I didn’t quite get the doors and drawers finished for the refrigerator wall of cabinets yesterday. The primer and paint just weren’t drying fast enough, so I still have to do all of the gold leafing. I’ll do that today and show you the finished cabinets (sans drawer and door pulls) tomorrow. In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you an idea I’ve been thinking about — adding a walk-in pantry.
Once I decided that I wasn’t going to do any major remodeling for the kitchen (i.e., knocking down walls and expanding the footprint of the original kitchen), and that I was just going to stick with the size of the original kitchen, I kind of gave up on the idea of ever having a walk-in pantry. It didn’t seem feasible anymore in my mind. But I’ve given it some more thought, and I do think it’s feasible, but I’m just not sure which idea is more practical.
First, here’s our floor plan as it is today…
(That wall between the entryway and music room actually isn’t there yet. It’s in the plans, and I hope to get to it before the end of this year.)
So as you can see, the breakfast room is the second largest room in the house, second only to the huge sunroom (which will eventually be torn down and rebuilt as a family room and utility room). Obviously the breakfast room is so big because it was never really intended to be a breakfast room. I’m repurposing a room that the previous owners referred to as a den.
Since it’s so large, I had planned to put the dining table close to the three big windows at the front of the house, and then at the back of the room, I had planned to put a cozy seating area. Then I planned to remove the door from the breakfast room to the sunroom (future family room) and just have an open doorway with no door. With the breakfast room being accessible via the family room, that would make it feel more like a proper dining room. (It’s the only dining area we have in the house. As you can see on the floor plan above, we don’t have a formal dining room.)
One problem with my ideas for a walk-in pantry is that they both interfere with that door between the family room and breakfast room, and I do have reservations about the only entry into the only eating area in the house being straight through the kitchen. But sometimes when repurposing rooms like this in old houses, you just have to make do and deal with awkward things like that, so I’m kind of coming around on the idea.
My first idea was to move the existing door over closer to the kitchen, and then turn that door into the pantry door. I’m not sure if I’d need a pantry that full width of the kitchen, so I could even steal some room on the other end to create a storage closet or coat closet.
I don’t really know what that would do to my future plans for the sunroom. I would imagine it would make sense to swap the plans for the utility room and family room so that it would look something like this…
I really like this location, as it seems kind of tucked away and out of the way, but still conveniently located near the kitchen. And even though that puts the utility room further away from the bedroom, I think I’d be okay with it. It’s definitely an unconventional location for a utility room/laundry room, but unconventional is fine with me.
The other idea I had for a walk-in pantry was to just wall off the back section of the current breakfast room to create a pantry.
That plan would take care of that awkward slope in the ceiling. Being hidden in a pantry, that slope would no longer bother me at all. Of course it would eliminate the cozy seating area, but do I really need yet another seating area? I already have the living room, and I’m sure the music room will have some sort of seating, and then I’ll eventually have the family room. How many seating areas does a house really need?
The obvious down side to this plan is that two windows would then be tucked away in a pantry. I would probably use a glass door on the pantry to allow sunlight through those windows into the breakfast room, and I could even add some pretty sidelights to either side of the pantry door. I would probably use frosted glass just so that no one could see straight into the pantry, but it would still allow light through.
Another good thing about this plan is that since I wouldn’t necessarily need two big windows in a pantry. I could swap those out for the two short windows that I’ll eventually have available (one that I plan to remove from the hallway bathroom, and the other matching small window that I plan to remove from the current master bathroom). With shorter windows in the pantry, that would allow for more storage area along that wall.
Then the two big windows currently on that wall could be used to replace the two aluminum windows that need replacing in the front living room and in Matt’s game room.
So those are my two ideas for adding a walk-in pantry, and I’m honestly not sure which one is my favorite. The second idea seems to be the simplest, and it takes care of two problems — the slope and the replacement window situation. But with the first plan, I like how tucked away the pantry is.
I guess I’ve got a while to decide while I finish up the kitchen. 🙂
I’ve been reading all of your comments so far, so I incorporated some of them into a third option. This might be my favorite so far.
Many of you have suggested turning the storage at the back of the garage into a pantry and possibly even a utility room. The reason I don’t really want to consider that idea is because I’ll be turning half of the garage into my workroom (leaving the other side for my car), and I want to keep that storage room at the back for my tools, supplies, paint, etc.