Pantry Storage Progress — What’s Done And What Still Needs To Be Done

I’ve been working steadily (although at a somewhat slower pace) on my pantry, but I still don’t have the final “taaaa daaaaa” to show you just yet. But I also didn’t want to go an entire week without giving y’all an update, and since tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the States, and Matt wants me to take off on Friday as well, that pretty much left today.

While I’ve been working diligently, it doesn’t really show a whole heck of a lot. Again, I’m at that last 10% that seems to take just as long as the first 90%. I feel both completely sick of looking at and working in this room every day, and also excited to press on and see it completely finished.

I shared last week in this post about how I decided to do the blind corner storage in the two lower corners, but I still had to figure out how to finish the drawer fronts. I got one of them finished, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out…

I used red oak for the drawer fronts, and eventually they’ll all be treated the same way I did the red oak hardwood flooring that I used to make the countertop — bleached and then whitewashed. (You can read more details about that here.) So far I have the one drawer front completely finished, and it is an almost perfect match to the countertop.

I still have three drawer fronts to finish, but I did at least get the other side completely built with the blind corner pull-out shelves and the two main drawers, so that feels like a big accomplishment to me.

I also decided to make a small adjustment to the two side cabinets along the back wall. But that one small adjustment led to a whole lot of work. I wasn’t really pleased with how close the cabinet door was to the side drawers when the door was open. It was one of those things that I could have lived with, but it would have always felt like a miscalculation that I was just dealing with. And after putting all of this work into this room, I didn’t really want to have anything that I had to “deal with” on a daily basis. I just wanted it to be right. So I removed the door hinges, added a 1″ x 2″ piece of lumber to move the door over 1.5 inches, and then reattached the door hinges.

I repeated that on the cabinet on the left side of the center drawers as well. But that one small change meant that my original doors would no longer fit, so I had to remake four cabinet doors. It was a frustrating setback, but I’d rather be frustrated once and get it done right than get frustrated every single time I went to open those cabinet doors in the future.

And speaking of those side cabinets, I’m still undecided on how I want to arrange those. More pull-out shelves? Non-pull-out, adjustable-height shelves? I also saw a video of different kitchen/pantry storage ideas that showed a pull-out storage drawer with separate slots in the top for storing things like cookie sheets, casserole dishes, pizza pans, etc., so that’s another idea. And I also need to decide how to arrange the cabinets on either side of the pantry — the one above the freezer and the one on the opposite side above the microwave shelf.

I actually might hold off on those for a while. There’s really no need for me to make these decisions right away. I’ve lived without this pantry for this long, so it’s not like I’m in desperate need for all of this storage ASAP. I could take my time, get things arranged in the storage areas that are finished, and then decide later what other types of storage I need or want. For now, they’ll have doors on them so I won’t have to look at empty shelves, and it’ll take the pressure off of me to decide right now how to arrange those cabinets.

So that’s the progress! It doesn’t seem like much over the last week, and yet, I’ve been working diligently. Where the heck does the time go?


My pantry is finished! Want to see the entire project from start to finish? You can find every single post about the pantry build right here…

Or you can skip to the end and see how it turned out. Here’s a peek of the finished pantry…

Butler's pantry remodel with dark teal lower cabinets, floating corner shelves, and whitewashed wood countertop

You can see more pictures on the before and after post right here…



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  1. Yes, living with it for a while lets the brain work out subconsciously what the space really needs to be. Love those aha moments when something falls into place. In my old kitchen there was space for cookie sheets and other things to be stored upright. I loved it. It just had some dividers set not too far apart so things could just be slid in and pulled out without a lot of fuss. I really miss that in my current kitchen. Your pantry has come so far – that last 10% is always so frustratingly long no matter what the project.

    1. I agree with Barbara. I have upright dividers in 1 of my bottom cabinets for cookie sheets/pizza pans, larger cutting boards…..anything that is tall and thin…and I love it. No more lifting one (or more) off the top of another :). I also agree with you that since you have not been using this space and it is all new 🙂 , I would finish what you are currently working on, put all the doors on so that it will look finished and use that for a while. You will then be able to see what else you need in the rest. I’m like you though, I could not live with no doors on the unfinished parts, that would drive me crazy !!!

    2. I have the upright dividers in a lower cabinet as well. I have cutting boards, cookie sheets, my baking stone and a couple of trays stored there.

      It is perfect for large flat items – and they are not all stacked one on top of the other.

  2. One of my main storage issues is for larger, bulky items, like extra toilet tissue and paper towels. I’d LOVE storage like you have above either the freezer or microwave just to use for those types of products. A bonus is their light-weight, so not a strain lifting above head-level! I think your pantry looks AMAZING!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  3. Was wondering if we’d get an update this week or if you were spending time with family. Love the details of what’s going on and look forward to its completion – although probably not as much as you do! LOL

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  4. I am loving those door handles on your cupboards – perfect for your style and a pantry! You’ve made progress this week but I agree with your husband that a couple of days off will help your regroup for next week. Take time to enjoy the holiday!

    As for the cupboard above the freezer and microwave, I know there is a mechanism that you could maybe use that when you pull out the drawer it comes down so you can reach it easily. That might help you decide what you want to store in those cupboards and what to build. Just a thought.

    A very Blessed THanksgiving to you and your family!

  5. Cookie sheet storage is a must! So is spaced for paper towels and other paper products. So is space for a stand mixer and other larger appliances (like a rice maker or instapot). So is space for a lunchbox/personal coolers, water bottles, and other things that aren’t so lovely to look at.

    I’m not sure I would have said that you had reached the 90% point at the end of last week. A lot of these organizational decisions are projects in and of themselves for homeowners that have spaces that are already completed. So, maybe you were more at the 70% point.

    Anyway, awesome progress!! Love the drawer fronts! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  6. It may seem like it’s taking a long time but if you consider your start date, it’s truly amazing what you have accomplished. My upper cabinets go to the ceiling so we put in the pull down apparatus that Sue mentioned. I got them at and really like them. I also have a Rev-A-Shelf heavy duty mixer lift that is easy to lift and has shocks that slowly lower it back into the base cupboard when you pull two levers. There is a small pull out below it for storing the mixer accessories. It is my favorite thing in my kitchen. I’m thinking of having the hubs put in storage drawers for cookie sheets and such in the toe kick. Take your time deciding on how to use your storage. A year after “finishing” the kitchen, I’m still thinking of ways to adapt areas.

    Enjoy your days off and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. I’m grateful for you Kristi! Thank you for the inspiration and the tutorials and the friendly advice! I hope you and Matt and your furry family have a great holiday!

  8. I think your idea to wait before deciding what to use the big upper storage is brilliant! I had to rearrange my kitchen several times because I decided about it all in one go – and even though it’s been more than 7 years now, i still open a drawer and expect to find spices in there when it’s where utensils have been living for about 5 years 🙂
    have a relaxing time off!!

  9. Beautiful, Kristie. Wish you were close to me. I’d love to hire you to fix a couple of troubled areas in my home. I just know the results would be amazing.

  10. So impressed with your progress although that is just “you”. Taking time out to rest, think, regroup is important. The Doors will give it the finished look and you will have time to work with the space and see how it flows and then make storage decisions. Deliberately wait! Just think of the new thousand ideas you come up with, haha.

    Happy thanksgiving.

  11. This looks so amazing!!! I love the creativity and different colors. When you decided to do your drawer fronts to match your countertop, genius! Would the shelves help pull it all together? It’s hard to tell from here if the two close grayish and whitish colors on your countertop and drawer fronts will clash with the white of the shelves. Then again… I just love wood, so it may be that part coming out.
    So inspired by your posts! Love it!!! Now if I could only get to fixing up my kitchen in the home that I bought this year 😔 I’m such a slacker, especially compared to you! Youve done more in the past week than I have to my house in the 6 months that I’ve owned it.

  12. I think it’s a great idea to use the cabinets/drawers etc for the items you know will go there and once in, it will make it even more clearer what to use those other storage areas for. I think a must is for an upright cookie sheet/pizza tray storage and also for large serving trays or platters. It makes life so much easier. Also a tall storage for personal water bottles, flasks or thermas bottles and an area for Tupperware/plastic container storage with a spot where all the lids can be together. When those items alone have a dedicated place, it makes everyday life easy.
    Wishing you & Matt and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Your woodworking skills are totally “off the hook”. FYI everyone – inset drawers / doors are THE most difficult cabinetry to make, therefore VERY pricey. Just amazing…as we have come to expect from you.
    A Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  14. Your pantry is looking great! I love following along with your projects.
    You are blessed with so many talents and I’m so glad you share them with all of us.

  15. Thank you, Kristi, for your amazing posts! The pantry looks fabulous! Happy Thanksgiving to you, Matt and the rest of the family!

  16. Love it! And I thought the same thing when I watched the shelf genie video–how the heck am I going to reach over all that and get to the back?! I may just have to steal your blind corner configuration. I have the same issue in one of my kitchen cabinets…just a hard to get to area nobody ever did anything to fix. 🙂 It’s a great idea!

    1. My friend had one of those blind corners. She had a handyman come in and put a “false wall” inside there and just blocked off that awkward spot, because she was too short to retrieve things that wandered back there. Since she never intentionally used the space, she’s happy with it!

  17. This is going to be one spectacular looking pantry when it’s done! (It looks pretty nice as it is now!) I would hate to close the door to it.😆

  18. The dividers for upright storage sound great. If you could make them adjustable, I think you would be really pleased. One option that comes to mind is routing lines in the bottom and then having dividers that could fit in them. I am having trouble conveying what I mean, but I bet you could worry out something wonderful!

  19. I’m glad you took the time to change the cabinet. I hate it when things just aren’t right. It nags at me. It sounds like it’s kind of the same to you, so I think that time was well worth it!

    As for the slots (vertical?) for the pans. My mother had slots for her pans (vertical) and for all of her platters (horizontal). I would kill for this. It is sooo hard to take everything out that is stacked together just to get the one I want. You didn’t ask, and whatever you do will be the best decision for you, but that certainly seems like a good option to me.

    The drawers look great. I am excited to see how it all looks in the end!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  20. Your pantry is looking stupendous, particularly for the short amount of time you have been working on it! Now it’s time to calm the Kristi Whirlwind for a bit of a well-deserved rest, although we know your mind will be working hard to solve how to arrange things, or maybe you will come up with a new project! Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving to you and Matt, your fur babies, and your families!

  21. I have individual dividers above my refrigerator for cookie sheets cupcake pans , cake pans and cooling racks. All the things I need but not every day. I love it and even though I am short I have no problems reaching most items. Since it is a deep cabinet some smaller items sometimes get shoved a little too far back . You can also stack extra tin foil, parchment and wax papers in one of the slots. Because it is deep I can buy the really wide foils etc. I just wish I had a horizontal divider in one of the slots to half it for shorter things stored on their side like my small cake pans . Would not want to ever have a kitchen without this type storage again.

  22. Gosh, yes, get the cabinet doors on and then decide how/what you want to store in them. It is often best to allow spaces to ‘grow’ into what they need to be. I too have a cubby to store my cookie sheets, serving platters, etc. in an upright position, and find it is the most efficient way to do it. I’ve even used spring-loaded curtain rods as dividers, and that works quite well. I just put one near the back of the cabinet and one near the front for each section, and adjust them as needed. Simple, easy, and inexpensive. Question: Will you be painting/staining the cabinet doors the same as the drawer fronts? Hope you and Matt have a blessed gathering with family and loved ones near!

  23. I’m with Matt, you need to take a break! I think it’s smart to decide later on how you want to use those cabinets. And the fact that you redid the hinge side by your corners was something a lot of people wouldn’t have considered until it was finished! At our first house, the builder didn’t do this, and after we got moved in, I discovered I had to open the oven door to get a drawer opened! It would have involved redoing the entire kitchen to fix it, and I was NOT going to go that route after all the other things he screwed up, so we just lived with it…for 10 YEARS!!! Oh, the stories I could tell about our first house, you would NOT believe!!!
    Rest a few days, and have a nice Thanksgiving!

  24. Off topic but I just wanted to thank you Kristi for your blog about the photo booth. I just purchased one and I am so excited. I have so much artwork I have been wanting to put online (desparate to recoup some of the enormous amount I have spent on art supplies over the years). I have the domain but my website is blank. I just didn’t know how to photograph my work without shadows etc so it would look good on my website and I didn’t have room for a big area for lights etc. Using the light booth you have I am thrilled to see my work “in a whole new light” and can’t wait to get my website operating.
    I also bought the Sandmarc macro lense and I have been having great fun making large photos of selected areas of my art. I can make several photos of one piece of art. What fun!
    Thanks again for all I have learned, and continue to learn from your blog. Isn’t the internet wonderful? What did we ever do without it?

  25. I hope you guys had a GREAT Thanksgiving and that you were able to enjoy the downtime, which you not only deserve, but need! You truly are an inspiration!

  26. Thanks for the update, Kristi! You’re so close! Your idea about waiting to see what other kind of storage you need is best. Only you will know how much more and what kind of storage you will need as time goes by. That being said, I still miss the thin upright storage for long pans in my mom’s kitchen. (I left home decades ago. 🙂 )

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!