We all want to come back to a kitchen that is clutter-free and gives the user ample space to move around. Everything in its place defines the minimally designed kitchen of the modern age.
The onset of minimalism has also led to the renaissance of good old pantries…and it is probably the best thing to have happened to our kitchens since sliced bread.
Now, how do we exactly define a pantry? A pantry is basically a tall unit or a structure that has ample storage space; whose inner pull-outs or shelves can be designed individually and one that provides easy access to the food items from all three sides. They were a rage back in the years for their convenience…and we are so glad they are back!
But before you get excited about having one, be sure to design it right. It can be expensive to replace; so make sure you cut no corners when designing it. Here we list down how you can get on the bandwagon and design a perfect pantry for yourself.
1. Make Sure it’s Conveniently Accessible:
A pantry means that all food items can be stored in a single place. Now the problem is that despite having a pantry, things kept at the back of the shelf can get lost at times and are only discovered at the time of cleaning out the pantry. The best option is to have an opening like a glass door or a sliding door that you can slide into to have a full view of the contents within.
One can play around with designs too. It is possible to have a pantry that has two sets of double doors that can be opened to access it. Basically, a single pantry spanned by two sets of double doors.
Sounds good? Here the doors can be of the same texture as the rest of the cabinetry to lend a uniform & seamless look to the kitchen. Chances are, others won’t even realize that there is a pantry behind the doors!
2. Redesigning the Walk-in-Pantry:
These pantries were popular ages back where special rooms were allocated for the pantry. It was as good as having a room within the kitchen.
As per contemporary design ethos, this allocated space can be made a part of the rest of the kitchen with a little effort. In this case, the walk-in area remains the same whereas the door to the pantry is restructured on the design lines of the rest of the kitchen. This idea can be incorporated while constructing a new kitchen as well and you end up getting a huge walk-in modern-day pantry.
3. Utilizing Unexplored Spaces:
If you look around the kitchen, you will often find unused spaces at the end of the cabinetry. A number of modern intelligent kitchen concepts have been making the best of these unexplored spaces by using them for pull-out pantries.
They are super useful as they can be used to store stuff needed on a daily basis. Since they are located close to the countertop, it is easy to access the pantry to facilitate the cooking experience too.
4. Use Assorted Hardware for Complete Space Utilization:
Compare a traditional pantry to one that uses functions such as sliding, swirling and moving.
What difference do you notice? In the case of the traditional pantry, the food items are placed in racks, baskets, etc, which are immovable. Here you can’t play around with space and the food items take up every inch of the space.
In contrast, say you have a pantry, where one bracket moves in both directions — it implies that you can place food both on the front and back of the bracket.
Another section is the corner swirls to give a full view of the contents. Here you can have items in the front as well as at the back of the swirling trays. Many times, we avoid placing stuff at the back of the shelves in the pantry as they are difficult to access. Having a shelf tray that can be pulled out will make your life much easier.
The idea is to make use of every inch of the space with a concept that is high on visual aesthetics as well.
5. Create a Step System in the Pantry:
Not every kitchen has the space for a well structured large pantry. Does this mean that these homeowners must contend with the idea of not having a pantry in their kitchens?
Absolutely not. No matter what sized pantry you go in for, all you have to do is create steps in here. This will give you a clear view of the contents up the shelves as well.
6. Classify Your Food Storage:
This can give you great benefits both in terms of saving unnecessary labor while cooking as well as neatly organized storage.
What this means is that all your breakfast cereal goes on one shelf. The veggies go in the wicker baskets. The sauces take one section, the salad dressings another. Similarly, the spices can go in the spice racks.
The idea is to classify the storage in a way that the next time you cook, you actually feel the difference that having a pantry can make to your life. It not only saves precious time but also makes you look forward to cooking.
7. Lay down the Boxes:
The boxes do not necessarily have to be placed upright. Maximize the space by laying down the boxes or stacking them.
8. Label the Boxes:
Make it a habit to transfer food items from cartons and opened containers to jars and boxes that can be labeled. Well-labeled boxes in the pantry keep your pantry organized and food easily accessible.
9. Arranging Items in the Pantry:
When arranging the containers, make sure that the taller ones go at the back with the shorter ones in the front. This will improve visibility.
10. Showcasing your Pantry:
Your pantry can become the exclusive vignette of your kitchen. Traditionally, pantries are far removed from aesthetics yet modern contemporary design sensibilities have redefined the concept of pantries.
They can complement your kitchen landscape with a number of design concepts. An all-white shelving, for instance, can serenade the kitchen with class. Lights that illuminate the entire pantry as soon as you open the door, glass doors that reconstruct the pantry with abundant elegance, design handles with understated charm — all are the ways in which the pantries have restructured their presence in ways unimaginable.
Walk-in closets rule the world of storage solutions. Although much more common currently, they still remain highly desirable and perceptibly luxurious.
But just like almost every other major element that goes into designing a home, walk-in closets rely heavily on the accuracy of their design. If designed properly, walk-in closets are truly the belle of the ball. We wouldn’t go into WHY you should design those — the abundant storage is reason enough to go for a well-designed walk-in, not to mention the private space it affords the user. Instead, we will talk about how you can design one that is perfect for your master bedroom.
What Do You Need to Know Before You Start?
You have been warned: Designing is not an easy job. You will need time to plan the layout and its interiors, but if you follow through this guide, you should enough to start.
A walk-in closet design will mainly depend on three factors:
- Your budget
- The space at your disposal
- Your storage requirements
Before stepping into any project, you should know exactly what you need and want — for that will determine the final product you end up with. For example, for low/minimum storage requirements, a walk-in can be an overkill. Similarly, if you don’t have the space, then cramming a walk-in closet in your bedroom will severely distort the layout of your house. Before you even begin, ask yourself the purpose of your walk-in closet and work from there. That will determine the layout, which in turn will determine the design.
Different Types of Walk-in Closet Layouts
First of all, let us talk about common designs and layouts in the walk-in world. Depending on individual needs, walk-ins can come in various designs. Some of them, however, are more common than others:
- Single-Sided Walk-In Closet: An extension of reach-in, this is the smallest and of all and is a pretty common design.The storage is placed on the opposite wall of the entrance and there’s clearance space for access.
- Double-Sided Walk-in Closet: For this design, storage units are placed on the opposing walls as you enter the closet, with a clear pathway down the middle. Small to medium in size.
- Island Walk-In Closet: Basically a double-sided walk-in closet with an island in the middle. Storage can be housed on all three walls or one side can be reserved as a dresser unit. They do require a lot of space and can be classed into luxury products.
- Wrap Around Walk-In Closet: This design maximizes the storage space available, with storage units placed on all three walls. Medium to large in size.
The designs mentioned above are based on the placement of storage units. Talking specifically about size, walk-in closets can be broadly broken down into three categories — small & square, long & narrow, and large.
Once you have figured out your storage needs, your space constraints, and the functionality you want to extract from a walk-in closet — you can mix and match these styles to come up with the perfect closet for you.
For example, if you have ample space but minimal storage needs, you can incorporate a dresser inside the walk-in to take care of hair and make-up. Any leftover space can be utilized for an island or even an ironing board.
Determining the Measurements for Your Walk-in Closet
A standard full-size walk-in closet for two people should measure a minimum of 7 by 10 feet. It should preferably have an area of 100 sq. ft as this allows you to have storage units on all three walls with even a sitting area in the middle. In case you want a smaller one, small walk-ins can be built in as low as 25 sq. ft. of space.
Below are some standard measurements for various types of walk-ins as mentioned above:
- Single-Sided: Being the smallest, they are little more than a hybrid between a reach-in closet and a walk-in. On average, the closet is about four to five feet deep and occupies about 24 inches of the total depth. This leaves about 36 inches as clearance.
- Double-Sided: The depth of a double-sided walk-in can be flexible, ranging from four to six feet. It is wider than a single-sided closet, incorporating two 24 inches each storage space on opposite walls. With a 36 inch clearance in the middle, the total width comes out to be anywhere from six to seven feet.
- Island Walk-In: If you have an island in the middle of your closet, chances are you’re not worried about space. But in case you have been trying to ‘cram’ the island into the design, make sure that there is a three feet clearance on all sides of the island.
Tips to Follow While Designing Your Own Walk-in Closet
- Double rods are a common and efficiency-focused element of a closet. They are typically placed 40 inches and 80 inches from the ground.
- If you are using single rods, 72 inches is a good height. Add shelves above the road to maximize the storage space.
- Have a separate rack dedicated to shoes, or else it’ll take no time before the entire floor is covered with all sorts of footwear.
- As a rule of thumb, a four-feet wide area will accommodate storage space on one side. A six feet wide walk-in can make room for storage on all three walls. And a 10 feet wide room can sport an island.
Apart from this, if you want your walk-in closet to be compliant with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), you need to have a minimum clear space of 30 inches wide by 48 inches deep. It is not mandatory but is a great gesture, especially if you have space to spare. It’ll greatly help in increasing the resale value of your house if you ever decided to go down that path.