Ponsonby kitchen transformation

In September I had the pleasure of transforming a beautiful, recently renovated kitchen in Ponsonby. This kitchen was drool worthy - beautiful finishings and a glorious amount of cupboard space. The brief was to make the most of all that cupboard space, focusing first and foremost on the pantry.

I always start first by removing everything from the pantry, and grouping like-with-like. It is amazing how often I find multiple open packets of the same item (flour, crackers, etc) simply because they had been opened once, munched on, and then forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind…

Once I can see exactly what I’m working with, the fun begins - starting first with a good wipe down of all of the shelves to clear up any spills from sauces, oils and spices. Nothing like a clean slate! I use shelf liners wherever possible - these protect the shelving from any future leaks. And now for the magic - decanting! Can I get a woop-woop for decanting? A sure-fire way to transform your pantry (or any space in which open packages are a problem - the bathroom being another prime suspect!) is to invest in some containers and get into the habit of using them instead of leaving your food in it’s native packaging. I have yet to see a pantry with open packets that looks tidy and inviting. Happy bonus - your food will stay fresher for longer. Bye bye weevils!

Before I move on from the joy of decanting (haha), let’s talk quickly about stacking. To get the most out of your pantry space, you want to be using the vertical space, as well as the depth of your shelfs. This means you need to be able to stack your products on top of each other. Another reason why taking food out of its packet is a good idea - squishy half-full packets are not conducive to stacking, and therefore become major space-suckers. One final note about using the vertical height - if you have moveable shelving… MOVE IT! Don’t just leave it on the “factory setting” so to speak - move those shelves up or down to allow you to customise your pantry for your own needs. This concludes my sermon on using the available vertical space!

Once everything has been decanted, it’s back into the pantry with a bit of a shuffle around to maximise that space. As a rule of thumb, infrequently accessed supplies should be on the top shelf - for example if you don’t bake often, that’s where all of your baking supplies should go. Reserve the shelves from eye-level to hip-level for the things you reach for several times a week.

Put everything back in, and voila! You can see that there is now a whole shelf that is almost completely freed up.

Rebekah... is an absolute star. She gave my kitchen the ultimate makeover, it feels so fresh and uncluttered with all my items within view and with easy access.
— Brie, Ponsonby

Top tips for a pantry refresh:

  • Pull everything out before you start tidying.

  • Invest* in a set of containers in a range of sizes and decant your food from it’s native packaging into the containers.

  • Make sure you purchase containers that will stack on top of each other, in a range of sizes, so you can make the most of your vertical space.

  • Move the shelving if you are able to, for the ultimate pantry customisation to suit your individual needs.

* There is no need to invest in new if you have existing containers that are fit for purpose. They don’t need to be matchy-matchy - there are some beautiful eclectic pantries out there that are functional and incredibly cool. The key principle here is stackability and size - no point trying to cram your packet of flour into a mason jar, I can tell you that will end in tears. Reuse what you have and if you’re going for the mis-matchy-matchy look, consider trawling the op-shops for pre-loved containers in a range of sizes.


What do you think of this transformation? Use the tips above to transform your own pantry from hot-mess to hotness, or if you’d like to call in an expert, book now for a free 15 minute phone call to discuss your kitchen project.

Rebekah Holmes