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I’m finally getting to writing up a few posts solely about my new aPRAGUEment (and yes, that joke still makes me laugh a little too much). I was lucky enough to find an apartment that is as central as it can get in this city. It’s on the bank of the river Vltava, right next to the hipster haven called Naplavka (I will show you the farmer’s market there in spring, it’s like a little Parisian quarter full of pretty girls carrying their peonies in wicker baskets and handsome men with beards longer than the list of all my life regrets, and also men buns – many, many men buns). It takes you 2 minutes to walk to the National Theatre and Prague’s best-known cafe. And 10 minutes to walk to any major tourist sight. This apartment is not mine, it’s rented, but I’ve been able to make it feel like a real home in just 3 short months. In this series called the ‘aPRAGUEment 101’, I’d like to show you all the tips & tricks I’ve come up with to make this space cosy AF with as little budget as possible. The first corner of my home I’d like to show you is my open pantry.
A TRADITIONAL PANTRY VS AN OPEN PANTRY
There are definitely pros & cons for both types of pantries – and until this year I’ve always lived in flats & houses that had a traditional style pantry. Ones you can walk into and shut the door behind you – or you can ram a whole lot of crap inside before your mum calls over. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for the sake of tidying up properly) there is no storage room or even storage space in this apartment. So the only option was to create an open pantry. I used the IKEA HEJNE shelving system – altogether my pantry cost some £40, which I think is pretty affordable! You can pick and choose various parts of the shelving system which gives you the freedom to create a set of units that fit into your space perfectly. You can even get little add-ons like baskets, wine racks and even cupboard doors if you really want to go that extra mile with it. I wanted it to be kind of plain and because I wanted it to work as a decor piece too, I went for just standard shelves. Simple. Originally I wanted to stain it dark but eventually decided to keep it in this natural birch shade because it brightens up the space quite a lot.
5 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR OPEN PANTRY A DECOR PIECE
JARS, JARS, JARS
I believe that the key way to make an open pantry look neat & tidy is to repack as many things as possible into pretty containers. Glass jars are my absolute favourite – although I do admit they tend to be highly unpractical. They are heavy to hold in just one hand (if you’re a keen cook then this could potentially annoy the hell out of you), they are sometimes a little slippy (if your hands are not completely dry – which they never are when you’re midst cooking) and if they fall (read: your cat decides to climb the
Everest Hejne) then they’ll smash to a million pieces. They are very good for storing food though (they usually come with an airtight lid) and let’s be honest here – they just look bloody fancy. I use the Dymo label maker to make embossed labels for all the jars which gives them quite a unified look.
FLEA MARKET FINDS
Since this open pantry is also a decor piece I’ve adorned it with a bunch of prettiness. I have decided that my precious picnic basket I got from my mum a few years ago will be housed on the very top shelf which also gives the shelving unit some extra height and dictates the shape of the top horizon. I’ve also added my favourite letter board (you can get it here on RedCandy) to the top which currently has the best Bob Ross quote on it (and if you’re not Bob’s biggest fan then who are you even?!). I also have a few vintage pieces sat on top – a vintage cake mould, a wooden butter mould, a copper teapot, some wooden spoons and more. You can never have enough flea market finds, right?
BASKETS, CRATES & BOXES
Another trick to keep your open pantry clutter-free is to use get as many storage options as possible. I have two little wooden crates from IKEA which I use to store potatoes, onions and apples – apparently, they’re meant to last a little longer in wooden crates, which is always a plus. I also have a few plastic boxes from Tesco’s (I do think they sell them at John Lewis at the moment but couldn’t find them online) and also some baskets and metal tins. I even got a nice minty green storage tin for my washing powder and tablets – it was an absolute bargain for less than £5 from Home Bargains!
HANG IT UP
Don’t forget that you can use the shelving sides to hang something up on them. I don’t have many pieces that need to be hung up right now but I’ve added a large belt clock which I bought years ago from Wilkos as well as a little satchel full of steak spices I got from my uncle who lives in Texas. I love the colours that are on it! You could easily hang a floral garland or even a few photos on it though. I can imagine that a bunch of polaroids with photos of your favourite dishes would look ace on it!
A COLOUR/SHAPE/TEXTURE SCHEME
Don’t forget that just like with any shelves it’s crucial to keep a style or a scheme to avoid it looking too messy. A repeated pattern or a style helps you achieve this quite easily – that’s why I have a few shelves full of those tall glass jars and some other shelves are done up with just crates or boxes. All my cleaning bits & bobs at the bottom are minty green and all my cleaning products are in dark tinted jars which match some old beer bottles I have right next to them.
Do you have a traditional pantry or an open one?
Which one do you prefer?