High on buyers wish lists & very sought after by most home chefs, the walk-in pantry is a functional space that also adds great value to your home. This space though is too often poorly designed and becomes a dumping zone, with untidily crammed shelves. If you rush to close the doors to your pantry when guests arrive, well, it's a clear sign that your pantry needs improving, but there are solutions to turn this room into one you can be proud of. So, if you're not happy with the way your pantry looks like, or you are in the process of designing a new one, here are some important tips to help you get a pantry whose door you won't want to shut.
MAKE IT FUNCTIONAL - Use every inch of it, provide as much shelving and bench-space as you can, and depending on the space available, include additional cabinetry and drawers. This room, as small or large as it may be, is not only to store your food items and keep your appliances out of sight, but to ensure that all of these items are easy to find and reach. If planning a brand new pantry, consider keeping some of your base cabinetry shallow, as this will not only save you floor space, but will allow you to see what you actually are storing, at a glance. Most importantly, including bench-tops in this room, makes it functional as an additional preparation space, or a practical transition space when packing the groceries away. Including at least one double powerpoint makes this room versatile, as it's perfect to store heavy electric items such as the Kenwood or the Thermomix, and use them in there, instead of lifting and moving these around everytime you wish to use them.
MAKE IT MATCH - The walk-in pantry is usually within the kitchen or just off it, so it makes perfect sense to use the same finishes for both rooms. However, as some kitchen finishes can be quite expensive, using an alternative one in the same colour or tones for the pantry, allows you to emulate the kitchen but save you a great deal of money. For example, a laminate bench-top in the same colour and style as the kitchen's natural stone, or perhaps laminate shelving to match or complement the colour of the polyurethane sprayed kitchen doors. I also often use textured timber look laminate, or natural timber veneer, in the kitchen but use a standard finish in same tor similar timber laminate for the pantry, achieving really great results whilst cleverly watching the budget. If your budget allows, adding doors and drawers to your shelving will help keep things looking more organised, hiding your piles of platters and mixing bowls...
KEEP IT TIDY - Avoid cluttering this space. This room can only be functional if you are able to see what's stored there, and to achieve this you must avoid piling things up on top of each other. Choose shelves that are not too high to maximise storage; and organise your foods by type (tins in one place, bottled drinks in another, condiments near the door and easy to access, etc.); purchase good looking boxes and trays to store those smaller jars and packets of spices helping staying organised, and allowing for easily slide in and out. Use clear sealable containers for items that need protecting once opened (flower, rice, sugar etc.), and finally clean your pantry regularly to check what needs refilling and what needs throwing away. The more visible things are, the less waste you'll have from forgetting what you have and doubling up when shopping.
Not last, when selling your property this room will make a great impression on all those walking through - see some pantry styling tips in the short video below.
Of course the last important consideration is to upgrade your walk-in pantry to become a Butler's Pantry, placing a sink in there, perhaps the microwave and possibly the dishwasher too ... but that's a story for another blog. Stay tuned :)
A Treble of tips:
Storage boxes, trays and sealable containers which are of the same material or colour will suggest order in a space very difficult to keep tidy.
Keeping perishable items in shallow shelves or placing them in the very front, allows you to see what you have already and helps avoid buying what's not needed.
Selecting some good looking or interesting yet practical objects allows you to add charm to this quite difficult room, providing the perfect way to include some style.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has 3 decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to homes through clever design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.