Elsie’s Pink Pantry Reveal

This home brought so many really amazing firsts with it, including our very first walk-in pantry! I have had so many different types of pantries through the years and I never felt a need for a large one because, honestly, we ate out SO much for the first decade of our relationship. Even after we adopted Nova, we still ate at restaurants pretty frequently, determined to make it something we could all enjoy together. When we adopted Marigold, we were still in pre-covid times but we suddenly reduced the number of restaurant meals to only about one to two a week because it was just too stressful. At the time, we didn’t know that we were skipping out on our last six months of restaurant going for … a while. Whoops.

Anyway, long story short—I never expected to get a house with a big pantry. So when we moved into our home with its giant walk-in pantry (albeit moldy … we’ll get to that in a sec), I vowed never ever ever to take it for granted. I am so grateful for this home and have been organizing, decorating and personalizing every little nook one by one (and will be for years to come!). Organizing our pantry is FUN. I love taking everything out and organizing it. Oh … and I now have a Costco membership … mom level unlocked.

ETA: The pink paint color is Sunwashed Brick by Behr.

Here’s a quick before and after!

As you can see, we were able to update this space very simply with mostly just paint! I love it when that happens! There was a serious mold issue when we moved in. You can see it in the before picture above. We made sure the leak was fixed, then we used this mold control spray to kill the mold (we did it regularly for several weeks to be extra sure). Then we had a drywall person come and make the rest of the repairs. Next stop … PINK PAINT.

Most pantries are white, and white is a great color for a pantry. It’s fresh and clean. One of my design goals is to use more color, especially in choices where I would usually go for white. After debating a few different colors, I went for my tried and true choice of pink!

People always ask me how I “talk my husband” into pink house decor. First of all, I probably didn’t even tell him we were painting this pink and secondly, he probably didn’t even notice. But in all seriousness … he’s cool as hell. That’s how.

OK … you want to see some pantry photos? Let’s go!

Storage products used:

Metal Baskets with Wooden Handles, Canned Goods Organizer, Food Storage Containers, and Hyacinth Storage Baskets.

I definitely think using some storage products for a pantry is worth it! It just looks SO much cleaner and nicer. I did my best to use less plastic, although there is still some. I really love the metal baskets—they are perfect for organizing different categories of food. We have a s’mores basket, a taco basket, two pasta baskets, a chili basket, and as you can see … two baskets of ramen and Chinese noodles as well.

I really love the can organizer. I never knew such a thing existed and it makes it SO much easier to find our canned goods. Fun fact: Our whole family is obsessed with black olives and sometimes we eat multiple cans a day. So good!

The OXO food containers are so great for storing snacks that our kids eat everyday (like veggie straws) and also homemade snack mixes (which you know is a full-on obsession in my life!). So far, I have been swapping them out pretty often.

Since I didn’t show you what is in the lower hyacinth baskets on the bottom two shelves, I will just tell you here. In those baskets, we have our cured meats, tuna, anchovies (and stuff like that), extra cans that don’t fit on the can shelf (mainly back stock of soups—we eat a lot of soup), candy (just being honest … we have SO much candy in our house), sauce mixes and even more black olives. 🙂

You also might notice we have a bit of empty space and a few unfilled bins. This is normal and I like having room to add more things as we go. The day we shot these was about a month since my last big food shop and it isn’t as full as it sometimes is.

A few more details—we store our stool in this closet (it’s from IKEA and I think the kid paint makes it charming, don’t you?). The white outlets on the wall are floor heater controls. Also, this room doesn’t have a light (it has a broken fluorescent light), so we are hoping to add that when we address lighting.

I am sure we will continue to optimize this space and use it differently as time goes on. I’m excited to bond with it and let it evolve over time.

Thanks so much for reading! I’m so grateful for you. 🙂 XX- Elsie

P.S. Let me know if you have any questions or organizing tips (or Costco tips—lol) in the comments.

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Kelly. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • I’ve always loved a big pantry (walk-in is a dream for me). My first property was a condo I bought at 24 in 2011. It had a large closet pantry right in the kitchen which was amazing (I could store my garbage and recycling at the bottom and kept all my food supplies in there). Then I moved into a townhouse which didn’t have any pantry at all 🙁 We had to use cupboard space for everyday stuff which took away storage space for my cooking appliances and we had to store our pantry stuff in the basement (which is pretty far out when you’re in the middle of cooking a meal and realize that can of crushed tomatoes you thought you had left over in the kitchen is not there and you have to retrieve one from the basement while kids are running around yelling, the puppy needs to go outside and your husband is in the can……true story!). Anyway, all this to say, I would kill for a walk-in pantry and yours is super sweet and functional.

  • We have DEEP but short pantry shelves. I’ve been struggling with how to organize them. I have the same can riser thingy as you and it rocks! But I can’t figure out how to organize boxes in a way that uses the space well.

  • I have been eyeing big bug press jumpsuits forever but still have not pulled the trigger. Would you mind telling me what size you are wearing? You look sooo good!

  • Hi Elsie, love it!! Did you use the same kind of paint on both walls and the wood shelving? I just emptied out my pantry and ready to sand and repaint, but wondering if the best way to paint the shelves that won’t result in stuff sticking onto the paint, even long after it’s cured. Of course whatever the builder used has that problem in literally every closet space of our house. Thanks!!

  • I had a dark closet with a tap light as a kid and I thought it was the bee’s knees. Maybe you should try it. They can stick to the wall, super easy.

  • I think it is time for me to embrace storage containers for the pantry. I just have open shelves in my kitchen and containers like these would probably make a huge difference in how tidy it looks. I love the pink pantry! I always find it strange when people ask how someone “convinced” their male partner that something in the home should be pink. Like, they are grown men, they can handle pink.

  • Hi Elsie,

    Love the space! Just wondering if you could share the dimensions of the pantry please?

    Thanks..
    Azra

  • The answer(s) to “how did I get my husband on board?!” cracks me up 🙌🏽

  • I appreciate that your wind cellar is bigger than your pantry. You have your priorities straight. 😂😂

  • Love it! We put motion sensor lights (not all of them are super pretty but there are some cute ones) in all our small closets and pantry and they are one of
    my favorite upgrades. Makes doing things with little ones in tow so much easier.

    • Came here to say this! Motion lights in a closet or pantry are a serious game changer

    • Yay for motion lights in spaces like this (especially where little ones forget to turn them off, I also am all for self turning off faucets and insist on them now that I have experienced them with my kids) but wanted to mention as you said they aren’t all the prettiest- you can install a motion sensor in the light switch and not have to chose a motion sensing light so you should be able to use whatever fixture you want!

    • I’m glad you said you haven’t been shopping in a while….I was thinking that it didn’t look like much food there hahaha.

    • I also recommend motion sensor lights in closets! The ones we got from the hardware store don’t have to be wired in and the LED lights and batteries last forever! (we haven’t replaced them in over 2 years and just moved one light to another closet recently.)

  • My husband is on board with pink in our house too! We had this beautiful light pink wool rug in our girls room in our last house but our new house we put in carpet. So he suggested for our living room. I’d also been looking for a second rocker for our toddlers room and I found a set of two new pink/mauve ones on Fb marketplace for a steal and he suggested we put the second in our family room. We love our current house (literally had the same moving timeline as you with your move in March) but one day I want a house with a proper butlers pantry.

    • Oh and what color pink did you use? I’ve actually been planning to paint my laundry room pink for a while. Couldn’t find the right one until I opened a Serena and Lily catalogue and found my inspiration which is close to your pantry.

  • Why am I so obsessed with the fact I see ramen in your pantry? Ha! Ha! I wasn’t expecting it at all.

    But I love the pink pantry. I found 3 gallons of pink paint on the oops shelf of our local hardware store. Benjamin Moore paint. $10 a gallon. So I snagged them, and plan on painting my garage pink this spring. My boyfriend is HORRIFIED. But, the house is in my name, so pink it is. I’m super excited to have a bright, one color, garage. Currently painted 3 different colors. But I have lived with it while figuring out how I wanted to reorganize the garage. So no more yellow, brown, and white garage for me!

  • Love this shade of pink! I guess it’s probably because of the filter you used, but can you still share the paint colour? 🙂

    • Hi! It’s “Sunwashed Brick” by Behr. Starting on this shoot (and moving forward) I am making sure my home photos are edited natural, and these colors are very true to real life! 🙂

  • Long time reader, first-time commenter. Looks great! and I’m soooo not being a troll or anything because I love what you did! But….were you tempted to rip all the shelves out and start again? I find pantries are so hard to figure out what layout suits the best…could you get more shelves and storage space with a different configuration? especially given that sticky out bit of wall on the right. Again…love the blog all my dinner ideas come from you! x Katie, Ireland.

    • Hi Katie,
      No worries- you don’t sound like a troll AT ALL.

      Since I know we have a major kitchen renovation coming in 2022 I am holding off on gutting any part of this space. In the meantime I am taking notes on what we use and don’t use and will be optimizing it more in our renovation next year.

      Also- we are very new to keeping a lot of food in our home, like I talk about in the post, so at the moment this feels like SO much space to me!!!! 🙂

  • Hooray for husbands that are cool with pink paint! I’m lucky enough to have one too 🙂 Looks wonderful, Elsie!

  • I love the limited use of plastic for the storage bins! Super cute solutions!

    I just took a lighting design class at UCLA and would recommend an easy fix: place an led strip on the top shelf so the light beam is hitting the back wall or the preferably the ceiling. Light reflected off the ceiling will create a big diffuse light for general tasks.

    If you find that’s not enough light and are addressing lighting down the road I probably would advise against led strips accenting each shelf. That’s super involved and not really necessary in a pantry. A surface mount on the ceiling will shine light down to the floor so you’ll get some ok light but instead I would recommend spot lights from the ceiling pointing down toward the shelf walls.

    I love lighting design! “Light the vertical” is our mantra! Good luck 🙂

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