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Customize the Pantry For Your Lifestyle!

Now about my pantry…

Today’s pantry has almost been an afterthought in a home’s design. In days long gone, the pantry had to store jarred preserves, dried meats, potatoes, spices, sugar, flour and similar basic food items. With the advent of refrigeration and grocery stores, the pantry began to shrink in size and importance.

With sometimes nothing more than a coat closet 24″ in width and depth, the main need is to provide flexibility in shelving height. Spice jars don’t need to be stacked next to a cereal box twice its height and waste space. Though there are some excellent products to adjust heights of items, such as “stadium seating” spice and can racks, having flexible shelving is the first step.

In the vast majority of new homes, the builder puts in fixed wire shelves throughout. Not only does the wire shelving allow small items (now where did that soup mix go?) to fall through, but they cannot be adjusted to your needs. Typical storage panels are on the 32mm (1.25″) European standard and thus shelves can be adjusted at that increment up or down.

Larger walk in pantries, whether they be in new homes or renovations of existing larders, offer many options. One of the most useful is a series of sliding baskets with varying depths. The most common uses include storing pasta, potato chips, cookies and quick grab snack items like Fruit Rollups or granola bars. Baskets can also be used for real potato, fruit and vegetable storage such as onions (use a dark liner to block ambient light).

Another more common use for pantries is wine storage. These are not the vintage Rothschild-type, but more of commonly consumed wines as is custom in France or Italy. Sliding wine racks can store typically four bottles across in a 24″ opening and are easily stacked to maximize the space. Though not as efficient, traditional lattice work can also be framed to provide the tilted and display look. Zig-zagged lucite frames also allow convenient stacking. Remember: keeping your “house wine” in the same place as food storage will keep it top of mind as you set up your shopping list!

The last upgrade I see most often is a recycling center. Depending upon the quantity, this can be as simple as an extra basket to a full blown, three can sliding system from Rev-A-Shelf or Hafele. Usually recycling bins require a portion of the pantry system to be deeper (at least 18″) to allow for can and rail depth. If you don’t mind the top being open and contents partly visible, the pantry can be of same size with smaller rails. A sliding shelf is also an option with framed in bins to keep them from toppling off.

Call your local custom closet and storage company, such as Closet Tailors, for pantry designs whether it be a closet size or walk-in. With design software and industry innovations, they have fresh ideas for all your storage needs!

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