Home>Discussions>KITCHENS>Should I forget my dream of a kitchen pantry?
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Fencepost
Re: Should I forget my dream of a kitchen pantry?
ed21 wrote:

my daughter just had a new kitchen installed and had two slide out spice racks installed. Very nice. I agree a kitchen designer can give you a lot of ideas you may not think of or know about. Still love a pantry to store stuff in though.

The thing is, your pantry/cupboards/spice racks will NEVER look as good as the staged photos in catalogs and magazines. I'm sure those gadgets are helpful, but who really has a collection of spices, extracts, and baking supplies all from the same manufacturer in the same size, shape, and color containers? (The same goes for closets. Who really has only three pairs of shoes, two shirts, five ties, and four dress slacks in perfectly coordinated colors?)

By all means, have a door on your pantry. If you don't have room for a swinging door, use a pocket door. Remember, the pictures in This Old House and Martha Stewart Living and Sunset are showing off a pantry that has been staged to look attractive. Yours won't, unless you stage it to look attractive (and then never use it).

The pantry is a place to hide the mess of cooking without having to spend more time cleaning up than actually cooking.

You'll want to have a door to hide the disaster area your pantry will inevitably become.

A. Spruce
Re: Should I forget my dream of a kitchen pantry?
Fencepost wrote:

The thing is, your pantry/cupboards/spice racks will NEVER look as good as the staged photos in catalogs and magazines.

The key to any project is that it reflects the tastes of the owner, and designed to suit their needs, NOT the needs of the designer, builder, or sponsors (i.e., tv show, magazine, etc. ). Anything other than that is nothing but fad and useless space.

jandtthomas
Re: Should I forget my dream of a kitchen pantry?

Hello and thank you for you comments and ideas. I'm taking note of several things to keep in mind, such as 3/4" banded plywood, heavier duty multiply ply cabinet grade plywood, ledger cleat, avoid particle board, etc. Another trip to Lowe's or Home Depot is warranted. I'm learning a lot here!

We definitely want the built in wood shelving as long as it isn't cost prohibitive. At least I do, my husband really doesn't give a hoot as long as dinner is on the table. Wire cabinets and wheels are not in the picture. I want the pantry to have the feel of a 1930's bungalow. The "room" itself is small, only 4'x8' so it won't even be a working pantry, just for storage.

And the kitchen itself is small, about 10x11 with 5 windows and doors and a big radiator so there really is very limited storage space in the kitchen, thus we are turning the "closet" into a "pantry." We've talked to a designer and he didn't have to much to add (but was in agreement with the contractor about what a great idea wire shelving is :confused:. We are not moving or tearing down walls or adding more space, the configurations will be exactly as they are now, just some major updating. And while I don't have color coordinated spice containers I do plan on keeping the pantry neat, to me it's more than just a storage space for food, it's another room unlike my messy clothes closet which no one is allowed to see.:D

Lynne
Re: Should I forget my dream of a kitchen pantry?

I wish I had a 4x8 pantry! Luckily, I had room for a floor-to-ceiling storage unit, kind of a large sideboard, that I had to have custom-built. I also had a free-standing narrow 'pantry' made to match (it's bolted to the wall to prevent tipping).

Anyway, what I found useful was to measure the height and width of the items I intended to store to ensure the shelves were wide enough and spaced apart adequately. I don't like the shelves to be so deep that things get lost in the back.

Fencepost
Re: Should I forget my dream of a kitchen pantry?
queen60 wrote:

Anyway, what I found useful was to measure the height and width of the items I intended to store to ensure the shelves were wide enough and spaced apart adequately. I don't like the shelves to be so deep that things get lost in the back.

Standard cupboard (and shelf) depths are 12" and 24" -- inside measurement is about 1" less than that. For pantry shelving below counter height, I like to go about 18". This is a good depth for most larger pots, pans, and appliances without the problem of stuff getting lost in the back where you can't reach. It also gives you a bit more walking space in a narrow pantry.

Upper shelves should be no deeper than about 12" because it's hard to reach deeper than that above your head, even if you are on a stepstool. You may even want to limit the depth of the highest shelf to 6" -- but move that 6" toward the front for easier reach (blocking or boxing off the back half of a 12" shelf).

jandtthomas
Re: Should I forget my dream of a kitchen pantry?
Fencepost wrote:

Standard cupboard (and shelf) depths are 12" and 24" -- inside measurement is about 1" less than that. For pantry shelving below counter height, I like to go about 18". This is a good depth for most larger pots, pans, and appliances without the problem of stuff getting lost in the back where you can't reach. It also gives you a bit more walking space in a narrow pantry.

Upper shelves should be no deeper than about 12" because it's hard to reach deeper than that above your head, even if you are on a stepstool. You may even want to limit the depth of the highest shelf to 6" -- but move that 6" toward the front for easier reach (blocking or boxing off the back half of a 12" shelf).

Fencepost, you have brought up a good point here about depth and shelf measurements and maybe this is one reason they were discouraging us from wood shelves. Let me explain what we have. The pantry door is just off center of the 4' wall. This leaves room on one side of the pantry for 10" shelves and the other side 6" shelves (all going the length of the 8' wall). Anything wider will jut out. Even though the shelves are narrow, I'm okay with that depth (and there really isn't much of an alternative).

My question is - can the standard 12" shelves be cut to 6" and 10" without too much of a problem? And if we went with wire shelving does wire shelving even come in 6 and 10? I would imagine that would be much more difficult to cut to size if not impossible. The far end of pantry (opposite the door side) will be able to accommodate larger shelves of course, perhaps 18" for the bottom, 24" for the next and 12" for the top 3. The designer and contractor are aware of the narrow depth we have to work with.

A. Spruce
Re: Should I forget my dream of a kitchen pantry?
jandtthomas wrote:

My question is - can the standard 12" shelves be cut to 6" and 10" without too much of a problem? And if we went with wire shelving does wire shelving even come in 6 and 10? I would imagine that would be much more difficult to cut to size if not impossible. The far end of pantry (opposite the door side) will be able to accommodate larger shelves of course, perhaps 18" for the bottom, 24" for the next and 12" for the top 3. The designer and contractor are aware of the narrow depth we have to work with.

If you go with wood, either dimensional lumber or plywood with nosing, then you can make the shelves any depth you want, with ease, your only slight issue would be sourcing corbels for "off" sizes, though this is easily overcome by making your own corbels or having some made for you. Because you're trying to maintain the vintage vibe of the house, I'd stick with wood.

With wire shelving you will be stuck with the dimensions you can buy, because the edges and corner of the shelf has a much larger gauge wire for shelf rigidity, and much smaller gauge wire for the "mesh" of the shelf. Personally, I share your detest for wire shelving, it is both ugly, and wimpy, because all the attachment pieces are plastic, which become brittle over time and break. Load up that shelf and the plastic stretches, deforms, weakens, and breaks. You don't want 50 pounds of stuff suddenly come crashing down, particularly if you're standing under it at the time.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Should I forget my dream of a kitchen pantry?

Hi,
If you want it to look "of the period", you need to use thicker shelving, like 4/4 or 5/4 (five-quarter) poplar, with a beaded or double-beaded edge. Plywood with a plain square edge is always going to look like thin, modern material. 5/4 poplar will also hold more weight without sagging.
Find a decent contractor or restoration carpenter, they will know where to get thicker material, and know how to mill, fabricate and install your pantry furniture.
Casey

jandtthomas
Re: Should I forget my dream of a kitchen pantry?

We went to Lowe's a couple days ago and this time found the wood for shelving, and even found the poplar mentioned above. This looks to be what I want.

Question for you about warping - a lot of the wood was stacked in piles on the shelves and there was what looked to be definite warping. The pieces did not seem to lie flat and snug against each other. Is this the norm (and is it warping)? Or do they flatten out somehow?

The contractor still has not come back to us with his quote and I'm ready to find someone else as it's been a couple of weeks and I really didn't like his ideas on "wire shelving." My husband just wants to get this done. We were ready to do it re-do the kitchen a couple years ago but something came up and we had to delay. I think we've been in the planning stages way too long. I want to go ahead also but at the same time want a kitchen that says home to me.

A. Spruce
Re: Should I forget my dream of a kitchen pantry?
jandtthomas wrote:

Question for you about warping - a lot of the wood was stacked in piles on the shelves and there was what looked to be definite warping. The pieces did not seem to lie flat and snug against each other. Is this the norm (and is it warping)? Or do they flatten out somehow?

Warping is the natural outcome of a wet board that is allowed to dry without being held in a flat position while it dried. All lumber is milled from a wet, usually live, log, resulting in wet boards that will twist, warp, and check, if not secured in some manner while they dry. You always want to buy the straightest, flattest material you can find because it is the easiest to work with and gives the best possible end result. Now, having said this, some slight warp won't be a problem, say a 1/4" twist to an 8' long board, this is mild enough that the warp can be pulled out during installation, but if there is 1/2" or more twist to that board, it's going to be very difficult to pull that out, particularly without splitting the board down the middle.

Most of what you find for wood in a big box retailer is garbage, no matter what species it is or use it is for, you are much better off finding a woodworking/cabinetry wood supplier, most major cities have at least one supplier of this kind. Here, you will find a variety of species, grades, and sizes of wood suitable for your project. And as far as price goes, there is no comparison, a specialty supplier is going to have the best lumber at the best price.

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