ROOM WE LOVE: A Polished Pantry

401 Magnolia Forprint 6

When Tamara Leicester’s clients hired her to design the interior of their two-story modern craftsman in Dilworth, they needed it to function for their growing family, which included three children under age 6. Just off the kitchen, they budgeted for a walk-in pantry to hold snacks, drinks, and other household items. “With three young kids, it makes sense to have this ease of access to pantry staples,” Leicester says. “It’s a narrow space, but everything fits in a compact way.”


Designing a small space can be a challenge when you have a lot of items to accommodate, so Leicester chose an L-shaped layout to maximize storage. “It’s a generous pantry, but it’s still a constrained footprint,” she says, “so we had to be thoughtful about laying out shelving and leaving enough floor space for the ladder.” In addition to the custom floor-to-ceiling shelving, she installed a stained oak countertop and hexagon tile backsplash. 


The homeowner had always wanted a sliding ladder, so Leicester made sure to work that into her design. “(The pantry) has a 10-foot ceiling, so it just makes sense to have that for access to upper shelves,” she says. Beneath the counter, she added sloping shelves to display the soup and soda cans. On the uppers, she placed clear acrylic bins to hold snacks, pasta, and other items the homeowner restocks frequently. “She loves The Home Edit and was inspired by that.”


It’s impossible to keep a pantry perfectly organized with three small children running in and out of it all day, but the open shelving and clear containers make it easier for them to find their own snacks and remember where things belong. “With a pantry, where you have a mix of colorful products you’re trying to store, having a clean white backdrop helps,” Leicester says. “It could potentially look messy if you have too much going on.”