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Courtesy of www.houzz.com
AVOID BLUNDERS AND GET THE STORAGE SPACE AND ARRANGEMENT YOU NEED BY ASKING THESE QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU BEGIN.
Some pantry design dilemmas don’t seem obvious at the time of planning but become apparent later. Doors that open inward onto shelving, badly arranged racks and compartments, small cubbies with no room for appliances, a lack of hooks for towels and aprons, and poorly positioned lighting are all mistakes that can be circumvented. Use this quick guide to address the most obvious blunders before they happen. The suggestions may also inspire you with some fresh design ideas.
1. Which way will the door open?
A common mistake when planning a pantry is installing a door that gets in the way. When space is at a premium, the best options are sliding or folding doors. An outward-opening door gives more room for pantry shelves and is the next best option — but only if there is plenty of space to swing the door wide.
A door that opens inward can work, but be aware that it might make an already small space smaller. It can also compromise the space behind the door of your pantry, limiting the amount of stuff you can store there.
2. Will there be enough light?:
Another typical mistake is to have either poor lighting in the pantry or none at all. Your pantry will more than likely be built without a window or with just a small one. One way to make sure that you have enough light in there is to install quality LED lighting. Or, if your home is a single-floor dwelling, put in a skylight. Also, the light switch should be reachable and in an accessible spot by the pantry door.
3. How can top shelves be accessed?
There is no point in planning a pantry with floor-to-ceiling storage if you can’t access the items on the top shelf. If your pantry is large enough, park a ladder on a sliding rail to access the infrequently used items on the top shelves. Store things you regularly use farther down.
If your pantry is small, store a step ladder in a handy spot for easy access. Inexpensive plastic single steps also can be folded flat and hung on a hook.
One way to see what is on the upper shelves of your pantry without clambering up a step ladder is to install glass shelving or wire racks on the upper levels.
4. What materials can be used to get a designer look?
A walk-in pantry’s shelves and cabinets should be made of a sturdy material with a finish that complements the rest of the kitchen.
Solid polished wood shelves or powder-coated metal racks are attractive options. A far superior alternative is engineered stone surfaces for an inspired designer look.
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5. Will the position of the pantry aid or hinder kitchen traffic and cooking?
You not only need your pantry to be well illuminated, you also need to get in and out of your pantry quickly when cooking. If the pantry is positioned in such a way as to hinder the flow of kitchen traffic, you’ll have to walk too far to grab essential ingredients. For that reason, it’s important that your pantry is near where you are preparing food.
Also consider the process of stocking your pantry and where it will be in relation to counters and tables. A kitchen countertop that is just outside a pantry will prove convenient for setting down groceries. Its close proximity also makes using it as a sorting station from which to fill pantry shelves extremely handy.
6. How will the shelves be arranged so that common items are easy to see?
Obviously put the items you use the most on the shelves that are in front of you when you walk into the pantry. Make sure the shelves are not too deep, and that you can see everything at once by placing smaller items at the front and larger items at the back. Heavy dishware and servingware can be stored on shelves that are wider and lower down.
A common error is to line the pantry with shelves from top to bottom with no break. A small and wider shelf at counter height not only can accommodate larger, taller items and appliances, but also can provide an extra surface for food prep.
7. Does the pantry need any special features?
It’s really only in the planning stage that you can incorporate special features that will become permanent but useful fixtures in your walk-in pantry. Special features could include pullout baskets for root vegetables, narrow cubbies for large platters, and spice or wine racks.
8. How can free wall space be used effectively without overcrowding the pantry?
Every bit of space can be used to solve a storage problem, and a pantry wall is no different. Whatever you decide to do with it, keep it simple and slim. Ideas include hooks for aprons and utensils, and a household calendar to note important family events. A chalkboard painted on a section of the wall could also serve this purpose.
9. What larger items will be stored, and where?
Appliances and cookware dishes and pans often are kept in the pantry instead of in a kitchen drawer or cabinet, mostly because it’s easier to access them. To accommodate these bulky items, create some large but uniformed cubbies.