Semi-DIY Pantry Cabinet

The kitchen in our apartment is pretty great. It's really functional, and it has a lot of storage. Which probably makes this next sentence sound a little out of nowhere. But, we needed more storage. Or really, we needed more easily accessible storage. You see, we have tons of cabinets, but they're super tall and super deep. Which, again, is great - but not always so great when you have a lot of food items you need to access on a regular basis. 

Basically, we have one cabinet we used for food storage. And like the others, it was tall and very deep - but had a limited area that was within the "I can grab something off this shelf without having to climb on my countertops and do gymnastics" area. 

A few months ago, I came across this pantry cabinet from Ballard Designs. And swoon. I knew it was the answer to all of my food storage prayers. But, at $1,900, that just wasn't going to happen. So, I decided to (semi) DIY my own - using this beauty as my inspiration.

I knew that building a cabinet from scratch wasn't going to work, so I decided to look for a cheap cabinet that I could paint and embellish into exactly what I wanted. I looked online forever - we had some space concerns - especially regarding the depth of the cabinet - and ultimately, I settled on the South Shore Axess Food Pantry (in Soft Gray) from Home Depot of all places. It was the right size, and the right price - only $99 (now marked down to $89!).

A stock photo of the cabinet we purchased

A stock photo of the cabinet we purchased

In terms of color, I loved the olive-y green of the inspiration piece, but ultimately, I settled on a deep gray to coordinate with the bar/buffet we have at the opposite end of our dining space. I have been wanting to try chalk paint for some time, so I went with Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint in Country Gray. I sealed everything with Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint in Clear.

The painting in progress. When you live in an apartment, you sometimes have to get creative with your DIY space...

The painting in progress. When you live in an apartment, you sometimes have to get creative with your DIY space...

I'm loving matte black hardware right now, so I ordered these Metropolis Pulls from ATG Stores (now called The Mine?) to coordinate but not match our kitchen hardware (which is in a chrome finish).

After that, I had to figure out the trim. I knew I wanted something more than the flat front of the original cabinet, and ultimately, I settled on a Shaker-style trim to match our kitchen cabinets. I purchased some 2" wood and some wood glue, and set about cutting, sanding and building my cabinet trim in my apartment kitchen. 

After the trim was secure and everything was painted, I had to actually put the cabinet together. It was pretty similar to something from Ikea, complete with some hair pulling, realizing you've made a grave mistake (or three), and ending up with a few extra screws. Once I attached the hardware, this project was complete and ready to be filled with food!

For a fairly easy and inexpensive DIY project, this one was 1000% worth it. Not only does it look pretty, but it's incredibly functional. I can't tell you how much I prefer walking 10 feet to this cabinet to scaling my kitchen counters and almost breaking my legs every time I need a cup of flour.

We also added an indoor herb ladder next to the pantry, which adds some much needed greenery to our dining room - more on that in a later post!

Natalie RubinComment