Designing the perfect pantry

Written by view.com.au in Renovating

Whether you call it a butler’s pantry or just a pantry, designing the perfect pantry means thinking about how you use your kitchen and what you want to get out of a separate space. Get it right and you won’t ever want to sell your home.

Do you want secondary amenities?

A butler’s pantry is sometimes differentiated from a simple pantry as it implies a greater amount of space or walk-in room, and so greater freedom to include more amenities in the space. If you have the space to play with in your renovations or home build, consider whether your pantry can include additional amenities, such as a dishwasher, sink, or even cooking utilities that essentially constitute a second kitchen.

Your pantry can include additional amenities to function as a secondary kitchen when entertaining

Your pantry can include additional amenities to function as a secondary kitchen when entertaining

This is a great option for those who relish entertaining and entertaining on scale, as it allows you to both present a streamlined vision of an entertaining space in so far as your main kitchen is concerned, and also allows you to produce more and clean up more quickly.

Conceal cupboards if you lack the space:

A pantry does not have to be a walk-in-robe in the kitchen. Very few houses can accommodate this sort of luxury, and you may not even want or need a second room to house your appliances and pantry items if you live a more minimal lifestyle. You can conceal open shelving to create a pantry within your kitchen. Doing so can enhance the geometry of your kitchen by creating unbroken lines and greater use of white space or to accentuate the design of your kitchen.

Close off shelving in your kitchen to create a visible or invisible pantry

Close off shelving in your kitchen to create a visible or invisible pantry

 

Get your shelving sorted

Both the material you use and the dimensions are important when planning your pantry shelving.

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Pantry shelving needs to sustain considerable weight, as it is inevitably the place where you store the less used and often heavy appliances or pantry items in your kitchen. Choose construction materials that are going to withstand the weight and also those that are easily maintainable (resist staining) and are visually appealing with your overall kitchen design.

It is generally a good idea to keep larger space in the lower rungs of your pantry, including the largest space at the floor level for those bulk items. The smallest space can be left at the top, for those items least accessed.

Consider using wiring or some other form of barrier to protect glass from falling

Consider using wiring or some other form of barrier to protect glass from falling

Let your pantry do the work for you

Visibility and organisation is important in your pantry. You don’t want to enter your pantry and wonder where the flour is. Design your pantry so that everything is both easily visible and built to promote the segmentation of different types of pantry items (spices, baking goods, sauces, grains, canned goods, appliances etc.). Pantries are famously easy to become disaster zones, so building in segmented shelving can help you more easily organise.

Flickr. Avoid curved shelving as this limits the space you have to play with, making it easier for items to fall

Flickr. Avoid curved shelving as this limits the space you have to play with, making it easier for items to fall

While you want to be able to see everything in your pantry, there is one instance where this does not apply. Remember to include a section in your pantry for those items (like root vegetables) that need a dark cool space. Potatoes are the number one factor here but also think about other cases where you need a cool dark space, such as when baking. Simply creating enough ground-level space may allow you to keep a bin of some sort in the pantry to keep those root vegetables stored.

Shelf lighting helps identify items

Shelf lighting helps identify items

Also consider installing shelf lighting to make it easier to identify items further back on a shelf, rather than relying on a single ceiling light.

Is your pantry ventilated?

It may not seem obvious, but you don’t want your pantry to become a hotbox during the summer months. This can be the death knell for certain items in your pantry, especially fresh goods. If you can install a fan or even a window, this can help to draw out stale and hot air from the pantry.