Pantry Part 1

Breaking news: all people are different. We like different things. Somethings you can pretty much be sure of: no one wants popcorn ceilings. No one. But other things are iffy. Like shag carpet. Or drop-down ceilings, apparently.

My in-laws’ neighbors just ADDED a drop-down ceiling in their new kitchen. Do whatever you love! It’s your house, people!

Some people love a swimming pool. Others won’t even consider a house with one.

Think about facilities in a master bathroom. Some people absolutely can’t live without a water closet, while others are fine to do their business “out in the open.” Some people would never dream of buying a house without a bathtub in the master, and other people haven’t taken a bath since the Carter administration.

Everyone wants to store their food, and I’ve never met a person who said, “I really love that my kitchen doesn’t have a pantry.” I think given the option, most people would choose a pantry over storing their dry foods in a cabinet. More storage is always better. (Though, granted, I’m fully aware of the tiny house movement.)

I’m totally not going to get rid of a pantry all together (seems like property value suicide, besides the fact that I can’t imagine where I’d store the food), even though my refrigerator is moving over to where my pantry is/was.

Pantries are personal. If you’ve never had one (live in an older or smaller home), or only had one type, you may not even realize this. But it’s fact. As fact as the universal abhorrence of popcorn ceilings. I’m not making this stuff up. It’s true.

As you might guess, I’ve had all kinds of pantries and/or lack of a pantry in my life. Because of that, I know what I like and don’t like. I know what works for us and what doesn’t.

Remember that my house is 30+ years old. The pantry here was probably considered a walk-in when this house was built. It totally wouldn’t be considered a walk-in today, though. Holy cow! Have you guys seen the pantries they’re building these days?

It’s kinda like some of the older/smaller walk-in closets I’ve had in the past. Where you CAN walk into it, but there’s not exactly a lot of room once you’re in there. Not too much of a problem for a pantry, I suppose, but totally annoying for a closet. Be a walk-in, or have a wide enough opening that I can see everything without having to look down some weird, skinny path, ya know?

I’ve seen some pantries recently where my entire family could go in there and have a picnic on the floor. Right after we performed our gymnastics routines in there. This wasn’t that. But it also wasn’t tiny. It was just like the annoying closets. The door was 24″, so even if the pantry itself is five feet wide, you can only really see two feet of it, kwim? It wasn’t quite deep enough that you could walk-in and turn a corner and use that space effectively, even though it did have the “L” shelves as if it were large enough to do so.

I’ve had deep pantries before and they just don’t work for us. (Deep with shallow shelves–a walk-in–is totally different than deep with deep shelves.) Sure, you can store a 48 pack of paper towels in there, but they’ll get buried behind the chips and no one will ever know they’re there. Worse than just deep is deep to the side. That’s what we had going on here.

pantry edge

The pantry goes all the way over to that pvc pipe. But look how narrow the door opening is. It was like an episode of hoarders in that corner. I had no idea what was back there. Okay, just kidding. That’s not something to joke about. Those people need real help. But it was an unorganized mess. And of course it’s way too shallow for me to take a picture. Not that I would.

So, months ago when I started looking around here trying to decide how to go about changing this kitchen configuration, that area seemed like it might work for the refrigerator. It had to move from the wall that it was on so we could achieve the open concept that we wanted, but there wasn’t really anywhere good for it to go.


A refrigerator isn’t exactly a small item. You can’t just tuck it away somewhere like you can a toaster. In the picture below, our brand new shower is behind the wall on the left. The landing where our stairs turn and go up the other direction is to the right. There was just nowhere to build back into. (Here’s an artist’s rendering of that for you.)


We could possibly close off the entry from the hallway and put it next to the double ovens.


But our classroom is right across that hall, and probably my favorite thing about this entire house is the proximity of the classroom to the kitchen. I get why some people love to do school at the kitchen table (but I don’t get the storage part). It’s life changing! I definitely didn’t want to wall off that opening. Although, it would provide a bigger entryway by the front door, which is something I’d like. But no. Not happening.

So when someone spilled a box of cereal trying to reach it from the top shelf of the pantry, and we were still finding pieces of it deep in the pantry corner for weeks, I knew I was getting rid of the pantry and relocating the fridge there.

To be continued…

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