My Kitchen Pantry...... Time for a revamp!
When we bought our current home we knew we were in for a huge renovation, totally re-jigging the layout and extending on the ground and first floors, this filled me with excitement, the husband and his moth holding wallet not so much! The kids were happy as they now had a 5 minute walk to school rather than a 35 minute one and they were blissfully unaware of the fact that we would not be renting during the worst of it as we had done previously, which meant at some point all five of us would be sleeping in the one room upstairs..... but that's a story for another day! As it was our third big renovation project I decided to project manage it myself- We had done two kitchen extensions in the past so I felt I had learnt by a few mistakes and this time I was determined to get a pantry/larder cupboard off the kitchen too.......
I got working on the floorplans which our architect drew up and luckily planning was fairly straight forward, the builders were ready and we were good to go....... We moved in on July 12th and started the downstairs extension on October 20th 2014.
Now, any of you that have carried out major renovations will know that things rarely go exactly to plan but in this case the ground floor build was fairly straight forward, the escalating costs were not! We had to re-roof a whole section of original flat roof when we put the skylight in and found out we had to put in a whole new heating system in to cater for our now 3 bathrooms and the kitchen underfloor heating system, and to make matters worse all of this was coming out of my dream kitchen fund!
Originally the fridge freezer was going to go on the back wall of the walk in pantry but when it had all been built and I was designing the kitchen I decided that it would be nice to have another sink and the dishwasher tucked away around the corner there....... I do love open plan kitchens, and I also love a large kitchen island, however, I have three children and 'putting their plates away' after dinner back then meant chucking them on the island ready for the dishwasher fairy to load them later- add to that the, what seems like, hundreds of glasses and mugs that they use during the day.... the crisp wrappers, banana skins and the like for the dustbin fairy to deal with and the kitchen island is in a state of permanent carnage! Not the dream kitchen look I was after ( I would like to point out here if my kids happen to bother reading this, that yes, you do now put things in the bin/dishwasher and yes I am well aware that the only regular island carnage is now after parties held by me and your Dad!)
So I had my pantry, but there were a thousand other things to do and pay for in the house! We plumbed in the sink using a unit from the old kitchen, bought a new sink and tap, which I spent ages deciding on along with the stainless steel dishwasher, whacked some shelves up and kind of forgot about it for a while. I painted the walls and put some prints up before a workshop I held here last year so it didn't look quite so bad, but I have to be honest, though the kitchen island was generally clutter free, the walk in pantry I'd longed for certainly wasn't!
Sorting it all out was on our long list of jobs to do. I wanted to paint the skirting dark to match the kitchen, paint the near wall and sink unit in 'Railings', add wood panelling behind the sink with new lighting and a shelf unit and hide the recycling bin under the sink which was currently full of two years worth of bags and general household 'stuff' that was easily shoved in there out of the way...... In December I was asked about a possible magazine shoot of my Kitchen- 'Absolutely!' I said, and then secretly went into panic mode......
The date was set for the photographer to come on 30th January which gave us about 4 weeks, after the mayhem which is Christmas, to get it done. No problem, I hear you say, except I decided to add too and change things around in the kitchen and open plan area off it too- Always a good idea, I find, to add even more work when you're on a tight deadline.......
I ordered wood pallet panelling from eBay and sent the husband off to study the fabulous blog post written by @patirobins for her blog 'style-squeeze.com' on how to put up wood panelling. It wasn't the easiest to put up as the wall behind the sink was on an angle as its the original outside wall of the house, which having started life in 1910 as a garage to house Rolls Royces no less, was not built straight on this side so that there could be a storage and working alcove area off the main car parking area for the mechanics tools etc...... So, after much measuring and sawing, some of which to my horror was done on the kitchen table when I was out.... it was raining he said.... We had a straight frame for the panels go up, and thanks to the fabulous Pati it was an easy job.
The next job on the husbands list before I started painting and generally faffing and tidying was to fit the brass bulkhead lights from dowsingandreynolds.com ....... I've had my eye on these beauties for ages, 'Dave' is the lights name and he did not disappoint ( I've nicknamed it 'Beckham' as thats the only other Dave I quite fancy leaning up against my kitchen wall in all his glory- with his mouth shut obviously!) Anyway, moving on..... the quality of these lights is exceptional and I love them all the more as Dowsing & Reynolds is a UK business based in Leeds and not only do they sell the most fantastic light fittings, paint and hardware they are a fabulously helpful, friendly bunch and a pleasure to deal with!
Next up in this area for me was to paint the unit....... Using a good primer and undercoat and a foam roller 3 coats of Farrow & Ball 'Railings' was applied, the same colour as the kitchen units. I had already replaced the handles on the unit when I bought those for the kitchen along with the spray tap which I find is a great addition in any washing up area.
To finish off this area I got a shelf unit from the homeware store coxandcox.co.uk - they do some great industrial style storage and shelves at the moment and this one was just what I was looking for and the perfect size. I added various accessories and prints I already had and found these fab ceramic cactuses on a trip to Ikea. Once again, like in my kitchen I've mixed the metals up in here for an eclectic look and added some wire fairy lights to the shelf.
Once the unit was painted I painted the skirting to match the kitchen in Farrow & Ball 'Black Blue' and painted the wall leading into the pantry 'Railings'. I think the dark walls work well in here as they make the bottles and glasses in the bar area really stand out and make an impact against the lighter walls of the kitchen ..... I kept the lighter colour in the larder area as a contrast and to define it as a different space within the pantry.
The bar area had a good tidy up and I added a large mirror from Maisons du Monde which matches the one above the fireplace in the kitchen next to it, this helps to bounce light into the sink area as there are no windows in a pantry and therefore little natural light. The small table acts as a mini bar, I have had it for ages and do love it but am hoping to change this for the 'Industrial Metal Drinks Trolley' from Cox & Cox as its industrial vibe fits perfectly with the shelf above the sink in here and the kitchen as a whole.
Last but not least, I tidied up the larder area with some new baskets, wooden crates and jars from Ikea. Ive sorted everything out, so for example, all the baking stuff is together in a crate, tins are in one area, bread on the bottom shelf in crates..... I want to get some more tall glass jars for the cereal and a wooden crate for eggs and then its done...... Lets hope it stays looking like this for a while!
As there is not much natural light, I wanted a cluster pendant that I could hang throughout the ceiling area. I got a 5 bulb version from made.com and hung four of the lights in varying heights at the entrance to light the larder and bar areas and then hung one over the sink area which also has the additional bulkhead lights. This works really well and avoided having to get an electrician in to add another ceiling point and all the additional work involved.
So there we have it, the kitchen pantry all looking much happier and somewhere I'd be proud to show off now instead of apologising for the mess. Hope you like it!..... Would you like a walk in pantry in your kitchen? And more importantly has anyone actually ever seen the dishwasher fairy?
As always I so appreciate you taking the time to have a read......