‘Su­per Pantries’ fre­quent many kitchen wish lists

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Teresa Keller used to joke that she was pantry-chal­lenged. She of­ten re­lied on a flash­light to search the deep, dark cup­board that held her canned goods and other food items. When she and her hus­band, Dave, de­cided to build a home in Sun­bury, Ohio, a proper pantry was a pri­or­ity. “I brought it up to the builder,” said Teresa Keller, who moved into the new house in Oc­to­ber. “I told them I’ve got to have this.”

The Kellers’ new “su­per pantry” is a walk-in, with plenty of qual­ity shelv­ing to store drinks, trash bags and other house­hold goods bought in bulk. One shelf is ded­i­cated to snacks for the grand­chil­dren. A small door con­nects it to the garage, so gro­ceries can be un­loaded eas­ily. “At a cer­tain price point, it’s what peo­ple are ex­pect­ing - more stor­age,” said Ed Sn­od­grass, vice pres­i­dent of P&D Builders in Delaware, Ohio, which built the Kellers’ house.

Many new home­own­ers are ask­ing for larger pantries, said Ker­mit Baker, chief econ­o­mist for the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute of Ar­chi­tects in Wash­ing­ton, DC. In a re­cent sur­vey by the group, 43 per­cent of res­i­den­tial ar­chi­tects re­ported that cus­tomers placed an in­creased em­pha­sis on pantry space. Be­sides stor­ing food, some of the newer, big­ger pantries of­fer stor­age for china and serv­ing pieces that are used just a few times a year. Some in­clude spa­ces for toast­ing bread, brew­ing cof­fee and chilling wine. Oth­ers have spots for lap­tops, or sinks for prep­ping food and wash­ing pets.

Open floor plans, build­ing costs and big-box stores, where peo­ple buy cases of wa­ter and months’ worth of pa­per tow­els, are driv­ing the trend, in­dus­try ex­perts said.

“The ‘su­per’ pantry is a back­lash to the open floor plan,” said Amy Beth Cupp Dra­goo, an in­te­rior de­signer who works in New York City and Litch­field County, Con­necti­cut. “Peo­ple have been liv­ing in the open con­cept house long enough now to know that if the kitchen is messy, the whole place feels messy.” Pantries al­low them to stow kitchen items out of sight. Home­own­ers no longer feel the need to leave their high-end mix­ers and cof­fee makers on the counter, added Bob Vila, the long­time home-im­prove­ment TV show host who now dis­penses ad­vice at www.bobvila.com .

“There was a gen­er­a­tion for whom all of th­ese things were brand new lux­u­ries and they wanted to show them off,” he said. Now the em­pha­sis is on de­clut­ter­ing. Builder Michael Mengh­ini gets more and more re­quests for elec­tri­cal out­lets in pantries. “Peo­ple want to leave their ap­pli­ances out, they just don’t want to leave them on their coun­ters,” said Mengh­ini, pres­i­dent of Covenant Cus­tom Homes in Over­land Park, Kansas.

Stor­ing ap­pli­ances, large pots and serv­ing pieces in a walk-in pantry also saves money, Vila said. It’s cheaper to in­stall open shelv­ing in a pantry than to build more kitchen cab­i­nets, which re­quire counter tops and hard­ware. “I have been a booster of the con­cept of pantries for as long as I can re­mem­ber,” he said. “It min­i­mizes the amount of money spent on kitchen cab­i­nets.” In older homes, find­ing space for pantries can be dif­fi­cult. Many lay­outs will not ac­com­mo­date them. One idea is to cre­ate space by in­stalling kitchen cab­i­nets that stretch all the way to the ceil­ing, Vila said. Even if they are hard to reach, they can hold things you don’t use reg­u­larly. An­other op­tion: Add cup­boards in the garage for ap­pli­ances and non-food items.—AP

This photo pro­vided by cour­tesy of Cal­i­for­nia Clos­ets shows the Chef Pantry.—AP pho­tos

In this photo pro­vided by Crown Point Cab­i­netry, cus­tom de­tails like sliding doors, el­e­gant brack­ets and a bead­board back cre­ate a so­phis­ti­cated pantry.

This photo pro­vided by cour­tesy of Cal­i­for­nia Clos­ets shows the Mod­ern Pantry.

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