A Kitchen Pantry Is High On The ‘Must Have’ List

Kitchen Pantry | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors & Remodeling
A pantry disguised as a tall cupboard fits nicely in this wide-open kitchen floor plan.

A kitchen pantry is a high-priority item on remodeler’s wish lists in Madison WI. Trends come and go. In an age when people grew and preserved their own food a pantry was standard equipment for every kitchen. Times changed and the kitchen became the nerve center of the family and focus on entertaining. Trends led to gadgets, islands and unblocked views of huge TV screens. So, why the increasing interest in pantry space?

There’s a renewed interest in bulk-buying for efficiency. In addition, modern kitchen designs have led to more open shelves and fewer cabinets. Finding a place to “hide” vital but unattractive foods and utensils makes sense. Homeowners are looking to combine style with more efficient performance.

A recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders says home buyers consider a pantry to be anywhere from “essential” to “desirable.” On the remodeling side, builders are expected to add or improve pantries. Expansions range from large, walk-ins to unique hideaways and custom built-ins.

The driving force in adding a pantry to your kitchen is increasing a sense of order and organization. Size doesn’t dictate success. How the renovated space fits your daily lifestyle is the key.

Keep Kitchen Pantry Handy

Even a small kitchen in a condo has room for a carefully thought out panty addition.

Location is everything. Reducing extra steps in the kitchen is always a plus. When your new pantry is within easy reach, you’ll use it more and get a better return from your investment. There are three basic requirements for the “right” spot:  Cool, dry and convenient. Convenient tops them all!

How do you make the most of your existing space and include a new pantry? The current layout of your home dictates where you start. Consider these options as you formulate a plan:

  • ‘Steal’ space – instead of knocking down a wall to open up the kitchen and dining room, consider moving the wall to create space for a pantry on the kitchen side, “stealing” a little from the dining area.
  • Find a recess – pantry shelves can go between studs in a wall near your food prep area.
  • Reassign space – if there’s a closet near the kitchen, consider appropriating all or part of it for storage space
  • Make room – a “bump out” is an ideal solution. You can include a pantry is the creation of a new mud room or laundry room. Or, just part of an expanding kitchen plan.

Why Would I Need A Pantry?

Kitchen Pantry | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors & Remodeling
If a major kitchen remodel is in your future, a walk-in pantry is a feature that will pay for itself every day – and when you decide to sell, too.

Maybe you remember your parents’ or grandparent’s house having a pantry. Growing up it didn’t seem to matter. But, as lifestyles change items once taken for granted sometimes come into focus. After living in an apartment, for example, first-time homeowners are not accustomed to all the possibilities of a larger space of their own. If you’re wondering what a pantry is good for, consider:

  • Groceries – look at what you buy in bulk now. Would it be handy (and cost-effective) to keep a larger supply on hand? What do you keep in stock but don’t use every day? Pantry shelves are great homes for things like cake mixes, canned soups and vegetables, boxes of pastas and bags of almost anything. You can make use of the warehouse store volume discounts. They’re also good spots for cookbooks.
  • Cookware – blenders, waffle-makers and the roasting pan for the Thanksgiving turkey are prime candidates to be tucked away in a pantry. Any pot, pan of griddle you use on a “once in a while” schedule can find a home here.
  • Odd-shaped, big items – if you have big dog, you probably have a big bag of dog food to stash. A pantry is also a natural place to store a step stool and kitchen cleanup tools.

There’s A Design For Your Style

A walk-in closet-style pantry might be the ultimate dream, but it isn’t practical in every home. Working with a professional remodeler you can come up with the perfect addition. Choices range from huge to dainty. But, they all work. Choose from one of these basic styles or create your own:

  • Reach-in addition – taking space from an existing wall or adjoining room, create a large cupboard you reach into. Something like 5-6 feet wide and 2 feet deep works on many walls and recessed areas. Oversized item fit on the floor. Customize the space with doors – this is a great way to bring the trendy rolling barn doors into your renovation.
  • Open shelves – if you have an open, windowless wall in a mud room or laundry area custom shelving with or without doors is an option. These installations can be wall-to-wall in the room and floor to ceiling. Baskets, tubs and wire bins help handle loose items.
  • Built-ins – taking advantage of the demand for pantry spaces, cabinet-makers are offering custom built-in units to accompany any new cabinet design. They can be hutch-like with doors, they can look like a closet in the kitchen or they can be incorporated into a new kitchen island. Island installations with roll-out shelves make access to your cookware and foodstuffs easier.
  • Bonus space – you may have the space you need already, you just have to discover it. If there’s a stairway near the kitchen, the slanted space under the stairs is ideal for shelves. Older homes are famous for nooks and crannies. If your home has this feature, get creative.
  • Free-standing storage – If you’re considering knocking down a wall to open up your floor plan, consider instead of taking out the whole wall, make an archway with storage on both sides.

Build A Kitchen Pantry Into Your Remodel

If your home is ready for a make-over and your family lifestyle demands more useable kitchen space, you have options at your fingertips. Your imagination coupled with daily demands sets the stage. The goal is making the most of your space and making a change that works today and for years to come. As family changes so do its demands. Adding a pantry to an “empty nest” may not be a high priority. However, being able to stockpile daily essentials like cereal and after-school snacks is vital to a growing, young family. Only you know what’s best – and what you need.

As you determine what’s best for your future kitchen, Sims Exteriors & Remodeling is ready to make it happen. Call 608-825-4500, or email us. Share your ideas and we’ll create a plan for a successful makeover. We understand the daily demands on a modern family and its kitchen, and we’ll create a kitchen pantry just right for your Madison WI home.

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