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Nabela’s Pantry Transformation: A Closer Look

March 2023

The Starting Point

Before I fell in love with cooking and homemaking, the size of my pantry wasn’t at the top of my home wishlist. So when I toured our home years ago, I overlooked the pantry size and all of the pantry details. It was a decent sized pantry, but its functionality wasn’t optimal, with a shelf system tucked deep into a closet hidden by a sliding barn door. Fast forward a few years, and enter my Pockets of Peace series and the Nabela Noor Home community, which launched my love for all things home, cooking and homemaking. 


Suddenly, our pantry became a feature in our home that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. I had begun daydreaming about this newly exciting space and all of the delicious ingredients and supplies I could store in this potential, magical closet. 

And thus, the design process began.


The Design Process

The first step in my design process was getting a full understanding of the amount of space I had to work with. I leaned on Seth here, and we scoped the area surrounding the pantry to see what we could sacrifice to enlarge the pantry without compromising the flow of the home. We had a small coat closet attached to the pantry that I knew I could part ways with without concern. Seth agreed and that bought us some square footage that we desperately needed to bring my vision to life. Behind the pantry and coat closet was a hallway from the laundry room that led to the main entrance area of the home. This was a tougher decision to make but ultimately, this was a low traffic hallway that we wouldn’t truly miss, so we accounted for that square footage as well. 


Next step: demolition. We broke down the coat closet and the walls connecting the hallway to the pantry and coat closet. Now, we had a large room to work with. I began working with Seth and our contractors to measure the depth of the shelves, number of shelves and layout of the pantry. I drafted a variety of renditions to choose from. We finally landed on something that was structurally sound and visually pleasing, and began building. 


I knew I wanted an appliance garage of sorts, so we made sure to add an outlet within the pantry that allowed for easy access and usage of any portable appliances. We also added a small countertop area, which originally was supposed to be made with butcher block. However, after a very successful trip to a local Crate & Barrel outlet, I scored a slab of genuine marble for $50 and used that for our countertop. 


My goal was optimal storage, visual symmetry and a space that could house things I wouldn’t necessarily want on display in the kitchen. I am happy to share that I think we accomplished exactly that.


The Finished Product


After weeks of design, demolition and construction, we landed on a transformation that satisfied all of our needs and wants. I was so pleased with the end result, and couldn't wait to begin stocking the shelves with all our favorite goodies, ingredients, appliances and more. But before aimlessly stuffing the shelves, I needed to create a new design - the design of how we would combine storage, functionality and visual interest in this newly crafted space. 


I wanted the pantry to look uniform so I grabbed a few cane storage baskets from Neat Method to line some shelves with. I stored some of my most unattractive, but still delicious, treats and ingredients in the cane shelves and suddenly, they were less of an eye sore. I grabbed some apothecary jars from Target to store our pastas and placed a row of large Mason jars on a shelf containing essential ingredients, including lentils, flour, etc. Cereal storage became simpler and more efficient with the help of these stunning cereal dispensers from Amazon, which make pouring cereal a bit more of a “moment” each morning. 


I also wanted to ditch the notion that every single thing needed to look aesthetically pleasing in my pantry. I wanted to embrace certain items in its natural packaging, so bags of popcorn and tea boxes and even boxes of tuna rest on our shelves without a need to conceal, because the balance of both functionality and aesthetics are what I think make our pantry feel very “us.” 


I am so happy with our sweet little creation and will always cherish this design project. It was my first time dipping into a challenge like this, but it pushed me in new ways, allowing me to get creative to bring my vision to life. As my interests continue to grow, I’m eager to see what is next for me to tackle and update to reflect where and who I am today. 


Onwards the adventure!


Images by: Kinna Shaffer

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