Pantry

Pantry Window Framed & Other Updates

I spent most of my time yesterday in the attic chasing down all but two of those old black wires, disconnecting, reconnecting as needed, and getting rid of as much as I could. I still have two more old black wires that are (or were) feeding power to something in the storage room at the back of the garage. As soon as I chase down those wires today and get rid of them, that entire side of our house — garage, storage room, breakfast room, pantry, kitchen, dining room, entryway, music room, hallway, and hallway bathroom — will all have updated wiring with no old, brittle, frayed wiring in sight. That just leaves our bedroom, Matt’s game room, and my office that have the old wiring. It will be such a relief when all of that stuff is finally gone!!

But yesterday wasn’t all about wiring. I also got the framing in place for my new pantry window! The widow hasn’t been installed just yet, but you can at least see the placement and get an idea of what I have planned.

walk-in-pantry-wall-framed-and-framing-for-new-window

It’s a 32″ square window that will be centered on the doorway, and there will be cabinets and a coutertop below. Of course, you have to imagine it with those old windows gone. If you have a hard time picturing that, I’ve edited the following photo to help you out. 🙂

walk-in-pantry-wall-framed-and-framing-for-new-window-edited-version-removing-old-windows

And now I’m at a critical point. I have to decide where I want any and all lighting and switches so that the new electrical can be run to those areas. And in order to determine that, I kind of need to know how I want this room arranged.

So I’ve been trying to plan it out in my mind, with the help of Houzz, of course. 🙂

I do know that on the back wall (i.e., the window wall), I want lower cabinets with a countertop, and then either closed cabinets or open shelves above. While I won’t have a sink in mine, I’m thinking something like what you see on the right side of this photo…

What I’m having trouble deciding is if I want the lower cabinet/coutertop/upper cabinet configuration to be the entire width of the 12-foot wall, or if I want it to be just in the center (maybe 48 inches wide) under the window so that it’s the main view through the glass doors, and then use the four foot sections on either side for more pantry-like open storage, kind of like you see in on the left side wall in the pantry above.

So I guess I’m thinking that my pantry will be a cross between a butler’s pantry where I store my nice china and other nice serving pieces that I don’t use regularly, and a regular pantry where I store food and seldom-used small appliances and things like that. And naturally, I want the butler’s pantry portion to be what’s visible straight through the glass doors framing the window. I want the view (at least the straight-on view) to be really nice like this one, but I’d have a window where they have the open shelving in the middle…

So my main decision right now is how wide I want to make the pretty section. The entire twelve foot length of the wall, or just a center four-foot section?

I do know that I want my side walls to be mostly, if not all, open storage. I really love the look and style of the full wall of open storage in this pantry

.

And then somewhere in there, I want a full upright freezer. I haven’t found what I’m looking for just yet, but I’m hoping to find a counter depth freezer so that it doesn’t jut out into the room too far. I’m also thinking that the right end wall might be the perfect place for it.

walk-in-pantry-wall-framed-and-framing-for-new-window-showing-freezer-placement

The pantry is 12 feet by 8 feet, so that side wall will have plenty of room for a freezer plus quite a bit of storage shelves around it.

I just need to make a decision about that back wall. I think what I’ll probably end up doing is keeping the closed, pretty cabinets in just the center four-foot section under the window. But I’ll continue the countertop the entire length of the wall with counter-depth storage underneath, but I’ll leave the storage on either side open. That way I can have deep shelves for appliances like my juicer and juice press, and I can get to them without having to open cabinet doors. And then I’ll also do open shelves on the upper walls of those sections, but they’ll be 12 or 14 inches deep for smaller items.

See? It helps me to write about these things! It helps me to think through option and form a plan in my mind. 🙂

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67 Comments

  • Reply
    JenW
    September 15, 2016 at 9:30 am

    I would definitely go with a counter along the full length of the back wall. Open or closed storage on either side of the pretty section is up to you. I’d probably go with open just for the functionality. Open with pull out shelves so you don’t have to get on your knees to fish stuff out of the back on the bottom.

    We love our upright freezer! So functional. When you purchase, do consider frost-free or not. We have to defrost ours (I think it was more efficient? I can’t remember why we went that way) and because we are who we are, it can get messy. Ours is in the garage so I don’t really care if some water gets spilled or anything. And the coolers are close by to empty it out during the defrost. Having the freezer in the main house, with nice floors, and everything…a frost-free version might work better for you.

    • Reply
      Ishtar
      September 15, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Frost free freezers are more prone to freezer burning foods.

      So if you’re super diligent about keeping foods covered perfectly, or cycling them quickly, they’re the way to go.

      If you’re looking for long term storage of homemade foods (especially home grown vegetables, meat bought in bulk, etc) and you’re not vacuum packing everything a non-frost free will be a better choice, because you don’t have to worry about your precious garden spoils getting ruined by freezer burn.

      Frost free freezers work by several times a day heating up the internal temperature to around 32F. After heating the content of the freezer up, it then runs a fan to wick away the moisture, resulting in an (almost) ice free freezer (if you have food stored in such a way that you’re blocking the fan path, you still will get some ice).

      However, because of this continuing heat up/cool down cycle, they will use more energy AND they will actually cause your food to evaporate more moisture than it would have if it just stayed at its below freezing temperatures the entire time. The food won’t get hot enough to spoil during these heat up cycles, but it will promote more rapid evaporation because water evaporates more quickly at higher temperatures, which drastically increases freezer burn.

      Further, the running of the fan itself will lower the ambient humidity in the freezer (which is exactly how it prevents frost build up) and this lowering of the humidity will again cause an increase in the evaporation rates of your stored foods (basically, if the air isn’t saturated with humidity already, it has more of a capacity to evaporate water quicker than air that’s already mostly saturated). This also contributes to the more rapid freezer burn occurring in a frost free freezer.

      I’m in CO, so we have a really dry climate here already, and so I can usually get away with only manually defrosting my upright about once or twice a year. More humid climates will need defrosting more often, though it also depends on what you store in your freezer.

      Prepackaged, already frozen foods will cause less frost than home cooked not-so-well-covered meals. Especially if the food you’re freezing wasn’t properly cooled down in a fridge before putting it in the freezer.
      If, on the other hand, you’re mostly storing vacuum packed meats and vegetables, of stuff well covered in containers with a well fitting lid, you’re going to get much less frost build up because it will only be the ambient humidity from the air which gets in when you open the freezer up that will cause frost.

      Frost free freezers are awesome, as long as you understand their limitations and use your freezer accordingly. If not, all they’re do is have you end up with a bunch of dried out, spoiled food.

      • Reply
        Rebecca B
        September 15, 2016 at 10:41 am

        Wow, that was actually sort of interesting. I never knew how a frost free refridgerator works.

      • Reply
        JudyMae
        September 15, 2016 at 11:59 am

        I only bought a frost-free freezer once. I figured out that it caused more freezer burn (threw away a lot of meat) but never knew why. Thank you for this excellent explanation.

      • Reply
        Brenda Pawloski
        September 15, 2016 at 1:40 pm

        If you have more humidity than CO, plan on no long term storage and get FF anyway. Defrost is such a pain. I have lived in NC, PA, MI and GA with my FF and when something gets freezer burnt its probably because we should not have stored it anyway. I would buy FF again and I would buy counter depth in the refrigerator and freezer again.

      • Reply
        Lori
        September 15, 2016 at 6:51 pm

        Thank you so much for explaining this. Now that I hear your explanation it all makes a lot of sense. I guess I learned something new today 🙂

      • Reply
        Kimberly
        September 15, 2016 at 10:48 pm

        Ishtar, thank you so much for posting such a great explanation of how frost-free freezers work! Grateful for the information; I’d always wondered why I got freezer burn on some of my longer-stored items — NOW I KNOW! Seems a vacuum sealer is a good investment if freezing fresh, home-made foods and garden vegetables, etc.

        • Reply
          Ishtar
          September 16, 2016 at 11:06 am

          For the record (considering how many people find this information interesting) manual defrost freezers can ALSO cause freezer burn. It just that it takes them waaaay longer and that you can therefore get away with being less fussy about how you pack items, especially short term (less than 3 months). Of course, if you’re less fussy about how you pack items, you will also get more frost build up, and you’ll have more work defrosting your freezer more often.

          Vacuum sealing is the best for anything you know for sure is going to be in there for a long time (like garden produce carrying you to next year, or hunted/bought in bulk meat).

          If vacuum sealing isn’t an option, cover stuff as well as you can and as airtight as you can. Get the air out of ziplock bags before closing them. When storing meat wrapped in freezer paper, use saran wrap under the freezer paper for a tighter seal. Or at least double wrap it.

          When using containers, pick the smallest container that will fit what you’re storing.

          Contact with air is your enemy here. Avoid it as much as possible. Especially on long term storage and with delicate items.

          Pro-tip for defrosting manual defrost freezer much faster:
          Cover the floor of your freezer and the floor in front of your freezer with old towels/blankets/etc and fill a spray can with cold water (don’t use hot it will take longer because of… complicated physics explanation) and then dissolve salt in it 1 TBSP at a time until no more will dissolve.

          Now spray down your ice with the salty water, and 5 minutes later do it again. Within 2-3 applications all your ice will come off in big chunks/sheets, and you’ll just be able to peel or wipe it off.
          After you have it all off, rinse by spraying it down with unsalted water, and then dry thoroughly (all water you leave will just turn to frost again once you turn it on).

          Using this method takes me only 10-15 minutes to actually defrost my freezer and get the ice off. Letting it dry out completely after towel drying it is what takes the most time, because of all the little nooks and crannies.
          While it’s waiting to dry, I usually towel dry all of the items I’ve taken out of it that have frost on the outside, and by the time that’s done the freezer will be dry.

          It takes me about 1.5 hours to unload, defrost, clean, dry and reload my upright, and it’s the biggest one they sell.

  • Reply
    Joyce
    September 15, 2016 at 9:32 am

    I think your plan is great and I love the look of open shelves, but I know mine would always be covered in dust. I’d put glass doors on everything.

    • Reply
      Lynda
      September 16, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      I agree. It’s a good idea to have doors on some if not most of the shelves. It’s a big room, so it seems that some of these shelves may go untouched for extended periods, thus potentially more dust. I would leave shelves open for often-used food items, like canned or boxed items. Then I would create a section with all glass doors to include small appliances & special cookware/glassware etc that is not used as often. Sure would be fun to decide what to do with such a big pantry!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    September 15, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I am SO excited to see your pantry progress!

    Just a few notes on freezers that I recently learned as I am in research mode for an upright. Maybe it’s common knowledge (as I don’t currently have one) and maybe it was a sales schpeal but it was fascinating because regardless, I didn’t know I didn’t know. I thought auto defrost was the way to go. I had visions of my childhood with my mom thawing the freezer with a hair dryer. Why would I NOT want auto defrost? Well- apparently it depends on your needs and how fast you cycle through the frozen items. Because with auto -defrost- it can shorten the shelf life of your frozen items and contribute to freezer burn faster, because of the cycling(obviously there are ways to limit that). So in short, I found, I do NOT want auto-defrost. But then mine will be in my garage where I can roll it out and clean it when necessary, so manual defrost is the better choice for MY needs. Chances are I would never even have noticed if I had just chosen one based on budget, space, size, etc. But it was interesting to say the least. lol thought I would share. I have yet to start narrowing down my choices and reading a few reviews. lol

    • Reply
      Val
      September 15, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Thank you for the very useful info! I didn’t know that. We bought a fridge-freezer, the freezer is not auto defrost but not because I researched the subject, it just was the biggest Bosch fridge-freezer, so we bought it for its size. Now I am glad it is not auto defrost and will definitely keep that in mind when choosing an upright freezer. That is another reason I love this blog, not only because of the amazing ideas Kristi has and her thorough explanations, but also for comments like this. 🙂

      • Reply
        Kimberly
        September 15, 2016 at 10:54 pm

        Yep, Val, oftentimes reader comments on Kristi’s blog are pure gold! I’m specifically referencing those like Ishtar’s comments up thread. Of course information Kristi provides is priceless, and because of her wide readership, the input on her blog is usually very interesting. I’ve learned so much over the years from Kristi and her commenters!

  • Reply
    Paula
    September 15, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Love your plan, and your window placement centered on the door. I see now why removing those two windows makes sense (I previously thought I’d probably avoid the effort to remove them ; ). With open shelving along your side walls, I think having a counter top along the entire back wall would be handy. Is the room to the left your kitchen? If so, I’d likely consider putting the freezer in the opposite corner – closer to the kitchen door, and not visible from the kitchen or dining room. Whatever you do will be well thought out and beautifully done.

    • Reply
      Kristi
      September 15, 2016 at 9:55 am

      The kitchen is to the left of where I’m standing to take the photo above of the framed-in pantry. The doorway you’re seeing inside the framed-in pantry leads to the sunroom. That doorway will be removed, and I’ll be drywalling over it.

    • Reply
      JudyMae
      September 15, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      People look to the right whenever they enter a room or building. Notice what’s for sale on your right and left next time you go into a store. It will be the high-priced or impulse items. So, Kristi, if other people are going to be walking into your pantry, then you might consider putting your pretty shelves on the right and the freezer on the left. If not, doesn’t matter unless you want to look at them first when you walk in!

  • Reply
    Marlyn Bisher
    September 15, 2016 at 9:53 am

    I would make sure that the shelves are adjustable!

    • Reply
      Barb
      September 15, 2016 at 11:07 am

      DEFINITELY! that was going to be my comment, but I,ll just add on to yours, Marilyn. Ours are adjustable and I have changed the height of the shelves several times over the years depending on what new products we’re buying, etc.

    • Reply
      Michele
      September 15, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      Yes, definitely adjustable shelving. Great minds. I love the open shelf look in the pantry for it’s ‘at a glance’ properties, but not to be the view through the glass doors. I love Kristi’s idea to create a beautiful view through those doors. It will always be neat and attractive that way. Would there be space there to have a space for herbs there year round? A bit of living greenery might be a great sculptural touch under the new window. If it is oriented to get good light, of course.

  • Reply
    Lena
    September 15, 2016 at 9:54 am

    You could just make a recessed area in the wall to recess a full depth freezer into to make it look like it is counter depth. You have the drywall off. So you should be able to make it work.

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/143200463127716649/

    • Reply
      chiflipper
      September 15, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Thank you Lena! I have been searching for a diagram showing this technique.

  • Reply
    AinOakPark
    September 15, 2016 at 9:56 am

    This will be gorgeous, and I am envious in only the most generous way about your fabulous pantry area. I’d bet you want open shelves for ease of use. I hear that you want your prettiest things in the most prominently seen place. Perhaps you should consider more closely how the photo has been *staged,* since my pantry shelves don’t look anywhere as nice at that! Three of the same bags of chips (or boxes of cookies or?) lined up neat as you please. A whole row of paper towels unwrapped. Three canisters of oatmeal. Soup cans spaced and stacked. Everything is one layer, in the front of each cabinet shelf. Surely you are going to have more items, some put in front of others, more of a variety and more color confusion since, (thank you, marketing) all packaged items scream for your attention in one way or another. It is for these reasons I would suggest more closed shelving, at least to the immediate right and left of your middle section display area. I think that it would produce a more calming view from the other room. To end all this, may I say that you are overwhelmingly creative and talented and that everything is being done so well! I look forward to each post.

    • Reply
      Merralyn
      September 15, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Exactly my thoughts. Staging in professional photos tends to make us all feel like slobs sometimes. It is important to remember we “live” in our homes. I will always remember Roseanne Barr saying to a guest, “Excuse the mess, we live here”. I think I would also do cabinet doors on the upper cabinets on each side of the window as suggested above. Save the open shelving for the areas not visible from the other room(s) unless you have so many pretty things that you can use the space decoratively. Beautiful dishes just don’t look as good when the soup cans and potato chip bags are mixed in. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  • Reply
    Michelle Wilson
    September 15, 2016 at 9:56 am

    From someone with only 4 cabinets and 4 drawers in my entire kitchen with no pantry (and this includes my stacked washer/dryer), and seeing all the cabinets in your kitchen, I’m having a hard time imagining what all you’ll have in your pantry. Are all your kitchen cabinets full now? Just wondering. Of course I’d LOVE to have that much storage, but in 628 sq. ft. it’s just not possible. I’d just move into your kitchen alone and be happy!! It is so gorgeous. I applaud your talent and abilities and am always anxious to open your emails when they arrive. Rock on, Kristi!

  • Reply
    Maggie
    September 15, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Personally, I would put in lots of outlets. If you go with non auto defrost freezer, I would put in a sink. That can be messy. I think that losing freshness on frozen foods when using auto defrost might be an over statement. If wrapped properly, foods will last a long time either way. Frost free is a much more user friendly way to go. Frozen foods should be rotated out on a regular basis anyway. But, the outlets. Definitely put in extra outlets. As one who never has enough counter space, the 12′ wall of counter would be a dream come true for me. Looking good.

  • Reply
    Bobbi Jo Thompson
    September 15, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Kristi, Do you plan to use the same color in the pantry as in your beautiful kitchen on the cabinets?

    • Reply
      Kristi
      September 15, 2016 at 10:56 am

      No, the pantry will be all white. 🙂 I love color, but I’m a big fan of white pantries.

      • Reply
        rose
        September 15, 2016 at 1:29 pm

        Kristi…I think white will be a neutral backdrop to multitude of colors that you will be placing in front of it.

  • Reply
    Pat @ Life At Lydias House
    September 15, 2016 at 10:13 am

    I know that you already know this but just in case, you can NEVER have too many outlets! If you are putting in a countertop, I would put some outlets there since you never know what you will end up doing in this room! You may end up using this room for some food prep and outlets and a small sink (maybe bar size) would be very handy to have.

  • Reply
    sewducky
    September 15, 2016 at 10:17 am

    You seem to have your plans set. The long counter gives you space to spread out I find I can never have too much space when dealing with dehydrator trays. Reduce the doors to items that you want to display/store long term. You can adjust open shelving over time, but can’t do so as easily with a door. Also agree with the first comment, to not forget pull outs on deeper cabinets. An interesting pretty way could be to convert a sturdy drawer or two to be a rolling tray on the floor for under the countertop on the floor (if your budget is limited for now..leave space open for a later upgrade).

  • Reply
    Sue
    September 15, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I like the idea of a freezer on one of the side walls and open shelving on the other one. A nice countertop along the back would be very helpful and the section in front of the door will be nice to see your pretty serving pieces. Sounds like a good plan for a good use of space.

  • Reply
    Betsy
    September 15, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I agree completely with what you have decided with the back wall; the pretty section need only be the center portion. I know you have no intention of ever selling this place but if you ever did, it would sell in a heartbeat for the pantry alone!

  • Reply
    Justin
    September 15, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Wow…I’m SO jealous. 🙂 Couple of thoughts…

    – If you can’t find a counter-depth freezer, maybe you can consider adjusting the depth of the counters to match the freezer instead. You won’t be able to use stock formica countertops, but I wouldn’t really expect you to, anyhow. You could even punch out the back of the lower cabinets and extend the floors of them to make use of the extra few inches in the back.

    – I love those open pull-out drawers in the first photo. I’d never have thought to do that, but it makes total sense. I’ve never liked pull-outs behind doors because they just scrape-up the doors (which are in the way), but I had some deep wide standard drawers in my last kitchen and I really miss them. I could stash anything from pots and pans to potato chips and loaves of bread in them. Inside a pantry, the open pull-outs is the best of both worlds!

    – I know I’ve said this a few times before, but don’t forget to consider if you want any tall things or chargeable electric things stored in the pantry like mops, brooms, dustbusters, vacuum’s, etc. You’ll want to leave a tall space with no shelves and/or hooks and you’ll want a plug near the rechargeable items.

    – Consider having one drawer with a screen or mesh front for things like potatoes or onions or butternut squash, which store best in a cool dry place with decent air circulation.

    – I’m a huge fan of open storage, so my vote (if it were my pantry) would be to have as few closed cabinets as possible. I prefer baskets for small items and nice wide shelves for everything else. I find that when I shop in bulk (as I often do), I like to come home and immediately remove boxes and extraneous packaging from things and store anything that doesn’t re-seal on its own in jars (sometimes, decorative ones). For example, I may buy multiple boxes of granola bars, so those get emptied into a basket. Or I may buy rice, which spoils fast, so that gets emptied into mason jars. Same with crackers and cookies and some cereals.

    – I may have also mentioned this too, but you might want to take a look around The Container Store (if you don’t have one nearby, look online) and see if there are any special containers or organizers you’d like to incorporate into your pantry. For example, I love the big rolling dog food storage bins for bulk flour or sugar. They have a lot of shelf organizers and wall hangers for different things that make access for small items easier (spice racks, dish racks, heat-proof iron and ironing board racks, racks to hold plastic wrap and tin foil boxes, bins to hold plastic grocery bags, etc.). Make sure your shelving can accommodate whatever items you choose.

    I can’t wait to see how this turns out!

  • Reply
    Diane
    September 15, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I would think about putting the freezer in the corner, it might at times be hard to open the door and look into the freezer. It might also be a dark corner you wouldn’t like after a while. Pushing it back into the wall is a great idea.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 15, 2016 at 10:32 am

    This is a totally random question, but in all your house diagrams I don’t recall ever seeing a laundry room/space. Where is your washer and dryer? This seems like a logical place for it to me, but probably only because it is close to the garage/entry and I can’t imagine what I would fill a pantry that size with.But I am sure it will be beautiful!!

    • Reply
      Kristi
      September 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      My washer and dryer are currently hooked up in the left side of the sunroom. That’s pretty close to where their permanent home will be after we do our addition on the back of the house. You can see the current and future floor plan, including a laundry room, on the home tour page.
       
      https://www.addicted2decorating.com/house-tour

  • Reply
    Elle
    September 15, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Cannot recommend more highly to get pull-out shelves or drawers on lower counter-depth cabinets. Get drawer pulls that are full extension. These are SOOooo worth it and make storage and retrieval of items SOOoo much easier! Do it at the front end so you don’t have to retro-fit. Also, use frameless cabinets with the pull-outs to maximize space. Cabinets with frames have narrower pull-outs.

    • Reply
      Lauren
      September 15, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      I absolutely agree, from personal experience. Also, I have open shelves for crockery and it looks gorgeous but it has to be rinsed off every time I want to use it. I read a comment on gardenweb to the effect that things in daily use should be in the open, weekly use in cabinets, monthly in the pantry and anything else in the trash, and after three years of first-hand testing I can say (with the exception of seasonal items) that the system works.
      A giant, landing strip of a counter looks beautiful, lends a sense of grandeur, can be easily wiped if it’s not full of stuff, and is sometimes saves your bacon – cookie cutting, flower arranging, cat-free paint-drying zone… go big, I say.

  • Reply
    chiflipper
    September 15, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Oh Kristi, your pantry is going to be fab. Drawers are so much more functional than cabinets with doors. Have you considered re-purposing a “found” low dresser for the base cabinet under the window?

    • Reply
      Kristi
      September 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      Oh my gosh, you just reminded me of a photo I saw where a woman began her wall of built-in cabinets with a beautiful buffet (or could have been a dresser) and then built around it. It was amazing!!! Now you’ve got my wheels spinning!! 😀

    • Reply
      Kristi
      September 15, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Here it is!
       
      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/520517669406266671/

      • Reply
        chiflipper
        September 15, 2016 at 12:43 pm

        Oooooh! That example is even better!

      • Reply
        Debbie
        September 15, 2016 at 8:25 pm

        Oh I love that idea. I noticed a lot of comments about you having a window & that food should be stored in the dark. You’re going to have the freezer on the garage wall, how about building a cabinet with solid doors on the sunroom wall to store food. Put adjustable shelves inside also. Save the back wall for the pretty design.

        Have you desided what you’re going to do about removing those 2 Windows yet. I’m worried the storm windows will leak into the insulation there. Waiting to see what you do there.

  • Reply
    SheilaG- Plum Doodles
    September 15, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you do in here. I don’t know if they make one specifically for freezers, but consider putting it on a pan like the washing machine pans. Our freezer had moisture build up in the insulation and has been dripping onto our floor probably ever since we moved in. I only found it when I decided to move the freezer to another location. Moldy and warped boards now need to be replaced. ugh!

  • Reply
    Veronica
    September 15, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Have you thought of using undercabinet outlet strip so you can have multiple outlets but don’t have to look at the ugly outlet covers? (you may have talked about this before – I can’t remember! Here are some examples on Houzz: http://www.houzz.com/undercabinet-outlet-strips

    Also, keep in mind that your guests will be able to look into the pantry from different angles not just straight-on.

    Love your work!

  • Reply
    Chelle Ellis
    September 15, 2016 at 11:29 am

    We have our second fridge and upright freezer in an old second kitchen in the back of our house. The both set near a big plate glass window (not against but to the side where the door of the fridge opens into the the window wall). We initially had the upright freezer near the window but had to switch to the fridge there, with the freezer having the fridge between it and the window. The window only gets Western sunlight but it was enough to compromise the temperature of the freezer. All this to say, I def wouldn’t put my freezer near a window that gets any kind of full, unfiltered sunlight, especially in Texas.

  • Reply
    Hollis
    September 15, 2016 at 11:30 am

    I’m assuming you’ve considered this, but just in case not:

    With your love of symmetry, you’re focusing on having that 4′ area beneath your soon-to-be pantry window nice and balanced-looking for viewing from your breakfast room. But much of the time your view will be from your kitchen, which means that you’ll be looking through your glass pantry door at an angle and seeing whatever’s to the right of your pantry window. If you just do just 4′ of closed cabinets beneath it, and then open shelving on either side, you’re going to see a combo. Or perhaps just the open shelving? So maybe consider that in your planning.

  • Reply
    Rebecca B
    September 15, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Kristi I am so glad you are going to do the inside first. Have you decided to just leave the storm windows visible on the outside until next year? I have to say, you are so competent. You are just a tomboy, crawling around in the attic replacing old wiring! Safety first! You go, girl!

  • Reply
    Veronica
    September 15, 2016 at 11:43 am

    I just cleaned out my pantry yesterday and it would have been much easier if I had pull-out shelves in the lower cabinets.

    Also, I have never seen this before but I wonder if you could build a slide-out step with a fake drawer front. You could use it to stand on when you need to reach something from a high shelf and don’t want to drag the stepladder out. I wish I had one of those!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    September 15, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I LOVE your ideas!

    I just wanted to throw something out there in case this idea is ever helpful for a portion of your pantry:
    We have a pantry cabinet that is the same depth of the base cabinets (about 24”) but reaches up as high as the top of the upper cabinets. At first, I was frustrated by the depth. One day, I decided to buy some extra shelves that are made for upper cabinets (12” deep) and drill holes in the middle of my pantry at the same heights as the existing holes for the adjustable shelves. Now, I have shelves of alternating depths- 24” deep, 12” deep, 24” deep etc. All of the cans that we like to have large quantities of are stored on one of the deep shelves (we can fit about 9 cans) and the cans we keep less of are stored on the shorter shelves (4-5 cans per shelf, depending on the size). We also use a few of the shelves for storing things we seldom use in the back with the space in front (much higher height) for some of our taller items that we use daily (cereal boxes, etc).

    One other thought: because of the location you are thinking you would put the freezer, using a regular-depth freezer wouldn’t look bad at all, especially if you framed it. I have seen some really great kitchens recently where they frame in a regular-depth freezer. An example of what I am talking about is on one of the other blogs I love to follow: http://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2015/04/building-in-fridge-with-cabinet-on-top.html (She is going from an existing kitchen, not starting from scratch, but her final product is the framed-in look that I am referring to).

  • Reply
    Genelle McDaniel
    September 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    The counter all the way along the window wall, with lots of plug ends just above the counter, will give you the added option of actually using some of your small electric appliances without carrying them out to the kitchen. A vacuum sealer for example. You could vacuum seal food and stick it right in the freezer. Also the upper cabinets on each side of the window should have glass doors so that your china, etc, does not get dusty. In all the rest, open shelves would be ideal. I am soooo jealous.

  • Reply
    Darlene
    September 15, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Are you going to spray foam the ceiling that is not covered in the pantry? Also, if I were you, I would go ahead and add a sink in there since the counter top is so long and you may wish you had done that some time in the future. Make a piece, same as the counter top, to drop in over the sink so the counter space is all usable until the sink is needed. Just some thoughts!

  • Reply
    barb
    September 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Looks like a great start! If I may, I’d like to add my .2 cents; electrical outlets. Up high down low. Never thought I would need them but we installed them in our pantry and OMGOODNESS 🙂 🙂 🙂 And adjustable shelves. The outlets have afforded us the use of using of some of our appliances – namely our food saver and the ability to add a mini fridge for water and juice boxes (for the grandkiddos) not to mention being able to add beer/wine/soda’s for when we have family get-togethers. 🙂

  • Reply
    Donna
    September 15, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Like JENW said, you don’t want to be ‘standing on your head’ to access things stored in the lower ‘pretty’ cabinets. I know drawers are more expensive but you will never be sorry going with deep drawers in the lower cabinets vs. doors and shelves or even doors then pull outs. I think they would be easier for Mat too. One of the reasons upright freezers are less efficient is that cold air falls. So when you open a chest freezer the cold air falls in while with an upright freezer the cold air falls out. Another thing to consider is the nature of the products you put into the freezer. Do you mostly have nice neat boxes of things or do you have lumpy wrapped meat and bags of vegetables. An upright makes those boxes easy to arrange on end with label facing out (vs. stacked) while a chest freezer might be better for lumpy packages. Of course lumpy packages can be organized in wire baskets for the upright freezer. Always keep any freezer full; it is the air spaces that take most of the energy to cool. I freeze jugs of water when my freezer is getting empty in the spring and early summer before it starts filling up again with frozen berries and veggies.

  • Reply
    Lawana
    September 15, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    What about a full length appliance garage at the back of the countertop? Ease of use is my mantra. Imagine not ever having to lift that heavy juicer or mixer again. Since you are going to have a sink, you could incorporate a coffee station too. If you bake a lot a prep area would be nice, and better yet an oven too. Your kitchen would stay so clean.

  • Reply
    mason
    September 15, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Good for you! I don’t think crawling around in the attic would ever be your first choice of fun decorating things to do! Good for you for getting up there and doing that chore! Now on to the fun stuff!! Love you!

  • Reply
    Arlene
    September 15, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I’d ditch the addition of the window and get rid of the other two also. It’s just a pantry – why would you need air/ventilation/view? I would rather have the additional cabinet/shelf space, especially with a freezer eating up floor space. Good lighting (even under cabinet) and white paint will make it very bright. The inspiration picture is lovely. Ultimately it’s your house – just throwing in my two cents.

  • Reply
    Guerrina
    September 15, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Lots of work accomplished! You rock! I ditto (1) pull out shelving in lower cabs, (2) can’t have too many outlets, and (3) what about that green/wood dresser/sideboard that needs a new space for under window? Also, do you plan a floor to ceiling closet for mop/vacuum, etc?

  • Reply
    Mrs PoP
    September 15, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    I built kindof a pantry/cupboard (no room for a full pantry in our little house) and it has food in the top section, and small appliances down below. My two favorite features are power related, so maybe keep them in mind as you’re arranging your electric lines:
    – Strip LED lighting just inside the face frame of the cabinets that you turn on/off using a wall switch. So lovely to be able to see everything inside the cabinets easily with tons of light.
    – Additional outlets inside where we store our appliances to keep items like Scooba and the dustbuster charging, but out of sight!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    September 15, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Put plenty of outlets SuperGirl!! You are truly amazing.

  • Reply
    Linda
    September 15, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Yes, plenty of electrical outlets and lighting- you never have enough! My only concern about open shelving is having to CLEAN it and all the things you put on it. Things behind doors don’t get as much dust over time. Some open shelving is a must and looks good, but for me, I’d not want all the cleaning. I’ve often wondered at these beautiful homes that have these open shelves in the kitchen no less over the sink and by the stove! HOW on earth do they keep all those beautiful dishes clean if they cook? Just something to think about.

    Ditto on the suggestion of drawers rather than shelves – WAY more functional and easy to use. I think the freezer might work better on the left hand side if I have your diagram right in my mind. You are getting so many good ideas here!

    Love everything you are doing, I get inspired watching what you tackle!!!

  • Reply
    Sharon H
    September 15, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    So many great thoughts and ideas being thrown at you, Kristi and I want to add another one. Consider some type of counter top space near the freezer. You will be glad to have an area where you can either set something down going INTO the freezer, or when removing or just rearranging items already in the freezer. I have a chest type, and an upright, as well as two freezer drawers under the French Door refrigerator. I can tell you from experience that you will be glad you have something to set things on.
    Also, the idea of having even a bar sized sink, next to the freezer, would come in handy on a number of times. Just something to think about.

    • Reply
      Sheryl
      September 16, 2016 at 1:22 am

      Agree with Sharon H on having counter space on the handle side of the freezer.

  • Reply
    Barbara
    September 15, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    SO, why NOT put a sink in the pantry? Sounds like a good idea to me!

  • Reply
    Jayme
    September 16, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I like the view through the glass doors to be pretty, but you won’t always be standing directly, squarely in front of that doorway, so what will the view from an angle be like? That might change the idea of just having the 4 ft section.

    Will there be cabinetry on the divider walls? If so, Maybe center the upright freezer on the wall to the right so you can have counters or cabinets wrapping both corners. Is the door on the left going to remain or is that going to be closed in? Could do your open storage wall there.

    I can’t wait to see the results!

  • Reply
    Sherry
    September 16, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I have had both frost free and manual upright freezers and I would have manual every time. I am not very good at rotating food when I put new things in the freezer so when I moved and had to empty the frost free one I was amazed at how much freezer burned food I had to toss. In the next house, after a salesman told my the difference I got a manual one. Two years later when I moved again I didn’t throw out one item.

    Also, the one I bought has an awesome feature..instead of adjustable shelves it is all baskets. So easy to keep foods separate, veggies in one, meat in another etc, but when it comes to defrost time you simply slide out the baskets, throw a sleeping bag over them and work on the feeder. When you are done just slide them back in again. I am not attached in any way to the company but the one I bought is a Brada MF183. It is not a large one but perfect for two people. Not sure if they have the same features on a larger model or not but this one is counter depth. Find the freezer you want before you finalize the design as some of them don’t have reversible doors.

    One more thought, if you get a deeper one you can still use stock cabinets. Just build a spacer behind them to bring them to freezer depth and a deeper counter will hide the gap behind them. Just be sure there is a ledger board on the wall behind to anchor the counter to.

  • Reply
    Cat Landgraf
    September 16, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Looks terrific, but don’t forget to add some full-height storage. You’ll probably want space for a mop and broom, stepladder (I’m short) and maybe a vacuum. Keeping these things handy, but hidden will pay dividends later.

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