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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Open Pantry Living

I've always had issues with decor vs utility.   Our existing kitchen reluctantly held my grandmother's behemoth hutch.  The bottom drawers were catch-alls, and the top shelves displayed dusty, unused, barware.  Cordial glasses.  Brandy glasses.  Champagne Flutes.  Port Glasses.  Glass Carafes.  Shakers.  Seriously, the most action seen by any of my six (!!) "on display" brandy glasses was when I converted two of them into terrariums.

Inspired by M moving in with me, I've started downsizing & organizing.  The kitchen hutch was one of the first to go.  In its place, I wanted to put an open pantry for our dry goods.  This not only inspires us to eat healthier, but it transforms utility into decor, which is a huge goal of mine.

Click "READ MORE" below for the Open Pantry Upcycle

We started with an open back bookshelf built by M's grandfather, and filled in the back with scrap wood.  I love the look of rustic, mismatched planks.  We also added a distressed finish to the shelves, and, MY FAVORITE, a "secret poetry" wall.
The original open backed bookshelf
Left: Sanded, Primed, Filled with Scrap Wood.  Right: Hand Punched Poetry, Filled with Ink
Martha Stewart "Oregano" Paint; Distressed Finish

Using my Harbor Freight punching set, I handstamped the poem into the left side of the bookcase after it was primed.  Keeping it rustic, the letters are a little offset, including a typo.  Afterwards, I filled the letters with black ink, sanded, and finished with the final color.

I chose William Carlos Williams' poem "This Is Just To Say":

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold
Nothing seemed more perfect for both our kitchen and our relationship than this particular poem! The final effect is very subtle.  It is like our "secret poetry."

The shelves are filled with dry goods and baking goods, mixing bowls, kitchen towels, and vases.  It is STILL too crowded, but it's a good start towards downsizing and organizing goals

Close-up of Poetry
Jars from Target: $5/ea; Vintage Corningware Teapot; Vintage Medicine Bottles; Secret Poetry

Open Pantry Living!

BEFORE 1: Ginormous Hutch (in process of dismantling)
BEFORE 2: Open Backed Bookshelf
AFTER: Open Pantry Living!

Happy Crafting!

Beyond The Picket Fence HookingupwithHoH A Crafty Soiree The Fun In Functional @ Practically Functional


  1. This has got to be one of the coolest things I've ever seen done in a kitchen! What awesome ideas - the scrap wood in the back, the open concept, and the poem... OMG THE POEM!!!!

    Meegan, you may not be able to see it, but I am bowing down to your crafty superiority. You rock.

  2. My kitchen pantry is a this post giving me some cool idea on maximizing and maintaining my own pantry.thanks for sharing your creativity.

    your new follower,

  3. I love the poem! We had an open pantry in our kitchen in the last apartment we were in because the kitchen was tiny and had no cabinet space. It worked great, except that the cats loved to climb around on the bottom two shelves :-) Thanks for sharing at The Fun In Functional!

  4. Thank you for the follow, and I am happy to return the favor!!!

  5. I love this! It looks great, but as you said it's still useful and practical instead of just being decorations. It makes me want to do something like this with my pantry. Looks fabulous! Just found your blog and I've loved looking around and getting to know you better. I'm excited to follow along!

    new follower :)

  6. Wow! This looks great! I am so impressed!

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