Trusted Pros on things to think about when preparing a kitchen pantry.
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When remodeling your kitchen, you may want to consider adding a walk-in pantry if you have the space. Pantries can be great for people who love to cook, but they can also add extra shelving for snacks and pre-packaged meals even if you don’t spend much time in the kitchen. Don’t make the following ten mistakes when planning a space for a walk-in pantry.
Mistake #1: Planning the space before finding shelving. Pantries typically need floor to ceiling shelves if you want to make the most of the space. However, waiting until after you put up the drywall to shop for shelves can be a disaster. Choose the shelves you want and then plan the pantry with the shelves’ depths in mind.
Mistake #2: Using doors that open inward. Pantries are already fairly small. If you add a door that opens into the pantry that opens inward, it can be really hard to get to the items you’ve stored behind the door. This also limits the things you can store in your pantry. Instead, opt for a door that swings outward into your kitchen.
Mistake #3: Not considering the pantry in the flow of your kitchen. Pantries shouldn’t be an afterthought. Think about the natural flow of your kitchen traffic, especially how you’ll want to move from the pantry to the counter and refrigerator. If you don’t consider your pantry in your overall layout, you’ll find yourself walking around tables and carrying supplies clear across the house. Plan everything together.
Mistake #4: Not including electrical outlets. It may seem silly to include electrical outlets in your walk-in pantry, but there are a number of small appliances that you may want to plug in, even in your pantry. For example, some people put wine refrigerators or can openers in their pantries. Even if you don’t have plans for those items in your pantry, you never know what you’ll what in the future, and at that point it will be too late to easily add them.
Mistake #5: Choosing bad lighting or no lighting at all. Your pantry isn’t an ordinary storage closet. If you don’t have proper lighting, you’ll forever be losing cans of peas on back shelves. The lighting you choose doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive – it just has to be functional. You should at least have the wiring set up for the light so that you can install it in the future.
Mistake #6: Taking up valuable space in your kitchen. Sometimes, the only way to create a walk-in pantry is to take some of the space from the kitchen or another room. However, this does not always have to be the case. Look for unused space, like room beneath a staircase. Your kitchen doesn’t have to get smaller in order for you to have a pantry.
Mistake #7: Filling your pantry only with shelves. Sure, most people like to have large, solid shelving in their pantry. This isn’t your only option, though. You can also use plate racks, wine racks, and other storage compartments and containers. The point is this: thinking outside of the box can help you make the most of your pantry storage. Think about the items you stock most and set up your pantry to cater to your needs.
Mistake #8: Placing the pantry near the laundry room. Your pantry needs to be located in a clean, dark, dry place. Also important is the temperature of this small space. Although you don’t have to keep your pantry cool (after all, that’s your refrigerator’s job), if your pantry shares a wall with a laundry room or any room that gets hot, like a computer room, your food could spoil more quickly. Think about your pantry’s location in conjunction with your entire house, not just in relation to the kitchen.
Mistake #9: Using deep shelving. Although you may think that deep shelves will hold more items, keep in mind that you need to be able to quickly reach these items for your pantry to make sense. You can store rarely used items on the top shelf, but at the end of the day, unless you use a stepladder, shallow shelves are typically a better idea. As an added bonus, they’ll be easier to clean that way.
Mistake #10: Quick planning. Lastly, when designing your new walk-in pantry, don’t plan it quickly or without considering all angles. Your new kitchen is undoubtedly an expensive remodel, and while a kitchen pantry might seem like a small detail, a great pantry can really make your kitchen special. Spend some time planning it!