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Talk me into Moving Pantry... OR NOT!

12 years ago

I started to discuss this in another thread topic briefly but wanted to get some more feedback so I'm giving it it's own thread.

One KD this week asked about putting the pantry all the way to the right with the baking area in the middle and the ovens on the left... (this depends on the angle you're viewing the plan, of course)

Here it's flipped the other way...

It does make sense to move it and bookend the baking area. As lavender pointed out it would be closer to the fridge for getting cereal together, let's say, etc.

However, there's something about it I don't like either. I liked the open feel of the baking center without it being totally closed in. Also directly across from that space in the DR will be a bar with fridge and I think having the sink right there is nice & it's easily accessible without having to go around the 3' pantry. I just don't know if I want to feel "closed in" (I keep saying that!) . Actually our present kitchen has a similar set up (pantry, 4' of counter, stack of cabinetry. It's fine but I don't really work there... I just put my laptop and paperwork there. Maybe b/c one of the ends is 28 or 29" deep it just feels claustrophobic.

As people are talking at a party, taking food from the buffet (baking station), etc. I also thought it would be easier if that spot were at the end of the kitchen so that it's part of the dining and living area. If it gets pushed to the middle, it's now shifted over 3 more feet which lines it up directly with the Island pretty much where people will be seated and less in the DR space.

Here's an example of pantry on end. The pic is copy protected so here's the link. It's the 3rd pic:

Of course my baking center is about 7 feet so it would be bigger...

OK, does anyone agree with me? Does the functionality of having the pantry near the fridge outweigh all of that in your opinion??

I think the reason the KD brought it up is b/c I was talking about putting a door on the edge of that cabinetry by the sink that opens up to cork board/keys/place for hanging a calendar.... She said if it were the pantry it would be one large end that we could do more with..

***This layout isn't totally correct but just an idea of the space. We now have french doors in the plan between LR and DR, Bay Window is a Window seat, NO hutches on either side of window seat, however on the "top" of the banquette facing the kitchen will be 4' of cabinetry for desk things/organizational (no chair space) and to the "bottom" of the banquette will be 4' of cabinetry for a bar with beverage fridge, glass storage, some china maybe... (no sink)

What do YOU think?

Comments (22)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm with you. I like the openess at the end. I don't even like it in the picture that you linked. Closes in, if you are anything like me, I don't want to do any in a closed in feeling.

    Probably lots of other REAL advice about form and function from the knowledgable ones, but since I break all the rules for what I "LIKE", I just like the open look better. So what if you have to walk a few feet more. We all could use the exercise. (or so they tell us) LOL

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    2 fishies,
    i like your layout a lot. Lavender makes a good point about the pantry location making sense closer to the fridge but i too prefer the openness of your baking area and think it would look better to not have it boxed in. I like those tall cabinets banked together - just my two cents. Will you have any space in the cabinets by your sink and fridge to allot for food? Maybe just one cabinet to keep the most often used stuff in (if you have the space).

    I am linking below to a concept called Dynamic Space by Blum which talks about zones and placing items here and there in a kitchen. They would say your open packaged food (things like cereal) belongs in your prepping space not your pantry. Take it for its worth - you're the final judge of what will work and you know how you'll use the space better than anyone. I think you're doing a good job of thinking this all through.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Blum Dynamic Space

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I would do the pantry like the picture you linked. It makes a pretty alcove for your baking space. Have you considered making your pantry a walk in? In our remodel we utilized some space in a unused hallway to make a hidden Pantry with our coffee maker and toaster in it. If you put the pantry on the end wall by the desk and basement you could extend the area there like a little room and enter from the kitchen. It is my favorite thing about the new kitchen. Light comes on when you open the doors. Love showing the hidden room to guests! It is dificult to tell from the pictures put it has shelving on three sides and the doors are 27" wide to enter. Just a thought...

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Uhh, well, I wouldn't move the pantry. Mostly because I'm lazy.

    If you move the pantry all the way to the right, its a long way from where prep will occur - with your layout, I'd bet mostly on the outer "L" between sink and range. I mean, you can think you'll take stuff out of the ref, wash in sink, turn around and put it on island, chop or whatever and then take to cooktop, but I'd stop doing that after a while because its too many steps and whirls and just being all over the place.

    I don't think moving the pantry further away but still on the other side of the room will help with that - it seems like it would make things worse.

    The lazy persons choices are:
    - move the pantry beside the ref to create one stop shopping that didn't get blocked out by people using the stools
    - add a prep sink in the island
    - or exchange the ref and the ovens - possibly have the ref on the left end, then pantry and kill off the last seating position on the left. Possibly add a full depth cab facing the cooktop.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    RT - loved the link - I went with zones and had not even read the article

    2littlefishies - to another GW addict!

    I am not an expert - but just looking at your kitchen.

    Pantry as in first picture - I would not want the pantry blocking my bake zone.
    Prep sink - island if possible but since you have seating near the bake zone - probably would not work.
    Ref on run where cooktop is
    Move cooktop to counter to the right or even on the other side of the sink (but like it closer to fridge (maybe even in the corner - but controversial - People either love or hate it in the corner
    I am blabbering on - but think zones would be great for your kitchen.
    See bmorepanics notes also (we are thinking somewhat alike)
    Good luck!
    This give

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am confused. Are you asking which should be next to the baking area, oven or pantry? If that is the question, the answer is easy. Put the oven next to the baking area two reasons: First, having the oven on the end right next to an entrance to the kitchen bothers me -- some kid comes charging into the kitchen and is greeted by an open oven door. The second reason is distance -- when removing something hot and heavy from the oven, say the 61 pound turkey and I don't have a good grip on the pan, I want a landing spot close by, not three and a half feet away.


    PS I just proofread the above and spotted the big bird. It was a typo but I left it as is just to put a smile on everyone's face.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    To me, the question would be...who will use the pantry more? You, while you're cooking, or is it more while you're baking...or the family while they're snacking/eating? If you need it handy to the range, then it's in the right place. If you want it handy for baking (and don't want to keep walking past the oven to rach it) or want it closer for breakfast/snacks, then I'd move it.

    Same thing with the microwave...if you use it most often, while making dinner and want it near the fridge or range, then put it in the island. If the family will use it as part of a snack center (or you, like me, use it to melt margerine/butter LOL) then have it in the snack/baking area.

    How YOU will use your kitchen, should determine where you locate these items. Just my two cents :)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'd love to respond but we are out and I have to look at these better !

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't think it makes any real difference which end it is at except aesthetically. It would balance that side out a bit better. Hardly an adequate tradeoff for damaging the function of your baking center. Pleasurable to work at = good function. Feeling closed in = bad function.

    Really, for me in kitchen layout my first big functional issue is where to chop onions and how much space that will need. The second big functional issue to address is how to design my "chopping center" so I'll be continually pleased with it. Then firm up stove placement and sink relative to that. Only after I know where I want to do most of my work and have created a great place for it, come placing the supporting players, fridge placement, achieving balance with cabinets, etc.

    That's how my fridge ended up on the opposite wall instead of closing in the end of my own open work counter. No brainer. Just had to be.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think function wise, I don't thing it will really matter. I like it the way it is (having said that I am claustrophobic and being hemmed in by two solid pieces of cabinetry would drive me nuts) for all the points that you mentioned.

    Now let's look at form. Right now, on the top part of your kitchen it is balanced by the fridge in one corner and the range/venthood in the other. If you look at the kitchen as a whole it is better balanced if you leave it. You have the fridge in one corner and in the opposite corner you have the tall tower combo with the range/vent centering the balance.

    IF you were to split the pantry/wall ovens it will (for me) appear to be a little chopped up. 36" of fridge in one corner, 30" of oven in another corner, 30" of pantry in another corner. I think you will also lose the openness of the kitchen. My 2c.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I can't remember, but do you have kids? I really like that sink at the end of the baking run. No, it's not really a good prep sink, but your main sink is close enough to the island and range that I don't think it would be a problem.

    But, with kids? That sink at the end of your baking run seems great to me. I wash all my baking stuff by hand, and that would be beneficial as well.

    Like Blfenton, I'm a little claustrophobic, so being open where you can see out of the kitchen seems ideal.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks everyone. This is all great help! I know ultimately it comes down to how I use my own kitchen but hearing other's opinions and ideas is great and then, of course, I'll do what works best for me! : )

    This kitchen planning is NOT an easy thing! It's difficult to look at a pieces of paper and try to "picture" how you'll use what and how much space your things will take up. Actually compared to my present 4 DRAWER kitchen I think I'll have PLENTY of room but Im trying to figure out what goes where NOW instead of later.

    YES- I have a 6 yr old daughter and a 4 yr old son : )

    mamadadapaige- Great thoughts! SO, I just opened my present pantry and made lists of EVERYTHING I have in there into different columns.
    Items Used Daily, Items Used Now and Then, Baking Items, Island Items...

    I realize that if I go by what I use DAILY, it's not a huge list. I think it's a GREAT idea to possibly keep those things close to the fridge... Either to the left of it OR even in an island drawer. (peanut butter, opened cereal, snacks, syrup, Ovaltine, opened pasta)

    The less frequent items and "stock" items could go in the pantry. (unopened cereals among many other things...)

    1/3 of my pantry is items used for baking and almost all of those will be in the drawers in the baking center : ) (flours, sugars, baking powder, veg oil, corn meal, cupcake liners, crisco, etc...)

    And SPICES will be in an island drawer... so I'm thinking a bit more clearly now and will probably leave pantry as is.

    The speed oven will be in island or to the left of fridge. We use it too much for reheating so I want in near fridge and in our prep space. Definitely don't want to walk around the island for that. ******WAIT A MINUTE! As I'm typing I was thinking, well- why not put it over there and then once you take the food out you can sit at the island and you'll be on the correct side for seating... hmm... So THAT'S a possibility. BUT, looking again it also bakes so when making stuff for kids easier for me to stay in prep space, take hot food out of it, and place at island where they will be eating.

    The cabs to the left of the fridge seem to be a HOT SPOT for me. I want to put the speed oven (microwave), open shelving, TV, and everyday (kids) cups... I certainly can't do all of that so I'm trying to work through it.

    I always loved the open shelving in my inspiration pic but didn't think I'd do it but suddenly I want to! I read that open shelving should really be used for things that are used a lot (glasses, colanders, bowls, etc...) not for decorative pieces necessarily as that's how they stay "clean" b/c they are used and not gathering dust. I'll probably start a new thread on open shelving this week. LOL

    Oh, I def don't want the refrigerator on the other side of kitchen near baking. I had that in my last house and want it closer to prep side... Also, I don't want prep sink in the island for a few reasons but mostly b/c it will be so useful in the baking area for measuring/adding water, rinsing/washing baking stuff, etc.

    *The other thing someone mentioned is to have the pantry to the left of the fridge. I think having a tall cab there might look bad around the window, no? Plus my pantry would have to be smaller...

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh, here's the other side of the kitchen...

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Love those windows!!
    You will be happy wherever you put things.
    I actually had stickies to figure out where everything would live - and except for the minor glitch of losing one drawer under the cooktop - everything is more or less where I planned.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    2LF - Yes, you are going about this the right way. Make a list of everything and try to play ahead of time where everything will go but I can tell you from experience, once you get in the space, you will change a few things here and there. (You sound basically exactly like I did a year ago trying to plan everything out. Below is an inspiring link in that direction.) Don't forget about cookbooks, dishtowels and paper towels.

    As far as where the pantry goes, I agree with you in term of open space and entertaining. The only thing I would say is having snacks and/or cups accessible to your kids in a cabinet that is out of your prep area and close(r) to the table might be nice. That is a potential benefit of moving the pantry. You can accomplish the same thing by putting a narrow cabinet at the end of the island. You currently have an overhang there but in another drawing, all four stools are on the back side - do you plan to use it for sitting?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Look at Buehl's Organized Kitchen Diagram (about 5 posts down)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    That is absolutely amazing - takes OCD to a new level and I am already working on my own diagram!!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    thanks a2 gemini- Actually they won't be those type of windows though...
    It will be a 3' picture window surrounded by (2) 18" casements. They will total a bit over 6'. It was originally 3 casements but all my windows in the house have grilles between the glass and I didn't want 6' of grilles. SO, I thought one picture window (no grilles) surrounded by the 2 casements (w/ grilles) would be better. Agreed?

    belle- Good idea about having stuff available for the kids- lavender_lass mentioned similar and I'll work on that. We do plan on having seating on the 2 sides so we're not always in a straight line.

    And buehl's drawing??? How WONDERFUL! I'll definitely take a good look at that. : ) thanks!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Having a spot for the kids to get their snacks is good, but at present I keep their snacks AWAY from them or they'd be snacking away all day long! : ) Cups and some healthy stuff would be good though...and I know-- they will get older!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yes they will! Surprisingly fast!! LOL My nieces and nephews are growing like weeds...and while are some are small enough I don't want them into everything...others are old enough, it will be nice to have extra prep/work areas, when they come out.

    Also, don't forget 'stations' for your kids with their cooking/baking stuff. It's fun for them to have special pans just their size...maybe plastic or metal mixing bowl(s) and some spoons/utensils. Maybe some cookie cutters, sprinkles, etc. And, I still have the two cookbooks I got for Christmas, when I was 7 and 8 :)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yes, lavender! They love to help me- especially my 6 yo. Pink cupcakes are her favorite! : ) Here are my little ones:

    I suddenly REALLY want to do some open shelving/cabinetry and would love to do either side of the window, but that spot on the right (left of fridge) was supposed to be for our regular drinking glasses, kids cups, maybe even TV in an appliance garage. It seems like that THE spot where I want to put EVERYTHING!

    Otherwise how about open shelves on either side of the hood? I don't usually put many important things there for some reason...

    OR, I may do the whole baking area open or open in the middle...

    Here are others I like:

    This seems too bulky-- maybe the thickness:

    Love, of course:

    I'm seeing that sometimes it's just doorless cabinetry (kind of) and others are shelves. I LOVE the 4th KITCHEN pic down...

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I like that one, too...and the blue cabinet/baking area. What a great place for a few favorite cookbooks and baking supplies! You should definitely work in some open shelves, but remember...they do get dusty, so glasses might be better with glass uppers, unless you use them every day.

    And...your little ones are adorable! :)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    How about getting rid of the upper corner cabinet and doing this?

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