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The Perfect Pantry!

By October 21, 2022December 2nd, 2022No Comments
room with sink and appliances behind glass sliding door

Times have changed when it comes to what we expect from our home. Now at the center of life in most homes, the kitchen has become top of the list when it comes to home remodeling. From daily life and family dinners to socializing with friends, people naturally gravitate towards the kitchen and the importance of having a multi-functional place for cooking, gathering and entertaining has grown. Along with that comes a desire for a more organized (and, yes, in some cases, stylish!) and out-of-sight way to store both food and small appliances. 

Enter the pantry. Although they have been a longtime staple in many homes, the pantry came from humble beginnings. They were more of a necessity for storage of food in a colder space and a much-needed addition of extra space when attitudes towards kitchens (and the people who used them) were different.The pantry is now a ‘must-have’ on many homeowners lists when it comes time for a home remodel. From perfectly curated design statements to functional pull-outs, the pantry has come a long way in its role in our homes and our attitudes towards thinking of them from an interior design perspective. 

Ready to give your pantry some pep? Let’s take a look at a few examples of pantry remodels and ways you can get your perfect pantry!

Make A Design Statement!

These days, pantries have become stand-alone ‘must-have’ spaces in their own right. If you have plenty of square footage to work with, there’s nothing stopping you from creating a Pinterest-worthy pantry! 

We’re starting out big, because we could write an entire blog about this pantry! Our clients had contemporary taste and great style, and the creation of this pantry as part of their kitchen remodel really made a design statement. It was integrated into the kitchen design but is a ‘wow’ space in its own right. 

From the prep sink to the storage to the amazing trifold doors, this is the perfect example of how to take a pantry to the next level. This is also a great example of how you don’t always need a solid door to the pantry. If you struggle to keep your pantry organized and don’t want guests to see it, keep the door. But, from a practicality perspective, removing the door and just having an open entry to your pantry or adding sliding doors like this not only looks great, it provides ease of entry/exit. In my own home, with two growing kids to feed who constantly wander in and out of our pantry for snacks, I went doorless on my walk-in pantry and it was a great decision for our family.

Think of Your Pantry as an Extension of Your Kitchen

In most of the home remodels we work on, our interior design team takes a holistic approach that takes into consideration how spaces flow from one to the next. For that reason, there are usually elements in our pantry designs that play off the main kitchen design. This helps make a home feel cohesive in a design-thoughtful way.  

Let’s take a look at this in practice. In the example below, in addition to lots of cabinets and additional prep space, this pantry also included a secondary fridge. As an avid home chef, this homeowner also wanted lots of details, including pull-out shelves and even a mesh vegetable drawer. 

In this second example, our clients had a large room behind their kitchen. It had some storage, but it was underutilized and was ready to be put to work. We were able to repurpose the existing white storage unit, but added base cabinets along one wall in the same color as the kitchen for a cohesive look and feel. This also provided additional prep and storage space. A doorless entry means the homeowners (and their cats) can easily walk into the space providing better utility and keeping the adjoining kitchen feel more open.

Reconfigure an Existing Pantry

We remodel a lot of homes in Northern Virginia all built around the same time, so it will come as no surprise we often come across similar layouts, especially in homes built in the ‘80s and ‘90s when closet pantries became popular in new builds. Closet pantries are great, but some of the biggest complaints we hear from homeowners are they are they take up too much space yet are too small to be considered truly ‘walk-in’, are too dark and deep so things get lost in the back or they are awkwardly placed in the kitchen and add another door to navigate.

In this example, our clients had a large space to work with, but the existing closet pantry was tucked into a corner and the additional door just got in the way when standing in the kitchen and blocked the entrance to the formal dining room when it was open.  As part of a more extensive kitchen remodel, we also redesigned this space to provide better access to the pantry as well as rethinking the layout of the pantry itself. The same color of base cabinets were used as in the main kitchen and open shelves added above. The pantry now feels like part of the main kitchen, not separate from it.

Repurpose Another Room

In this next example, our clients had a room off the kitchen that was intended as a dining room, but they were using it as a playroom. With enough space elsewhere in the home to fulfill both dining and playroom needs, they decided to repurpose it. They liked the separation of the main kitchen/family room so they kept that configuration, but turned this underutilized room into a stunning butler’s pantry. The use of the same color of cabinets as the kitchen island in this space provided continuity and one room now flows to the next and just makes ‘sense’. 

What we love about this space is how much additional storage space we provided as well as an area for coffee and wine fridge/bar. This new room not only looks gorgeous, it now gives this room purpose and functionality.

Small Space Pantries

Not everyone has the square footage available in their home to create a large pantry. No problem!  A pull-out cabinet pantry provides utility that can be integrated into your space. Many of our kitchen remodeling clients elect to add a pull out cabinetry pantry (or pantries) to their kitchen design. They are practical because you can immediately see what you have when you pull out the pantry door.

If you have a closet pantry currently, it may be time to think of an upgrade and get rid of it. They take up a lot of square footage, not to mention another door in a small space. This is another thing we’ve removed from a lot of homes in recent years with homeowners putting the square footage to better use and adding a cabinetry pantry instead. 

In this first example, the existing pantry was awkwardly located in the center between the kitchen and dining rooms. As a lake-fronted home, it also blocked the water view. We reconfigured the space and moved the location of the pantry. The new layout is much more open and means the homeowners can still enjoy the lake views when standing in the kitchen.

This town home remodel in Reston is a great example of how removing a closet pantry completely transforms a kitchen.

Looking for a local home remodeler who can help you figure out the kitchen design that works best for you and your home? We’re a custom home remodeling company that works on design-thoughtful projects. We never do the same project twice and each is unique to our clients!

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