Pantries

Kitchen by Hammerschmidt Construction /Photo by Dave Edwards

Want to take your kitchen from great to spectacular? Consider adding a walk-in pantry. While adding a pantry may feel as if you are taking up valuable cabinet space, if it is carefully tailored to your household’s storage needs, it can add functionality and increase organization. Corner pantries are perfect for small kitchens with unused corner space. Stocking a pantry with staples can save time, money and stress in the kitchen. Tap the pantry for unexpected meals and reduce trips to the supermarket. Stocking it with frugal finds can also lower grocery costs.

Photo: Onekindesign

Storage Goals
It is recommended that you choose the style of shelving early in the design process so that shelf heights and depths for oversize goods can be incorporated into the design. The first step in the process is to make a list of the items you currently store so that your pantry can be customized to allow for oversize items and bulk storage. For example, if you need space for super-sized bags of dog food, incorporating movable bins or low drawers in the shelving designs assure everything has a place and can be accessed easily. If you buy bulk quantities of baking supplies and grains you might incorporate a shelf where you can both store and measure smaller quantities as needed.

Light and Air

Plan appropriate lighting for your pantry, just as you would any other room. Additionally, keep in mind that installation of electrical outlets is much easier in the building phase than after the fact. Having outlets in the pantry allows for of installing specialized appliances, a portable wine cooler or even for charging mini-vacs etc. If possible, planning for passive ventilation will help keep the air fresh and minimize odors.

Shelving Details

While we tend to keep this simple, the majority of the shelving that we have installed are uniform in size and are stationary. However, some might suggest that you resist the urge to use deep shelves to maximize space as it tends to promote contents being stacked and items not being used. This diagram from Everything Pantry suggests using shelves of mixed depths for maximum efficiency and adjustable shelving for flexibility.

Pantry Doors

Depending on the location of your pantry, there are a variety of style options for pantry doors. If your pantry is located in a hallway or away from the kitchen, a pocket door may be an ideal, as it eliminates the space required for a swinging door and it can be left open without blocking traffic. A popular option of late, is the barn style door with a sliding track. These can be found in a variety of styles from contemporary to industrial. If your pantry is part of a smaller kitchen, a traditional panel door can be used to blend in with the rest of the cabinetry or painted an accent color which can add personality to the room. Other options that add flair and interest are doors with frosted or patterned glass panels doors with a window pane frame and clear glass panels and doors painted with chalkboard paint for grocery lists and creative drawings.

 

Amanda Hesser’s Best Tips for a Clean, Organized Pantry

From the perspective of a chef, Amada Hesser, an American food writer, editor, cookbook author, and entrepreneur, “Your pantry shouldn’t be a storage unit – it should be a toolkit. It’s not where you put things to keep them off your counter. It’s where you have all of your best culinary weapons at the ready to help you in the kitchen” How you design your pantry and arrange your tools should be focused on making your cooking more efficient and inspiring.”

Amanda Hesser is notably the co-founder and CEO of Food52, previously the food editor of the New York Times Magazine and winner of a James Beard award. In her March blog she offers a few tips, rules and designs from the Food52Shop.

  • The ideal pantry has adjustable shelves. Add the shelves as you stock your pantry, not the other way around. This way you maximize your space.
  • Buy lots of tins, containers, jars, and a set of wet-erase markers.
  • Arrange by frequency of use.
  • On each shelf, apply a similar level-to-us-system.
  • Try to avoid stacking where possible.
  • Keep dwindling supplies towards the front.

The full article can be found here.

Resources for Pantry Organization

11 Organization Tricks That Make a Pantry Feel Twice as Big

Hint #2 Add Lazy Susans!

Pantry Makeovers on Pinterest

Wallpaper your pantry

Chalkboard labels:

  • Stick on many smooth surfaces K
  • Removable adhesive leaves no residue
  • Erasable surface for labeling with chalk

Kitchen labels:

  • Stick to many kitchen containers
  • Freezer and microwave oven safe
  • Remove cleanly after one dishwasher cycle

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