Pantry Shelving

Learn all about pantry shelving and get great tips on how to maximize your kitchen's storage space.

Pantry Shelving

Pantry Shelving

A detail shot of Green Home 2008, white pantry shelving with jars.

By: Sean McEvoy

Tucked away in a far corner, often neglected or under-used, the kitchen pantry can be a headache to maintain—but installing efficient pantry shelving can help organize the space and avoid clutter.

A Family Kitchen Furnished for Cooks

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A Place to Retire

When Bill and Gloria Hayes purchased their lakeside home after retirement they loved everything about the open floor plan except for the boring, builder grade kitchen.

Dysfunctional Beginnings

With an island that was disproportionally small for the size of the kitchen, the layout was completely dysfunctional. "There was no easy fix - only drastic measures," Gloria says.

A More Efficient Layout

With room for four grandkids and two cooks, the new kitchen layout works efficiently and is beautiful."I love the idea of having a kitchen where everyone can gather and hang out," says Gloria.

An Eating Area for Everyone

Incorporating the eating area into the kitchen island eliminates the need for a separate kitchen table. The unusual shape compensates for misaligned window placement.

Cooking with Ease

A dual-fuel six-burner range replaced an inefficient, undersized electric cook top. The gas burners make it easy for Bill and Gloria to create gourmet meals, while the electric convection oven with gliding racks bakes dishes much more quickly than a conventional oven.

Copper Shelving

A custom-built shelf, sheathed in copper tiles, holds small cooking items above the range. The color plays off the copper specks found throughout the granite counter top.

A Must-Have Steam Oven

Bill, a vegetarian, prepares his food in a separate steam oven. By installing the oven in a separate area from the range, multiple cooks have ample room to work.

Custom Coffee Maker

A built-in coffee maker is a conversation piece that makes great beverages. Having the machine installed on the wall liberates valuable counter space.

Architectural Accents

To add interest, a row of copper liners sits between 1-inch yellow glass mosaic tiles, adding an architectural accent to the kitchen. The copper tiles were expensive, but the amount needed was minimal, making the cost reasonable.

Do-It-Yourself Microwave Drawer

An under-the-counter microwave drawer hides the appliance from view. Placing the microwave closer to the eating area makes it easy for grandkids and guests to heat food themselves.

Bold Granite Countertops

Brazilian Mascarelo granite's bold colors of brown, yellow, grey and copper became the inspiration for the overall color scheme of the kitchen. When choosing multi-colored granite, try to match the granite's various tones and shades and incorporate them throughout the kitchen.

A Place for Cookbooks

Opposite the sink is an open shelf for cookbooks. Gloria keeps her favorite books out for easy access, while an adjacent cabinet holds many more behind its doors.

A Functional Focal Point

The sleek lines of the faucet, dual soap dispensers, and under-mount stainless steel sink create a modern design statement. The extra tall arc of the faucet makes washing large pots and pans manageable.

Installing a Water Purifier

Installing a reverse-osmosis water purifier requires proper planning. Make sure a certified plumber installs it correctly, and place the dispenser away at the end of the sink so it can swivel to fill large containers.

Fine China on Display

Fine china and crystal sparkle inside halogen-lit glass-front cabinets. Puck lighting is unobtrusive and economical. Dimmers control the light for all occasions.

Classic Accents

Simple hardware adorns the traditional cabinetry. The elegant simplicity of the circular knobs adds an understated modern touch.

Space is at a premium in most kitchen pantries, so ensuring that the available space is well-maintained and organized is greatly important. One of the first steps to creating an organized pantry may seem counter-intuitive at first—it's ensuring that your pantry shelves aren't too deep. Semi-shallow shelves will allow you to access every inch of the pantry, while shelves that are too deep can contribute to piling of food stores and supplies and an overall sense of disorganization. So when considering shelving, make sure you go lean.

Another popular option for custom pantry designs is the "folding shelf." Often attached to the pantry door, this design consists of a collapsible shelving system that folds in on itself, utilizing the entire interior space of the pantry (as opposed to just the back and side walls).

If you're looking for true efficiency, consider installing your pantry shelves in a recessed pantry. Using existing wall space to add kitchen storage, a recessed pantry is the ultimate low-profile design strategy, and it can often be disguised as part of the wall or overall kitchen design.

Kitchen Storage & Space Planning

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