Here's my before (don't judge. . . or do. It's pretty bad!)
And the after:
This wasn't what I was originally going for. My sweet husband handed me a budget to reorganize the kitchen for my Valentine's Day gift. I wanted one of those perfectly designed, highly efficient ClosetMaid designs. I submitted my measurements, picked my shelves and drawers and got my parts list. When I saw the price, my dreams changed. The price tag was over $600 and I didn't even do anything particularly fancy in there! When I told my husband that I changed my mind because of the cost, he swallowed, smiled and said "Go for it." That's why I love him! I couldn't spend that kind of money, though, especially since it was WAY over the budget so I revamped my ideas and my total price tag was under $200. And that, folks, is one of the reasons why he loves me!
I started by pulling out the existing shelves. In doing so, I discovered that the supports that were built into the wall were somewhat deceptive and that two well placed screws were holding half of the shelves on. That would have to change. I carefully pulled them out and saw how gross the walls were. Time for some paint.
In my defense, the paint samples look entirely different under Home Depot's florescent lighting. I thought I picked out a nice, soft green apple color. In reality, it is neon green. Highlighter green. Nuclear Power Plant green.
I painted in the morning and by mid afternoon had myself convinced that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was at first. This lasted until my son made it home from school and asked if I painted it that color "on purpose or if it was an accident." Everyone's a critic.
While the paint was drying, I took my yucky MDF shelves and primed them. It took four coats.
I wanted some sort of nice shelf paper to top these with but I couldn't find anything in the stores that wasn't hideously expensive and ugly. I had to cover four shelves that were 17 x 44 and four 12 inch wide shelves ranging in length. I ended up in the fabric section of WalMart and found their vinyl on a roll. I bought the prettiest black and white damask patterned vinyl for a little over $2 a yard. I got four yards.
I also bought the double sided duct tape. It's amazing!
Put the duct tape around the edges.
Smooth on your vinyl and trim. Voila! Perfectly covered shelves in a very durable vinyl!
I wanted my pantry to have a place for the garbage can as well as a place to hang the broom and mop. For that to happen, I needed to trim some shelves to make a spot. I cut my twelve inch shelves down and built a support.
I wanted the support to butt up to the wall so I had to make cut outs for the shelf supports that line the walls. An easy way to do this is to drill a hole that is bigger than your saw blade on the corners of your cut.
Now you can cut from the edge, to a hole. Your blade will turn and you can cut to the other hole. It works great.
I added the support and braced it to the wall with L brackets. I made sure to put pieces of 1x2 in to support the third side of the shelf and I added my shelves.
Yup, still bright! The next step was to add in my drawers. This was the one thing that I wanted for my pantry so I did splurge on them. I bought two units. This is where the majority of my expense came in but I really wanted the drawers! I checked the measurements online and thought that I would be fine. Unfortunately, they gave the measurements but didn't label height, width and depth. I got the height right but the width and depth were opposite of what I thought they were. The drawers were deeper and not as wide.
I also ordered in some can organizers. I spent a little extra to get the heavy duty, super sturdy ones and I checked. . . they were supposed to fit on the shelves. But, alas, when I got them, they didn't. You couldn't put cans on the top rack when they were on the shelf.
So I pulled out the bottom shelf. The drawers were an issue, anyway, so I built a little counter top for them and added my can racks to the top of that. Attach labels to the drawers and this is the result:
There's even room off to the side to stash the ugly things like the first aid kit and my husband's lunch tote.
I'm actually quite pleased with the result, even though it is nothing like my perfect Closetmaid vision or even my initial "altered" vision. I saved money by ordering online but learned a lesson regarding the measurements.
The best thing about this redo is that my trash can is now out of the middle of the kitchen and out of sight in the pantry. I had to remove a shelf that I was planning on having to accomplish this but the space lost is well worth it.
And my second favorite thing is the drawers. It solves the issues of where to store the awkwardly shaped items like bags of spaghetti and loaves of bread.
For those that wonder, the labels are my own design. It's just layers of cardstock that I put two grommets in. I attached them using binder (loose leaf) rings.
I will never have one of those perfectly decorated pantries that is just as beautiful as the rest of the house but I am quite happy with mine. It's functional and the ick is off the walls! I couldn't ask for much more!
If I do it again:
1. I wouldn't be in such a hurry to get my supplies and I would bring the paint samples home to see them under my light. It's a rookie mistake. . . . I knew better and now I have a neon pantry because I'm too lazy to paint it again!
2. I would double check measurements prior to ordering an item. The drawers were written as 17x21x29 and I assumed it was depth by width by height. Ooops. This worked out but I would have preferred my original design. The same thing goes for the can organizer. I knew the piece fit inside a shelf but didn't take into account that the cans would sit above the actual piece. Again, ooops.