At SmithHönig, you are always at the heart of our design inspiration. And in these uncertain times, you’re in our thoughts more than ever. Our passion for global exploration and style is unwavering, but we’ve put the actual adventuring on hold for the moment. Instead, we’re diving into all the ways we can bring joy and comfort home. This is a perfect time to explore just how meaningful a place home is for all of us.
When working with an interior designer, there are a lot of factors clients consider—style, personality, and budget, for starters. When you choose Houston-based interior designer Emily June Spanos, the deciding factor is “joy.” Her designs are made to delight with creative solutions and a harmonious blend of happy hues—bringing fun and funky to even the most functional of spaces.
On a pantry renovation as part of a larger kitchen redesign, Spanos focuses on making sure she is creating a space that encapsulates her client’s personality and interests. She wants to know everything about her clients – where they shop, what their hobbies are, if they like to travel — and then uses that information to design spaces that are a unique reflection of the people who inhabit them. But she and her team don’t stop there; their goal is to create rooms alive with personality and with all signs of boring, safe beige banished.
“I have been working with my client for over a year now on their home and we just finished their kitchen,” said Spanos. “After remodeling their kitchen, they were just sick of having drab boring pantries—one of which didn’t even have a light fixture. Revamping the pantries was a natural next step. My clients love color about as much as I do and were excited to go for bold!”
Her goal was to give the space some playful personality, while adding some serious function.
“With a pantry, I take an inventory of what the client has, talk with them about what else they would like to fit in the pantry—many times we are remodeling or building something new so we are adding more space!—and discuss the design, colors and how they would like to feel in their new pantry,” said Spanos.
Her approach to designing a new pantry started with a fresh take on spring cleaning. When you think ‘spring cleaning,’ thoughts of scrubbing, dusting, washing and other tedious tasks may come to mind, and Spanos understands.
“Spring cleaning can seem daunting and drab right?! Lots of white and clear bins—making piles of what to throw away and what to give away…but I like to take a different approach,” said Spanos. “I think spring cleaning gives you an opportunity to revamp and redesign the very rooms you’re cleaning out. Using wallpaper, brightly colored bins and baskets, changing out shelving and lighting can all make a difference.
“It’s like you are gaining a whole new space by cleaning it out and sprucing it up with a new design.”
With this reframed perspective, she chose materials based on the style, color palette and the durability of the materials to achieve the overall end result she envisioned. For a room design, she selects one or two bold pieces as a showstopper in each room and let the rest of her selections quietly complement them, and she took the same approach with this pantry. A show stopping pantry? It’s the kitchen element you didn’t know you needed until now.
“My clients fell in love with the SmithHönig Moroccan Knot wallpaper, and we made all the other styling decisions from there,” said Spanos. “This wallpaper is the centerpiece of the pantry! My clients and I loved the kaleidoscope pattern. The pattern and color will truly make this little space the jewel box of the kitchen.”
Spanos chose to use the unpasted matte wallpaper option and have it professionally installed for a more tailored, permanent look.
“I love that they offer the wallpaper in both unpasted matte and peel-and-stick, so you can choose what application is best for you,” she said.
As the principal designer, founder and business owner of Emily June Designs, Spanos is focused on adding the unexpected—like a boldly wallpapered pantry—but it’s not just about aesthetics.
“When organizing and designing, the organizational tools must be tasteful, curated and also cohesive. In order for a space like a closet or pantry to feel organized you have to have uniformity. I like to get all the same type of bins or canisters to create a unique but consistent look. Like other aspects of design, it’s a dance between aesthetics and functionality.”
But it’s not all structured function: We love Spanos’ creative use of SmithHönig touches throughout the refresh like our Brass Nesting Bowls , keeping those little items in every pantry that get shoved to the back of the shelf; and a Courtyard Silk Tassel, bringing substantial fabulousness to the doorknob. What other advice does Spanos have for adding drama in an unexpected place?
“Wallpaper an accent wall or even the back of built-in shelving, the front of a dresser or nightstand,” she said. “SmithHönig has peel-and-stick wallpaper—so no installer required! You would be surprised how much of a difference some bold wallpaper will make in that linen closet or laundry room of yours!”
If you are one of the many at home right now, might that mean tackling a DIY project or finally beautifying a dark corner? Let us help. And if you’re one of the front line heroes keeping the world running – our hearts are with you, more than you know.