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They say that you spend most of your life in your kitchen. While this is likely true, sometimes I feel like I spend most of my life in my pantry, and let me tell you that the space that we are using for the pantry at the new house was NOT a place that I wanted to spend a lot of my time (you can see the before videos of this space if you check out my "Pantry" highlight here). I was determined to transform the space into one that brought me joy when I entered it, and so a quick pantry refresh was just what the doctor ordered.
When we decided to move into and older house, we knew that we would love it... all of it - even all the old walls, nicks, dents, and scratches. There is a closet in our house that is just off of the kitchen that I don't believe was used as a pantry before we lived here. Though oddly shaped, it had a lot of space in it and potential for a great pantry space.
The first thing that I had to address was the nicks and dents that I referred to. I knew that I was going to use wallpaper in this space, and so I filled some of the larger holes with joint compound. I didn't worry too much about making the walls completely smooth since they would be covered, but I did want to even out the larger holes and nicks. I chose to use peel and stick wallpaper in this space, and the beauty of peel and stick is that it is easily removed should my style ever change. I love to use wallpaper in smaller spaces like this, because I think it gives you the opportunity to go a little bolder. In my case, I took the opportunity to go dark and moody. I tried to keep it light in a lot of other places in the house in order to brighten things up, but in this space, dark and moody just seemed to work.
My biggest tip when hanging wallpaper (regardless of it is peel and stick or not) is to GET IT LEVEL. A laser level is ideal, because lining the edges up with the laser is a pretty easy task. I couldn't find mine, so I drew lines on the wall with a larger level and used those. This is important because though you may think otherwise, walls and ceilings are very rarely actually straight and level. A level won't lie, though, and so I always depend on that. The only other tools that I used in this project were a wallpaper smoother (though I also find that my hands are the best tool for this) and a utility knife. When actually applying, I always leave some leftover on the top and sides so that I can cut along the ceiling or corner... again, the ceiling and corners likely won't be level, so lining the edge of the wallpaper up with them will inevitably cause problems later. For the edges and corners, using the smoother, you will want to apply pressure the the smoother against the corner where the walls meet and firmly run your utility knife down the line to get a clean cut. Though it requires some patience, hanging wallpaper is an extremely achievable DIY, and I promise you that anyone can do it!
Once the wallpaper was hung, I decided to paint the back of the shelves with a dark color that would blend well. Luckily for me, I happened to have just enough of a favorite of mine leftover (Behr Cracked Pepper). The blue undertones of this charcoal color works perfectly with the navy wallpaper, and I think it makes the shelf spaces pop! I also decided to wrap the shelves in wallpaper. The reasoning behind this was mostly to disguise imperfections in the shelves, but also because I loved the contrast (or is it coordination...?) of the paint and the wallpaper.
Now, as I stated earlier, I wanted this space to bring me joy, and if you've been around a while, then you KNOW that one thing that brings me a LOT of joy is home decor. Like, a lot of joy. And so, I decided that I would "decorate" my pantry as well. Why shouldn't a pantry be decorated?! Just because it's a pantry? Pantries deserve some decor love too! I happened to have some baskets that I used for a basket wall at the old house, and not only do they go great in a pantry, but the contrast of the wood tones against the dark wall is really beautiful, if you ask me. In fact, I loved the contrast so much that I decided to wrap a doorway to a nook of shelves in wood as well. This was as easy as cutting three boards to size and finish nailing them into the wall.
Last but not least, I added some marble contact paper to one shelf (which I use for prepping lunches for the kids in the morning) and grabbed a few cute pantry storage items. Let's be real here, though. My pantry is NOT going to be gorgeous and "cute" all the time, but I think that a few clear storage bins help a lot in making every day foods and snacks somehow look pretty. I try to take as much out of boxes as I can, which not only makes the food easier to access, but its also aesthetically pleasing.
And there you have it! I now have a pretty pantry where I can prep lunches and feel accomplishment and joy at the same time. Mission success!