Would You Put Your Fridge in the Pantry? Sarah Sherman Samuel Did

The designer reveals her new one-stop shop.
Lydia Geisel Avatar
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It’s hard to believe there used to be a shower where designer Sarah Sherman Samuel now keeps her cookbooks and wineglasses. You read that correctly: Her walk-in pantry was once a full bathroom—sink, toilet, and all. “Luckily, this is the second floor and all the plumbing was easily accessible from the basement directly beneath,” says the designer. She also reconfigured the layout a little, moving the closet in the adjacent bedroom to make more space, and swapped the swing door for a pocket one. 

In order to maximize every square inch, Samuel worked with Leslie Conneely from California Closets’s Chicago location. Now there’s a specialized drawer, shelf, and nook for all her stuff, from small appliances and cereal boxes to tableware and canned goods. Samuel revealed the full tour on her blog today—including three organization solutions inspiring us to rethink our kitchen storage. 

Make It a One-Stop Shop

walk in pantry with baskets
Photography by Amy Carroll; Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel

Turning a bathroom into a pantry isn’t even the most mind-boggling bit. It’s the fact that Samuel stuck her refrigerator in the new space that really sparked conversation among her Instagram followers when she first teased the reveal. Her thinking: It’s convenient to have all the food located in one place. When she’s up in the morning making a cup of tea, everything from the hot water (the appliance features a special dispenser) to the sugar is all within arm’s reach. 

Increase Visibility

The perk of working with a pro? They come up with strategies you’d never think of in a million years. In this case, Conneely presented the idea of deep drawers (they fit more stuff) with short faces (so you can see what’s inside). “It also allows you to avoid hardware, which saves space but also looks streamlined when there is already so much going on in the room,” says Samuel. 

Get Specific With Measurements 

Samuel and Conneely squeezed in a shelf made just for the designer’s collection of coffee mugs—the dimensions came out to exactly 6.125 inches high. In fact, all the ledges are that specific. The pair measured cereal boxes and other containers in order to get the cubbies just right. Now everything has a dedicated spot, so there’s no guessing where anything goes. 

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Lydia Geisel Avatar

Lydia Geisel

Home Editor

Lydia Geisel has been on the editorial team at Domino since 2017. Today, she writes and edits home and renovation stories, including house tours, before and afters, and DIYs, and leads our design news coverage. She lives in New York City.