The pantry is an important part of a working household. For a lot of reasons, a badly functioning pantry is frustrating. When a pantry is disorganized, we tend to purchase food we don’t need, and forget about the food we do have! Food items that are visible, easily accessible, and tidy, in a well-organized pantry will keep your food budget on track and your house running smoothly. At Closets Plus, we have years of experience designing, building, and installing custom cabinetry. We can help you design a pantry that lines up entirely with your food storage needs for your home. Whether you’re starting from scratch with a new home, remodel, or looking to update an existing pantry, it’s important to know what you need out of your pantry to get the most out of it! We’ve put together some points for you to consider while you work on the design for your perfect pantry.
Consider your Space
The ultimate deciding factor of your pantry layout is your space in and around your kitchen. While it’s ideal to have as much space as you’d like, a small well-designed pantry is always better than a large, badly designed pantry. Take a look at the layout of your kitchen and consider the flow: what areas do you usually use for food prep? Which spaces are generally dedicated to clean up, or cooking? How many pantry areas do you need to reflect the flow of your kitchen? (Did you know that you could have more than one?!) Instead of areas where you primarily focus on clean up, you’ll want your pantry to be easily accessible from the areas where you prepare food and cook, even if it’s not necessarily in the kitchen. You’ll also want to consider where you typically load and unload groceries. It’s important to have an area near your pantry to load and unload items, as this will keep things organized and convenient. Another thing to think on is how much you’re planning to store in your pantry. This is often based on family size and how often you like to shop. Everyone’s kitchen layout, cooking styles, and habits are unique so consider your kitchen space and how you use it. Once you have an idea of where your pantry will fit best in or around your kitchen and how much you need to store in it, you can begin to plan the layout of the storage itself.
The Rules of Effective Storage
When designing a pantry, the layout should follow a few key attributes: convenience, visibility, and accessibility. In other words, your pantry should be laid out in a way that you are able to find your items easily and within reach, and you shouldn’t have to move anything out of the way to find what you are looking for. When designing a pantry, convenience is about more than just being able to see and reach your food items; a conveniently organized pantry is based on what you’ll use most. If you are a baker, not only will you want your pantry to be located near the space you will be prepping to bake, but you’ll also want your pantry to be laid out in a way that prioritizes your baking supplies. In short, this will ensure that food items don’t expire in the pantry, and that you will have a pantry that is useful and efficient. These rules are essential for any effective and useful storage area, but are especially important when storing food. Designing your pantry with convenience, visibility, and accessibility in mind will not only save you time, it will save you money as you won’t keep food past it’s expiration date or lose and forget items because they’re out of sight or inaccessible.
Basic Pantry Layouts
Now that you have an idea of your pantry requirements, you can consider which layout suits your home best. At Closets Plus, we custom build all pantry layouts to suit your needs. Basic pantry layouts include reach-in, pull-out, and walk-in designs. Each layout has it’s own benefits; here are some details on each layout.
The Reach-In Pantry
Reach-in pantries are most useful when they are built with shallow shelves. By keeping cabinet depth to about 16” you won’t have to worry about losing items at the backs of shelves. It might be tempting to build the shelves deeper to fit more, but to stick with the benefits and rules of effective storage it’s better to keep them shallow. For a deeper reach-in pantry, Closets Plus can extend the depth to about 20” – 24”. With deeper shelving, you might find that bins and baskets come in handy to keep like items together so you can move the entire bin to your prep area.
The Pull-Out Pantry
The pull-out pantry is a convenient layout and a great use of space in small kitchens. Essentially, a pull-out pantry is a deep pantry storage space that is kept sideways in a cabinet. Outwardly it looks like a regular cabinet, but when it’s pulled out, stored food items can be easily viewed from one or both sides. Depending on how much space can be allocated to pull-out pantries, the amount of space for storage could be smaller than other pantry layouts. Those that do their food shopping more often will find this layout the most useful. Efficient and compact, the pull-out pantry follows the rules of effective storage by ensuring all items are easy to see and conveniently within reach.
The Walk-In Pantry
The walk-in pantry is like a walk-in closet for your food storage. This layout is most beneficial to those that store large or bulk quantities of foodstuffs with infrequent, large shopping trips. While it’s still important to follow the rules of effective storage with shallow cabinetry and an easy to see and access cabinet layout, there’s more space to store bigger items. With the walk-in layout, there is extra room to have a customized variety of cabinets, shelving, L-Shelves, pull-out trays, baskets and drawers. Because of the extra space needed for the walk-in layout, this style of pantry is often built farther from the kitchen. When this is the case, homeowners might benefit from adding a second, smaller pantry that is located closer to, or inside of the kitchen.
With an idea of what your storage needs and habits are and our professional expertise, you can have a pantry that sets you and your family up for success. In addition to the planning and building of your pantry, Closets Plus can further help you stay organized with adjustable shelving, storage containers like baskets and drawers, and industry insights into design. At Closets Plus, we have years of experience designing, building, and installing custom cabinetry, let’s get started on the perfect pantry for your home!