Our new (2010) kitchen pantry, while a drastic improvement over what we had before we remodeled the kitchen, still left something to be desired. And that something would be “better storage.”
Back when we bought the house, the pantry had an angled front wall at the back edge of the kitchen. Though it was physically larger than it is now, it had an in-swinging door which meant that it was nearly impossible to get to everything behind the door without closing the door back behind you. And it also meant that it took up valuable kitchen space with the angled nook.
We tore out the pantry entirely and rebuilt the front wall straight, adding in a pocket door with frosted glass that we stumbled upon one night at Home Depot.
You can see in the old before/after plans how much space it added to the kitchen (at the top of the plans). This meant more counter space and in that little space there at the end, we ended up adding a tall floor to ceiling cabinet unit. Huge difference in the kitchen.
When the pantry was done, we had a nice square-ish room, but no actual shelving. Similar to how other things came together very fast in those crazy days before we moved in, we didn’t put any proper shelves in the pantry when we finished the kitchen. We just dragged in a spare metal storage rack into the pantry to make do.
Though this was far better than cans and dry good sitting on the ground, it didn’t make the best use of space. For one, the number of shelves was limited. It didn’t use the full width of the pantry and the depth of the shelves made it hard to see everything. And it didn’t go anywhere near the full height of the pantry.
Since I’ve gotten so good at closet shelving after doing three different closets in the last few months, I decided to bring those skills to bear on the kitchen pantry. It wasn’t an option to put shelves on both sides of the pantry as before, since the door opening is so close to one side, with all the depth on the other side.
So I used the closetmaid/rubbermaid shelving yet one more time and put in a track for 17″ shelves on the one side, and used 12″ shelves below the window to wrap around and get a little bit more storage space. (There’s a great rack for hanging pots and other utensils on the right out of frame below that we put up awhile back.)
After an afternoon of work a couple of weeks ago, we had a much more organized pantry. With lots more room for storing things that rarely get used up on the higher shelves.
Subtle difference in the photos, but it’s a huge difference in space and quality.