Our plans for the laundry room & a fun addition to the pantry

Hello there! We are finally feeling some warmish weather again here in Austin. It was below freezing for several days (you Northerners don’t laugh! It never gets below freezing here.) but we are now enjoying temps in the low 60s (don’t be jealous though, we pay for it each summer when temps get into the high 90s!).

Anyway, because of the nicer weather Ben and I hit up Costco this weekend for an exciting purchase to finish off (errr, start?) a project we’ve been wanting to do for some time now. This project is one of those “if you give a mouse a cookie” type projects, so who knows when we will actually be able to say DONE. Let’s call this phase 1 of probably 10 phases. Welcome to my laundry room slash mud room slash pantry:

See that big ol’ hole straight ahead? That is designed for a 2nd refrigerator.

Long story short, we acquired a used one from a sibling of mine, had the refrigerator for a couple months, and had to unexpectedly give the fridge back. (And I took exactly zero pictures of my laundry room with said fridge in it.) Well, having the full-sized fridge for a couple months gave us time to think about what we really want for this big awesome and under-utilized laundry/mud room.

What we realized we DON’T want is a big fridge next to the dryer. I want some cabinets and a counter for folding laundry, and I want some awesome built-ins with a bench. In time we will have all those things. I will probably do something similar to my previous laundry room built-ins that I still dream about at night:

(Previous house laundry room built-ins)

Currently we have some shelves propped up until I do the bench and built-ins.

Okay, so anyway, we LOVED having a fridge for all our beverages, but now that we are short a fridge again I did not want to purchase another full-sized one to go in the same space. After much brainstorming we came up with the best idea! Mini-fridges in the pantry!

We purchased two mini-fridges from Costco. They were $150 each. We went with them because they were the right depth and width, and I like the look of them. We opted for two because we want to keep the sodas and water separate from the adult beverages. Plus, one fridge wasn’t big enough to stock at least 4 different types of soda, bottled water, capri-suns for school lunches, and probably 10 different types of beer and cider.

Ben and I are not big drinkers. In fact, we rarely drink alcohol except maybe in an occasional social setting. However, our friends do drink. We have friends over frequently and we love to have parties, so we always have chilled beverages on hand for anyone who shows up. Each friend has their own favorite, so we like to keep a variety stocked. Basically, we bribe our friends with booze to drive out to our house and hang out with us. 😉

The fridges fit perfectly and we are both thrilled with how this little project is coming together.

The pantry use to look like this:

I removed several of the wire shelves a few months ago, and then this morning I removed two additional shelves to make way for the fridges.

Eventually I plan on removing all the wire shelving, painting all the walls, and adding some nicer wooden pantry shelving that I custom design for the space. But for now, these wire shelves are doing a decent job and I am just happy my fridges fit in here so I can now add my cabinet and countertop next to the dryer.

Here’s a before and after of the pantry progress:


And just because I’ve never shown you a picture of the laundry/mud room from this angle, here is what you see when you are standing next to the dryer looking towards the kitchen. Don’t mind the mess. I can only get one room clean at a time, and you saw how clean the mud room is! Also, if you noticed the folding chairs instead of my industrial ones I bought a year and a half ago, our new breakfast area is much smaller than the previous home. My chairs don’t fit in our new kitchen (the arms don’t allow them to tuck under the table, so they physically will not fit in the smaller space). We are using folding chairs until we do our kitchen renovation.

So that’s what I worked on this weekend and today. I have so many projects up in the air right now, and I am just living in limbo. It seems like every project hinges on another project, and it’s making me crazy!

Do you have a 2nd fridge for drinks? Do you keep your extra fridge in the garage, mud room, pantry, or somewhere else entirely?

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  1. GREAT idea friend!!! I don’t have a mini fridge, but I would love one for my room. It would be stocked with Diet Dr. Pepper, baby bottles, and cups of milk for kids who wake up in the night needing something.

  2. I like the dual mini fridge idea! My only concern is that fidges kick out heat so you want to make sure your pantry is well ventilated so your food doesn’t spoil. You can undercut the door (cut off part of the bottom of the door so there is a gap) or install a grate in the door.

  3. Yes I have a frig in the basement for drinks and overflow when I have family over. Love the mini frig. Can’t wait to see the finished project.

  4. We have a mini fridge in the garage filled with teas, waters, gatorades and sodas. It’s really nice not to have to squeeze all that in the regular fridge.

  5. I love the 2 mini-fridges! We have a second fridge in the kitchenette in our basement. But having extra fridge space like yours just off the kitchen is ideal. I just went on a pantry organizing spree a few days ago. I had a ton of overnight guests for the holidays so I had overbought grocery staples b/c who wants to run to the grocery store with a houseful of company? Once they left, I still had an overage, and the chaos in the pantry was driving me nuts. So, ignoring the 2 Christmas trees & all the Christmas decorations that needed to be put away, I removed EVERY thing from pantry and put it back using risers for canned goods, portable shelves which allowed me to double stack some things, big baskets to hold like-items—-one for Baking, one for Pasta, etc. I got the clear containers at Ikea for holding some things b/c they stack so nicely. And my favorite purchase was the $7.99 lazy susans (15″) from Ikea which I put in every corner b/c things were getting LOST back in the corners! I even made labels and gave my family a seminar (HeeHee) on where things go so they will put things back in the correct place:)

  6. I love this idea. I might need to get a fridge for extra drinks. We always find ourselves throwing drinks in a cooler when we have people over. This would be much cleaner and nicer!

    Also I love that you said you bribe your friends with drinks. Awesome! 🙂

  7. If the Capri Sun are for lunches…maybe you don’t need to fully stock them into the mini fridge? They probably have a tendency to lose the coolness throughout the school day. This could give you more room for more…stuff? Heh.

  8. You are so smart! I’ve wanted a 2nd fridge forever, but don’t have the space. A mini-fridge would be perfect.

  9. Love your fridges. Keep on with the projects. It is a lot of work to make progress, but you will just be so happy with it down the road. I’m working away at things, but it is slow-going. I don’t even have a pantry! We’ve lived in this house for over two years and it is driving me bonkers as it is not a tiny house, abt 5400 SF, just not well designed with function and storage in mind. I want to change some things and create a mudroom, pantry, and laundry room. (I don’t even have a laundry room, just a washer and dryer in the hallway to the garage!) So, I would love extra fridge and freezer space. I’d really like to just change the cabinet that houses the fridge in the kitchen to house a full fridge and full freezer but that requires moving the furnace flue that comes up from the basement. Anyway, it won’t be easy, but I want to make some major changes. One of the recent times I explained what I wanted to do to my husband, he felt like a lot of what I was suggesting was trivial and said, “Why don’t we just install a fireplace and burn money in it?” So, as you can see we feel just the same! 🙂

  10. We live in AZ and we also bought a mini frig like yours for cold drinks , water and beer. Mitalso comes in handy for overflow from our counter depth frig . A secondbfrig is a necessity here in Phx and since it is just the two of us a secon frig does not make sence.
    I love your blog and especially your creativity. You inspired me to make my own drapes for two rooms and when I glance at the pair in the kitchen, it hey make me happy. So thank you.
    Looking forward to your working on the new house, though I have to admit I will miss your old home and your wonderful orange drapes. Have a wonderful time in your new home.

  11. What awesome friends you guys are keeping a stock of your friends’ favorite drinks! Let’s be friends! 😉

  12. You are so smart! I’ve desired a 2nd refrigerator permanently, but do not have the area. A mini-fridge would be ideal.

  13. Just saw this pin on Pinterest and while I think that fridge in the pantry is a neat idea, I think that placing a fridge with alcohol directly next to a fridge filled with drinks for children is not a great idea. They may grab out of the wrong one not knowing what they are doing. One of the fridges should be in a different location. Better safe than sorry. I was pretty surprised reading the comments that no one else picked up on this.

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