Thursday, April 4, 2013

What Every Farmgirl Needs...

A Canning Pantry!
With our evolving urban farm, all the canning, jam making, 
pickling and fermenting we do.
We have outgrown this little 1951 house's storage.
With an older house that has closets that are
two feet by three feet, you have to be really smart
about how you use your space.
Unfortunately, here in Phoenix, homes do not have root
cellars. Don't even get me started on how crazy this is,
we are the ones that should have them and basements too.
When you have summers that are 115 degrees and
six feet into the earth it stays a constant 56 degrees.
But I digress...
We've had this little closet next to our carport door.
We really only used it for purses, keys and
the occasional sweater. 
but behind this closet was a large outdoor storage closet
that would store all those items you need but not everyday;
ice cream makers, paella pans, roasting pan, chafing dishes, get the idea.
A few years ago we added a pantry into our laundry room, which helped,
 but this space is limited for the amount of items we put up.
Then at Christmas time, when I was going
into the outdoor closet multiple times a day.
It dawned on me...why don't we knock out the wall between the
two closets and make one big indoor closet?
It is funny how you can design spaces for others,
but in your own home, you can live with such a poor
use of space for years and it did not even phase me!?!
It is like the shoemakers children having no shoes.
So last week we started fixing the problem.
Here's the wall riped down in between the two closets
 and the outside door being framed in for a window.
And now, where we are at...
The window is now in and trimmed out, almost all the bead board is up. 
The vintage pink door that I found at Sweet Salvage, was
exactly the right dimensions with all the original hardware
 including hinges, is hung.

I am going to leave it this crazy chippy pink color...
I love it and so does my inner Grandma. :)

So now all we have to do is finish up the bead board, figure out
flooring, put up the trim and baseboards and then,
design custom shelves that will hold all the different size kitchen
items, along with all my canning supplies, plus a spot that we
can put our big huge fermenting crocks and have them in the dark.
This is where I need to get super creative with our space planning
because every square inch counts.
I'll let you know what I come up with!
We have just a few spots left for
Brunch at the Coop
Saturday, April 4
tickets available here.
Chicken 101 Class
Taught by my friend and chicken mentor, Jim Dennis.
If you are interested in keeping chickens,
this is the class for you!
Sunday, April 14
Register for the class here.

 Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Caroline, What a fabulous idea! & that pink door is simply charming! As a decorator as well, I too seem to do a magnificant job organizing & creating functional spaces for my clients, but our own home is the last place to get attended to?? :) It's pretty, but not too functional! :)...Thank you for such great inspiration!....Your friend, Heidi XO

  2. I love the old pink paint on the door. It adds a lot of character. I wish I lived closer, I would love to attend the chicken seminar.

  3. Great use of space and I LOVE that door! What a find! :D

  4. Hi there Caroline...I had to smile at you not being able to design for yourself, so many times I've said this to the husband. Love your new bigger pantry and how exciting for you. They don't put basements in Phoenix because of the soil, to hard to get through and sand below the hard stuff, it's a building and cost nightmare. I hope you're doing well!


  5. Fantastic use of space - Loved this - always find great ideas when you write! Carole

  6. Fabulous idea woman! I'd like to knock out a few walls around my home. Not sure quite why :-) xo lylah

  7. Love the bead board and the pink screen door!! Oh I could digress with you. In our homes up north where we shoveled snow in the winter, my hubby would build me insulated cold rooms for food storage in our basements. Insulated from the heat in our basements to warm the family room, laundry and son's bedroom. I could buy or grow 200 pounds of potatoes and use them before they spoiled. now living here in the hot desert without basement's in our now empty nest we struggle to make 5 lbs gone before sprouting unless serving them for company.

  8. looks so great and what a good idea/use of space! you smart lady, you ;) love that door, it is awesome that it fit right in! since you are the queen of green paint...what is the green color you uses most in your house? i love it!

  9. Oh Caroline, I had Photographed that gorgeous Old Door at Sweet Salvage and wondered what lucky person ended up with it, great to see how it was re-purposed and I'm so glad you are keeping it in the Original Time-Worn condition! *Whew* So many might paint right over that wonderful Patina and refinish it *Gasp and a Shudder*... I too lament that there are no basements here in the AZ desert, but I do understand why not... the soil in most parts is not condusive to being stable enough for excavating below ground housing, too much shifting and contractions which would cause structural nightmares. Quite often it happens above ground if the foundation isn't able to stabilize the shifting sandy soils or caliche expansion and contraction soils. Your Transformation is Creative and Inspiring... a real 'Make It Work' Testimony! Thanks for Sharing the Process and Results. A Fellow Desert Dweller... Dawn... The Bohemian

  10. I have just spent the past hour & half going thru all your blog posts..... so inspiring.... I don't garden, no green fingers here, but your blog inspired, so I thought I may start very small and just grow a few winter veg. I am from 'down under' (NZ in otherwords) loved the concept you are doing..... markets, jamming, canning all of it! just love the readings of your farm and household - love seeing the house evolving as well. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me today, Tracey

  11. We live in a tiny cottage so every room must serve multiple purposes. The best thing we ever did was to knock out a wall. I wonder why no one before us thought of the idea.

    I look forward to perusing your blog - I am retiring in 6 weeks (yay!) and am hoping to start growing some of our vegetables.

  12. One can never have enough pantry space! I love what you are doing, especially the fantastic door. My home is over 100 years old and it has been so fun to remodel. Never enough storage areas in these old homes. Great save!

  13. I love the old door, it adds a lot of character. I am dying to check out Sweet Salvage! You have the most awesome ideas, you are so full of inspiration. Thank you!

  14. I love the pink door--especially because I have one JUST LIKE IT! It's the back door off of my kitchen circa 1920. Mine's not pink though.


Thank you so much for your sweet comments!

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