Home » Pantry Plans, a.k.a. Making the Basement Less Scary

Root cellar that will become the pantry.

Pantry Plans, a.k.a. Making the Basement Less Scary

What’s that expression? “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans” or “plans are meant to be broken” or “the best laid plans…” or any other expression having to do with plans that you see falling apart in every direction? That’s where we are right now with our 2017 house plans and it’s only the first weekend in February. I wrote about several ideas we had in mind for 2017 assuming that we would get to a few but probably not all of them. Seeing as how we were told yesterday that we need to replace our entire roof soon (yikes!), it’s looking more and more like we won’t get to most of them. We’ve made some headway on the master bedroom closet doors (we are not DIYing them after all and, thanks to the roof, might not be able to afford to do this project; this is a post for a later date) and we are starting on the office wall unit. So next on the list is creating a pantry and a wine cellar, aka making the basement less scary.

And, like all other house plans for 2017, these two projects are already not going the way I’d originally anticipated. Like I have mentioned before, we have a creepy crawly part of our house that includes a cemented area where our water heater, boiler and sump pump are, a dirt mound and then a root cellar that currently houses nothing. It’s all ugly, wasted space where no one wants to hang out and where no one will ever hang out. Our dog doesn’t even venture down there. Not only will she not go down there but she won’t even go near the door to go down there. That says something!

I originally had thought that we could add a shelving/cabinetry unit against one wall in the water heater/boiler/sump pump area to be a pantry, especially since the stairs leading down there are off the kitchen. The second part of this project was to turn the root cellar into a wine cellar. Neither one of these things are happening because Daniel thinks we shouldn’t add anything to the water heater/boiler/sump pump area and also, as the furnace is down there, that area is too warm to have a wine cellar. So we’re going to turn what was supposed to be the wine cellar into the pantry.

The plan – I mean, I guess I shouldn’t use that word anymore – is to just make that area less scary. And on a total budget.



This is going to take a lot of creativity. We’ll need to remove all of the shelving that is currently in there as well as whatever old rug/carpeting is in there (gross!). Then I think I want to cover the insulation with a thin drywall or plywood to have a less scary ceiling, lay down some budget flooring (perhaps something similar to what we have in the backyard?), add cabinetry and shelving, and maybe cover the inside of the door with temporary wallpaper in a bright and wild print just for kicks. I’ve had my eye on the Ikea IVAR cabinetry and shelving system for the pantry, which I hope will work in this space.

IVAR 2 section unit w/cabinet & chest IKEA
Photo: Ikea

Then there’s the rest of the space that leads into the root cellar/future pantry. We can’t block off any areas because the entire downstairs provides access to various pipes and other systems necessary for the functioning of our house. Perhaps we’ll just block off that area with a curtain so you don’t see it every time you need to go to get something from the pantry and add the same flooring that we add to the pantry. Or really bright outdoor rugs to cover the flooring and add happiness. Adding happiness helps to take away scariness, right?

RUNNEN Floor decking, outdoor IKEA Floor decking makes it easy to refresh your terrace or balcony.
Photo: Ikea

Welcoming any and all ideas, so feel free to weigh in below. And wish us luck on the roof situation!

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