Before the days of built-in cabinetry, most of a household's dry foods, dishes, and linens were kept in a pantry adjoining the kitchen. Unfortunately, from the 1950s on, "modern" kitchen design often did away with this great storage feature. But every kitchen, no matter how fully outfitted with standard cabinets, can benefit from the addition of a pantry -- if only to corral the supersize packages of paper towels, pasta, and snacks many of us buy at warehouse stores.
Make a Great Entrance
Show off your new pantry by fitting it with an eye-catching exterior door, perhaps painted in a bright color, like the screen door shown at right. But remember: If the interior will be on view, you'll want to keep the contents looking picture perfect.
If you're not blessed with an in-kitchen pantry, consider converting a closet. Most home centers sell adjustable metal shelf supports and will cut shelves to fit.
If your household schedules need as much organizing as your dry goods, consider turning the pantry into a full-scale message center with pads of paper for lists, a bulletin board, and a daily calendar.
A chalkboard makes it easy to keep notes visible. Simpson Door has a Chalkboard Panel Interior Door (simspondoor.com), or spray paint it with products form manufacturers like Krylon (krylon.com).
Slide Out Storage
Floor-to-ceiling slide-out pantries offer great stow-away potential. A custom pantry could make the most of a wall return alongside the fridge, for example. Put kid-friendly foods in the lowest shelves; wood-mode.com. No room for a dedicated pantry? Cabinet manufacturers offer slide-out units that fit into standard base-cabinet openings, or gaps between cabinets. Kraftmaid even has one that is just nine inches wide; kraftmaid.com.
Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.