De­sign a more functional pantry

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

Many home­own­ers wish they had more stor­age space, and kitchens are one area where peo­ple seem­ingly can al­ways use more stor­age.

De­spite a de­sire for more kitchen space, un­til re­cently, kitchen pantries fell out of fa­vor. Builders and ar­chi­tects may have thought that close prox­im­ity to su­per­mar­kets as well as multi-use cab­i­nets in kitchens would off­set the need for pantries. But ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey from the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Home Builders, a kitchen pantry is the most de­sir­able kitchen fea­ture for buy­ers in the market for a new home.

Ac­cord­ing to a 2016 sur­vey from Re­portLinker, 98 per­cent of Amer­i­cans say cook­ing at home is their pre­ferred way to pre­pare a meal. And de­spite the wide ar­ray of restau­rants, pre­pared meals and fast food op­tions nearby, more than one-third of peo­ple cook at home daily, with nearly 50 per­cent cook­ing be­tween three and six days a week.

In or­der to ac­com­mo­date for spend­ing more time in the kitchen, home­own­ers are di­rect­ing ad­di­tional at­ten­tion to kitchen prepa­ra­tion and stor­age fea­tures. In fact, one re­cent trend in kitchen renovations is cre­at­ing cus­tom-de­signed pantries.

Lo­cate the ap­pro­pri­ate space

Ide­ally, pantries should be in or ad­ja­cent to the kitchen. But not ev­ery home lay­out al­lows for this setup. Some home­own­ers need to move stor­age pantries into the garage, the base­ment or a mud/laun­dry room.

Var­i­ous fac­tors should be con­sid­ered be­fore plac­ing a pantry out­side a kitchen. What is the cli­mate? Will food spoil? Is there a pos­si­bil­ity that ver­min or in­sects can in­fil­trate the room and ac­cess food? These fac­tors will dic­tate whether to have closed cab­i­nets, air-tight bins or open shelves or if other mod­i­fi­ca­tions must be made to the room prior to build­ing.

Choose the type of pantry

Ac­ces­si­bil­ity is es­sen­tial in a pantry. Ev­ery­thing should be eas­ily reached and grabbed as needed with­out hav­ing to move too many things. Ide­ally, foods should be ar­ranged in a sin­gle layer so that all items can be viewed at a glance. Shelves of var­i­ous depths and heights can ac­com­mo­date items of dif­fer­ent sizes. Ad­justable shelves are ideal be­cause they can be mod­i­fied as foods change. Slid­ing draw­ers can im­prove reach in cab­i­nets.

In smaller spa­ces, French door-style reach-in cab­i­nets are con­ve­nient and flex­i­ble. In com­plete kitchen re­mod­els or new con­struc­tions, walk-in pantries of­fer the most space and flex­i­bil­ity.

Must-have fea­tures

Pantries serve dif­fer­ent func­tions in dif­fer­ent homes. For the bulk shop­per, a pantry with plenty of room for large items will be needed.

Light­ing can be ben­e­fi­cial in all pantries. Lights can im­prove vis­i­bil­ity when try­ing to lo­cate items. Oth­ers pre­fer an out­let for charg­ing hand-held vac­u­ums or other small ap­pli­ances. Counter space in the pantry en­ables home­own­ers to un­load gro­ceries di­rectly onto pantry shelves.

For pantries lo­cated out­side of the kitchen, built-in freez­ers can max­i­mize stor­age pos­si­bil­i­ties, es­pe­cially for those who freeze-and-eat af­ter bulk shop­ping ven­tures. Pantries are pop­u­lar fea­tures that home­own­ers can cus­tom­ize depend­ing on their stor­age needs and the amount of time they spend in their kitchens.

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