We’re aiming to maximize storage space in our custom pantry! Check out our full Victorian pantry design.
A long time ago we discovered the kitchen originally had a Victorian pantry. Naturally, we decided to rebuild it. Because when you find out there was originally a pantry in your kitchen, you ABSOLUTELY put it back.
After months of waiting, it’s finally time for us to build the pantry!! Let’s go!
Designing a Victorian Pantry
The big question then becomes…what should the pantry look like? Obviously we’re keeping the original window. (Yes I KNOW pantries should be dark. Don’t try to take my one original window from me.)
But keeping the window means we lose a good bit of wall shelf space. To try to compensate, I decided to have Brandon build a cabinet under the window. We made this as deep as we could without crashing in to the door.
This cabinet turned out a lot deeper than I was anticipating!! This will be the perfect place to store crock pots, blenders, overflow food, and a whole host of other things.
The other issue we had to contend with was concealing our tankless water heater. We decided the best way to conceal it would be a cabinet with a door.
This cabinet connects in to the under-window section of the cabinet and gives us a nice little section of counter top in this space. I see this counter being used for grocery drop, cooling cookies, and sitting on to stare out the window.
We planed down salvage fir boards for the counter top, and Brandon joined them with a biscuit joiner. We originally planned to use oak, but we ran out. Honestly…I’m not that mad about it!! I love the look!
A Pantry Window
Traditionally pantries shouldn’t really have windows. Light is bad for food storage and doesn’t keep the space cool. BUT. This is our one original window. I’m not going to cover it back up
Once the counters were done, Brandon could add trim around the window. We had almost no original trim in the house when we moved in, but what little we did have I have been hoarding.
We had just enough to trim out our one original window with all original trim. The corner rosettes and profiled casings are both features of Folk Victorian houses.
I think the plan for now is to leave the trim shellacked as it was originally. But as with all things, I reserve the right to plot twist the heck out of that feature if I want to.
Victorian Pantry Shelves
The pantry primarily needs to hold food and appliances. Honestly though I wasn’t too concerned about this space holding all the food in the entire universe EVER. I have other plans for that.
My primary goal was to have enough food storage for normal, weekly rotation as well as storage for all appliances both frequently and infrequently used.
After much deliberation (and my desperate attempt to convince Brandon cabinets would be perfection in here) we went with open shelves. But in an effort to make this look more like a built-in, I had Brandon add a decorative support board on the walls on each side.
That combined with the paint scheme should make this whole unit look like one built-in unit instead of just shelves. Paint is a completely separate adventure we will go on soon, don’t worry. Two words: PLOT. TWIST.
Additional Pantry Storage
This house isn’t small, by any means. But through this whole renovation we try to fit clever, extra storage wherever we can. In this pantry we managed to find two extra places for some fancy storage.
First, we put one on the left wall immediately above the door. I wanted one shelf high up out of the way to store bulky items like my stock pot and turkey roaster. It’s the perfect place for those big items you want around, but have trouble storing.
That shelf is exciting and useful for sure but THIS. This I can’t even handle. I wanted a place to store canned goods that wasn’t on my main shelves. But there isn’t a lot of on-wall room in this pantry. It’s pretty cramped.
The solution we came up with was to build a stud cavity shelf next to the door. Spoiler: I LOVE THIS THING.
The sides are two solid pieces of wood with dado slots cut every six-inches. Each shelf is a piece of 1/2″ plywood with iron-on edge banding on the front lip.
In total this should hold around 40 cans which is PLENTY for day to day use. I don’t plan to store any home-canned goods on this shelf because of the light from the window. But it’s still great shelf storage for small things!
A Dream Pantry
I LOVE this pantry. I knew I would love it, but I didn’t anticipate how MUCH I would love it. It’s my new favorite room. Of course I love the kitchen, and this pantry is part of the kitchen. But if you’re looking for me and you’re not sure where I went…check the pantry.
Up next!! We must paint it! And BOY is there a plot twist in that story.