Small Space, Great Functionality - 405 Magazine

Small Space, Great Functionality

Thanks to planning and a bit of renovation, a meager pantry in the Dinwiddie home becomes a well-organized utility room.


Emily Dinwiddie thought the laundry room adjacent to the kitchen would be a much better location for a pantry, and so she set about remodeling it into the workhorse it is today.

The walkout door was relocated to another area of the house, and a wall pushed out five feet to create a bigger space. A farmhouse sink and window replaced the door, and an antique tole chandelier gives a French touch to the décor. Corbels and bead board backsplash add a modern farmhouse feel.

With a troop of boys constantly raiding the pantry (her four sons and their friends), Emily relies on organization and simplicity to keep order. Labeled wicker baskets corral smaller items, and wire baskets store canned goods while allowing Emily to easily see the contents.

“I’m organized out of necessity, not nature,” Emily says, reaffirming that anyone can enjoy a modicum of magazine-level order and design with a little thought and work. “Everything must have a place and be within easy reach, or it’s total chaos, all the time.”

(clockwise from top left) Organization needn’t be a sterile affair. Wicker and chalkboard labels warm up the orderly shelves. | Elements like brass grill door inserts were added to personalize the room. | Gift wrapping is streamlined with a station that houses paper, ribbons, twine and craft supplies; hardware is from Anthropologie.

Emily’s gift for innovation in the home is showcased on her blog and instagram account at and at, and she loves to share ideas about implementing great design techniques in a functional way.

“My design ethic is about creating an inviting, personalized space for family and friends,” Emily says.

“I hope my love for my family translates into the way I decorate and keep my home.”