What homebuyers look for in the perfect kitchen has evolved over the years. And as our personal collections of appliances, utensils and ingredients grow, pantry storage has made its way to the top of the list.
Our recent national survey found that a walk-in pantry was the most common feature homeowners regretted not getting in their last home purchase – with just under a third (30%) saying they wish they had one.
Luckily, there’s a cure to pantry envy: adding practical kitchen storage of your very own.
Whether you’re ready to convert a closet or install new shelving, here are some food storage secrets to help put your dream pantry within reach.
How to Create a New Pantry Space
Just because your home lacks a built-in pantry doesn’t mean you have to settle for less storage. With a few handy tricks and a little renovation, even the smallest kitchens can accommodate more pantry space:
- Convert closets or nooks. Does your kitchen have a small corner nook or a double-wide closet? Consider ditching the coat rack and replace it with shelves and bins. Relocating your previously stored items to a hall closet could be well worth the extra kitchen storage it frees up.
- Look behind your wall. Creating more kitchen storage can be difficult if you’re tight on space. But your solution for a pantry may be hiding behind your walls. A quick search online will reveal plenty of inspiration for recessed shelving that can be built between your studs. All it takes is cutting out the drywall and framing in some shallow cabinets. Hang a few doors and you’ll have a place to store cans, spices and more – no floor space required.(Of course, if you’re not an experienced DIY-er, this job might be better left to a pro. No one wants to accidentally demo a load-bearing wall, so make sure you know your stuff before you tackle this one.)
- Repurpose a bookshelf. Move an old bookcase to the kitchen or buy a cheap one from a second-hand store. Give it a paint job to match your color scheme and customize it to hold your food or small appliances.
- Hang more shelves. When it comes to kitchen design, open shelves are back in style. So why not make your kitchen the walk-in pantry? Add new shelves to your backsplash and walls, and stack them as high as you’d like. Every item will be within reach and you’ll utilize what was once unused space.
How to Upgrade Your Kitchen Storage
Whether you already have the walk-in pantry of your dreams, or are adding new storage with one of the projects above, there are plenty of ways to improve the style and function of your pantry space.
Looking to transform your pantry into the photo-worthy kitchen upgrade you envisioned? Here are a few tips and kitchen storage ideas to get started:
- Use the door. The door of a pantry often contains a lot of unused space. Add hooks, racks or pockets to the back of your door to hold anything from kitchen utensils to spices.
- Adjust your shelves. Shelves are typically spaced uniformly. But the items you’re storing aren’t all the same size. Try varying the distance between your shelves so items can be organized based on how much space they take up.
- Install pull-out shelves. Deep shelves can make it hard to reach items in your pantry or cabinet. Replacing them with pull-out shelves can help you avoid going elbow-deep when searching for ingredients.
- Think in a U-shape. The key to a walk-in pantry is visibility. Complete the walk-in feel and install shelves in a U-shape so you can turn and access everything from the center.
- Add lighting. Lights will make frequent trips to the cabinet easier on the eyes. Install a brighter bulb in your walk-in pantry or attach battery-operated lights to your shelving to help you find what you’re looking for.
- Think in layers. How you organize your food is just as important as the shelves you put it on. Place small items in front and large items in the back. This way, items won’t get lost behind each other.
- Utilize technology. Whether you’re looking for advice or inspiration, there’s no shortage of websites and mobile apps to help. Use a kitchen design tool to plan out your space, and apps like Photo Measures or iHandy Carpenter for measurements. For more DIY ideas, check out YouTube or Pinterest.
Take care of your project
Whether you add some shelves or take on a complete kitchen renovation, your project is unique to you. At Erie Insurance, our policies are designed to protect what matters most. You do you, and we’ll take it from there.