Ask Design Mom Question:
I have just added shelves to some old closets in the kitchen, hoping to make it a pantry. I have done the same with an upstairs closet that will house the upstairs laundry room. Sadly, I used a terrible handyman and the shelves look, well, like my three year old did them. I think I will redo them in the future when the budget allows for something better, but for now I have two questions: 1) any tips on how to spruce up an old-ish pantry? and 2) when it is time to re do it, where do I go to get the inside of a great closet or laundry room designed? Thanks! — Rebecca.

Design Mom Answer:
Great questions, Rebecca! This is a fun place to start the big Ask Design Mom week. I’m going begin with your second question about design services for closet interiors.

I’ve never actually used a service like this, but whenever I see ads for companies like Contemporary Closets or Closets by Design, I’m always tempted to schedule a free consultation. According to their websites, they focus on places like closets, garages, laundry rooms and utility rooms — and they’ll tackle very big or very small jobs. If anyone reading this has used a closet design service and wants to share their experience, please do so — we’re super curious.

As far as sprucing up a pantry goes, since it’s a small space, it’s the perfect opportunity to try out some bold color. Pick a shade that might be overwhelming in large quantities, but will provide a nice surprise whenever you open your cupboard.

You could add the color with a coat of paint, a layer of wallpaper — or even good old contact paper (is contact paper still around?). For a less permanent solution, you could try papering the back of the cupboard with the new adhesive wrapping paper from Hallmark. It’s coated with post-it note stickiness across the whole roll — which would make it easy to reposition and easy to remove.

What about you, readers? How do you make your pantry a happy place?

images from the Container Store