Why Build a Pantry?
A dedicated pantry space is an attractive and functional addition to any home or kitchen. If a pantry is built with a little bit of forethought, it becomes an area where you can visually index and identify your stocks of food and spices. There are many areas in a home that can quickly and easily be converted into a functional pantry. These include laundry rooms, closets, space under staircases, mud rooms, and hallways that aren’t used.
One of the easiest areas to turn into a pantry is a coat closet. Many times, these are located near the kitchen and/or the back door and provide an excellent opportunity to make underutilized space functional. Installing the necessary shelving may be easier than you think. First you need to remove coat hooks and related fixturing from the inside of the closet, and then you can either build custom shelving which would of course require the efforts of a talented handyman or a professional carpenter. The easiest way to build the shelving is to go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and purchase the white melamine uprights that form the end panels of a shelf these are really neat because they already have the holes punched for the shelf pegs. To install these in your closet it is simply a matter of purchasing white melamine shelving, cut it to the correct length, install the shelf pegs, insert the shelves and now you’re in business and you’re ready to organize your canned goods, your Corn Flakes, Cheerios, Wheaties, your spices, and your boxes of macaroni, spaghetti, rigatoni, and angel hair.
Sometimes the kitchen has a handy nook or recessed area that doesn’t lend itself to too many functional uses and instead becomes a spot for collecting clutter. This is a perfect spot for installing a pantry. If the area is large enough, it’s simply a matter of measuring it and going out and hunting furniture stores for a pantry unit that has cabinets in the bottom and shelves on the top, and therefore can be pushed right into this space and then you’re all set.
If you have a wide hallway adjacent to your kitchen, we don’t mean a standard 3 foot wide hallway but a 4 1/2′ foot to 6 foot wide hallway, this is a great opportunity for installing pantry shelving. This also can either be custom made by a carpenter, a talented handy man, do it yourself homeowner, or you can purchase RTA (ready to assemble) melamine shelving units that will fit the area and then become perfect for your pantry storage. Many discount furniture and kitchen stores carry several options in attractive cabinetry that would also do a good job. One of the best places to build your pantry is a mud room that’s adjacent to the kitchen. Generally speaking this is a large enough space so that you can install shelving and cabinets and still have room for the area to function as an entry way and mud room. Cabinets can be off the rack standard kitchen cabinets that can be purchased at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or any other big box home improvement center. There can be the base cabinets with doors and then you can get matching shelving units to fit along the top of the base cabinets to complete the pantry. This becomes a very effective and functional storage area for all your condiments, pastas, and canned goods. Everything becomes easy to identify and inventory.
If you put your pantry in a nook, or under a stairwell, or a similar type of area it’s difficult to face it off stylishly with a door. In situations like this a curtain of some type is both effective and attractive. On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated closet, mud room, or similar area in which to build your pantry there are several ways to face off the area so it’s not readily visible. One of the most common ways, of course, is bi fold doors. These are attractive and either have panels or louvers and they are easy to operate. However, they do tend to go out of adjustment and therefore need constant attention. Then of course there’s your regular hinged door. You can get these in solid wood or MDF in six panel designs, louvre designs etc., even a unit with a glass top so you can look through it to see the contents of your pantry. Generally speaking, these are pre-hung and can be purchased at any major home improvement center. You just need to pay attention to how they are hinged and how they swing so that when the door is open it does not interfere with other functions in your kitchen or mud room. The nice thing about these doors is they can be finished to match your existing trim and molding. If you have enough wall space there is another absolutely great way that is contemporary in design, attractive, and very functional for closing off the pantry area and that is the barn style door. Generally speaking, these are made from wood with a typical rustic crossbuck appearance and they are hung from a rail that rides over the doorway and across the wall, and when the door is open you have full access to your pantry area. When it’s closed, it seals it off neatly and attractively. It’s simply a matter of sliding the door from one side to the other to gain access or to close off the area. One of the things you need to pay attention to with this type of door is that you do not want it pulling away from the wall at the bottom or disengaging from the track. The ideal device to prevent this is a barn door floor roller assembly that keeps the door in its path along the bottom. Typically, two of these will do the job very well. They consist of a angled steel bracket that is usually finished in black with a roller that’s about 1 ½” diameter. The roller contains ball bearings so that it rolls smoothly and can be adjusted to move back and forth on the steel bracket to maintain uniform wall clearance and so it holds the door perfectly flush and vertical. There’re several makers of this type of roller. The one we like the best is made by Tech Team www.hyskore.com Their part number 724 https://www.amazon.com/Adjustable-Smooth-Sliding-Hardware-Included/dp/B07CVMQLVJ/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1539524522&sr=8-9&keywords=tech+team is the absolute perfect accessory for this type of door control.