Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bookshelves and a Pantry..

In the past few weeks I have talked about caulking, closets, pegs and Packers, but today I want to share with you a wonderful pantry that Bob made for me under the stairs. The space under the stairs is usually wasted or stuff is chucked under them, but I wanted a nicely organized pantry. One reason is because I have a very small kitchen at the cottage, and the other reason is because I like to keep food staples on hand.

First off, we finished this lovely set of bookshelves which were built into a recess in the basement wall. We planned and measured and painted and this is the end result. We are pretty happy with it since it was wasted space. I am sure we will fill them up fairly quickly.

So, over the course of a couple of weekends, we cut painted and mounted enough shelves to keep me happy. Besides the bookshelves, we made this lovely pantry.

This is the door under the stairs. As you can see it is not very wide and you can also see the bookshelves on the right.

Once the door opens,  it looks  like this: It has a tall thin shelf on the right with a wire rack, a plastic bag holder and wide wooden shelves below. I also put a little hook back there--no telling what I might like to hang.

The left side has a rack to hang towels, aprons or maybe even a bag of onions or potatoes. We put up another wire rack and were thankful to hit studs.

I am thinking I might get a narrow wooden bin for onions and potatoes and put it under the wire rack on this side.

The back is wonderful. There are three deep shelves that fit in the angled ceiling line where the stairs come down behind. The wire racks were some old nasty looking racks Scotty picked up somewhere years ago. They were from an old freezer and the thought I might like them. He was right.

I scrubbed them down and they fit perfect on the shelves. I am thinking things like bags of rice, beans, chocolate chips and so on would fit in them nicely. I can see what is in them and pull them out easily to see what is in there.

On the right side of those shelves, in the area that doesn't pull out, I think I will put my canned goods, like applesauce, spaghetti sauce and so on.

The thing that was important to me was to have something that had a lot of shelves and storage potential and still have enough room to move around. I had a closet once that had racks on both sides and I cannot tell you how many times I got poked in the head or shoulder because they middle area was just too narrow.

I figure we can also add another four shelf wire rack on the left if we want to. I want to live with it a while and see if I think we need it, or maybe another type of shelf will seem more important.
I liked this plastic bag holder. I stuffed it with old grocery bags after I took this picture and they stuff in easily and pull out easily too.

Bob took the photo below after the work was done. I needed a little rest. I can hardly wait to fill my pantry will all sorts of great groceries.


On a totally different note, I have two adorable granddaughters. Here are a couple of photos you might enjoy.

Allison and Uncle Scott, a couple of weeks ago

Bob and Elinor

Allison ready to go home in hat and scarf knit by Aunt Kari.

Eli chewing on wood toy. She is really trying to get some teeth.

Take care,


  1. Wow! Beautiful. I'm impressed. Great job!

  2. This looks great, Jill! I enjoyed reading all about your planning. We are just finishing our kitchen update, and I am going through some of the same thought processes as you, trying to figure out what to put where in the most efficient way. Have you ever seen this blog?

  3. I will look at that blog. Our cottage is only 580 feet on each level, so that presents some challenges I had not thought of. I leaned that I should have looked at RV type furnishings first! I mean, the kitchen planner and cabinet people said this is the smallest kitchen they had ever done. But, it is very efficient. I had to fight for what I wanted and really help think things through. We had a friend of ours who is a blacksmith out this past weekend. He is making a small pot hanger rack. I have a rather small kitchen in my regular house and besides the fact that an handmade pot rack looks awesome, it holds so many pots and pans. We thought our kitchen was too small, but actually if you have a small kitchen you can hardly afford NOT to have one.

    When he gets it done and we get it up, I will do a whole house tour as I think other than painting the basement walls and sealing the basement floor we are done with what we are going to do.

    I didn't want one square inch of floor space to go to waste. Our bed is a real space-saver because though it is big, we don't need any type of dresser. I will post a picture in a few days so you can see.

    I look forward to seeing your completed kitchen.