• Rosa Lagana

Small Pantry Organization Ideas...part I

Updated: Mar 27, 2019




A little over a year ago I started an interior design course from the New York Institute of Art + Design. It is an online course, which means no need to travel back and forth to class. I can complete it at my own pace so no worries about meeting deadlines or submitting projects late. I can access my course material wherever I want; at home, a café, etc... (two thumbs up for this one considering my love of coffee) and my student advisor is accessible via email or chat and she has been such an amazing help. I chose this school not just because its reviews were great but also because the flexibility it offered is just what I was looking for. I already have a university degree in nursing so when I enrolled I was not looking to necessarily get another degree. Interior design is more like a passion project for me. I have always been drawn to it from a young age and I cannot count the number of times I would rearrange my bedroom furniture while living at my parents home. When I moved into my first apartment with my husband, I loved decorating it and did the best I could even if the decisions I made are not the ones I would today. But that is ok, and I am so happy I got the chance to try out those different styles because in the long run it led me to discovering my own. I also learned that the apartment needed to reflect not just my husbands taste and not just my own but a style that makes us both feel at home! A couple of years ago we moved into a mini apartment and the lessons learned from our first place were not forgotten. This time I decided to wait before finishing the decor. In all honestly I am extremely happy I did. Now that I am learning all these incredible insights into what it really means to design a home, I'm glad I took my time. I have realized that when I decorated my first appartement, I relied heavily on the opinions of others and was afraid to take the risk of experimenting with different decors so as to get a feel for what I really loved, and for what my husband really loved. Turns out I put colour everywhere; green in the kitchen, red in the bedroom, pink in the bathroom, yellow in the living room and beige in the office. The result was not ugly but it wasn't us. Why ? Because I realized that my love of colour needs to be expressed in moderation rather than full size wall paint. I feel my best in a room that is bright with minimal colour. Like a canvas just waiting for its story to be told. As for what my husband loves, well I am still figuring that one out and the class is helping me with that piece as well. Each unit I am studying is bringing me towards discovering and cultivating my design eye and, most importantly, learning to have confidence in myself when I make design decisions. Decorating is a process and like ever process steps need to be learnt. So it is ok not to know right away what colour scheme would fit best or what furniture to select and how to lay it out, all this is learned as we try and try and keep trying... always!That to me is the most valuable lesson I have acquired so far and am so grateful I took the leap and started this course. In our mini apartment, my first design experiment in confidence was to finalise our pantry situation. I have written before about my love of cooking. Our pantry was in a small room where our washer/dryer machines were located, behind the kitchen. We set up the espresso machine and toaster oven in there as well and realized after a few years that this situation was not ideal, quite unpractical and annoying at the end. How did we solve the problem? We decided to transform the entryway closet, located conveniently right next to the kitchen, into our pantry. What happened to the closet? It joined forces with the laundry room and has become our mud room/laundry room. Easy decision, so easy I wonder why we didn't figure it out sooner. Why a design experiment in confidence? I decided to paint the new pantry mat black! I am drawn to deep colours like black and navy blue but know from experience that if I paint a room or a wall that colour I will quickly regret it. But in a closet, perfect! My husband, most definitely not super excited at the idea, but he encouraged me forward and wanted me to try it. And so we did. We painted it ourselves and absolutely love the final result. Black made the small space look dramatic, bigger, and even deeper than it is. One regret however, I should have taken better before and after photos, sorry ... will remember for my next project. Here is what the pantry looks like before we put in the shelving unit and after. In case you are wondering, I didn't really style the final photo because I just love the way it looks everyday and wanted the photo to be real! The result is better than we could have imagined it and when I open its doors to put away groceries or search for what to cook I am proud of what we created together! In my next post, part II, I will go more into detail on the paint, shelving we selected and how we organized the pantry.




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by Rosa Lagana

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