My husband and I have been renovating our mud room, which encompasses a laundry room, pantry, half bathroom, and basement entrance. We’ve already raised the ceiling, put up the drywall, painted, and had the hardwood floors repaired and refinished (there was a large section of flooring missing from the pantry area). Now we’re ready to complete our pantry makeover with much needed shelving!
Before our renovation, the existing pantry was functional, but not ideal. In this same location, the pantry had wire shelving that covered the back wall and wrapped around to the right side wall. Although it had a lot of shelf space, it was impractical. Often, items would get shoved to the back corners of the wrap-around shelf and remain undiscovered until a major clean-out occurred. Not wanting to put the wire shelving back up, I scoured the internet for ideas.
Pantry Makeover Design Ideas
I found many kitchen pantry makeover design and layout ideas. This was one of my favorites. I love the various compartments and the pull-out drawers in this pantry. I like the idea of the tall compartmentalized storage for baking sheets and pans. I also liked how the canned goods are organized and easy to access on the pullout shelves arranged closely together. The space is utilized very efficiently in this pantry.
I absolutely love the french doors on this pantry. Pre-renovation, our pantry was adorned with a red and white patterned curtain that we inherited from the previous owners. I’d gladly ditch the curtain in favor of beautiful wooden french doors with frosted glass.
Planning the Pantry Makeover and DIY Shelving
After looking at pre-made options, we decided it would be best to build our own shelves. I really wanted to integrate compartments like the inspiration pantry above, but after measuring and attempting to draw out a plan, I determined that it just wasn’t feasible in our small space. I looked at pull-out drawers as well, but ultimately decided to stick with simple DIY shelving.
To make the shelves, we picked up two 12″ x 96″ x 3/4″ sheets of melamine shelving, enough material for 6 shelves. We choose the melamine so that we wouldn’t have to prime and paint the wood shelving, and the melamine finish is also easy to wipe clean. We decided on the spacing and marked level lines on the walls. Since we live in a 100+ year old home with uneven walls, we measured each shelf location for a precise fit. The first step was to cut support pieces to be screwed to the wall. We used 3- 1×2 pieces of pine lumber per shelf. The longest piece was cut to the width of the back wall, and the 2 side pieces cut about 1″ less than the depth of the shelf. Then, we cut down the melamine shelves to the proper lengths.
Cutting Melamine can be tricky. Be sure to apply tape for a clean cut.
Installing DIY Pantry Shelving
Now we’re ready for installation. The first step is to screw the supports onto the wall. To make sure the shelves are sturdy, we used heavy duty toggle bolts from our local hardware store where studs were not available. After all the supports were up on the wall, we painted them the same color as the wall so that they would blend in. Once dry, the pre-cut shelf is placed on top. For added support, we put a few small nails through the melamine shelf into the wood supports. We’re done. Let’s load it up!
The Finished Pantry Makeover Project with Easy DIY Shelving
I’m really happy with the outcome of our panty makeover. We purposely went with a shallow shelf so that items wouldn’t get shoved to the back and lost. It is much easier to keep our new pantry clean and organized.
We looked into ordering a set of french doors for our pantry, but decided to leave it open for now. I like having the contents visible and at the ready. I was afraid that adding the doors might become more of a nuisance–either they’d remain open in the way, or grocery bags might find their way in front of the pantry doors on the floor making them hard to access, and it would be the bathroom door dilemma all over again. If I change my mind, we can always add them later. But for now, I love our new pantry, and the DIY shelving project turned out to be a great choice.