Junk Closet Turned Disability-Friendly Dream Pantry

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Bobby Pins & Bullets / Funny Farm Stuff / Uncategorized

Only good things come from watching Fixer Upper with your husband.  We were sitting watching an episode together and I mentioned that one thing this house doesn’t have is a pantry, which I’ve always wanted.  Tom said that he could probably turn our entry-way junk closet into a pantry.  It was so fun because I got to help with designing each aspect then he brought it to life.  Not only that, but I was able to make it as disability-friendly as I could.  Here’s a progression of pictures.

BEFORE: closet that held a few coats and a lot of random stuff.


The very rough-drawn plans:


I got to decide exactly how tall the shelves were and make sure that anything I wanted to include could fit.  I wanted a rolling cart from Ikea to use as my baking cart.  That way I could roll it into the kitchen with all of my stuff.  I used to have to bend down or squat down to get all of my baking stuff out of the cupboard.  For those who don’t know, bending and squatting are two of the worst symptom makers for POTS.

We picked grey and white barn wood shiplap to use for trim and shelves.  He also used a dark wood that we already had on hand for flooring.



I picked out angle iron and matching square rods to use between shelves.  I LOVE the look of it all welded together.  It totally has the look of an old fire escape.  Perfectly imperfect.

Inside he used a faux brick paneling on all the walls, which sort of gives it an old mercantile look.

brick walls

Next, we decided on the placement of the counter-height shelf.  I wanted it to be high enough that I could fit my rolling cart underneath.  I also wanted to be able to store flour and sugar here in large restaurant bins.  Again, I previously had to squat down and pick up the heavy bag of flour.  That was a trigger for POTS symptoms big time.  I didn’t want to just have a canister on the counter because I can go through times of baking a lot and I didn’t want to constantly ask Tom to refill my canister.  Plus, more counter space would be taken up as well.  This was my solution- two large bins that hold 100 cups each of flour and sugar.  We also go through a LOT of sugar if we are feeding the bees and making candy boards for them for the Winter, etc.

This shelf is the perfect height to not require bending or reaching up high- which is also a trigger for symptoms.

shelf 1

I wanted to have one side be perfect for cans of soup so I didn’t have to waste space of tall shelves with cans.

upper shelves

lower shelves

Next up, the door.  We designed this together and I love the addition of rusty corrugated tin.  Such a neat dimension added.


For the handle, Tom took an old horseshoe from his family ranch and took it up to his forge and designed this.  I LOVE it!


Here’s the finished product.  There’s my fancy flour and sugar bins, too.

door open

Of course he took the time to add motion sensor lights too.

lit up

I also added that cute little white folding step stool.  It was ugly and rusty when I bought it for $5 at a garage sale, but I spray painted it a clean white.  Now I can easily reach things that are higher up without reaching my arms over my head and straining.

As a final touch, Tom added this little corrugated tin ceiling inside.  I’ll probably be the only one to see it, but that just makes it all the more special.


This was definitely my favorite birthday present in several years!

I’m pretty thankful for that crafty husband of mine.




















  1. Pingback: Our Latest Home Reno Project: Barn Wood Wall & Old Wood Cook Stove Coffee Bar – POTS: Finding Smiles in the Trials

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