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Please Help With Pantry Plan /X Post -> Home Dec, Long

kswl2
5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

I have a good sized walk in pantry that is about ten years overdue for a makeover. The space is very oddly shaped, the result of a new wing (1994) put on at an angle to the existing house. I have played online with programs like easy closets but cannot come up with a good configuration for what I need to store.

The current pantry has 15" coated wire shelves along the longest wall. They start about 18" off the floor and the highest one is at about 7 ft. (The ceiling is 10 feet high.) I hate these with a red hot passion, as they are too deep for foodstuffs and not deep enough for serving pieces and small appliances. There is some hanging storage on the angled wall, and a low metal shelving unit (30" wide x 36" high) that stores dog stuff. Our dogs food and water is in this room. We used to have nice wicker dog crates in this room until we got the third dog and moved their accommodation onto the screened porch.

What will be stored: all our dry goods are in this pantry: there is no food in the kitchen outside the fridge. That means canned goods, cardboard boxes of pasta and cereal, resealable pouches of dried fruit, nuts, trail mix, granola, etc. Bagged snacks like pretzels and chips. Bottles of olive oil and vinegars, Other stuff I can't think of :-)

Also to be stored: soft sided zippered coolers, serving trays, punch bowls, large glass bowls for serving salad, barbecue implements and shish kabob skewers, 10 gallon can for dog food, dog pharmaceuticals and outfits (please dont ask), treats, canine dental hygiene impedimenta, votives, candlesticks, (casual ones for kitchen / outside, formal stuff is kept in the dining room or butlers pantry). We store the toaster in the pantry as it is not used often and I dislike stuff on our counters,

I would like a counter to drop grocery bags, a place to keep toaster plugged in, open wood shelving.

Sketch of space:

Current pantry pictures. You can see that the shelves along the long wall run directly into the tiny far wall.






Comments (37)

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    For more pictures and even more explanations (I am sincerely

    sorry this is so long winded), may I refer you to this thread:

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/3603754/please-help-with-pantry-plan-x-post-%3E-kitchens-long?n=1


    Thank you for any thoughts or ideas you may have!

  • Buehl
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    To start with some basics:

    For general food storage and small appliances...12" deep shelves are usually sufficient. They're not so deep that things get lost but are deep enough that you can store 3 or 4 cans, a box of cereal, etc.

    For large serving pieces, I would think that 12" would also be deep enough - just turn them sideways. If you have very large pieces, maybe a short span of 18" deep shelves might work, but you'd have to have very large serving pieces to need shelves that deep!

    Shelves...solid shelves are better than open wire shelves - for at least 2 very simple reasons:

    • If something spills (e.g., molasses), the spillage doesn't fall through to the shelves below - the spill is confined to the shelf where it happened
    • You don't have to play a balancing act trying to balance smaller items that might be too narrow to easily balance b/w wires

    If possible, install adjustable shelves. If not, measure what you want to store and plan your pantry accordingly.

    Here's a thread that discusses different pantry types and has pictures of GWers' pantries.

    Thread: Pantry photos/ pics of pantries

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/2401919/pantry-photos-pics-of-pantries

    .

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  • Buehl
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    My pantry is included in the above thread. One side of my pantry has 15" deep shelves, but that was b/c I thought I was going to put a 2nd MW on that side. It turned out there was not enough room to fit the one I had in the space (the door wouldn't open fully), so I nixed that idea (and then we ended up donating it to a "home makeover" project). If I knew when I designed the pantry that I couldn't fit the MW, I would have made those 15" shelves only 12" deep. 15" is too deep for really useful storage.

    My shelves are not adjustable, but I measured items and planned varying heights. Honestly, I've never regretted having fixed shelves, but I know some people prefer adjustable ones.

    BTW...my shelves have molding along the wall, so in reality, I probably have only 11-3/4" deep shelves - again, everything fits - even my breadmaker! Oh, there was one that did not fit - my toaster oven. It's a rather large one (large enough to fit a frozen pizza) - but I just put it on the floor.

    I was going to post some pictures, but Houzz seems to be acting up - my pictures from Photobucket won't post. Check the thread above for pictures! (I'll try again later - it may be a temporary glitch.)

    Also, here's my pantry thread:

    Thread: Sharb-inspired Pantry Done!

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/2701665/sharb-inspired-pantry-done

  • funkycamper
    5 years ago

    For your large trays that might not fit on a narrower shelf, couldn't you do vertical storage slots like people do for cooking sheets, etc., in kitchens?

    I must hold further thought until I see a photo of the rest of that dog print on your wall and your dogs garbed in their finery. :)




    OK...I can't really add to Buehl's good comments but pictures pretty-please anyway?

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Funky, just for you, two of our guys:

    Buehl, I have a nice collection of photos from GW and Pinterest and have looked at yours!

    Here are pantries I really like:



    Alas, no windows in my pantry. The kitchen cabinetry is white, so I am thinking white shelving would make the most sense. Even though I'd prefer green the space is too small and enclosed for that color. My pantry floors are heart pine and I'd like a pine counter. Current lighting is a weird ceiling fixture that will be replaced with ceiling cans.

    this or similar is probably the most practical treat ion of open shelving for my available space:

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    As for trays, I have a few Large and heavy ceramic serving trays that I would not want stored on their sides. the rest could go in tray type storage except for those with fancy handles. Generally speaking, the larger the tray the more likely it is to have handles that project our from the tray to make it easier to carry. I wouldn't mind putting something on top of a flat tray. While in theory I really like the look of cubicles with just one thing in each in a zen-pantry look, my reality of abundant disparate sizes and shapes means some things will have to be stacked, even in a bespoke pantry.

    So would I be better off with shelves down the long run of the room (like now)? If so, do I put a corner shaped something opposite? Or use the short run for deeper storage and the long wall for 10" storage up to the ceiling?

  • allison0704
    5 years ago

    Looking at your floor plan, I would do a short counter along the wall the 18" at either end - unless you want a deeper counter. It can have deeper shelves under the counter (for larger things, like the trays) and not as deep (unless you want them deep) on the top. This would be large enough for the toaster, grocery bags. Possibly small microwave? (not scrolling back up!). You could also leave a space open under this for the dog bowls/food container, to keep them out of your way elsewhere in the room.

    Another idea, you could stop the shelves on both walls short of the 18" wall at far end of pantry - make that the dog area. It can come out on both walls as far as you want/need. Counter would extend over the dog area. Any shelves over this counter would be extended from the long walls. The you don't have to worry about shelves wrapping that 18" end and quirky shapes.

    I have fixed wood shelves, stained. I gave the trim carpenter a drawing with measurements based on sizes of cereal boxes (taller shelves towards top) and smaller boxes or can stacked two high (chest high shelves). I have changed things since these pictures were taken, all but the shelves over microwave are about the same. Scroll all the way to the bottom for my pantry, but be sure to look while scrolling, as a few have ideas you could use. Pantries

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thanks for that link, Allison! I had your fabulous pantry bookmarked but did not realize there was an entire atticmag post on pantries. (Some of those have been cribbed by houzz, you know,).

    I feel I have been looking at pantries for weeks with no epiphany about mine. Usually with a smaller project like this, I will do much research, shopping, picture gathering, etc. , then sit on it for awhile and a solution presents itself. i did think about coming out from that 18" end "wall" with a low, roughly triangular shelf or shelves that could house something really bulky. The dog food can is also good candidate for that space.

    So 18" or nearly so on the long run, down to 24" from the end, then across that space with corner type shelving. Along the left wall, very shallow shelves? for canned goods, boxes turned sideways, small items?

    But I keep coming back to the fact that the most generous space is just inside the door to the left. A corner built in there, too?

  • bpath
    5 years ago

    With the dogs' food and water in the pantry, is the door open all the time?

    Have you considered/is it possible to carve a "doggy diner" out of the space, with its own door or access from the hall or kitchen? Or, looking like a cabinet from the hall, with the bowls in an open niche below and the accoutrements in cabinets above? Just thinking that it would turn the pantry into strictly a pantry.

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Allison.....What about this? The upside down writing at bottom says "counter, no uppers." That entire wedge would have no uppers, meaning the long run would have uppers only to that wedge shaped piece. The counter would be continuous as you suggested. To the left of the door, another counter with deep triangular space. I was thinking maybe just a grid on the wall above this, for anything that needs to hang? Then very shallow floor to ceiling shallow shelves that could even hold standing trays facing flat and forward like a plate rack.

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Bpathome, there is no other place for dog stuff on this floor. The hallway has doors to rooms on one side and banks of Windows on the other. It leads to an open tall staircase down to a short brick interior throughway from the drive under garage. There is also a door to the patio and a wine cellar down there but no dog space. There is definitely room for dog stuff in the pantry....maybe all of it under the proposed counter to the left?


  • funkycamper
    5 years ago

    What darling little guys! They look quite pleased with themselves. :) Thanks!

    Could the trays with handles be hung with hooks on the wall? Maybe a sturdy wooden rod upon which more than one tray could be hung?

    I was also wondering if the pantry would be easier to use and plan for if the door swung out instead of in.

    I've tried googling different terms to come up with triangle shaped pantries and mostly get corner shelves or corner pantries. You wouldn't think they would be all that rare, would you? Just really want to help you since you have a deadline and I feel rather blank myself. Sorry.

    I did, however, come up with a picture of this storage idea for canned items. I don't know if it will help you at all but I thought it was super-clever so I'll go ahead and share anyway.


    Shelving Systems Diy Pantry | killerwoodplans · More Info

  • maggieq
    5 years ago

    would it help to swing the door the other way, toward the 56" wall?

  • Buehl
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Keep in mind that if you make the lower shelves 18" deep it will limit your ability to access shelves above b/c you will not be able to stand as close to the shelves overall. You will need to stand farther out and then have to lean in and reach up to reach the top shelves.

  • Kippy
    5 years ago

    I like your drawing, but I think I would try and make that walkway be a rectangle by altering the triangular to right of the door. I would leave a little space by the door. It could be for leashes or bow tools

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Good point, kippy! I will try to work that out.

    Buehl, i was rhinking about that.... Originally i wanted a rolling library ladder but there is not room... I just wanted one :-)

    i do have mahogany library stairs that i will make sure can slide into some kind of well or space. Hmmm. Must show those to cab guy. They may also be too big though.

    I will ask about swinging the door out rather than in, and to left rather than right. Thanks everyone who suggested that.

    That is supercool can storage, funky. It has antouch of survivalist flair, lol. I appreciate all these ideas as i have NONE of my own.

    Our youngest dog Charlie (different from the two above) has been sporting a new fashion look lately With this soft collar. He had a severely scratched cornea, we never did figure out how it happened :-(

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    This is quite a bit more involved than you were probably planning, but have you considered dividing the room? Geometry is not my strong suit, but I was thinking you might have space for a proper pantry and a separate closet-like area that could serve as your dog nook. Since the dog space is accessed by a hallway it appears it wouldn't be visible from any other part of the house so it wouldn't need a door or anything. If you were to sell, one could frame it up and put an outswinging door on it and treat it like a closet...

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    That is a thought, benjesbride......let me mull that one over!

  • allison0704
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    kswl, "So 18" or nearly so on the long run, down to 24" from the end, then
    across that space with corner type shelving. Along the left wall, very
    shallow shelves? for canned goods, boxes turned sideways, small items"

    I think I understand what you're saying! lol 24" deep counter at the far end/short wall sounds about right. I wouldn't go any deeper. But it might cause you to loose accessible shelf space, but you could have some that store seldom used items reachable with a small step stool or ladder. How tall are you? I am almost 5'8" so no issues reaching higher shelves. In my pantry, the skinny one on top right corner (just under birdhouses) holds roasting pans I don't use often and I can get them down on my tip toes.

    "But I keep coming back to the fact that the most generous space is
    just inside the door to the left. A corner built in there, too?"

    I would not do a corner there, but L shelves or counter depending on which wall you decide to do counter - depends on how deep you want the counter. If you are going to put a microwave there, you need to have landing space just in front or to the side for hot items. The L counter would need to stop a short (like 12") of the door so that you and the dogs have room to enter/exit without bumping into the corner of it.

    What cute babies you have!!

  • smiling
    5 years ago

    If you are able to consider alterations to the pantry entry door, I think you can improve the interior function and access in one of two ways: 1. change the single door to a center-split door (about 15-16" wide each), that will give you more floor space for turning about in there (only 15-18" door sweeps); or 2. move the door around the corner and swing it into that sharp corner of the room. Either one of those configurations will allow you room for an 18" or even a 24" counter on one wall, and you can have electric outlets along that counter. On the other walls you can stagger your wooden shelves at 8", 10", and 12" widths as space permits. In the dead areas too tight for shelving, you could install pegboard to hang aprons, re-usable shopping bags, specialty low use tools, brooms, dusters, and such. There are some quite large lazy susans that might be useful in the corners, some can be mounted in floor to ceiling stacks.

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Just coming back to this thread, I haven't had to keep up with cross posts before, it's different :-)

    Allison I am just seeing your post above (after figuring out there was further activity here, thanks for the heads up on the other thread!) and am completely off the idea of a corner anything, you are so right about that. I am now thinking that an L shaped counter might look weird in the space just inside the door to the left. I think I would rather run the counter into the wall and maybe make it a little deeper at that point---not the shelving, just the counter. Is that even doable? I guess it would just be an overhang, right? I was thinking to keep the shelves 18" but at that last section bump the counter out another six inches. I think I need to draw that.

    Smiling, I would def be up for either having the door swing out into the hall, or doing cute French doors there, did not even consider that. Will ask cabinet guy about that as well.

  • allison0704
    5 years ago

    The trim carpenter should be able to do whatever you ask him to do, within reason. Asking for a deeper counter at that space is not a big deal and he could do shelving as deep as you want underneath. For example, the table in our pantry has a bottom shelf as deep as the counter. We use it for storage cases of drinks, water and bulk purchases (boxed). I have pretty wicker baskets (wire reinforced within) to store some of the things, but they are not necessary. I've added more since I wrote the article, so baskets in front and back that I move around when one becomes empty.

    I ended up putting two (half) doors on the pantry that swing out. I leave open if I'm cooking and keep closed the rest of the time. If you had two, you could leave only one open for the dogs. I like that they swing out and are not in the way, inside or outside the pantry.

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    That is true, I didn't think about swinging doors, but I LOVE them.

    This is going to cost a fortune :-(

    Any opinions on the beadboard "backsplash" or beadboard wall covering (painted) for all the walls?

  • smiling
    5 years ago

    I'd also suggest you check your local code as to interior windowless-room door swing. Don't know where you live, but, in our area you can't have an outswing door on any room unless there is another emergency exit like a window. It's to prevent someone getting blocked into a room where they cannot push the door open. With an inswing door you can get yourself out if you have to. In our area, also, you can't have an outswing exterior door due to snow and ice buildup that could get folks trapped. Your carpenter may know the code in your town.

    You could do two 18" barn doors side by side and have no door swing issues in your floorspace.

  • funkycamper
    5 years ago

    Oh, poor Charlie! You might have to keep both bi-fold doors open for him until he can ditch the new accessory. I like benjesbride's idea of having a separate dog nook. Then Charlie won't get caught on narrow door openings. :)

    You could even make the dog nook only about waist high or so. Just tall enough for a cabinet or deep drawer for dog food and other supplies and an area for them to eat/drink underneath. The upper part of that area could be in the pantry proper.

    I really do think all the different ideas presented for changing the doors, whether location, style, swing direction, etc., are worth considering. I think the current door negatively impacts how you can utilize the space and how comfortable you will be going in/out and moving around inside.

  • Debbie B.
    5 years ago

    Me too! Me too! I've always wanted a rolling library ladder! :-) Love, love, love your doggies! I "farmed out" my precious little Piper, a pom, when I moved to Africa for a year. While I was gone, Piper totally bonded with my friend's teenage son, who has Asperger's. As in, Piper would sit on the bath mat while John (not his real name) showered. When John had to go somewhere he couldn't take Piper, Piper would sit in his parking space and wait for him to return home. Their evening activity was to walk down to the local elementary school and swing--John sat on the swing and Piper on John's lap. There was no way I could separate those two. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but I gave Piper to John when I returned. I get lots of pictures!

    Anyway, to the matter at hand...I agree, those wire shelves are the worst! I like the idea of the French doors, and I love the doggie nook. Smiling, I had no idea there were codes about pantry doors. It makes sense; you also don't want to create a backdraft. But I'm wondering, would it be considered a "room"? For example, I don't think a guest closet by the front door would be under that code because it's so small. Every guest closet I've ever seen has an outward swinging door. Well, as you suggested, perhaps the best thing is for kswl2 to check her local code.

    kswl2, you mentioned you would like a place to plug the toaster in. Do you mean in the pantry? You would need a space like a counter with room around it, and nothing too low above it, since the heat would be going upwards. I'm with you on the clean counters, though. My goal is to have nothing sitting out on my counters. I also don't use my toaster much, so it will go in a drawer or some sort of appliance garage.

    Have you looked at IKEA? I don't mean their kitchen cabinets, I mean their closet shelving systems. They're for clothes closets, but I wonder if you could use some components in your pantry? Their stuff is a lot like California Closets, only it doesn't cost $10,000. Even if you don't want to buy from them, maybe their pictures could give you some inspiration?

    Just a thought. :-)

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Update: cabinet guy was here this morning! He took all ideas, yours, mine and ours, with his own sketch and the latest one from Magdalena on the xpost in home dec.

    He likes this layout:


    With the shaded area 18" deep open base shelving, butcher block counter, 10" upper shelving with beadboard backing all the way down to the counter. On the opposite wall, open shelving 12" deep.

    All shelving to go to 7 feet tall. Wall of 13" depth shelves to start 18" off the floor.

    Is 7 feet tall enough? Ceiling is 10 ft.


  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    So i have been toggling back and forth between home dec and kitchens and now think i have made a pantry post somewhere else entirely. I apologise in advance if anyone runs into my pantry on a completely unrelated thread......i am not that self centered, just clearly incapable if keeping track of x posts. After my pantry is finished i promise to never xpost again!

  • desertsteph
    5 years ago

    I think I'd do 18" (or maybe 16") shelves on the lower part of the straight wall (R) with more shallow shelves above them - maybe 10". on the L side maybe counter depth for a good # of feet - with maybe drawers underneath? counter for mw, counter oven etc. that could end part way to the 'point' with shelves that are triangle shaped into the wall to be open shelves for a few larger pots or whatever. or at that end of the counter depth shelves cabs have a taller (end) cabinet like we often see as a 'broom' closet for a pantry ladder closet. The ladder would be right there when needed - but hidden. you could have the top part of it (above ladder height) as skinny horizontal shelves to slide your larger trays into. like the cookie sheet slots except horizontal.

    the first few ft of the wall to the R could have some hooks for dog leashes, coats / sweaters (or dust mops? if needed - or a grabber bar). but that would keep the entry area open so it doesn't feel cave like.

    from the end of the counter depth shelves/cabs on the R to the point area could be for the dog food bin and dishes. you could hang pictures of the dogs over their dish / food area so they can look at themselves while eating.

    without shelves running into the point area on the R side, it'd allow for open / standing space in front of shelves on the L side.

    you could keep a small ladder in there for reaching higher shelves - possibly hang on the wall toward the point area or lean on the wall (if not in a 'ladder closet').

    Also, try to think of anything weird or weird in shape that you will want to store in there.

  • desertsteph
    5 years ago

    I do like your layout at 53 min ago... but think you'll run into a very tight squeeze at the point the shelves come together. how long are your arms for reaching into that point? my arms are rather short - as I am too.

    I think 7' high shelves are fine. that allows 3' above the top shelf.

  • Kippy
    5 years ago

    7 foot or 10 foot tall? Do you like the photos you posted where they stopped short of the ceiling or went all the way up? Do you have items you want to display and only rarely use but want to keep?


    Moms has has a very small pantry and one of the things I am considering is removing the false ceiling. There is drywall covering the original (?) beadboard ceiling with the hidden trap door to the attic (guessing it got some use in prohibition). For me, the extra storage from that extra foot is needed. But you may not need the space

  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Kippy, I think I may keep the height at 7 ft. My stuff is like gas.....it expands to fill the available space. Thanks for reminding me of that!

    Steph, thanks for your thoughts. I am going to propose a tall, end cab of shelves, depending upon the solution he comes up with himself.


  • kswl2
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Is this awesome door or what? Cab guy showed me this when he showed pics of his recent jobs. I can't do this because my door opens into a hallway, not the kitchen, but I love it!

  • atmoscat
    5 years ago

    The hidden pantry is awesome!

    I like your plan, but I agree that it looks hard to reach into the corner. If you taper the base shelving depth back to 10" (same as upper shelves) near the corner, you'll have more room to stand back there. Like this:

  • zmith
    5 years ago

    Hi, Kswl

    I like the layout your carpenter suggested, with the counter modification shown by Atmoscat. Otherwise you will need a step stool to reach anything in the farthest depth of the upper shelves in that interior corner of your wedge pantry.

    As far as space planning goes, your current pantry is very organized and I would recommend your future pantry allow you to store heaviest items at waist height and the lightest items overhead. If you must store heavier items at knee level, consider pullouts for the heavier items such as your soda cartons or heavier serving bowls/trays. Consider a large cubby with vertical dividers to store your trays and baking sheets. I would amass all the like items that you want to store together so that you can plan for enough space for those items.

    Hope this helps. Cute doggies, btw.

  • desertsteph
    5 years ago

    "If you taper the base shelving depth back to 10" (same as upper shelves) near the corner, you'll have more room to stand back there."

    yes, that would deal with that pinch point also.

    this is why in my idea I put fuller depth cabs/shelves closer to the hallway wall and left the left side of the pinch point area without shelves to be the dog area. those little stinkers can easily get back there anyway.

    I keep heavier things at midsection (mine) and lower. the regular cooking / eating items at shoulder height and lighter things overhead - which isn't much for me - things like extra paper towels, empty tins, larger storage containers I don't often use. mostly things that if they fell on my head wouldn't kill me.

    I'm planning to get several small 'crate' type containers that are on wheels for the floor under my lowest shelf. Harbor freight had some for around 12 $ - haven't gone there yet to see them in person. they also sell handles for them and I figured I could use 1 w/handle to wheel to the doorway when I bring groceries home, put heavier stuff in one and wheel it back to the pantry. the others I'd store water jugs in and the 2 ltr pepsi bottles and I could pull them out to reach those in the back.

    such cute little babies you have! I love seeing pictures of everyone's critters!