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kuksmith10

How much pantry space?

kuksmith10
20 days ago

We are designing our custom home, almost done, but had a question about pantry size/options. Currently the great room, which includes our Kitchen, Dining, Living room in a linear configuration in a complete open configuration with cathedral ceilings. This section of the house is 23 ft wide and the kitchen runs the entire back wall and wrapping around in a U with a 10’x4’ island. Currently we have 3 3’x8’ pantry cabinets. We are waffling between not having a walk in/butlers pantry since that seems to be the design trend. A walk-in wouldn’t be easily added to current plan and would require a large plan redo. Are these pantry cabinets enough space? We are only a family of 3, possibly 4 in the future.

Comments (121)

  • cpartist
    18 days ago

    Sounds like you are committed to the pan and want to move forward as is. Good luck. I do hope you take the time to consider many of the great ideas in this thread, repeated over and over by different posters, before you are too far in this process.

    Two thoughts. If you haven't already read The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka, I highly recommend it. It really isn't about small houses but creating right sized houses and how to best orient spaces, etc.

    Secondly, I too built with what my derierre aperture builder called a design/build firm except I understood design more than his "designer" and it took me months to get to where we needed to be. On top of that, I listened to what those with more knowledge here on the forums had to say to me. Thankfully I did as my house truly works for my DH and myself. Two of the architects on this forum actually came and visited me at the house and thought it was a well designed house. Don't rush the process. It's a lot cheaper to fix things on paper than it is to have to do change orders.

  • Fori
    18 days ago

    I'm not gonna critique your plan all over--sure, there's stuff I'd change but everybody has different preferences.


    But I love the overall concept with the foyer in the middle. :)

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  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    18 days ago

    The closet works as 6’ it only has hangers on 2 walls the long and short, L shaped, which allows for 4 ft walkway. The exterior will be modern. Dark vertical siding on the garage, great room, bedroom wing with Kebony wood horizontal siding on the foyer and mudroom. The roofing will be architectural shingles on the garage, great room and bedroom and standing seam metal on the other sections. I will look at the book

  • bpath
    17 days ago

    The bathrooms do both have windows.

    Do you need a step from the garage into the house? I think you are in ”weather country”, and a setp helps keep slush and dirt and leaves out of the house. In fact, a ledge around the inside perimeter of the garage helps keep those out of anything you might be storing, too.

  • cpartist
    17 days ago

    But I love the overall concept with the foyer in the middle. :)

    Yes that's what i like too because it is a good way to separate the private area from the more public area.

  • bpath
    17 days ago

    Will the basement living and storage spaces be under the whole house, excluding garage and maybe mudroom? (Although, I recommend at least a crawl under the mudroom to access the laundry and powder room pipes.)

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    Bpath…. There will most likely be 1 step up into the house form the garage. It is 4 cars as I will use half for my woodworking shop.
    The basement will be a full basement with 9’ walls under the entirety of the home minus the garage which is slab. A basement is a necessity for my wife and I for safety in event of a tornado, as well as the extra nice living space. The basement will have 2-3 bedrooms with egress windows. We may use one of the bedrooms as an exercise room if we don’t want to do another egress window.

  • Charlie
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    The square footage is plenty big enough. It It,s just arranged badly. My guess is you will not have a dining table there at all, because of the traffic. Plus the fact that it isn’t wide enough for a table.

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    17 days ago

    I think that everyone has given you lots of food for thought. I think the kitchen does need more windows. You have great windows by the fireplace but that light will not travel to the back of the house. At one point I think you had said something about doing 2 windows on either side of the stove - that would be great ( I would slide the stove to the left so it is not directly across from the sink. More windows would be great, but you have to account for some wall cabinet or open shelf storage.

    I looked again and there seems to be plenty of room for the kitchen, island, dining room table and nice sized living room furniture. I don't feel like it would be a hallway since it is the mudroom and garage on the one side and not the bedrooms or living rooms. If you want to be sure, draw out your great room on graph paper and cut out scale sizes of your furniture and lay it out. That is what I like to do with my customers so you can be confident going that this will be a space you are very happy with.

    Good luck!!

  • just_janni
    17 days ago

    HI - your entryway can be spectacular - don't scrimp on it - and do a great door and nice windows in the front.


    I do hope there are more windows than are shown here because they appear to have been doled out sparingly in this plan.


    I am concerned about the bedroom wing. The sizes are really generous but they seem very out of proportion to the publis spaces where you will spend the bulk of your time. 2 bedrooms have more space than the living, dining and kitchen combined. A weird dynamic for entertaining. ;-)


    But think about where you WANT spaciousness and where you don't.


    I agree that you should move the bathrooms to the corners and introduce more light into the home. Your master bath feels like a ton of sq feet but a veritable dancefloor in the middle of it with all the fixtured lined up waiting to do-si-do.


    You have some unique desires (woodshop, how you have split your bedrooms, the basement living space, etc - you would be well served to talk to someone of considerable design talent to help you take advantage of this opportunity. Some of the ideas here are great / cool, etc - but they don't feel super well executed in this iteration.

  • bpath
    17 days ago

    While I’m still dreaming of a glass-passage type of foyer, what if the stairs moved to the right? They won’t start so close to the living space (that looks scary to me). And, there could be a glass door at the top to the courtyard, convenient to the living room.

    I suppose you are planning on the basement bedrooms being below the main floor bedrooms, and hopefully that can be modified to accommodate the stairs landing under the master bedroom.

  • CNH 320
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    I just wanted to comment on the closet width. I know it's messy in the picture and could use some organization, but my closet is 6 feet 3 inches wide by 5 foot long and it works well. I have stuff hung all the way around and stepping inside and getting clothes out isn't a problem at all. So I think 6 feet wide with only clothes on 2 walls would work too.


  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    Bpath… we thought about having the stairs go like that but we are not going to finish the basement under the great room at first so it would complicate something’s to do that.

  • cpartist
    17 days ago

    If you want to consider some other ideas and are open to maybe working with someone who works virtually and is well respected here, send me a message for their name.

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    As I am sitting here pondering awaiting the response from my builder. I sketched up an alternative bedroom wing. What are peoples thoughts? I tried to draw to as much scale as I could

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    Trying to keep within the same “box”

  • Verbo
    17 days ago

    The problem is getting 𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞 the box that you are cornering yourself into. You need an architect.

  • cpartist
    17 days ago

    Why do you need to keep within the same box?

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    Cpartist…. We how everything lays out in the basement below. We don’t want to make this section any bigger and also don’t forsee shrinking the width anymore and still fitting what we want. The roof will be a gable with the ridge running front to back.

  • bry911
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    I once built a house on an existing foundation, so I do understand that sometimes the "box" can't be changed, but do be sure that the tail isn't wagging the dog here.

    Often these types of constraints create inefficiencies. For example, in the modification that was posted, you can put a dance floor in the bathroom walkway. Which will be great because it is too large to feel warm and comfortable anyway, so a disco ball will really work. The closet is 6'4" which is 6" too small for clothes storage on both sides and 12" too big for a closet walkway. So again, I think a disco ball will help. Then you have the linen closet area, which has its own 16 square feet of hallway.

    This is not to say your plan is bad, but it certainly wastes interior space in an attempt to conform to an exterior shape. You might well be better off doing the opposite.

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    I think 6.5’ feet is wide enough for a closet as we don’t need hanging on both sides. In regards to the box size. We want larger bedroom sizes and there is only so much space to fit in a freestanding bath tub with separate shower. We want the square box for the exterior aesthetic reasons, simple framing. So while I agree the bathroom walkway is large we don’t really have much wasted space as the hallway is very small even with the linen closet. I guess we could spin and have the linen be at the end of the hallway and put that square footage into the closet.

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    17 days ago

    I find it interesting you aren’t really willing to consider any suggestions or to even bring them back to your team for a discussion. Fairly unanimously people are making quite similar suggestions and offering the same advice and warnings and you don’t want to consider any of it. I would completely understand if framing underway and what not but at this stage now is the time to really think this through and not be super fixed.

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    I find it interesting that you infer I haven’t started discussions with my team, which I have done. But this is a social media “discussion” board so that is what I am doing. I have also read lots of suggestions that aren’t specific. I am all ears if someone has a concrete idea how to rearrange and still keeping the boxy appearance and boxy rooms, we don’t want nooks in the bedrooms

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    17 days ago

    Good luck. You clearly want this to go a certain way. Hope it all works out.

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    16 days ago

    I like the layout you did for the bedrooms. I would change the linen closet. That will be an odd dead end for the short hallway. I would flip it so you face the door at the end of the hall instead. I would also suggest pulling back that little bit of wall for the second bedroom so that hall is nice and wide to swing furniture in there.

    The master bath looks nice but I feel like the tub seems squeezed in place. Once your designer puts it into a design program and you can see it 3d, it may look much better. I am not a fan of having to go through the bathroom into the closet - but that is just me. Since there is so much room in the bathroom, I am wondering if you could move things around and create an alcove where one door goes into the bathroom and one door goes into the closet.

    Please make sure the door on the toilet room is a swing out door for safety.

    I have small rooms in my house so these spaces look great to me. I am not the type of person who spends hours in my bedroom. I go in to go to sleep and that's it. I would want my main living areas to be the " right " size. You size things right for how you like to live in each space. The suggestions about closet sizes, window quantities and door swings that folks have given you are all very good and should be applied as needed.

    Looks like you are moving right along....

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    16 days ago

    Debbi… thank you for those suggestions. I like the idea of changing the linen closet position as well as making the ingress/egress on the w2w floor bedroom. I have redone another draft just myself and moved the bath, toilet room, and shower around. We want the shower to have 2 pony walls and with glass on upper half. May I ask what the rational is for door swinging out of the toilet room? Most houses I have ever been in are in swing doors. We like the closet being accessed through the bathroom, as I get up before my wife and it will would like to walk in get ready/dress and only walk out 1 time. If we can sneak the closet to be 7’ deep we will definitely do that do it. We have the 2nd bedroom large because we only have one child now and don’t really know if we will have another. It being large will allow them to share until 1 can move to a basement bedroom later on.

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    16 days ago

    I would still pull the wall for bedroom 2 back slightly ( making the linen closet wider ) for moving furniture into the bedrooms.

    I was always told to have the door as an outswing or pocket door so in case someone ever collapsed inside, the door could be opened.

    I think I would swap the vanity and the toilet closet. This will allow more area around the tub. Freestanding tubs are notoriously difficult to clean around the base if there is not enough room surrounding them.

    Here is my attempt at adjusting the picture:


    This would also give you a great place to hang towels for when you step out of the shower ( something many people forget). Make sure you have a strong exhaust fan as well or put a pocket door onto the closet. You do not want damp air to go in there.

    I think the size of the closet is fine - tons of room to hang things and have shelving. You can even do tall shoe storage on the blank walls and hooks for belts, tie, bags and hats. You just need to lay it out right and take advantage of the interesting items out on the market for organizing closets.

    Good luck!

  • Mrs Pete
    16 days ago
    last modified: 16 days ago

    We don’t really use a dining table as we will eat at island 99% of time.

    Is this how you eat now?

    3' is what is needed to comfortably walk in.

    I had 2 1/2' for years, and it was okay -- but 3' is definitely better. Yes, you can hang clothes on one side of the closet only, but that's not an ideal use of space. To illustrate:

    - You're spending 133 square feet in your master closet ... to get 29 linear feet of storage.

    - If you had a 7' closet with clothes hanging on two sides, it would need to be 13' long (which would be 91 square feet, a savings of 42 square feet) to get the same amount of storage.


    What I'm seeing here is that some areas of this house are bloated, while others are cramped -- the space isn't equally allotted across the spaces.

    What are peoples thoughts? I tried to draw to as much scale as I could

    I'd move the washer/dryer in the closet to the exterior wall. This will allow the dryer to vent directly to the outside, which is easier /cheaper to build and also more fire-safe.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    16 days ago
    last modified: 16 days ago

    Walk-in closets work well when they are at least seven feet wide. Do not turn corners with hanging clothes. I would avoid locating a washer and dryer in a clothes closet.



  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    16 days ago

    Reach-in closets are many times a better alternative than walk-in closets.


  • Jennifer K
    16 days ago

    Since your laundry is in the master closet and that's only accessible through the en suite, how will your kids get their laundry? I think something like the below might work better. You'll have laundry access for everyone, room to fold and room if you want, to have non-stacked machines.


    I've also reconfigured closets and bathrooms a bit. There's more or the same hanging space in less room. Something to consider.



    I've probably got the windows wrong. But you get the idea.


  • cpartist
    16 days ago

    I find it interesting that you infer I haven’t started discussions with my team, which I have done. But this is a social media “discussion” board so that is what I am doing. I have also read lots of suggestions that aren’t specific. I am all ears if someone has a concrete idea how to rearrange and still keeping the boxy appearance and boxy rooms, we don’t want nooks in the bedrooms

    One of the reasons my house came out so well (good enough to be featured in a national magazine) is because while still on paper, I listened to what people here had to say. Did I agree with everyone? Of course not but by listening to others, I was able to make my house truly look and work well despite my draftman.

  • cpartist
    16 days ago

    Oh btw: You said you're going to hang clothing in an L shape. Secret: Clothes can't go around corners. (Think about it.)

  • Andrea
    16 days ago

    how about something like this

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    16 days ago

    Andrea… we would like to keep the closet as a walkthrough from the bathroom. We also would prefer the laundry to not share the wall with my second bedroom as it will be my child’s room and we do laundry after he goes to bed. But thank you for this idea.

    Cpartist… we have had closets with a corner for hangers we had no issues as we used the corner hanging space for our out of season clothing and didn’t find it to be an issue. But that is a good point you made.

    Jennifer… we are ok with the laundry being in the master closet as we still have the mudroom laundry. When our son is old enough to do his own laundry he can use that one. Thank you for this idea for the second bedroom though it is an interesting possibility.

    Mark Bischak… thank you for pointing out that the reach in closets may be a more effective option. We will take that to the team.

    Mrs Pete… I initially had the laundry in closet on the exterior wall as I had same thoughts about venting but my build said they prefer not putting them on exterior walls. But I think it would make more sense to have directly vent out side. We definitely want to make the shortest vent run. As we had a very long vent run in our first run and I ended up having to put a booster fan in to help with venting. I’m regards to the island and dining.. we eat at the island 99.9% of the time. The dining table would get used maybe for 2 weeks/year when we have family from out of state and the occasional family get together.

  • jackowskib
    15 days ago

    Our closet is similar to your idea but 15x5.5. I keep bulk items in there too! And entry is in the bathroom so a complete dressing room. End walls no corner issue! Container Store for nice shelving and hanging systems.

  • bry911
    15 days ago

    Our closet is similar to your idea but 15x5.5. I keep bulk items in there too! And entry is in the bathroom so a complete dressing room. End walls no corner issue! Container Store for nice shelving and hanging systems.


    But you do have an issue which is easily seen in that photo. There is a substantial blank space in front of your shoe and hat area. I don't think anyone here has said that you can't make a closet that turns a corner work, but if you can design a house that avoids that problem it would be better.


    You have 15' linear feet on one wall that only has about 11' of linear storage because you have reserved about 4' to access the short wall storage that is 5.5'. Meanwhile the same linear storage in a closet with wall storage on both walls would need to be about 18" wider but could be about 7' shorter.


    I don't care in the least what the OP decides is the appropriate size for their closet. However, if the entire home is designed with similar problems the OP is going to be paying for a lot of useless square footage. Constraints do exist in home design and while it is important to recognize that, it is also important to not create artificial constraints that impede good design.

    ---

    Preventing activities in the laundry room from interfering with your child's sleep is certainly important, but there are several ways to accomplish that. Certainly locating it in another place is a great idea, but if a plan is otherwise great there may be options to keep noise down that work fine. My home theater can't be heard from the next room and I suspect it is a bit louder than your laundry.

  • Mrs Pete
    15 days ago
    last modified: 15 days ago

    my build said they prefer not putting them on exterior walls.

    Ask him to explain WHY ... this isn't opinion; dryers on exterior walls are just better. Shortest possible vent, easier to keep clean /thus more fire safe.

    we eat at the island 99.9% of the time.

    If that's already your habit, I'm sure you'll continue to like it.

  • jackowskib
    15 days ago

    Bry11 yes you make good points about closet space, we don’t live in your world of making full use of space that is fixed. It’s set up so as our needs change we can easily adjust the layout. The flexibility works for us.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    15 days ago

    Sounds like a quote for the year end roundup.

  • Marie J.
    15 days ago

    Here’s my closet. This view is the top right corner. My builder moved the HVAC chase in the plan and my dresses are on one long shelf to the other wall, and I asked that they not install those shelves on the left side in the plan. This closet doesn’t have any clothes bunched in the corner.






  • littlebug zone 5 Missouri
    15 days ago
    last modified: 15 days ago

    What a ton of advice you are receiving! I didn’t read them all - my only comment is that I think your actual living space (the living area with the fireplace) is going to be a lot tinier than you think. 11’ wide is not wide at all, which several have already pointed out. I just measured my living room couch, a standard size of just under 7’ wide. You wouldn’t be able to center my couch with your fireplace because there isn’t room to walk around both ends.

    Anyway, I really jumped in to say that it’s not often to see someone from NE Kansas here! I’m in NW Missouri. Welcome!

    (And be sure to heed the advice given regarding window and solar issues.)

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    15 days ago

    Littlebug…. The space is actually going to be closer to 16’. That 11’ was remnant of a previous plan that hasn’t been deleted.

  • mcarroll16
    15 days ago

    Skylights or solotubes might be a useful option for the great room, especially the dining area that sits far from windows.

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    15 days ago

    Mcarroll… we had that initially but i was hoping to have the least amount of roof penetrations as possible.

  • PRO
    Norwood Architects
    15 days ago

    You can never have too much pantry space.

  • littlebug zone 5 Missouri
    15 days ago

    16’ wide? Great! I think that will make a huge difference in how the rooms will function.

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    15 days ago

    Littlebug… 16’ deep(front to back on plan) 23’ wide

  • 3onthetree
    15 days ago

    Late to the party, but I did skim all 119 comments. Glad you have thick skin, many OP's would have spontaneously combusted somewhere around the 32nd comment.

    Back to the Main block of Living/Dining/Kitchen, a few commenters talked in general about it being dark. You said the windows weren't representative, that there will be more. I should point out that the initial plan does not even look to meet code - you have about 875sf of space that needs 70sf of glass and 35sf of ventilation (which is going to be expanded to 984sf/79sf/40sf). And there are code limitations when fenestration opens to a patio cover. In the end, hopefully your fenestration will exceed code and contribute to the "dynamacy" of a large, open cathedral ceiling tying the functions together. I would go so far as to say the fenestration is being approached as a typical suburban tract home segmenting rooms into pockets, whereas your concept should be approaching it as one large space (so the Kitchen windows seen from the Living play in the Living layout).

    But the specific math calculations is only tangential to using that issue as an illustration to the larger picture - keep in mind the designer should always have things like this accounted for even in schematic drawings - in the Kitchen something like the 4x4 (fixed) window with upper cabinets running though them is odd, or if later adding windows to the kitchen reducing wall space for uppers, or having a "top heavy dark cathedral" not proportioned with the wall height, adjacent room openings, or fenestration will later greatly change what you picture in your head now or what you thiought you could have had but can't now that the designer actually lined up their ducks in a row.

    A specific comment on the kitchen is the stove and hood is prominent being aligned with the high ridge, and is in a very large feeling (and literally!) kitchen. Thus a 30" freestanding stove and hood is way out of scale. A 30" cooktop that blends into the cabinets would be better (which then would require a wall oven), and realize your hood becomes a statement visual piece.

    And bringing back to the original question of Pantry, having the block of Pantry cabinets has made the visual balance off. They are a big mass, and you are reducing the size of your opposing refrigerator. If a different cabinet layout is not considered, a Pantry room outside the main gable would be better.

    As far as your new bedroom layouts, there seems to be a gravitation towards "square." The gable massings can be rectangular in footprint; has nothing to do with ease of construction, and may give you more opportunity for interior layouts. Your Bed2 is larger than the Primary; and more pleasant being rectangular.

    I'll also slip in support for not having a washer/dryer in the closet. Humidity, humidity, humidity, and detergent smell.

  • kuksmith10
    Original Author
    15 days ago

    3onthetree…. Thank you for the response. I will say here in my county they are still on the 2009 Code so I don’t know if that is what they are basing on. I would have to defer that.
    We are going to be adding a walk in pantry. Off the mudroom area. We are doing a 36” induction cooktop with a combo double wall oven/speed Oven next to the fridge. We are doing a standard 36” fridge instead for eh 30” columns. The vent hood is going to be a simple dry walled bump out all the way to ceiling with some simple trim around the base. The 2nd bedroom is being larger than master as we may end up putting 2 children in it for awhile.