Pantry Question

sandy808July 22, 2010

What is a good, comfortable size for a "reach in" pantry? I'm in the process of trying to figure out where my pantries will go, and I am hoping walk-ins will work. However, if I run into an area that doesn't have enough room for a walk-in where I need one, the next best thing would be a reach in type.

I never had a reach in pantry, but keep hearing the term come up on other home forums.

Sandy

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Shades_of_idaho

LOL Our pantry is four by four with angle across the front. So not really walk in not really reach in.

The REAL reach in pantry cupboards I have had hold three or four quart jars front to back. Guessing the four deep would be about 16 inches which would rip a sheet of ply into four long lengths. I do not remember the pantry depth at the cambridge house. this one is only three deep. Four is better.

The last three pictures are of our pantry here. This is within two weeks of us moving in so it is not really refined storage as it is now.I was just putting things away as fast as I could and moving on. Some one way back then wanted to see so I took these. Not all that much has changed. The food constantly evolves.Of course.

The plastic drawers hold dog food on the bottom and I keep chips in the top one to keep them from getting smashed. I love the plastic baskets. They were from wally world and have held up nicely. I added an extra board to hold them up properly.

Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Pantry

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 6:04PM
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sandy808

Thanks Chris. I guess what I meant was the term "step-in". Is that what yours is? It kind of looks like it.

Sandy

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 6:32PM
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desertsteph

have you looked at the pantry thread(s)? it's often posted in a new thread about pantries. I'll see if it's on p1 or 2...

my pantry is 4' wide and 18"deep. I'll be changing 2 shelves to 9" deep and maybe 2 to 12".

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 8:48PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

sandy808, wish I could help, but my pantry is an old pie safe.

shades, I have pantry envy.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 8:52PM
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desertsteph

one is linked below - it has other links in it!

Here is a link that might be useful: pantries

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 8:55PM
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marti8a

Ooh Chris, I am envious too. My "pantry" is a cabinet about the size of a refrigerator. Hard to get to stuff in the back and with fixed shelves not quite tall enough for cereal boxes except on the top shelf. My solution has been to install a couple of pull out wire shelves, but I still dream of a pantry like yours.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:18AM
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Shades_of_idaho

Marti I do like our pantry and it is the second one we have had exactly the same. They are a common style in a manufactured home.

BUT THIS is the pantry I LOVED!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Walk in and it was 6 by 6 foot.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:44AM
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larke

Doesn't it sorta depend on who you are - i.e. whether you're 6' tall with loong arms, or 5' nothing and maybe getting on, making your reach pretty shallow? And can't that distance (whatever it is for you) be determined by your standing someplace and having someone measure what a comfortable reach (for you) is?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 6:36AM
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marti8a

Oh Chris, you're right, I LOVE that one.

larke, I agree about the height thing. I'm short and I've been trying to think of ways to redo the kitchen so I don't have to drag a stepstool around with me. Sometimes it's just not convenient to stop what I'm doing to go find the stepstool. My cabinets weren't built with any thought to getting to accessing stuff.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 12:30PM
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Moccasin

Marti, could you just keep one of those "kickstep" short stools in the bottom of your pantry area? We used those in the library (when I was a librarian), and they added about 15 inches to our reach. Most library shelves are the same height as ceilings in homes, around 8 feet. The little kick stools are on wheels but when you stand on them the wheels sort of retract and the stool sits on the floor then.

If you have an inbetween sort of pantry closet, which is not deep enough to walk in, nor shallow enough to reach the back if shelves are full depth, you might consider making the shelves the 4-quart jar depth as mentioned above, and then using the wall space revealed to hang your pots and pans on hooks down the sides. If nothing else, this could empty out some more cabinet space, and you can make a bread drawer, a place for the baking supplies close to your work surface, and such as that.

I'm also loving the IKEA drawers in their "high cabinets" which can be built to suit you, so that the canned goods lie on their sides in rows, so the drawers can be placed extremely close together. I have the link to that thread somewhere, it might even be the one already shown above.

I also put up a wire shelving unit by Closet Maid. It is about 4 inches deep, and 12 inches wide, something like 72 inches tall so it would fit inside a narrow linen closet door. Only, I am currently using it on the wall in my back porch (in future part of the kitchen), and I use it for all sorts of dry food packaging. Like cereal, pancake mix, dry soups, grits (yeah, I'm southern).....and oatmeal. My dry stuff like rice and beans and noodles/pasta are in mostly clear acrylic/glass containers with the gasket seals and they are out in the open as a sort of decorative open storage.

You might also have a way to put a homemade pot rack inside your pantry, regardless of how deep it is or isn't. The one I had at MoccasinLanding I put a small pulley on the ceiling screwed it into a rafter, then with a cleat on the wall, I could raise and lower it with a sturdy rope, which allowed me to keep it high out of the way or lower it to get my pots. Might be strange for many folks, but I have a liking for nautical hardware.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:12PM
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idie2live

I used a closet (which is in my kitchen) as a pantry for a long time. It is 6' long and 32" deep. That is too deep for the shelves to be useful. Small items always get pushed to the back and you can never find what you are looking for.
I also had the cooler, roaster, fryer, plastic bins, etc in this 'panrty'. It was a mess.

I decided to build a new small pantry (for food only) that is 10" deep and 2' long. I wanted it just deep enough to hold the containers you see on the floor. Since there are only 2 of us, it works fine. This works for me because I have shelves in the original 'closet pantry' for large items.

New pantry

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 2:41PM
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Shades_of_idaho

ML Love those closet maid shelves.

Loretta. I remember when you made your pantry transformation. Was a huge project and it turned out so well. I really like the way you made your shelves just the right height for the cans. We only had three wood shelves and since I already had the wire racks from the last house I used them. I would rather have the wood and maybe some day will do as you did. I think it is more practical.The only good thing about the wire is the dust falls through. Heheheheh But those wood shelves below catch it ass. YUCK.

Chris

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 3:07PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

moccasinlanding, your baskets are a neat idea--I noticed them before when I was checking your albums. Best part--no dusting shelves!

idie2live, That is exactly what I want to do with our under-the-stairs closet! The tall end shares a wall with the kitchen. If I put a 10" deep pantry on that end, there will still be plenty of room for my vacuum, with access from the dining room (where the closet door is currently.) Thanks for the pic!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 7:01PM
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marti8a

Ditto on the shelf height for cans. My upper cabinets are almost but not quite tall enough for 2 stacked cans, which means there is a lot of wasted space.

ML, what I think I want to do is build in a space for a custom ladder and have a "rail" built along the top of the cabinets to hook it on so I am safe to reach while on it. Hard to describe but I think it will work for me. My mom has one of those library steps and it's always in the way. I don't have anywhere to store it when not using it, at least not now.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 7:10PM
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larke

For what it's worth at this point, I wasn't referring to height, but reach, as in how deep the cupboard/closet would be, which is what you asked about in the beginning :-).

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 7:40PM
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marti8a

I just ran across this blog with a pantry redo and thought it fit right in with our discussion. The site loaded slowly for me but hang in there, it's worth it.

Just click on the picture to go to the site.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 7:45PM
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Shades_of_idaho

Oh Marti. That is a great pantry. Love how she made it look so pretty.

chris

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 8:32PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

You're right, marti8a--beautiful pantry, and worth it. The step-by-step was interesting, but what a lot of work!

I think Loretta's beadboard wallpaper would work well where the blogger used stencils. If you have a hankering for old-fashioned wallpaper, but don't want anyone to know :-), a pantry would be a perfect place for a 'fix.'

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 9:54AM
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Moccasin

Marti, that is a good link and a great discussion of creating a pantry. It was pretty, but even more valuable was the itemizing of containers and the philosophy of removing the boxes, using transparent containers. etc.

And Mama, you are right, the beadboard wallpaper would be fantastic to use. I think the blogger even mentioned Ronda who is the Southern Hospitality blogger who sells it. But of course she did not do the beadboard. I believe that I would though, since I purchased some of the wallpaper.

I love Loretta's pantry. I don't think I ever saw the picture before, and I totally like what you've done, Lo.
Ten inches deep? That is the usual depth of library book shelves, so a unit of adjustable library shelving would be a good thing to use in a pantry. If I had them sitting around, I think I'd use them instead of making built in shelves. With any freestanding shelving units, it is always a good idea to secure them to the wall with a bracket or a short piece of wire cable, like they provide when you put a TV on top of the mantle.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 11:45AM
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Shades_of_idaho

OH NO and now us closet wall paperers will have to come out of the closet. I am still loving the bead board paper.

I did a lot of the same things she did in her pantry and her ideas are working for me.

AND ML Loving the little coffee pot on your wire rack. Meant to mention it before and forgot.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 1:34PM
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Moccasin

Shades, I'm glad you like the little coffee pot. It is an old one (along with the other two) which I found at somme flea market or antiques stores in small towns in south Louisiana. They mostly made one cut of coffee French style. They had a cloth "sock" as a filter and one of the pots still has it. They called them "biguns" for some reason. They'd boil water in a different pan, then spoon it over the grounds in the top of the pot. They put a metal pot with a spout into a simmering pot of hot water, fill it with milk, and when it was scalding, they pour the two pots at one time (one in each hand) into the coffee cut. They took their time to make coffee that way, and it was very potent stuff. I am quite fond of the old things I found in the bayou country as I worked down there and in coastal Texas for nearly 20 years. Sadly, my collection of local cookbooks was destroyed by Katrina, and most are not things found at a big book seller. Only local folks were selling them.

Clearing things out gan go only so far, you know. I don't think I could ever part with my coffee pots. Even my Italian espresso maker which does only one cup.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 5:50PM
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Shades_of_idaho

ML I have an old pot in my garden shed. Why there???? Where it ended up after the move. I will have to explore it closer as I think it is vintage. I have a coffee press I never use but just can not part with it. A one cupper. Maybe I should start using it when I only want one cup Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm

Will see about getting a picture of that old pot. Also have an electric percolator again I do not use it but keep it because I just like it. Silly as I usually do not keep things I do not use.

Chris

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 12:33AM
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Moccasin

Well, I have a 4 cup Mr. Coffee which really makes barely two regular cups. My DH is into instant coffee, so I have something called a HOT POT for him. Its base is the corded part with the heating element in it, and the top carafe in stainless sits down on it. Quickly heats water for instant foods, even oatmeal and grits and tea. Better than in the microwave.

I used to find old enamel brightly colored percolators which had been sent to a flea market, and I'd use them for vases. Then I discovered the tiny one cup pots. A lot of enamelware can be found, especially the blue flecked with white, because they used it over campfires.

I totally can see keeping something you might not use if it is ornamental at all, or if it is a backup to something you do use. With me, it might stick around through a couple of decluttering sessions, until I replace it with something better for my purposes.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 3:08PM
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Shades_of_idaho

ML This is the coffee pot I have I keep for no good reason. I figured to some day do mosaic on it and set it up on top of the cabinets for pretty.

This is NOT my auction. My pot is not shiny but the old dull aluminum. Perfect to glue to. LOL I am using this auction to show the pot because I am too lazy to take the pictures. And this one has really good pictures.

I think I would use my percolator before I would use this one and I also have the good old camp coffee pot we do use, if the power goes out, on the porch stove.

Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Coffee pot

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 11:38PM
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Moccasin

Mama Goose sez:"If you have a hankering for old-fashioned wallpaper, but don't want anyone to know :-), a pantry would be a perfect place for a 'fix.'"

Are you telling me to be a CLOSET WALLPAPER LOVER? Hehehehe..
Well, PANTRY then...... I could go stand in the closet until I felt the love......

Shades, I'm having trouble envisioning how to use the pot you show. I like the quality of the metal. But where do you put the cold water, where the grounds, and how does it DRIP? With the little French pots, you put the boiling water into the top over the dry coffee grounds, and let it drip down. The pot can be sitting in a pan of hot water, along with the scalding milk. Then when both are just right, you pour them at the same time into your cup.

I also have a French press pot. boil the coffee and the water, then when the temp is right you push down the rod, which traps the grounds at the bottom, and you pour your coffee.

Thhe espresso maker starts with the water at the bottom, and goes up as it boils through the tube (Bialetti) and over the grounds. I'm not experienced using this one, because it really does a better job over a gas flame not an electric burner. But I'm ready to do it when I get my gas stove! One of these days. Anyway, I love the look of my little Bialetti espresso one cup pot.

Apparently making a cup of coffee is as varied as the cultures we come from....sort of like all the things we use as sources for alcoholic beverages. And that is what Johnny Appleseed was all about--hard cider in advance of the pioneers on their trek west.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 2:04PM
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Shades_of_idaho

ML I think you just put the grounds in the top and pour boiling water over them. My husband was gagging when he saw my pot on the counter. I think it is going to get a coat of glass and china and become decorative rather than useful. It has already made it's way to my studio. LOL It will look pretty on top of the cabinets or china cabinet.

Chris

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 2:38PM
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sandy808

What a great amount of ideas you've all presented here! I'm going to print this thread off so I can re-read it at leisure. We've been busy getting a barbed wire fence up around our property. We're hoping it makes the wild hogs go for easier pickins.

Sandy

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 3:12PM
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patty_cakes

That's one gorgeous pantry, and it gives me an idea. I recently purchase 2 double rolls of beadboard wallpaper, which is a lot more than I needed for a project. Now I know where the extra is gonna go!

Gotta love this forum!! ;o)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 11:43PM
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Moccasin

Patty Cakes, yes, there will always be another project which can benefit from the beadboard wallpaper.

PERFECT use in a closet, or even on the ends of cabinets. Nice thing is it is totally paintable. We are talking about the rolls from Southern Hospitality online, and some of the same brand (manufactured in England) available through Home Depot also online.

Where did you get your 2 double rolls? Were they made in England? I forget the manufacturer.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 12:49PM
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