SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
maddie_victoria

Walk-in Pantry or Open Concept with Island? Kitchen Remodel

2 years ago

Currently debating a kitchen remodel. We have a nice walk-in pantry, but it’s currently in the middle of my house cutting off any chance of an open-concept living area. We are thinking of shifting our patio door to the right and then moving our refrigerator next to the sink and making a small pantry next to the refrigerator, eliminating our walk-in pantry but adding a large sit-in island.

My husband is very tentative to get rid of the big pantry for resale value purposes. I personally think an open concept with island is more desirable than a galley kitchen with walk-in pantry, but I am no expert! Any opinions either way?

Comments (30)

  • 2 years ago

    I think your kitchen looks very cramped i would go for open concept but would try to have some distance between the si k and fridge

  • 2 years ago

    I think part of the reason (perhaps the main reason) the kitchen looks cramped is because the refrigerator is massive and sticks out so far into the room.

    I would love a walk-in pantry. And I think "open concept" is fading in popularity. But, that's just my opinion. YMMV

  • Related Discussions

    Walk-in or walk-through pantry

    Q

    Comments (16)
    Sometimes, but it's not far and it's so nice to have all the food in one area and organized. I love not having to reach into cabinets to find the food and it makes putting things away really easy. Having the counter in the pantry allows us to put all the grocery bags there from the store and empty at will without taking up kitchen counter space as well. It's probably one of the best decisions we made and I'm glad we did the walk through. Walking around the whole time would have been a real PITA. Good luck!
    ...See More

    Should kitchen island be centered with LR fireplace when open concept?

    Q

    Comments (24)
    Ditto what others have said about figuring out your living room layout and where you want your TV before deciding on fireplace. Here is ours.. Fireplace NOT centered on the living wall, but centered with the island. Not because I cared about the island in relation to it at all but it just worked out that way as I did not want a TV over the fireplace. I wanted our TV to the right of the fireplace. I can tell you living in the space, having a not centered fireplace does not bother me one bit and the way it's laid out makes complete sense. We also debated putting our fireplace on the bottom wall in the picture, but that's an interior wall and it would have been more difficult to vent and my DH wanted a straight shot at the TV from the kitchen since he's the cook and the watcher of all sports.
    ...See More

    Need help with creating open concept kitchen-kitchen by front door

    Q

    Comments (7)
    I would close in the doorway to the kitchen from the front door, make that a true entryway. We did this in 2 homes so far with kitchens at the front of the house. My current home had glass block which we knocked down and replaced with an actual wall. My last house had what you have and we closed it in, took out another part of the wall to open it up within the kitchen and added an island. Let me find pictures...
    ...See More

    Open concept kitchen ideas please

    Q

    Comments (15)
    Thanks! I’m torn on moving the range because I’d like to keep it, the sink and the fireplace in line. I do need to speak with the builder about ventilation and the garage wall directly behind the range. I hear you on the butt to butt! I’m thinking that it won’t be too often that the oven door will be open at the same time someone is doing dishes. Still pondering. I’ll definitely add drawers. Not a Lowes or HD plan but just what the cabinet store put on paper for measurements. I will meet with them and our builder’s designer when Covid permits. Appreciate your input.
    ...See More
  • 2 years ago

    share a measured floorplan for decent responses. you can draw it out on graph paper. show enough about how this room relates to the adjacent rooms.

  • 2 years ago

    Remove the frig and put a counter top there and put in a opening to the living room, or open it up completely to the living room with a pocket door. Then remove a little of the pantry in the front so it's flush with the added countertop and shove the frig into the opening like a built in. Lastly put a pantry door on the angled wall facing the camera for a smaller pantry.

    Now you have a semi open kitchen which can be closed off and more what people are going to now. Open concept is for tiny homes to make them look bigger. I don't like them, I do like partially open with the option to close them off, who wants to look at a dirty kitchen.

  • 2 years ago

    Should have also added this picture. The kitchen does open to the dining room area next to the fridge, but there are just empty walls taking up space on the other side. Sorry for the mess, currently scraping popcorn ceilings

  • 2 years ago

    And I’ll try to sketch something up. I used to have an open floor plan at my last condo and miss it terribly. I spend most of my time at home in the kitchen and that’s where people usually congregate when entertaining, so I really wanted an island!

  • 2 years ago

    Draw up the floor plan you have now Maddie and post them. The last picture is a game changer and if people see what you already have you'll get better suggestions.

  • 2 years ago

    I think most families would take an open kitchen with island over a skinny kitchen with walk in pantry storage. It's more liveable to have open free flowing spaces in my opinion. Probably depends on who you live with however. I am coming from the perspective of a family with 4 kiddos.

  • 2 years ago

    We have a nice walk-in pantry

    A pantry is THE BEST THING you can have in a kitchen. It keeps your work space uncluttered, doesn't have to be kept super-neat, and is inexpensive. Don't touch your walk-in pantry.

    I think your kitchen looks very cramped

    Agree, and I think the main culprit is the stick-out fridge. Switch that to a counter-depth, and I think it'll make a big difference.

    And I think "open concept" is fading in popularity.

    Disagree. People like the idea of being in the kitchen while watching the kids playing in the living room, and open concept is very functional for small houses.

    Remove the frig and put a counter top there and put in a opening to the living room, or open it up completely to the living room with a pocket door. Then remove a little of the pantry in the front so it's flush with the added countertop and shove the frig into the opening like a built in.

    Lastly put a pantry door on the angled wall facing the camera for a smaller pantry. Now you have a semi open kitchen which can be closed off and more what people are going to now. Open concept is for tiny homes to make them look bigger. I don't like them, I do like partially open with the option to close them off, who wants to look at a dirty kitchen.

    Like it.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Thank you all for your help so far! I have included a brief sketch I drew up in AutoCAD of my downstairs layout. Happy to add more detail/dimensions if that may help, just trying to keep it un-cluttered. And for a little background, my husband and I plan to start having kids in the next year or so, so I really want a space where I can see the kids wherever I am downstairs. I am also nervous the living room won't get used because it is so removed from the rest of the entertaining area in my opinion. We just moved in late March.


    Also, forgot to include the two fireplaces in the house. There is one on the left wall of the family room next to the Wet Bar and one on the right wall of the living room next to the front door.

  • 2 years ago

    If your sketch is correct, what is behind the pantry wall?

    I would maybe put the pantry there instead (if you want to keep a walk in). You can also do pull out pantries or a larder pantry, but both of those are $$.

    It looks like the dining room wall might be load bearing, so I don't know if removing the wall the pantry is on would give you much to work with if you have to keep the DR wall. If you can change the pantry location and move the fridge down a bit (get rid of that tunnel) it will feel much more spacious.

  • 2 years ago

    Behind the pantry is just a wide hallway between the staircase and the pantry wall. We’ve actually seen a neighbor who has opened everything up. They shifted the patio door down, and set the fridge and a smaller pantry next to the sink. Then added a huge sit-in island to the center. My husband has briefly seen the plans and it doesn’t seem like anything is load bearing, but we could be wrong. The neighbors have opened it up without adding additional columns (same exact layout as us)

  • 2 years ago

    Maybe it is my age, but something I do not understand about modern floorplans is the lack of separation between the living room and the family room. I'm used to the living room being the grownups' room and the family room being the kids' room. The grownups can watch three football games on Sunday without annoying the kids, and the kids can stream ten consecutive episodes of TeenTitansGo without disturbing the grownups. So I'd move the refrigerator and the pantry to the other side of that wall, and put in a door to close off the rest of the space between the living room and the family room. Understand that I once knew someone who insisted on a family room addition to her house so she did not have to experience repeated back-to-back playing of Barbie Swan Lake. Which is a pretty good movie if you are subjected to it less than once a decade.

  • 2 years ago

    My opinion as a 60 something empty nester. I hate hate hate my open plan. Could be that it’s just cheap and poorly designed, but even just two of us here have issues with noise and smells. My last home was semi open, I guess you’d say. It was built in 2001, so on the cusp of when things were getting more open. That worked well with a breakfast nook for my then tween and teens. That said, I could definitely understand why Maddie wants open plan. She’s planning for kids and thinking ahead. Her kitchen is lovely, if a bit tight. But open plan has its drawbacks. My own children are all in the baby making stage and none like the open concept. One has it now and they will be buying a different, more closed plan soon. Just my 2 cents and 35+ years of my home ownership and 10+ years ownership of my kids.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    The layout needs detailed measurements - unless all doors, walls, and windows can be changed (interior & exterior). I assume that is not the case. So, please post a layout that includes the widths of each wall/window/door/doorway and the distances between each wall/window/door/doorway labeled. See a sample below. If something cannot be moved or changed, label it precisely on your layout (see post in sample) and tell us why it cannot be moved/changed -- we may have some ideas for you. (Include trim in the window, door, and doorway measurements.)



    Maddie Victoria thanked Buehl
  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Technically anything can be changed for the right amount of money. Everything is drawn to scale. I really don’t have the right software (or time) to detail it to the inch unfortunately but I appreciate you wanting to be thorough! I’m more just looking for overall ideas we can look into. To be honest, we are looking to keep as much the same as possible. I'd like to keep all my current outside windows/doors the same - if anything just shift them down to accommodate more kitchen space. If it ends up being a high dollar amount, it’s cheaper for us to just move and buy a new house. I can keep pushing to get copies of the plans if we actually move forward with a change.

  • 2 years ago

    Can you draw up what your neighbor's did -- I don't understand which way the island faces -- the family room or the living room. Are you keeping the dining room -- could you add french doors to make it a more closed off space?

  • 2 years ago

    The island would face the living room with stools that wrapped around into the family room also. Esentially a 8'W x 4-5'Deep (if you're facing the kitchen from the living room). Technically the living room/family rooms can be reversed if we want to use them differently to how we are now. I don't think the dining room area is large enough to be separated with french doors, but maybe I'm wrong. The entire space is about 6x10.

  • 2 years ago

    Are you planning to sell the house? If so, then leave it as is. If I were a potential buyer, and the layout didn't suit me, I would want to be in charge of making the space into what I want.



  • 2 years ago

    Maddie - I decided not to renovate anything in my present house. While we aren’t selling yet, I’m using any potential update money towards a second home. I had my total re-do kitchen estimated 3 times and prices were minimum of $80k up to almost $200k, depending on the design. So, you may well want to consider buying another home. I have no idea where you live or your budget. But I think it comes down to how attached you are to your home and neighborhood. If you love the space, have good schools, good for work, then it may be worth it. Good luck!

  • 2 years ago

    We planned to live here for 5ish years and then upgrade to something with a pool when our kids come of age. We are in Southern California, so once you have a down payment to afford your first, it’s pretty easy to upgrade multiple times. We just moved from a condo to a home with land. I always imagined having a nice big island when my kids are young though. But 80k-200k to redo the kitchen is crazy!! You can almost build a new house for that (not in California, but elsewhere for sure)

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Thanks for the clarification (the island would face the living room). That could be a nice update. I don't think people would miss a walk-in pantry if there is plenty of storage near by, and islands can provide good storage space if designed well. Two thoughts -- it can be hard to clean a wide, long island surface. Little kids spill a lot so that's a lot of wiping up, so take all that reaching into account. Second, do you know your neighbors well enough to ask a couple questions: were they satisfied with their contractor, did they need permits/inspections, would they have done anything differently, and (only if they seem willing to share) ballpark how much it cost.

    But if you're planning to sell in five years, you likely will lose money, no matter how cheap this remodel is. Consult a real estate agent if that's an issue.

  • 2 years ago

    I also meant to ask if you have a half bath on this floor. If not, is the pantry large enough for one?

  • 2 years ago

    We already have a 1/2 bath :)

  • 2 years ago

    For a simpler reno, you can move the refrigerator by the sliding door, then make the opening to the dining nook bigger.

  • 2 years ago

    Maddie Victoria, Don't blow off Buehl's request for some additional information. She's a very experienced planner. You will be getting some great advice from her.

    If we told you that there was a way to get both a walk-in pantry and an open or semi open plan kitchen at the same time for less money, would you be interested?

    In order to properly advise you and present viable, cost-efficient options, we need to know where your windows, doors and walls are located. We need to know where the front entry and rear exit are located. We also need to know where the fireplaces are located.

    We also need to know some general, basic measurements. We aren't talking about a full, time consuming CAD. The easiest way is to hand draw it with labels on a piece of graph paper with some general measurements. If a specific measurement is needed later on, you can add it.

    I really think there is room to get everything you want. You just need to give us the tools to explore the project.

  • 2 years ago

    Hi homechef and Buehl! I am definitely not blowing off your offer! We are simply getting our floors replaced upstairs on Monday, so now is crunch time to finish all our painting and bathroom remodel. Not trying to blow anyone off but I’ll definitely try to add more detail once our upstairs remodel is complete. I also was unsure how to reply to people so wasn’t sure if Buehl was seeing my comments anymore! Didn’t want to spend the time graphing if there was no way to contact him/her. Let me know if there’s a way to reply direct!

    We are really only interested in doing this if it’s under ~35k max which it doesn’t seem like it will be in SoCal. Otherwise, it’s better for us to just upgrade in a few years and use the Reno we are doing now just for profit and move to get exactly what I want. I’ll try to get something added to my original on Tuesday or Wednesday :)

  • 2 years ago

    Good. Enjoy the new floors. They will make you smile. Look forward to seeing the new dimensions once you can catch your breath and have a moment to yourself.

  • PRO
    2 years ago

    Your idea is practical as your kitchen looks narrow and you are very right in opening it up.