OKEE DOKEYYY NOW WE ARE IN BUSINESS!!! Oh geez. If that shot doesn’t do it for you then I don’t know what you are into, because those windows, with that paneling flanking the entry into the pantry, are what my fantasies are made of. Today you are going to get a pantry update post – where we landed with the stone, the paneling, and the windows and let you into the debate Brian and I are having about paint color. BUCKLE UP BUTTERCUP!!!
In case you don’t know where we are in the house, the pantry is conveniently off the kitchen, which shares a space with the living room. It’s an odd shape due to the exterior wall cutting in but we are in love with her as if she were the 3rd child that Brian wouldn’t let me have (jk).
Vintage Windows Are Back!!!
For those of you who’ve been following since the beginning of this farmhouse “adventure” (click here for all of the posts), you might remember the OG vintage windows in the living room. The reason we didn’t keep the OG windows where they originally were was three-fold:
- We wanted to lighten up this room a lot and open it to the incredible backyard. We could have done this by putting french doors in between these windows (and seriously considered it) but we didn’t.
- The 1st floor had three, 100-year-old shaky/rotting windows (like the two you see) but they were mostly aluminum and vinyl windows from different add-ons and remodels. We restored all the windows on the second floor but decided to make all the windows on the first floor new. Which left us with three vintage windows to somehow use in the house.
So we took the upper sashes from the two windows in the living room, with the diamond pattern and flipped them vertically to frame the doorway into the pantry. It’s a magical moment that brings me an unspeakable amount of joy. Not sure if any of you can relate, but after being in this field for 15 years you’ve seen and been around a lot. So in order for that jolt of serotonin to flow from your brain into your limbs, something really has to do it for you. This is it. It’s not that it is this crazy standout architectural moment (fine, it is for me), it’s the sentiment, and how hard my team and I worked to make sure that these original and now interior windows really WORK again in our home. Thank you, Jamie and ARCIFORM for making these work!!!!!!!!
But What Are We going To Paint The Windows?
They will get painted the same as the paneling – a satin white. But the main question, and why I brought you all here today, is to help me decide what color we should paint the inside of the pantry. My original design (which I spoke about in this post) was to paint it the same color as the lower cabinets. So it would be just one dark moody blue, including the ceiling, paneling, and shelving. In the photo below you can see the large paint sticker (Slate Tile by Sherwin-Williams). Here are my thoughts in ascending order:
- Moody is super cool. Dark is chic and risky. I know this intellectually. Also…
- A pantry is a storage room, and shouldn’t feel like the kitchen (this is Brian’s main argument). But…
- Will the dark color make it feel like a dark cave that doesn’t pop? We have that vintage window in there that is currently covered on the exterior so you can’t get the sense of light in there (and neither can I). Brian thinks this window will bring in a lot of light and it might!
- I’m worried that the color we chose is so dark (without enough light) that it will just suck all light and the room won’t be inviting or pop. It might just look dead.
- So my thoughts are to paint the paneling and ceiling a lighter shade of blue. Not a crazy two-tone, but just lighter so that there is some contrast in there and your eye doesn’t read it as dead space.
- Brian doesn’t agree. He loves my original design and the thoughts around it and he keeps just saying “this is a pantry, not an extension of a kitchen”. I agree! In theory. I mean it was my idea after all. But when I went to find any photos of a super dark pantry nothing was inspiring. The original inspiration photos were all just close-up vignettes of shelving NOT full rooms.
- Brian is also so done with me questioning my own decisions that were made MONTHS ago. And believe me, Brian, me, too!!! Imagine how annoying I am to myself! However, we have made some decisions that I already regret (not big deals, but yes) which is all very very normal in this process. And you know what else is normal?? Rethinking your choices up until you make the FINAL decision. Now that I’m writing this I’m realizing how important and normal it is. It’s the final edit before you turn in the book – you might have thought some sentences were PERFECT, but upon the last look, you think “could they be slightly better???” AND THAT’S OK.
- And if you are worried about my marriage don’t 🙂 If this renovation was actually causing fights then I wouldn’t be writing about them to a million strangers. It’s a healthy level of debating that I frankly need from my partner and I’m grateful he’s engaged enough to have serious and firm opinions.
So imagine (as I am right now) that room being as dark as the bottom cabinets, with the kitchen and the vintage window wall all being white. Again, with that vintage exterior window in there being blocked, it’s so hard to tell!!!
Throughout the house (where appropriate) we designed and installed this awesome paneling. It’s a custom run from a company in Portland called Creative Woodworking and they are 10″ boards with a 1/2″ bead. So basically a REALLY large beadboard, I’ll talk about it more later but it’s one of the more “unnecessary” things that we felt was extremely important to the home. Jamie, Taylor, Tourin, Steve, and the rest of the team have spent WEEKS installing it. If you are a real renovation/design geek these types of things are special, and if you are on a budget there are so many affordable V-grooves or beadboards out there.
Let’s Talk Hardware…
Real quick…again, picture that all dark blue! It would look so good (in theory, with the right light). Now for this room, we were doing the same unlacquered brass hardware as the kitchen, but after seeing the stone in there and the dark paint I realized I wanted it to be black. So we are getting the same styles but in the Oil Rubbed Bronze (which at Rejuvenation is almost black). More on that later. And for those of you worried about the damage on the base of the cabinets, we always intended and designed it to have a baseboard. So Unique Kitchens and Baths provided a trim piece that we have yet to install.
We chose this honed granite that is really pretty in dark but has some movement in it. It’s an extremely hardworking stone that will not markup or chip easily. We had leftover Carrera from our kitchen that we could have used but knew that A. Carrera is easily stained and our coffee bar is in here, and B. that would have been a lot lighter and looked like a kitchen counter rather than a pantry. I haven’t seen it in person but…
We bought it from Bedrosian, and thanks to Alpha StoneWorks for the fabrication. It’s simple, durable, and well-executed. Oh and yes, that door is getting painted (it goes to the basement where I’m going to store all my survivalist foods and canned tuna once I embrace my Mormon roots and actually start doing it again!!). My house is going to smell like tuna for weeks every year just like it did when I was a small child!!! Barrels of wheat here we come!! Y2K any day!! My kids are so lucky!!??!!).
Sneak Peek Into The Kitchen…
Y’all, I’m seeing this with YOU. Of course, I see it a few days ahead, but I haven’t seen any of this in person yet so these photos excite me beyond belief. More on the kitchen soon. But back to the pantry: the stone looks awesome. The paneling is so pretty. The cabinets are so lovely. The vintage interior windows are incredible but again…. LOOK AT THAT KITCHEN!!!!!
We are getting close. I feel extremely lucky, happy, grateful, and mostly relieved that I love it all SO MUCH. Thanks for reading 🙂 xx
*Photos by Kaitlin Green
go! dark!!! I would love to see a dark pantry. and if in a year you really don’t like it, paint over it and write a new blogpost about it. it’s a win-win situation!
Agree! Here’s a dark pantry from Kingdom Woodworks. And keep the brass to add a little sparkle.
Yes, this is the perfect inspiration pic. I also like that they used a glossier sheen. It bounces light around and will be easier to clean!
agree- I would keep brass with all dark.
Note, there is white ceiling here. Perhaps that is the key to keep the light moving through the space?
Pretty example Kj!
I agree about keeping sparkle and keeping the brass instead of changing to ORB.
It’s looking wonderful now AND it’s going to be a lovely pantry!
I like it all dark! Ceiling, dark hardware! Let light bounce around with different sheen of paint, a lamp, glass decanters, etc!! Either way, dark is going to be fab!
Yes to going dark & having shine. Paint should be glossy/ some sheen- flat or matte paint. Yes to brass hardware – not black. The ceiling in this picture is white – that might be the way to go.
Totally agree. The glossy finishes complete this butlers pantry. They’ve used Satin Nickel or Chrome here for the hardware, complemented by the inclusion of a small touch of Brass in the ceiling light. Perfect.
I don’t think high gloss paint is Emily’s vibe. It’s gorgeous but doesn’t seem like it would fit in here. Also, the bottom cabinets are already painted.
YES! Go dark!! I think the reason you’re not seeing a ton of inspo is because people usually don’t have windows in their pantry! But you do! Our entryway is SUPER dark in our house (black walnut paneling) and it’s BEAUTIFUL IRL, but in pictures?? It looks awful! Dark rooms are really hard to photograph, but with your window i think it will be totally fine in pictures and even better IRL.
Great point on dark rooms being tricky to photograph without natural light!
Yes, yes, YES DARK BLUE!!!! I think it will look awesome and elegant and quiet and I feel especially since you went with the darker stone it just makes sense to lean into the moody monochrome drama of it all to make everything really pop. I think a second lighter tone of blue will make everything too busy in there with all the other pantry supplies and the kitchen right next to it. I would say especially because it is so open with the windows to the kitchen (that will also let light in) and because it will be a pantry and therefore at least slightly messy at times, the room really needs the quiet of the dark monochrome paint you plant all along. Trust your original vision its soooo GOOOD!!
First of all, there is a whole book about the importance of being willing to change your mind: Think Again by Adam Grant. Highly recommend!
I think you should hold off on painting everything dark and see it in person with the window opened up and decide then. I have painted a few rooms dark and they are cool but you really need more lighting. If it’s the space I’m making my coffee in every day of the year, especially considering the PacNW climate (I lived in Seattle for over a decade), I would want a bright, energizing vibe. Maybe that is what the dark slate blue will achieve for your family? I say follow your instincts. We are all here reading your blog because your instincts and choices inspire us!
I totally agree with Colleen! The dark pantry in with the glossy sheen and white ceiling IS gorgeous but I would absolutely wait and see it in person with the windows opened. And, Colleen, I LOVE Adam Grant! 🙂
Me too. Because I am loving the idea of a paler blue cabinet with that dark granite and black hardware….
I meant walls
Love the moody blue! It is verrrry dark, so why not do the walls/trim the same shade as the cabinets but have the color mixed to be 20% lighter? That would provide a bit of tone-on-tone contrast with the cabinets, still keep it dramatic but makes it a little less potentially gloomy?
I agree with % of paint colours.
I did this with my extensive picket fence… I went 25% of the quite strong yellow (Dulux, Open Sesame) and it’s fabulous. Everyone loves it.
For your pantry, I’d go 60% pigment of the cupboards and MAYBE IN A LIMEWASH!?!
Definitely keep the hardware BRASS. The light catching them will be so charming and sweet.
I’m totally overjoyed with those recycled windows! BEST bit so far!
My house is yellow.
I don’t think she could do a limewash over the beadboard? But I do like the idea of slightly less pigment.
Yeah, you can limewash wood.👍
OOOH yes lime wash!!!
Brilliant idea….impressed that Rusty could dial it in to specific percentage. And this approach is now my total vote. I think the shift in hardware is good too. Strict Continuity can also be too expected…less special. These are complementary but gives the space it’s own due. It’s a supporting character winning the Emmy vibe while kitchen is main character energy.
I studied art at uni and we delved into pigments in paint.
Just a little side note – I’m wondering what’s going on with the shelving in front of the window just outside of the pantry? I can’t remember what’s going there? I know they’re probably put up to be specific heights but I think they need some adjusting to line up with the panelling…. it’s just what I would do! 🙂
LOVE a dark pantry btw! xx
Wondering the same thing!!
I imagine that space will play host to a hanging wall of luscious greenery! (Or it would, if it was my space.) 😉
I think it’s going to look great painted all the same, BUT I do think you should stick with the brass hardware. One for continuity, but two, because that will create a visual brightness and the dark will feel too on the nose. Also, if you’re going to have shelves, under cabinet lighting is your friend.
Wow! It’s going to be so pretty. I had a pantry in my first college apartment and have missed having one ever since. I think you have to be there in person and have the window uncovered before deciding. I like the idea of going just a bit lighter on the walls so that there’s a little contrast to highlight the pretty paneling but still has a different vibe than the kitchen. Lighting will be key for making it cozy.
Also, the words my husband most fears coming from my mouth are, “I was thinking…” So, I relate to this post. 😆
I look forward to seeing your dark pantry! It will feel like a warm morning embrace as you prepare coffee and breakfast and get ready for the day. Also, someone coming around the corner and seeing this tradition will get a lovely surprise. Great designs EH.
Uh sorry. I can’t say anything about pantry color after I saw the kitchen peak. THOSE SKYLIGHTS!!!
I love dark and saturated walls, but I think you should keep in light. With your microwave, toaster and coffee bar in there, it IS an extension of the kitchen! And you’ll be in there in the morning, making coffee or toasting bagels – doing that in a dark room sounds rough to me. Painting a small room later on is very doable. I know you want it all done perfectly now! But I’d have it match the kitchen walls and see how it feels. That said, as a designer the dark pantry is bolder and will likely get you tagged in more posts from others as it will be more interesting.
I LOVE that kitchen tile – omg!!!!
I would split the wall paint colors.. I would paint one horizontal bottom panel half of the pantry a dark blue keyed to the cabinets and the rest above it a matte version of the kitchen wall color. It’s very in keeping with the time period of the home. A backsplash of color, if you will. The dark base will make the pantry feel rich and anchored and the top will be airy and feel related to the kitchen. I did this in a bathroom – after living with bummer 100% cream walls and a dark counter for a year – and it does not feel crazy it feels sophisticated. The color makes it feel fun and intentional but I’m not trapped in the darkness. While we are here did you ever consider stripping the windows and staining them to a color matching a kitchen wood tone? I feel like it would highlight them as superstars!
I meant to start with – great points Liz!
Great idea on the windows!
So funny, for me the idea of starting my day in a light, bright room makes me want to crawl back into bed!
Definitely agree. And the not-summer seasons in the PNW are very dark, grey and dreary. Waking up to a dark room is not always agreeable.
Go dark! Everything is SO beautiful. Looking at it from the outside, there are a lot of different lines – horizontal and vertical and of course the diagonal in the windows. Having everything one dark moody color on the inside would, I think, make the vintage windows really stand out. And not be busy. You would still have subtle contrast/movement in there based on slight difference of sheen between cabinets/trim and walls – if you are doing that. If not I still don’t think it will be a flat cave. It will be cozy and gorgeous!
I can’t believe you haven’t found chrislovesjulia’s dark brown pantry! There are tons of pulled back shots and she had only one overhead light. It didn’t look gloomy. I always thought it was clever to paint a utilitarian room dark because you can hide scuffs and marks.
I know you’re not a diy-er but I’m always surprised by your finality in choosing paint colors. That is arguably the easiest thing to do on your own. Of course a whole house is time consuming and not up your alley, but a tiny little pantry? Seems to me like you might benefit from waiting on making a decision. BONUS! Your kids see that painting is not a big deal and can be done by themselves in their future apartments or homes.
i vote dark blue, but I also vote for a Saturday post in January where you write that you took a weekend to paint your pantry after sitting on it for a while as is and all the dopamine you got from seeing something you did yourself. It’s like a craft! But on a bigger scale!
Oh, thank you Mara for referencing that dark brown pantry of ChrisLovesJulia, I found it: https://www.chrislovesjulia.com/our-rich-brown-pantry-makeover/ and I love how well the items stored in it show up. It does point out how key good lighting is important. The dark color seems so thoughtful, rather than falling back to a “leftover” white.
I agree. This is an excellent example. Keep it one dark color, please! Once you stock your pantry, the supplies will provide plenty of contrast.
Seriously? I’m POSITIVE she knows how to paint and has painted many a wall!! They’re having their home professionally painted throughout… leaving this space ‘as is’ means the surfaces won’t be prepared or protected, and it also means pulling EVERY DAMN THING out of the pantry to paint the walls and shelves down the track in a newly renovated home. Makes zero sense to wait. Zero.
Lol @ you telling Emily that painting is ‘like a craft! But on a bigger scale!’. Wtf? Do you honestly have zero clue of her history?
+1 vote for dark, and love the idea of going black with the hardware. Loving seeing this all come together, and that you are normalizing indecision and regrets, it makes the rest of us feel better about our own. <3
So true about normalizing indecision and regrets!!
I vote for a slightly lighter shade of dark blue above the cabinets (like just 20% lighter as someone else suggested). It’ll still read cozy and dark but without looking “dead”. Especially with cloudy weather and a small-but-sweet window i think you’re likelier to regret going full dark everywhere.
Love the pantry, especially when the peek through of the kitchen is revealed. Consider painting a deep blue color, mid between the pantry cabinets and the kitchen wall tile. Still moody, but a nod to the integration of the two rooms. Keep the hardware dark to downplay contrast. Many thanks for taking us along on the journey with abundant photos and the decision pros and cons.
100% agree! I was thinking all dark, but once I saw the shot looking into the kitchen and at the beautiful blue tile, I changed my mind. I think the all dark will feel gloomy in contrast to the very light kitchen and not in a good way. I’m thinking about something like this very cool two-tone blue/green bathroom from Joanna Gaines that made the rounds for a while. Obviously not quite right, but agree that the paint color should be a bridge between the dark cabinets and the light
Of course this is not at all helpful now but I think a butcher block cabinet would have been beautiful in that pantry and can handle the wear and tear. I know the ship has sailed, but the dark counters are limiting the decision in some way.
I was leaning lighter until I saw the kitchen peek! Dark will be lovely but I would recommend a different sheen that would maybe bounce light a little more rather than a flat finish. Plus with the vintage windows painted white, the dark behind them will really make them pop.
Oh my goodness you are so funny- Y2K! Ha! At any rate, it will be fabulous with a slightly contrasting, lighter color (I’m thinking of one of Steven Gambrels kitchens with a two tone blue-grey palette, stunning!) or painted out all dark. Either way, I can’t wait to see it!
Go dark! Go dark! Go dark! Hehe
Go Dark!! I think it will look amazing and there are plenty of windows to help with light. I think if you are wanting this pantry to be a moment it will be much more impactful all one saturated color than being toned down with a lighter shade of blue. Trust your gut (or Brian)!
I love the idea of all dark but I’d worry it would make seeing the stuff in it hard!
Love the cabinet color. Love that countertop stone. I don’t think you should paint the walls that dark though. I like what someone else suggested which was to mix the paint to be a little bit lighter. I don’t think that room will pop if you go that dark, moody is nice, but I think a lighter color on the walls will contrast nicely with the cabinets and countertop. I also like with someone else suggested which was to hold off on painting the walls until you can actually see what kind of like you are getting in there.
I second that. A pantry is a workhorse, not a racehorse in the IG sweepstakes. Paint the lowers blue as planned, but paint the panelling the same cream/white as elsewhere. If it were mine, I’d paint the ceiling a pale blue, which is what New Englander’s do for their porches – like looking at the sky.
Actually there is a super interesting backstory behind blue porch ceilings. Several sources cover it, but this one stood out for crediting the Gullah Geechee, enslaved people in the low country coastal areas. Of course I think its true that many people choose a tradition and assign their own story. But the origin stories and whose culture is being honored is worth knowing imho. https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/blue-porch-ceiling-meaning/
If it’s a space you are actively working and spending time in, making coffee, toast, etc I would go lighter. I live in a cloudy place and lived in Seattle for years and mornings can be pretty gloomy in these climates. I would save the dark and moody for your TV space. Just wanted to suggest (if it’s not too late) to add a little sink in there if it is meant to be your coffee bar. You definitely won’t regret that.
Yes to all this, including a small sink if this is truly a functional coffee bar space. The more I think about it, why not keep this a true pantry and move the coffee bar into the kitchen proper so you can have a dark pantry while also enjoying a bright kitchen in the morning while you prepare coffee? Really everything revolves around a bright beautiful coffee scene lol
Aaaah….yesss!!! A small sink!
Dark would look great in photos, but here’s the thing: seeing things in a pantry is pretty much step one in its functionality. When my kitchen cabinets were dark, I had trouble (as my 40s progressed) seeing stuff in my own damn kitchen. Painting the upper cabinets lighter made a huge difference. Going a click lighter makes lots of sense to me.
Agree 100% with this. Dark would look great in photos, but would probably get annoying in your day-to-day living. IMO, being able to see what you need to see is the most important aspect of this room!
I’m on team “worried you won’t be able to find what you need to find” if you paint the whole pantry dark. Light just makes it so much easier to see the items in a space because the contrast is so much greater. I’m afraid you’re going to need to leave a headlamp in there every time you really need to use the pantry. But! You’ve probably already considered this and have we bright lighting planned. That said, if this is worrying you too I hope you go lighter.
Thank you as always for letting us follow along. It’s beautiful!
I agree entirely with this. Dark paint looks divine, but if this pantry is going to be a work space rather than just storage then it needs similar considerations that you would give to a work space. The exterior window is so very lovely and provides great light at 2:00 pm in JULY. But you are going to be making coffee/breakfast/assembling lunches at 6:00 am on January mornings and there will be no light that feels like a warm hug or whatever for most months of the year. You’ll be using the space for dinner preparations, again, not in the middle of the day, but likely after sundown most of the year. It’s so hard to tell when your photo of that great light doesn’t represent the conditions when you will be using the pantry the most. Perhaps you can visit before the paint needs to be done and spend time in there after sundown. See what you think. If it’s lovely and cozy then, yayy, go for the dark dramatic paint!
Wait wait wait wait. Can we talk about the canned tuna thing? Your parents were canning tuna themselves?? You had a stash of survivalist foods as a child?? Emily, we need a post on this stat! Lol.
LOL… spunds like my childhood, sans tuna. Our hoard was canned fruit, pickles, chutney, jams….huge amounts of it, even after we gave geaps away!
That’s what happens when you live in the country snd have 7 children!!!🤣🤣🤣
I would also love a post on this. My partner and I are planning to try more canning and are interested in learning to preserve tuna and sardines. Veggies as well, of course, but there does seem to be a bit more information available on that. That being said, I am also particularly interested in canning soups. My grandmother always canned vegetable soup in the summer when the veggies were at their peak – quite a treat for a chilly February day. I could see bean soups or chili being excellent as well! I imagine Emily’s wealth of knowledge in the soup department could be very useful.
Members of the LDS church are supposed to keep seven years of food on hand for the coming tribulation. So I’m not surprised about her parents stockpiling food. It doesn’t mean they were necessarily preppers, bc it’s an expectation of the church. They offer calculators online so you figure out how much Jell-o and so forth you’ll need over seven years.
But did your parents actually can the tuna themselves? That’s so interesting, I never thought of doing that. I mean, canned tuna is awfully cheap already? My BIL recently started growing and pressure canning potatoes, so maybe cost is not the main consideration here? Did your family catch the tuna? I’m not from the PNW so I have no idea if you can catch tuna there or not.
Life long Mormon here and I’ve always only heard it as a year – as in ONE year – of food storage.
My apologies! I’m not a Mormon and my information on this comes only secondhand through Mormon friends. I could easily be misinformed or have misunderstood.
Hi Tarynkay! No apologies needed – in fact I had a serious moment of “wait, have I gotten that wrong all this time?” for a minute there. In my lifetime, at least (though I’ve never lived in Utah so I can’t speak to the tenor there) it’s always been posited as a more general way to be ready to support oneself through job loss or general emergencies (not apocalyptic ones – in the case of which I’d rather go in the first wave rather than try to grind wheat by hand and cook it into bread without electricity. No thank you – I don’t even like camping).
yes, exactly—-just a way to be prepared (not, like live in a bunker) and for sure only one year at most—(even in utah), and mostly just extras of your staples and most-used food!
I live in a small town on the coast way up in northern California, and canning albacore tuna is a fairly regular thing people do ; ) It tastes much different/better than store-bought. It’s a fairly involved process, so we always do a couple years’ worth at a time. It’s something we only do with an outdoor setup, because that smell is strong, and lingers!
I’m with Brian. Paint it all the cabinet blue for a monochromatic background. The contrast with the bright and light kitchen will be nice. A dimmer on the overhead light so it can be blasted with light if needed at times. It’s looking so good- repurposing the windows the way you did is so special and sweet.
This will be a showstopper. When deciding on what paint color to choose (and please wait to decide until the window is uncovered and you know the true amount of light comes through), I would consider two things. What is the function of the he space? Will you be in there for extended periods if time or just briefly? From what I have gathered based on your blog posts, you like to look at dramatic rooms, but you like to be in lighter, less intense rooms
I really think you’ll want it brighter so my vote would be to lighten up that shade… my vote would be a light wood stain or whitewash, or even (gasp) white! For me, I love making coffee in a bright morning space that helps wake me up so the idea of having your coffee bar in a darker space seems counterintuitive.
A white wash would mean stripping the already installed windows, the door etc etc
I hear there are many grey days in Oregon. Perhaps the window covered is giving you a glimpse of lighting similar to a grey day. I’ve also seen many a small lamp, with a textured shade, in kitchen and pantries lately on some gals blog. On low natural light days, or evenings while soup cooks, imagine a soft lamp glow from the moody pantry. Ooohhhh, and during quiet morning coffee brew time. Leaning into team Brian; stick with the original monochromatic moody, beautiful blue!
Oooh! A lamp!
I’d love the see one color throughout. For me it would be some sort of light color. However, if I could design a pantry for myself, I would have a lot of open shelving with huge jars. So it would be a completely different experience. I like a moody room, but I like my storage lighter because it’s easier to see. For me a pantry is a storage type room, not an extension of the kitchen. As such I would go for lighter colors without much daylight. We all design how we want and need things. If you are into the darker color go for it, but be sure to add a lot of light. I think it’s great when the room has something fancy (unique) or even a bit edgy or risky. I think if you do it in one color it could achieve that edginess in a way. Add a lot of light, sconces, table lamps to compensate for darkness
Gah, this is so good. Having grown up in Concord, MA, where 99% of the houses are more than 100 years old (and many 300+ years old), I have to admit that I was being REAL old house snobby about the reno before I could see the finishes. They made SUCH a huge difference. I was like, I don’t know if you can really put skylights in a farmhouse and still have it feel old to me – but I’m becoming convinced! You are so freakin talented? Loooooong time follower here, so this comes as no surprise to me, but it’s really fun seeing how it plays out in a house like this.
Also, talented was supposed to have an exclamation point and not a question mark after it!
I think paint it dark. I am not a paint it dark person, but I can see your original vision and it is amazing.
I can’t see past that beautiful wood paneling! Can you stain it and leave it? It would add warmth and homesteader vibes to this utilitarian space. If you kitchen cabinets are a wood tone, it would be a lovely tie-in.
Agreed! Show off that wood! It would be so pretty in there and tie into the kitchen without being matchy.
Jenny, I wanted to suggest the same idea but thought everyone would think I was nuts. I love the idea of staining the wood paneling. It would look so warm. I personally think the contrast of walking from a bright white kitchen into a dark moody pantry would be jarring to my delicate system. But walking into a warm cozy wood paneled pantry would feel so good.
Good point.I don’t understand why you’d choose custom, pricey paneling that tools weeks to install only to paint it? And why can’t she wait till that exterior window is opened up to choose the color?
Why not wait till they move in to make ALL the decisions then? Seriously shaking my head at so many of these comments!
Thank you for saying that, Anne! I was thinking the same thing and having a real headscratcher moment. If the intention was to just paint it, why not just use cheap MDF?
I agree that the wood is gorgeous and I was conflicted to see it go. Could they paint the kitchen first and pause before painting the pantry to see if wood would look good?
The dark color has had your heart from the start. And, you can make sure the lighting is very good, so that when you’re actually IN the pantry, it’s light and bright.
We’re at a similar point in our renovation, the last push where I start questioning everything, and I have to say, sticking with the original plan always works out best for me. Let’s face it, I made those plans when I was much more level-headed and sane, so unless something needs to change because of an unforseen circumstance, I really try to stick to the plan! That means my vote is for going dark in this case, and I think it will be beautiful.
Team go dark here! 100% agree you should stick to the original design plan in here. For me the big thing that is missing from the discussion/thought process right now is lighting…sure right now maybe the dark paint+dark cabinets+dark countertop with no overhead lights might be too dark (not convinced that it is) – but you’re not Amish! You’re gonna have overhead lights!! And that window wall countertop is the perfect spot for a funky vintage lamp for a cozy vibe that you could leave on when you’re working on the kitchen so you still get the pretty glimpse through the white interior window wall. Plus I really think you need the dark contrast behind the painted white vintage windows to fully appreciate the vintage windows.
Another vote for dark! We had a similar debate with our entryway, which is visible from the living room. We decided to paint it a dark color so that when you turn the lights off, any mess in there becomes *magically invisible* from the rest of the house. So then, when you look toward your pantry from your beautiful + bright kitchen, your eyes will stop on those stunning original windows instead of looking through at any mess!
I’m also in favor of moving the coffee making situation to the kitchen. Seems like it may be annoying with no sink. And then you presumably have to store mugs in there, which will make unloading the dishwasher a little more annoying because you’ll have to walk them over to the pantry. Not impossible but just seems like more steps than it’s worth!
Things are looking so beautiful!
You are so clever! Paint it dark and close the lights so the mess disappears
Team dark all the way! You can line your shelves with light-colored baskets and glassware to bounce back the light from the window. Go with your initial instinct, and your hubby, on this one. Also, so envious that you have a man who says things like, “this is a pantry, not an extension of a kitchen.” Just trying to picture my husband uttering this sentiment, or anything similar, has me cracking up. You’re lucky to have a willing participant! (Granted I enjoy making all these kind of decisions myself, but it’s kinda lonely AND a lot of pressure!) Finally, just have to add that your joy over this repurposed windows is entirely understandable and I’m right there with you!!! And the kitchen! All of it! ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
Dark and moody is my vote. #TeamBrian
Because of the functions that will be done here (microwaving, making coffee, toasting bread, etc.), I disagree with Brian that it is just a pantry and not a kitchen extension – it is a kitchen extension! If only a pantry, then all it should be doing is storing food and should be dark (no windows) and dry (no functions that will create moisture like making coffee).
I vote for a lighter color but that is just personal preference and not because I think it is a kitchen extension. And if I may make a suggestion, based on where the microwave will be located – get a drawer microwave. Otherwise, it becomes a safety issue having to crouch down to get a hot object from mw to counter. But cabinet should have been designed for this so maybe too late now.
Yes to the dark- I love going all dark including the hardware! I like the idea someone had of doing a different finish then the cabinets, maybe satin. If it’s not to big I feel like the popsicle lamp would be great in here or a metal lamp. I love that you are near the finish line! So exciting!
Another vote for going dark – it’s beautiful https://www.instagram.com/p/CHewtAWhsSL/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
This is a similar example of what I was talking about in my comment, the outside of the pantry matches the inside. In this case it looks like a furniture unit but it is the same idea.
At first I loved this idea of painting the outside wall to match, but then it occurred to me that it would feel too much like the dreaded, trendy “accent wall” of dove minutes ago. I don’t think it would feel timeless enough for Emily.
*five minutes ago
Brian’s instincts have been so good! Go with the dark! Between light from the kitchen and light from the window in the pantry, I think you will have enough light to make it look nice and moody. Just have good task lighting in there! I would go crazy being so far away while all this was happening. I’ll be the contractors are happy, though! 🙂
Should we be worried that Rusty hasn’t weighed in yet? Isn’t she always the first commenter? Hope all is well, Rusty!
Hi Roberta, thanx forthinking of me (I actually have pneumonia at the moment, but recovering well-didn’t have to go to hospital…winter here). 🙂 xx
I commented in response to other comments.
I usually comment early, because I’m more than 1/2 a day ahead of you time-wise in Australia. 😉
Sorry to hear that you have pneumonia Rusty, and glad you are recovering well! 🙂
Get well soon, Rusty!
I’m just glad it’s not bad enough to have to go to hospital.
I agree with Brian – the same dark blue is going to look beautiful. It looks like a lot of light will be coming through that window, so I don’t think it’s going to read “dead” in there. AND, that last shot looking back at that gorgeous kitchen tile while in that dark blue room gave ME a hit of dopamine and I am not a designer. It’s really something special! Also, consider the fact that the shelves and counter will not be empty and anything you put there will really pop on that dark background. I think you mentioned displaying some of your platters or pottery on the rear wall or you could hang/lean a piece of art there. Either way, remember to picture it with all your stuff in there, as obvious as that sounds.
This blog has a couple of dark pantries pictured. It might help you to see them. They are beautiful. Either way you go, I think the pantry will be beautiful, but I’m guessing Brian has a good feeling about what you really want. And ultimately, it’s just paint that can be changed in the future. I’m so excited for all these little updates. It’s all so good! Thank you for sharing this process with us.
Forgot the link:
Am I the only one who likes to wake up slowly with a cup of coffee? I dream of a rainy morning that doesn’t push me out of the house so fast 😉. A dark pantry sounds pretty and could evoke any mood you want it to — I think you’ll enjoy having a space that you designed especially for you, and walls can always be repainted later. How exciting to be almost ready to move in to your new home!!
Love seeing how it’s all progressing – so pretty! I’m leaning towards a lighter/grey-ish blue. It would be a nod to the backsplash in the kitchen, but would still allow the pantry to feel different and airy. All dark may be too dark – especially adjacent to the white spaces. Either option will look beautiful in the end!
I vote for the dark color. I could see a cute lamp on one of the counters that could soften the space and add a little brightness.
I think the photo shared is great. Also look at Chris loves Julia current and past pantries.
I think the strongest argument for dark is that you want to hide all the contents more when you are not in there!
You can always add more might through lamps, under cabinet, etc if needed.
*meant photo shared in the comments
Go dark!! Let the ceiling be your out if you need a lighter color. You will have light fixtures and a window. It will be beautiful. Trust yourself.