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But I’ll lose my pantry! Is this layout worth it?

Posted by crazybusytoo (My Page) on
Fri, May 17, 13 at 0:29

I’m not sure about this, so Gardenweb gurus, can you please help?

I have wanted to redo my 20-year-old kitchen for a few years now, but cannot finalize a layout. But it’s time to make a decision, the overlay is literally peeling off the cabinets, the cabinet doors won’t close all the way, and the Formica countertops are a disaster.

One KD wants to leave the layout exactly the way it is now, saying there is no other way to design the space. The other KD wants to put the refrigerator where the pantry is currently, and make a cabinet into a new pantry.

The only way I could steal space from the laundry room is if I move the laundry sink outside, eliminate the laundry room closet, or move the washer and dryer into the basement.

Is there really no other option?
Should I be satisfied with simply replacing the existing cabinetry with new cabinets?
Should I do this redesign and lose the closet/pantry? Will I miss it?

I love to cook, and have a big family. It’s not unusual for me to have 75 people at our home for the holidays. Not surprising this kitchen is so tired!

In my dream world, I’d like a balanced/symmetrical look, and would love a 36” range. Which is why I wanted to move the fridge. Then I could get a bigger range plus have that wall a pretty focal point, since the family room and entry doors face that wall…think Beekeeperswife. Thanks for great ideas Bee! ☺

Other than that, this kitchen works pretty well.
Thank you for any ideas and suggestions you may have!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Bee's beautiful kitchen

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: But I’ll lose my pantry! Is this layout worth it?

I like the proposed new refrigerator location as it will give you more uninterrupted counter space and allow for a larger cooktop. It looks like you will also have the depth for a full depth refrigerator instead of a counter depth version, which costs more and holds less. Other than the loss of the closet pantry, it will put the refrigerator in what looks to be a major pathway so that is something to consider, esp. with the large parties. I'm not sure where your microwave is in the new layout, but I'd switch it out from the OTR unit and put in a real hood. I agree one of the important things about a remodel, is not just the new cabinets, but new appliances and improved workflow.

As for your laundry room, I"m not clear how this decision will affect this space, but before moving the washer/dryer out of this convenient location I'd look into putting in a stacked unit. It looks like you'll also have some storage there as well.

RE: But I’ll lose my pantry! Is this layout worth it?

Have you looked at an English style larder? It's like a pantry armoire. I'm linking a post below. Scroll down for larder. You could certainly customize to your design. Gbaby waking up, but I'll come back later.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pantry ideas

RE: But I’ll lose my pantry! Is this layout worth it?

I cannot speak to how it will work yet, but I am doing exactly that - removing a pantry closet and replacing it with pantry cabinets. I currently have a cooktop in the island, and in order to move it off, I need to move the frig about 3' to the left (which is where the pantry closet it) since the cooktop needs to go along that wall (I have no other choice).

I also am getting a 36" cooktop and hood to make that wall a focal point. So on that 14' wall, I will have a 36" counter depth frig, 30" 3 drawer bank, 36" cooktop, 22" 3 drawer bank, 36" corner super susan cabinet (which wraps to the sink wall).

I will actually have more pantry storage since I'm replacing about a 36" wide closet with 48" of pantry cabinets (I'm looking forward to getting rid of those wire shelves too!).

I'm sure it will take some getting used to since the pantry will be in a different location (few more steps away), but I think I will get used to it.

RE: But I’ll lose my pantry! Is this layout worth it?

Would you consider changing out the sliding door into a french door? Then you could extend the sink run placing the frig there.

RE: But I’ll lose my pantry! Is this layout worth it?

I agree that the end near the sliders would be a better fridge location. Putting it in the pantry location will free up lots of nice counter space, but will also turn your island into a barrier between prep and produce. Chances are, you'll find yourself doing laps around the island every time you need to get something. I wouldn't want that. In fact, I had that and remodeled because of it. I always felt that the fridge should have been in the location where your fridge is now (we had a pantry cab there). For the first 6 mos. I lived in the house, I opened the pantry whenever I wanted some milk.

In the end, we changed our entire first floor, so my kitchen does not look the way yours currently does. We actually ended up ditching the island for a peninsula and it works better for us all around.

I think you really need to think about what you don't like about your current kitchen and why you want to change it. There is "oh I wish I could" and there is "this drives me crazy." There is nothing wrong with making changes for the "I wish" just don't create "drives me crazy" in the process. Seems to me that if you can cook for 75 in the space you have without wanting to pull your hair out, it works pretty darn well as is.

RE: But I’ll lose my pantry! Is this layout worth it?

Can you post a layout for the laundry room? If you can recess the pantry into there so it is even with the fridge and put a small prep sink in the island that might solve the barrier island problem.

RE: But I’ll lose my pantry! Is this layout worth it?

Thanks so much for the feedback! I really appreciate your ideas.

Allison, I'd love a proper walk in pantry, or even just a step in, but this is really just a glorified closet. I'm not sure yet if I want to lose it to a cabinet...

Valinsv, uninterrupted counter space is the would be so nice not having the refrigerator where it is now! You're right about a hood, the OTR microwave has got to go!

Seosmp, I know what you mean about the wire shelves!!! Are you so excited? How is your kitchen coming along? Are pictures up yet? Are you happy with the cabinet pantry? Please let me know!

Remodelfla, that is genius!!! I never thought about making that door a little smaller. I think I read here that 24" is the ideal space on each side of the sink. I will be pretty close here... this is certainly something for me to think about.

Controlfreakecs, you are so right. I'm so glad to have this forum so I can obsess with people who understand why every decision matters! I have been really thinking about your post. Honestly, I guess the kitchen does work the way it just would be so much prettier without that fridge on that wall. If I take down that wall currently to the right of the refrigerator, that would give me 8 inches more than I have now...maybe it's just enough to let me drop in a 42" stove without looking too shmooshed together?

Williamsem, congratulations on your kitchen! It is absolutely beautiful, and it looks like you thought of everything. Your early photos are a little intimidating, but the completed kitchen shots make me want to get started ASAP!! My neighbor has the same laundry room layout that I do, and she sunk her refrigerator into the laundry room closet and just put up hooks. But we live in snowy New England, and she was from down south. I think she was shocked at the amount of winter articles of clothing we need up here. I don't think I would be happy without that closet, and that's about all the wiggle room I have in the laundry room/back hall, unless I take out the appliances or laundry tub.

So it looks like my options are to leave the fridge there, move it to next to the door, or stick with the KD and move it the fridge into the pantry. Does anyone want to vote?

Thank you for all your help :)

RE: But I’ll lose my pantry! Is this layout worth it?

I still have an empty kitchen - so no pictures and no experience with the new pantry cabinets yet! Cabinets are delayed -- hopefully in the next 2 weeks!

RE: But I’ll lose my pantry! Is this layout worth it?

I gave up a step-in corner pantry for cabinet pantry (1 roll out and one pull out tower) and am very happy. It works better for us, but it's not the more popular choice and it does run up the cost of your cabinets.

It looks like your drawing is off -- the pantry position seems to lie more in line with the aisle between the island and the table, but in the drawing it looks like it is behind the island. That is slightly better, but still a PITA location. We joke that our remodel turned into a gut because of the microwave location behind the island. I think the fridge would be worse.

I hate to close up window space, but I do agree that putting the fridge at the end of that run would be an improvement.

Another option to look into would be putting the frdige of that run as it is now (not closing up half the slider) and putting your sink and DW in the island. That gives you more space around your range and probably enough room to go to a larger one. The tradeoff would be not having as much space for serving off the island if you tend to do that. You could get a cutting board insert made to fit your sink or a large part of it.

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