Would A Walk-In Pantry Be a Major Selling Point To You?

amck2May 2, 2008

I am helping my BIL with the kitchen design of a spec home he is building (his first.)

I have a walk-in pantry in the home we recently completed and I think it is one of the best aspects of the house. I love being able to see everything at eye level when I'm taking stock before grocery shopping. And I love, love how much easier it is to put away groceries compared to shoving things into cabinets and cupboards. And then there's all that at-hand storage for appliances you don't want on the countertops...I could go on....

But, I would like to hear if it would be a selling point to other people. If we do the walk-in, it would mean shaving off two feet from a large LR. I would sacrifice it in a second, if it were my own, but he's building for an, as yet, unknown buyer -

So, I would appreciate any of your opinions on whether to save the LR space or go with the walk-in. Thanks!

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Our Large LR backs onto the kitchen, and if it wasn't the major load-bearing wall for the house, I'd have borrowed space from there for the kitchen!

Especially, if the pantry is outfitted with cupboards, shelves, etc. If it's just an empty space, not so much so!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:51PM
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YES! I've never had a pantry of any type before and they just finished painting the one we are doing in our remodel. It isn't so much walk-in as step-in-- only 33" deep. But I'm already thrilled! It is going to be great-- allows me to use just a couple of shelves instead of upper cabinents, making the kitchen more open and airy. I love that things will be at eye-level.

Another option to consider is a pull-out pantry-- they are super efficient space wise! I didn't have room-- or the need-- to do both, so I just went with the step in pantry.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:52PM
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It all depends upon how it is designed, really. Had a walk-in pantry at my last house that had a lot of wasted space. House before that had one that was reasonably well designed. This time around I'm planning on a fairly shallow-depth wall pantry. I had that growing up and it's my favorite configuration. There's tons of space, it's all usable and nothing gets lost.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:54PM
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I definitely covet my friends' walk in pantries and would love one of my own, but don't have the space. So my answer would be a definite "yes" as long as the kitchen space itself doesn't suffer because of it.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:57PM
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Absolutely yes!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:58PM
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Yes, yes, yes. Had one in our old house and would've LOVED to have one here. Alas, we got a powder room instead. I'm not sure I'd rather have the powder room on the first floor versus the pantry. I really LOVED that pantry.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 1:02PM
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YES! I have a pantry not walk-in though but I would love something bigger. I love my mom's walk in with lighting (mine is dark).

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 1:16PM
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Not necessarily. It was for me two houses ago, before I had one. Now, I have had two that were PITAs. Mine were not well located in one house or well thought out in terms of function of the kitchen in either case. They have to be well thought out -- in terms of location and in terms of the use of space. The one I took out of this house was a great example of how things do get lost in them -- the shelves were too deep and it had huge, deep corners that lots of stuff got lost in. The ceiling was 10' tall, but you couldn't use any of the space overhead because of the way it ws laid out. It was actually the worst pantry I've ever had. Taking it out opened up my kitchen and allowed me to get better function for both cooking and storage.

In the house we lived in before this one, the walk-in pantry was a long L-shaped closet across a hallway from the rest of the kitchen. The kitchen barely had cabinets for dishes and pots and pans, so no food could be stored there. Every spice, everything, was in the pantry. There were shallower shelves down the long side of the L. Some things were near the door and just across from the kitchen, but many things were way down that long side and things that needed to be on the deeper shelves in the back were 20-25 feet from the cooktop and work areas.

In this kitchen remodel, I put in a tall pullout and a pantry cabinet with rollout trays. I haven't missed a walk-in pantry at all, and my kitchen seems larger without it. You lose the walk-in space, so they are not as efficient in terms of maximum space utilization.

What you do need is well thought out storage space. It is possible to have a great pantry in many configurations -- walk-in closet, cabinets, flat closet type -- just about anything so long as it works for the space and use of the space.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 1:17PM
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I agree--if it's done well and it's not hogging needed space, definitely. We remodeled back in 2004 (has it been that long?) and I just this past TG realized that when we finish the rest of the downstairs, I can move my desk into another room and we'll be able to put a pantry right next to the kitchen. I can't tell you how excited I am about this late addition. It will definitely raise the house's value--and it's perfectly located in the flow of things.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 1:28PM
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Growing up my mother's only lament about her kitchen was if only she had a pantry like my grandmother's.

When we did our first kitchen remodel/additon I added a walk in pantry with u shaped shelves and a recycling area. It was well located to unload groceries in and to "shop from" as I was preparing meals -- It was fantastic.

Now that we are planning another remodel/addition I wouldn't even consider not having a pantry -- it is the way I cook/store/function.

So, for me a major selling point -- (not on this house since the kitchen was so small we knew going in we would do an addition) but if the kitchen were new, not having a pantry - or having a poorly designed one -- would turn me off -- and did.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 1:43PM
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A lot of families today, buy in bulk from Costco and Sam's Club, I've been fortunate in having a large pantry but my daughter and friends use their garages for overflow goods. Our new home has a pantry, I did not even consider houseplans without one.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 2:16PM
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I know it would be a selling point with me. It is one of the things I have on my dream list for the retirement home, even though we'll be scaling down. In my current home I took a coat closet that was in the eat-in area of the kitchen and turned it into a small pantry. Removed clothes rod and added shelves. Not perfect, but more useful than a coat closet.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 2:21PM
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Definitely have a pantry put in. I have a tiny pantry in the house we live in now and we are having a house built that has a huge pantry. Our builder has built in shelves all around and everytime I look at the pictures I get so excited because I won't have to have food all over the floor (because I don't have enough room and because it falls when I'm trying to grab something in the back of the shelf). I was trying to send some pictures of it but am not too computer literate so when I was trying to copy and then paste onto the message box, it wouldn't let me paste.

As far as taking from the living room, make sure the living room has enough space for a couch, possibly a loveseat and a chair and tv or entertainment center, otherwise people won't be interested because the living room is too small.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 2:24PM
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We have a pantry in the basement. It's not as handy as having one adjacent to the kitchen but it is certainly better than not having one at all. Would not be sufficient however if we didn't have adequate food storage in the kitchen itself. Pantry is handy for the multiples of items, plus storage of soda/mixers, and paper goods.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 3:51PM
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We just finished the walk in pantry (though kitchen won't be done until july) and I absolutely LOVE it. Mine is about 5x8. I have shallow floor to ceiling shelves 4' along both side walls. Along the back wall I have lower cabinets, a laminate counter, and upper cabinets. We put power in there so I can plug in appliances to charge or use my less often used appliances in there.

I have always envied my sisters' walkin pantries and I am overjoyed with mine. My kitchen is medium sized, and I get can get away with a lot less kitchen cab space because I have all this great storage in pantry.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 4:20PM
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While I've already built my dream kitchen, I remember looking at existing homes much more favorably if they had a walk-in pantry.

The other advantage for your BIL is that the pantry should cost a lot less than equivalent cabinet storage.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 5:24PM
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Not necessarily. It it's too large, it's just another room to clean! Storage is subjective, and depends on location and ease of use. When I started storing things in my large kitchen at their ''point of use'', working in the kitchen got SO much easier. Of course you have to have enough cabinet room to do that, and a way to lay everything out efficiently.

The closer I can get to the places I need them (toilet paper near the bathrooms, paper towels near the kitchen, cereal in the same drawer with the cereal bowls!) the easier it is to fetch what I need. That doesn't always mean a pantry would be the best place for some items. For instance, the dog food is right next to where I feed my dog, which to me is much easier than going to the pantry for it.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 5:53PM
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I't prefer a walkin pantry, even if it meant having fewer kitchen cabinets. It is so much easier to find things, to put them away, etc. Every woman who has even looked at our house says they wish they had a walkin pantry like mine. And mine is nothing fancy, I don't even have nice shelves in it yet (just IKEA Gorm/Swedish Shelving).

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 7:01PM
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I also prefer a walk in pantry and fewer cabinets...That was one of the features high on my list when looking at houses.....Last house we had a large kitchen and lots of cabinets for storage.... this house has a small kitchen but a large pantry and I love it.....nothing beats walking into a pantry with open shelving and at a glance grab what you need.....two houses ago, we had a shallow (4x4) pantry, with shelves on 3 sides....held a ton of stuff....A pantry would definitely be a major selling point for me....

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 7:30PM
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Jean Popowitz

I wouldn't see a pantry as something that would sway me to buy a house. Anyone that I've know with one (including me in a past house) has let it become a catch-all & mess. I've learn to run my house like Claire described, everything at point of use which saves many steps. It also keeps you from getting too much junk at one time... I no longer have 10 boxes of cereal, each with 1-2" left. BUT... a broom closet is a beautiful thing ;-)

I especially wouldn't want a pantry if it compromised the symmetry or look of the LR or kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 9:41PM
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Yvonne Albertyn_Brazil

Yes. You can't have too much storage...

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 10:53PM
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With 8 kids, I can't imagine a pantry that could be 'too large'... ;-D I can't say I'd decide on a house based on whether it had a pantry or not, since we have more needs to meet than just that, but it'd sure be considered a big plus.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 11:01PM
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Thanks so much for your responses. It is a real challenge to plan a kitchen space for the "average buyer.". I am trying very hard not to let my personal preferences determine the choices. I appreciate all your thoughts.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 5:12PM
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It wouldn't be a major selling point, though certainly attractive. There are many more important things in a house than a walk-in pantry. Lack of such a pantry wouldn't be a deal killer, either. We all learn to make do with the house we get - very few are ever perfect.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:17PM
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We are building a house now, and a walk in pantry was a must have for me! We weren't looking for any over the top kind of things, just had to have a walk in pantry, fireplace, and nice sized first floor laundry room.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 1:57PM
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amywogg you sound just like me!
I love my 5x8 walk-in pantry, it was my draftsman's idea and boy am I glad! I hate having to squat, craawl, or bend down to fish things outta the back of lower cabinets, and I'm short so really I can't get to anything in my upper cabinets w\o a stool, so the pantry is awesome! I don't have and lower cabinets in my house either it's all drawers, that's how much I despise lower cabinets! LOL
If your BIL has room for one in the design DO IT!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 7:23PM
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It is like a walk in closet; only worth it if you have the space. If you have a big box house with walk in closets, and 300 sq ft of kitchen, a walk in pantry is appropriate.

In smaller houses, it is more important to spend the extra money and get smartly designed cabinets with drawers and roll-outs for everything under the counter, and maximum counter space. A walk in closet or pantry is going to be at least one third passageway, or unusable space. I would prefer 50 sq ft of counter space over closet space any day.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 7:41PM
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I think walk in pantries are great but would one be a "major" selling point for me? no. If the kitchen is nicely designed already and has plenty of cabinet space, I would not take away space from a large living room. A living room that I thought was on the small side may deter me from buying a house. Lack of pantry would not deter me.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 7:47PM
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agree with aidan_m. If you have enough counter space and at least 13'- 14' living room depth afterwards, It would be great! I would certainly consider it a big plus!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 8:09PM
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