You Have to See This Hallway Closet’s Surprising Transformation

dark teal or green and white entryway/hallway with  floating bookshelves

Even though Curtis Taylor Jr. and Danielle Taylor were in love with the floor plan of their colorful, contemporary 700-square-foot home in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, they thoughtfully considered how to utilize every square inch best.

For example, their galley-style kitchen didn’t have room for a traditional pantry, and the couple sometimes finds cooking daunting. So, the pair sought to create a food storage spot that would “fuel and excite their passion for the kitchen,” they shared.

So the couple chose to transform a closet into an elevated pantry. The existing closet already had one shelf, so they used it as a guide for measuring and adding additional shelving. “We wanted the flow to be seamless and look as natural as possible,” the pair shares. “Our goal was for it to have never looked like a closet in the first place.”

Closet turned gourmet pantry.
Credit: Curtis & Danielle Taylor Credit: Curtis & Danielle Taylor

But it wasn’t just that the couple installed some shelving and simply stored their food. Instead, they made it an elevated, store-like experience that helped inspire their cooking. “Once we got the rush of loving how the pantry changed our flow, there was no turning back, and we started organizing everything,” the couple says.

The couple invested in organizing staples from The Container Store, like the iDESIGN Large Stackable Closet Bin and 3-Tier Bamboo Expanding Spice Shelf (among several others), which helped their pantry layout flow. And it’s safe to say that this project strengthened their already adept organizational skills, and they even developed a motto. 

“Always remember everything has a place. If there’s no place, there’s no space,” they explain. “From the beginning, when we organized the pantry, we thought about our everyday lifestyle and needs. From there, we drew a plan that allowed us room to grow in our shopping decisions at the grocery store while still maintaining order and flow in the pantry. So we only buy what we need and always put things back.”

Closet turned gourmet pantry.
Credit: Curtis & Danielle Taylor Credit: Curtis & Danielle Taylor

Two words guide the couple while organizing their spaces: seamless and touch. Seamless refers to creating what they call “flow pathways” that increase efficiency. “Touch means any organization has to hit the two-touch rule, which is that if it requires more than two touches to grab something, then the configuration of that organization has to change,” they say.

Their well-organized pantry has influenced the way they shop, too. It’s made them only purchase items that they actually need. Speaking of purchasing, the pantry feels like a gourmet market right at home.

Closet turned gourmet pantry.
Credit: Curtis & Danielle Taylor Credit: Curtis & Danielle Taylor

“Having all these items beautifully merchandised in our pantry makes it feel like shopping in your home. The more you can gamify things that may seem mundane, the more you add excitement to everyday tasks,” they share. “Also, when we host, the pantry is always such a hit.”

Shop Their Pantry Organizational Tools

Container Store Pantry Organizational Tools

iDESIGN Large Stackable Closet Bin Clear
iDESIGN Large Stackable Closet Bin Clear

Case of 4 T.H.E. Stacking Pantry Bin Clear
Case of 4 T.H.E. Stacking Pantry Bin Clear

Everything Organizer Deep Turntable with Removable Bins
Everything Organizer Deep Turntable with Removable Bins

3-Tier Bamboo Expanding Spice Shelf
3-Tier Bamboo Expanding Spice Shelf

iDesign Linus 2-Section Packet Holder
iDesign Linus 2-Section Packet Holder

iDesign Linus Pantry Bin
iDesign Linus Pantry Bin

Marie Kondo Narrow Shoji Bamboo Pantry Bin Kocha Brown
Marie Kondo Narrow Shoji Bamboo Pantry Bin Kocha Brown

Anchor 1 Gallon Glass Canister Glass Lid
Anchor 1 Gallon Glass Canister Glass Lid

OXO Good Grips POP 5-Piece Canisters
OXO Good Grips POP 5-Piece Canisters

To see more of their gorgeous home, visit the full home tour.