La Paneterie

There are so many things that we have changed and made better in this house over the years. Our pantry was not one of those things. It was one of the few places that still had the original stained trim and the walls were sporting the same raw, unpainted plaster as the day we moved in. Worst of all was the fluorescent light (note the sickly tone of the space). Also, the fire extinguisher...

 For the past 15 years or so we have used this space as the "school closet". We kept all of our school tools, backpacks and important papers in there along with our craft supplies for projects and such. If you look closely you can see the kids' name labels over the hooks. It was organized and super useful for many years but it wasn't at all cute. 

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The shelves had 23 year old contact paper on top of the stained wood. Removing that and sanding the shelves was by far the most un-fun step of this makeover. Once I pushed through that and moved on to the priming and painting of the shelves, the rest was cake.

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All of the wood trim and shelf bases required the same priming and painting treatment as the shelves. I moved on to the walls after that, painting most of the walls and ceiling white. You can see the big difference between a raw plaster white and the white paint.

**If your walls have never been painted and your place feels dull, just a coat of white paint can make a huge impact.

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I decided it would be fun to paint one wall the same green as my kitchen. I was really glad I did because in the end it made the space feel more cozy. 

The strange little door in the wall was added several years after we built the house. It was put there as an access for this big central dust control unit we had installed to help my kids with their allergies. It never really worked. In a brief moment of brilliance I came up with an idea for making the most of that bizarre, unused space...stay tuned.

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For extra personality I wanted to add some wallpaper. I haven't used wallpaper in a long time and I was going for cheap and easy so I went with the peel and stick Contact paper. I really liked this pattern and I figured if I get sick of it I can just take it down and change it. 

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The removing and replacing of the light was a bigger deal than I had anticipated. The frame for the (hideous) fluorescent light was mounted directly to the ceiling in such a way that removing it left huge holes behind and gave us no box to connect the new fixture to. This meant I had to call in reinforcement. My hubs reminds me (in a really unpleasant voice) every time I need electrical help that he "IS NOT A FREAKING ELECTRICIAN" but he solved the problem, I patched the holes and the result of our joint effort looks amazing.

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I made the secret hidey-hole into a spot for liquor storage. I found an outlet in there so I grabbed a little lamp from the attic, a funky wine rack from a junk store and a rug from the clearance endcap at Target. I hung a sign I made on the door that reads "In compliance with the 18th Amendment NO intoxicating liquor allowed on the premises". It's our own little speakeasy of sorts.

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Here's the finished project. My inspiration from the start was that I badly needed a place to store and display my Pyrex and my other fun vintage kitchen gadgets. If photography were my thing, it would make appreciating how this turned out much easier but I couldn't love it more.

I'm on the hunt for a vintage door with plenty of glass so that I can stand in front of this pantry and weep over the beauty within. 

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Here's the thing, all of your spaces should feel great to you. If you have a cabinet, closet or drawer that can change your mood when you open it, do something about it! Clean it out, paint it, organize it or call me and I'll make it better for you! 

See you soon!