multiple cans of common ingredients like tomato sauce were definitely expected. I’m just being nosey, so feel free to ignore me: )

    • Julia says:

      Haha! I love these kinds of questions. This is legit it and I would say it is mostly unstaged except for the bowl of leftover halloween candy I took out of there before the pictures (haha). I even forgot to put the step stool in the photos–bad blogger! If you look closely, you can probably spot a lot of staples like rice and different grains and pasta, but I’m also gluten free, so there’s not too much there. We eat mostly fresh foods and Chris prefers fresh ingredients, so we go grocery shopping 1-2 times a week. Also, we have a large storage room downstairs where we have a bunch of those large 25yr food storage cans, so now we just focus on what we eat week to week and stock the kitchen (fridge, freezer and pantry) with what is on the menu.

    • Angie says:

      Yeah, my pantry is bursting at the seams with canned goods and the like, but their pantry is way bigger, so I’m guessing that’s why things looked a little spartan. Or maybe it was part of the staging. Either way, I’m so very jealous of all the room and organization (especially all the matching see through containers).

      • Julia says:

        Oh, that too! We went from a tiny pantry cupboard to this big room, so who knows, in a year we may have adjusted to the large size and things will look a lot more filled in. We’ll be sure to update you!

  37. That photo of Greta is truly the icing on the cake!

    You might have said this at some point, but can you share where you got your sliding pocket door? Vintage?

  38. Amazing–so beautiful and functional! You’ve done an incredible job. I’m stashing away so many of your tips for when we (someday) reno our kitchen!

  39. Jess says:

    Oh man I have so many heart eyes for this pantry! Ours is teeny tiny and under the stairs which adds a whole other challenge. Really love how this area of the house came together.

all the latest

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. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

Here’s the crazy thing about me and inspiration: If you were to go into my bathroom inspiration board on Pinterest, there are bathrooms for sure, but there are also kitchens, there are closets, there are mudrooms, and there are hallways of houses! I’m not looking to copy and paste an inspirational image. I’m taking notes […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations