Kitchen Pantry Design Ideas To Consider When Remodeling

How To Create A Kitchen Pantry When Remodeling

Whether it's a walk-in, or a floor to ceiling cabinet next to the fridge, today, one of the most requested features for buyers seeking a new home, or homeowners remodeling their kitchen, is a pantry. The pantry plays an essential role in a functional kitchen. It not only provides valuable food storage, but it can also help direct the room's traffic flow.

When adding a pantry to your kitchen remodel, there are a couple of things you'll need to make. The first is what type of pantry is right for you, and the second is, where is the perfect location?

The Ideal Place For Your Kitchen Pantry

When considering the placement of your pantry, it's crucial to think about workflow. When renovating the kitchen, most designers will try to place the pantry in a location that is within steps of the primary work zone. Consider the arrangement of your kitchen triangle – that is the areas around the fridge, sink oven, and cooktop.

When designing your space, the placement of your appliances should come first. The pantry should be carved out of the space after the kitchen's primary layout, and flow has been considered.

Look for a space near the work zone that allows for easy access. Create an opening that will enable you to see the entire contents of the pantry at the same time. Determine the space you have available. Ideally, your pantry should be as large as possible, but if your space is limited, you need to get creative with nooks, crannies, and corner spaces.

Learn The Cost Of Kitchen Renovation In Madison, Wis.

While there's no exact formula for the perfectly sized pantry, or it's placement, the available space in your kitchen will dictate your approach. For example, you may dream of having a large walk-in pantry, but if your space is limited, you may need to consider a practical alternative, like a pantry cabinet. In fact, no rule says a pantry needs to be in a single location. In a smaller space, you may find multiple pantries dedicated to different food items a more functional choice.

You can combine an upper cabinet next to the cooktop as one of your locations. It's a perfect location for daily use items like spices, flour, and oil, and have a second set of rollout pantries on either side of the stove for additional ingredients. Rollout cabinets between the cooktop and oven provide immediate access to ingredients exactly when and where you need them.

Walk-In, Pantry Cabinet, or Rollouts, Which is Right For You

Deciding on what type of pantry you will include in your kitchen remodel rests on a couple of factors. First, think about how you'll use the space. Do you need room to store small, rarely used appliances and seasonal serving ware? Will you be using it to store dry goods like flour, sugar, or salt? Are you looking for a pantry that is easily accessible when preparing meals on the stove? Answering these questions can help you narrow your choices.

The second factor is the available space. Is there a closet adjacent to the kitchen that can be converted into a walk-in? Maybe a floor to ceiling pantry cabinet next to the refrigerator is a better choice to meet your needs. Let's take a look at a couple of options.

This walk-in pantry contains shelves, roll-outs, and even the refrigerator, freezer and microwave (not pictured here).

• The Walk-In Pantry

Walk-ins are a home chef's best friend. When it comes to sheer storage volume and flexibility, nothing beats a walk-in pantry. With floor to ceiling shelves on many walls, you'll have plenty of space to store dozens of ingredients, snacks, pots and pans, medium or large appliances, cookbooks and more.

Walk-in pantries can help you get a little creative when it comes to organizing your workspace. Sort items by row, or food group, consider dedicating a column of shelves for storing non-refrigerated produce, canned fruit, tomato sauce, or your most used items like spices and oils. You can even organize baking sheets, pot lids, and more with built-in shelf dividers.

The only real downside is that bigger isn't always better. Sometimes, if you don't keep it organized, you can spend time searching for ingredients, or you may miss items stored on a high shelf. If your pantry is outside of your work triangle, can be inefficient when you're cooking. If you have a smaller space, or you like having what you need right at hand, a walk-in might not be the best option.

• Cabinet Pantries

This pantry cabinet features roll-out trays for easy access to your groceries or small appliances.

While a walk-in pantry features several walls of shelves, a cabinet pantry confines all of your ingredients and small appliances in a single space. Because it's smaller, you'll spend less time looking for items, and more time cooking. Having your pantry in a cabinet right in your work triangle next to the refrigerator, or across from the range will create a hyper-efficient workspace. Configuring your pantry with roll-out drawers can allow you to see every item on a shelf with ease.

When compared to a walk-in, a cabinet pantry takes up significantly less space, which is a real benefit in a smaller kitchen. Most cabinet pantries measure 24 to 36-inches wide. They are an efficient storage solution providing extra storage without taking up too much space.

Roll-out pantry cabinets can function as secondary storage next to the range and hold everyday items like cooking oils, spices, and sauces.

There are, however, a couple of drawbacks to consider. A cabinet pantry will, of course, have less storage space than a walk-in. If you have a lot of small appliances, cookbooks, or like to stock up on staples at Sam's club, a cabinet pantry might not offer you enough space. The also add some cost to your cabinet budget. Kitchen cabinets are a significant expense when remodeling a kitchen and cabinet pantries can cost more than a standard base or wall cabinet. The higher cost is mostly due to the custom features they include like roll-out drawers and spice racks.

Another con is that you may need to sacrifice counter space to accommodate a pantry cabinet. If you're considering adding multiple cabinet pantries, you will give up a significant amount of prep space. Make sure you weigh the balance between storage and counter space in your life. The loss of counter space is less significant in a larger kitchen, but it can significantly impact the functionality of a smaller kitchen. Make sure you consider the size of your kitchen and how you use the space when making a decision.

Adding a pantry to your kitchen remodel is a smart decision that will improve the functionality of your kitchen, and can add value when it comes time to sell your home. Work with your designer or design-build contractor to understand all of your options. Whether you're converting a closet into a walk-in or adding a cabinet pantry to your kitchen remodel, a pantry is a valuable addition to a functional kitchen.

  • Built-In Refrigerator Look

These standard pantry cabinets make the full-depth refrigerator look like a counter-depth fridge, by installing a 27” deep end panel on the left side of the cabinet.

One of the additional benefits of a cabinet-style pantry cabinet is that a pair of them, surrounding the refrigerator, can be designed in such a way to help the refrigerator have a built-in look at a fraction of the price of an actual high-end refrigerator. Without choosing a premium brand such as Sub Zero, you can select a cabinet depth refrigerator from brands such as JennAir, KitchenAid, Samsung or LG.

Another possibility is to recess the back of the refrigerator into the wall behind. This is easier (and less expensive) to do during new home construction than remodeling, but can be accommodated in many homes. Often, you can gain as much as 3” of depth with careful framing details.

PRO TIP: To get even more bang-for-your-buck, especially if you want the capacity of a larger refrigerator and the look of a counter-depth refrigerator, at the best possible price: Move the pantry cabinets out from the wall by 3 1/2”, concealed by an extended end panel if there is an exposed side of the cabinet. Now, with a standard 24” pantry cabinet, you have a depth for the refrigerator cabinet of 27 1/2”, which allows a large-capacity refrigerator to look as good as a standard-depth refrigerator! You are free to choose a refrigerator of the size you want, at a price-point of your choosing, while still using standard pantry cabinets as well.

If you're planning a kitchen remodeling and you live in the greater Madison, Wisconsin area, give the experts at Degnan Design Build Remodel a call at (608) 846-5963. Let us help you design the functional, aesthetically beautiful kitchen of your dreams! 

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