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Finishing Touches | Pantry

 I decided to do a Finishing Touches post today -- and on the blog, no less. It's been awhile!

Some of you following along on social media might remember that our kitchen took two years before we could officially say "We're Finished." The biggest reason behind the last year was the pull-outs residing in our new wall of cabinets.

Unless you have been in the middle of construction projects in the last three years, you might not understand how expensive supplies became. Some are going down, some not. Long story shorter, we use a lot of Plywood in our designs. It's traditionally been less expensive, it's strong, and since we often paint, we use it without shame for many projects, including cabinet boxes. And, that was our plan for the new wall of cabinets in the kitchen. We got the structure built before Plywood shot up to $100 (or more) per sheet. We hadn't finished the pull-outs (which are made of maple Ply) and with the awful prices, we decided the skeleton cabinets + doors were sufficient until prices went back down. 

We waited. And waited.

Which brings us to the last several months. Prices have moderated, though are definitely not back to pre-2020 costs. And Brad and I decided we just wanted to finish the kitchen. So we did. Here's a look inside the doors (my son does this as a joke, by the way...but ALL the cabinets in the kitchen, or bathroom or...): 

We're a family of creatives, so we designed the area to the right of the fridge for art supplies. Even when I go through our art stash, supplies inevitably multiply...and therefore, we need storage! Each child has a drawer, I have a drawer, and then the top drawer and shelf are used as overflow. Right now, all upper cabinets are kitchen storage, left middle is food storage, and bottom left is both.

Aside from the middle uppers, all cabinets are the depth of the fridge. That's why I wanted so many pull-outs, as at first, one might think deep shelves mean good storage, but in my experience, that's not true. Deep shelves = Deep frustration. The middle uppers are only half the depth on purpose, because let's face it, deep above the fridge is a place things go, never to be seen again. I don't regret this decision, as the extra shelf depth would be useless to me. Plus, the free area running behind those upper middle cabinets also gives the fridge more room to breathe, and that's a good thing, too.

In the pantry section, all but the cereal shelf is designed to pull out. Our original plan only had the bottom tray on the right side as a pull-out, but as we lived with the cabinet skeleton, I decided I'd rather have only one stationary shelf...another good change. 

This photo gives you an idea of just how much storage we have. It's incredible! Both the top pull-out boxes in the pantry have two shelves that are accessible from the side, providing ample storage for cans, jars, and boxes.

I'm really proud of the idea I had to add a hanging file system to one of the bottom drawer pullouts. I keep "grade folders" for my kids to use for school keepsakes, and it's been really handy to have the current folder in here, along with other items that otherwise might get piled up. From the outside, this looks like another cabinet door, but inside it's a full drawer with two compartments...

...and then, another "secret" drawer! This was another last-minute add, but we had too much dead space above the file drawer, that it made sense to utilize it...and it's a fun surprise!

Overall, we're really happy with how the design turned out, and as always, huge kudos to my husband Brad, who builds all my/our ideas. He's at Rockstar Level, I tell you!

I hope you've enjoyed the photos, and I'll leave you with a before and after. 
Happy Finishing Touches! :) 


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