The Blue Pantry.

It doesn’t look blue, even when the sun was shining I couldn’t get a photo to to it justice, but it is blue. I would call it French Navy. Colourtrend Paints call it Peacock Blue.

First things first, let’s recall the before, when the so-called pantry was just a space in the utility room defined by an old bookshelf and some second-hand dressers.


That was all dismantled, except of course for the children’s height markings in the jamb of the door which were to be retained at all costs.

For three weeks, I could find nothing. The microwave kept moving to new locations as power supplies were diverted to various tools and I followed it, jugs of frozen stock in hand, hither and thither. A fresh layer of sawdust fell daily in pine-scented flurries on every surface. The kitchen table was converted to carpenter’s workbench and food, ironically, played second fiddle to hammer and jig-saw.

The drawers and cupboard under the microwave were jammed to the gills with topless hot water bottles, bottomless lids, and a disconcertingly large collection of screws leftover from self-assembled furniture. I floundered in a sea of homeless not-quite-rubbish.

Chaos reigned but hopes were high.

Now, if I back up against the farthest wall of our L-shaped kitchen, this is the view:

blue kitchen with cockapoo

The bookshelves, one of our very first purchases as newly-weds, have been restored to their original purpose. I was thrilled to discover that they fit like a glove into what was a useless space between two irritatingly mis-matched doors. Debate has raged over whether or not to paint them white. There is always a point in these projects when I run out of energy, not so much for the work but for the decision making. The shelves can stay as they are a while longer. Any suggestions are welcome.

blue pantry doors, cookbooks.

Opening the doors and swinging to the right, we see the family height chart still operational.These penciled markings reassure me that it is they who are growing rather than me who is shrinking as it often times seems.

pantry, storage

I thought it wise to line the shelves so I cut up and hemmed an old oilcloth. I bought the plate at The Olive Stand in the English Market (Cork’s cultural peak). They sell online, here. It reminds me of my Moroccan honeymoon.

pantry, kitchen storage

The egg slide, at least that’s what the kids call it, was discovered in TK Maxx and has provided no end of entertainment with only one eggy casualty so far. My culinary secrets are laid bare here and I am forced to confess that, yes, I am a devoted fan of Bird’s instant custard (nothing else will do for trifle) and, yes, I add Bisto to my gravy. Can I salvage my reputation by mentioning that the tomato relish (henceforth known as Rickman’s Relish) and the decanter of Sloe Gin (still half full in March which proves remarkable restraint) were made by my own fair hand? The lime marmalade from Sostrene Grene, by the way, is revolting. I can’t talk anyone into eating it.


Swinging anti-clockwise, this is the view from the door which I will endeavour (feck off, spellcheck, there IS a u in it) to keep tidy. Again, household secrets laid bare: we buy tomatoes by the pallet and Weetabix by the economy-sized truckload. We have reached the conclusion that good quality pasta, from actual Italy, is worth the few extra pennies. Divella is a good brand and less expensive than some of the more familiar names. I buy their OO flour in 20Kg bags and use it for absolutely everything. When I’m here alone I shovel instant coffee into a cup but when two of us are gathered we like Lavazza, made in a stovetop moka pot. When we’re feeling flush we splash out on beans from Cork Coffee Roasters, twice the price and worth it.

DIY Pantry

The turquoise tin next to the candles is full of baking beans but used to hold loose tea leaves in my Granny’s house and still smells faintly of her scullery. The wooden chest was another treasure from the looting of Doon. It has the words ‘Palm Sunday’ written in a neat (nun’s, I presume) hand in biro on the lid. It’s full of biscuits.

The metal poster on the freezer is from the mind-boggling selection at this website. After 20 years of marriage and doing-it-ourselves, Husband still managed to impress me by bending the poster to fit perfectly around the freezer door. I will tell you only that the task required two large planks and a manoeuvre involving one of us kneeling on top of the kitchen table while the other groaned a lot.

The switch-pull for the light makes me very happy. Husband made me walk in with my eyes closed and hand aloft to figure out exactly where I should expect to find the switch. It’s in exactly the right spot for me but might give a fine wallop to any unsuspecting tall burglars.

DIY Pantry

I hadn’t anticipated quite what a snug spot the pantry would turn out to be. I may just hide in here occasionally, you know, when the in-laws drop by unexpectedly or when the kids get too fractious. It’s very peaceful. I’ll bring a corkscrew.

hiding in the pantry

These are the pages of my son’s first board book. It fell apart years ago but I couldn’t part with it. These words remain the limit of his Italian vocabulary. He is studying Latin for the Leaving Cert which tells you a lot about the Irish education system (let’s not get into that again).first book, italian first words, baby board book

And now, for those of you who have stuck with me all the way to the bottom of this post, the big reveal. Look again at this photo:

DIY Pantry

And now look what my clever man made for me:

pantry, secret door

A secret door! Can you believe it? I am beside myself with glee. Of course, I shouldn’t have just revealed the secret door to the blogosphere but it’s not as if I’m hiding my crown jewels in there. Our, now secret, laundry room is stacked high with nothing more interesting than school shirts and odd socks and, no, I am NOT about to reveal my dirty laundry to the world.The camera stops here.

Still, pretty cool, huh?

Did I mention that I love my Husband? I probably should. I believe I owe him a chocolate cake, or something like that…

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31 thoughts on “The Blue Pantry.

  1. Oh it’s perfection, I absolutely love it. And so organised! I do love that blue, as well as the pale blue in the kitchen. All loveliness everywhere, I’d definitely hide out there. I will be round later to eat up the lime marmalade for you. CJ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am grinning like an idiot here – I LOVE it! What a perfectly fantastic Aladdin’s cave of delights. (I have Birds Custard Powder too.) It’s so organised and tidy. You won’t be finding out of date cans and bottles stuffed beneath other stuff. Sigh. And that secret door! You could get a tall, high-backed stool with a cushion and a reading light… Your husband deserves more than a cake, I reckon! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaah thanks, Sam. I intended, but forgot, to mention that the dark colour was inspired by your dark grey walls. I’ve never gone this dark before but I adored your photos so decided to be brave.The organisation will be short-lived but, yes, he has earned a treat!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I could LIVE in that pantry …. it’s beautiful and full of delights as all good pantries should be. I particularly love Granny’s blue tea tin now splendidly housing the baking beans. But then again I particularly seem to love it all. Chapeau to you – it’s a triumph!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, jealousy assumes me…..what a lovely room…and secret room….sloe gin, candle and a good book in a comfy chair would be in my secret room along with the dirty laundry…LOL its beautiful….I am pretty sure there are many women over here on our side of the pond that could put your sweetheart to work….LOL lovely pantry….as for the book shelf, I hate painting wood, but white would make it blend into the wall….I love the shade of blue you use in your home….I use a desert turquoise outside to add a little color here and there…lovely, simply lovely pantry….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same about painting wood but, yes, I will probably eventually get around to painting it white. I think you are right. I’ve noticed your turquoise and love it, it really works in your gorgeous golden light.


    1. Thanks so much. It was originally one long room which we have divided into two rooms, the pantry closest to the kitchen and the laundry room now closed off behind it. Yep, the egg holder is great craic (Sorry, Irish humour).

      Liked by 1 person

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