Using A Pantry For Things Other Than Food
As promised in Monday’s post, How Spending More May Jumpstart The Road To Minimalism today we show you what we’ve gained by not having a walk in food pantry.
Taking Advantage Of Small Spaces
Mr. LBD and I have lived in many homes. When asked “What has been our favorite house?”, I always reply honestly it’s the one we live in “now”. The ongoing philosophy of our design firm, and my personal life, is that when we make a house work for us then we can call it a home.
Therefore, moving into a cookie cutter condo built by a developer who professes to give custom choices but in reality that only means selection choices, is where good design has to be creative. Especially when the open plan kitchen has nine, yes only nine, cabinets! See this thing in the corner…this is the entire kitchen!
Time To Get Creative Rethinking The Space
We cook often. Most meals are simple and don’t require a lot of gadgets to prepare. However, the things we use for meal prep and service are very important. Food comes and goes but the other items in our kitchen need storage spaces that work for us. This is the key for every good design. When the interior design of a home does not work it will not matter how good it looks.
Our goals for converting this 14 Sq feet of space were simple. We need a place in every home for the morning routine that is out of the main kitchen. Also needed is easy access storage for the items we use to cook with every day.
We changed out the 6 panel masonite door with a glass door available off the rack at Lowe’s. The structure did not change, but did add a receptacle into the otherwise standard white wire shelving walk in pantry that all 300+ units in our complex has. Yep, there are many more of these puppies I am more than willing to “convert”!
The Butler’s Pantry
(even tho there is no butler)
The Nitty Gritty Details
- These are “marble” laminate counter tops.
- The black bases, with open shelving and a center set of doors, are made by a closet company from our design.
- We supplied the closet company with the copper cabinet hardware.
- The open shelf to the left is welded copper plumbing piping and raw cedar planks rubbed with black paint. The unit was assembled by a talented trim carpenter who didn’t know he had such skills.
- This is a one hind end room…but we still call it a room!
Above The Counter Top
Mr. LBD grinds beans and uses a french press daily for his coffee fix. However, the space will accommodate a drip coffee pot we still have tucked in my work closet he keeps for guests. It’s never used because our guests like the idea of using the one cup unit in the guest room while they wait for you know who to press them a second cupa java. We use the electric tea kettle 3-4 times a day. Cups, beans, tea bags are all right here to grab off the open shelf.
The chalk board is not a gimmick. We’ve had this board in several homes but this is the first time it has been used for meal planning. This is what keeps me sane for week day meals. Each week the list is what we have the ingredients for in house to make dinner with. There is no plan as to what night we eat something but it keeps the food we “don’t store in the pantry” moving in and out before it goes bad. Some weeks there is a smart note about the kitchen being closed. Life happens.
To the right of the chalk board are our go to pots and pans. The chrome rack is expandable and gives us just the right amount of space. We do not have a set of cookery but rather this stack of favorites. Aprons and an old fashion cork board, for the paper recipes I still find, complete this corner of the “corner” in the kitchen. Oh, and that is a pair of cool cats a street artist was doing outside the Hemingway house in Key West. If a pantry has art it is a room!
Below The Counter Top
Below the counter top to the left are the baking/service dishes we use often and the food spiralizer. I’m just learning the benefits of this piece of equipment! To the right are the other items we use weekly. Since I am not a professional photographer, and the space is so small, I’m not sure how to show all the goodies we have stored in this space. I will say that this space is a little workhorse and takes the place of all the cabinets we forfeited from the last home. We went from 22 cabinets to 9, plus this pantry, and did not give up a single kitchen item. To all my fellow clean freaks out there….things stay clean because we use them so often. Dog hair is seldom found lurking in a pot or pan!
“But Where Do You Keep Your Food!”
Like the junk food! It’s hidden behind the 2 closed doors. You will have to go back and read Monday’s post to learn where we store the rest of the real food. Intentionally the place for snacks is small. For years we have thrown out half bags of chips, crackers and cookies. We’ve had granola bars so old we couldn’t peel away the wrappers. We are past all that and the too many boxes of stale cereal. This little gem of a cabinet is always full or always empty. The consumables move thru their home like greased lightning. It works for us.
That’s Our Baby
So that’s the scoop on our walk in pantry that stores so much more than food. It’s small. Every inch serves a purpose and keeps our daily life in order. Rethinking how to use a space, especially one that comes with a mindset of how it is intended to be used, is what our design firm is passionate about. Below are other examples of how versatile a pantry space can be if you can rethink how you buy and store food.
Pots, Pans and Small Appliances
Tired of bending and hunting for what you use? Even designating a few shelves in a pantry can help.
Dishes, Dishes, Dishes
Who mandated dishes have to be in cabinets? Prehaps they are easier to reach in a pantry.
Most homes count on coffee, tea and other beverages to make the days run smoother. Perhaps making this space a priority is on your list.
Full Service Pantry
Show Some Love Simply With Paint
In closing, no matter what your pantry looks like, spend a little time to arrange it so it works for you all the time. Let’s get past the feelings of dread when we open those pantry doors!
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