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jenswrens

Minimum size for walk-in pantry

jenswrens
11 years ago

For those of you with walk-in pantries (open food storage - not a decorative butler's pantry), what would you consider minimum size needed?

Comments (27)

  • rhome410
    11 years ago

    I think that's a little hard to say because shape makes a difference. I'd prefer wider to deeper, for instance. Also, of course, family size and how you plan to use the storage make a big difference. I grind my own flour, so I need space for bulk grain storage that other don't, but some people don't have much kitchen storage and small appliances, bakeware, cookbooks, etc. need space in the pantry with the food.

    My pantry is 48" wide by 45" deep. I really wouldn't want it any smaller, and could definitely use it bigger...but I'd be happy to have one 3 ft wide if it was all I could have.

    Did you see the pantry thread in the gallery section of the forum? All sorts of different ones to see there.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Pantry thread in the gallery

  • jenswrens
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Thanks rhome! I remember that thread - don't know why it didn't show up in my search.

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  • lisa_a
    11 years ago

    At only 42" wide, mine is on the narrow side. It's 69" deep but because it fits under our stairs, it's not full height (9') for the whole depth. It's about 4' or so at at the end. It's not as large as others have but ever since we installed Elfa shelving system from Container Store, it holds a lot of supplies for us, half again as much as it did with the builder-installed shelving we replaced. On one of the long sides, the shelves sit 13.5" from the wall. On the other, we added shallow spice racks (3" or 4" deep) and hooks to hold the step stool, aprons, extra oven racks and reusable grocery bags. This leaves us with 25" between shelves and wall racks. It's narrow but it's definitely manageable for us. Unless, that is, your son and his *big* friends are standing in the pantry trying to figure out what snacks they want to eat!

    If it were 6" narrower (3' wide total), we'd have to forgo the spice racks and storage hooks and I'd really miss that. That said, if my space was full height from front to back, I should have other options for these items so a narrower space might not be an issue after all.

  • Buehl
    11 years ago

    I have a corner pantry. Its interior dimensions are 41" wide on one side, 52" on the side perpendicular to the first side. While it's smaller than I'd like, it still holds quite a bit. The shelves on the short side are 15" deep (I had hoped to put a MW on a shelf there, but it didn't work out); the shelves on the long side are 12" deep.

    With the exception of my toaster oven, all my small appliances fit on the 12" deep shelves. (My KA stand mixer is on the counter b/c I don't like lugging it around plus I actually like it there, but it would fit in the pantry on a 12" deep shelf and does go there when I have a big party.)

    Seldom-used items (like coffeemaker) are in the deep corners or on the floor.

    My pantry is linked below.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Thread: Sharb-inspired Pantry Done!

  • lisa_a
    11 years ago

    I'm a little confused by your "interior" comment, buehl since I don't recall ever seeing people post room size by exterior dimensions. Cabinet dimensions are posted by cabinet size not interior space and that can get confusing if someone needs a certain amount of interior width to store items. But since the OP asked about a walk-in pantry, I assumed they were talking about a room not a cabinet.

  • plllog
    11 years ago

    I'm not sure I ever did get my old pantry in Rhome's pantry thread. It was a horrible suck of space. The shelving was in a U around about two steps (not strides=yards, but steps=big feet) of floor space. It was so inconvenient that I didn't use it for food storage, except for soda pop and similar bulk items.

    Long, narrow pantries are also inconvenient as well as claustrophobia causing.

    I tend to favor L shaped shelving in a pantry, with possible hooks, pegboard or narrow shelving (3"-5") on remaining walls. Minimum size, about 6'x4' interior, or 4' square in a corner pantry.

    In the new kitchen, I turned it inside out, and gained 60" of floor to ceiling pantry cabinets, along with a whole butler's pantry.

    By telling you this, what I mean is that the pantry design and location is just as important as the size. My cousin built a can pantry between the studs in his kitchen corridor. It's GREAT! Shallower shelves or ROTS (roll out shelves) make it much easier to see and reach your things. Hardware bins make organizing things in bags, like beans and pasta, much easier. Risers help organize and display cans.

    When storage is tight, any storage is good storage, but with the care you're taking, I'm sure you can make it convenient storage as well.

  • doonie
    11 years ago

    I've been thinking long and hard about this question too. Rhome & Beuhl's measurements between shelves are helping a ton and I am using a variation of their spacing. My pantry is in an odd corner of the kitchen and we are just now fleshing it out. My interior walking area will be a little larger than 43" by 48". The front and back walls are parallel, but the other walls are shaped to get the most usable room possible. Shelving will be 20" from the floor then 15", 15", and then 10" repeated to the 9 ft ceiling.

    The longest wall will have shelves only 10" deep, which is what you can barely see on the right in the photo. Then the deeper shelves are around the corners. I am planning on putting a corian counter on the left to put my coffee pot and toaster on. Hopefully it will not be too claustrophobic. (I plan on extending the counter in the back so as not to have that acute angle, which is not a very convenient space.)

  • lavender_lass
    11 years ago

    If I had a walk-in patry, I would want it to be big enough to include a place for hanging up the broom, dustpan, etc...kind of a pantry with a broom closet :)

    I worked in an old B & B that had a big pantry/closet like that and it was so handy. The broom, dustpan, etc. was tucked behind the door and there was a shelf over them for a couple of baskets for everyday cleaning supplies (one for the bathrooms, one for dusting, countertops and windows). It was probably at least 6' or 7' x 5' or 6'. Sorry, it was years ago, but if you have the space, I'd say make it bigger than you think you'll need!

  • rhome410
    11 years ago

    That's why I find L-shaped shelving helpful...So I can hang things on the wall to one side of the door, and I have room for that in my smallish pantry. I still don't have the hangers up, but my floor steamer and small step stool lean against that wall. (Used to have the broom and dustpan there, but they now have their own home in the narrow space beside the fridge.)

    Well, I have to admit that that's the 2nd reason I prefer shelves in an L instead of a U. The 1st and biggest reason is because corners are big caves and not very helpful for storage. One side is OK and can serve for less often used and awkward things, but 2 would be too much.

  • lavender_lass
    11 years ago

    Rhome- I like L-shaped shelves, too. It's okay to have brooms, stools, etc. behind the door, but I wouldn't want to have to work around the door to get to food. I guess the door could open out, but then it's usually in the way of something in the kitchen!

  • rhome410
    11 years ago

    I agree that I wouldn't want to work around the door to get food, and my pantry is too small to work around it to get a broom, etc, which, I think, is your point, Lavender Lass. My door opens out. :-)

  • megradek
    11 years ago

    ours is 6' by 7.5' I love the size of it. we have wire shelving on 2 walls from floor to ceiling(the long one for all our food, the shorter one for all the large appliances). the door takes one wall and the other long wall I have a rolling butcher block cart (IKEA) for all the kids crafts/bins and our coffee maker. We have our step ladders and brooms etc behind the door. HTH

  • Susied3
    11 years ago

    Has anyone seen dinobambino or Mariab 10 on here lately? I wanted more information on their pantries. Doing a search hasn't produced anything.

    Thanks if anyone knows where their Kitchen/pantry specifics are!

    Rhome, is your pantry in the "cove" where your Ref/Freezer are located? Do you have a landing space in there?

    Thanks!

  • rhome410
    11 years ago

    Susied3,Yes, the pantry is across the aisle from the fridge and freezer in the little alcove. No landing space outside the pantry...Just the shelves inside it. For fridge landing space, I have to make it to the island. I could go around the door to the counter to the right of the fridge (just outside the alcove), but I don't think I ever do that. It's a straighter path to the island and that's where the prep sink is anyway.

  • formerlyflorantha
    11 years ago

    This is great stuff. Thanks to posters. More images to come?

  • rhome410
    11 years ago

    Shelly_k, Glad you're moved in and loving your pantry! I love your counter area. I couldn't have mind like yours, as a lot of the stuff I have in my pantry wouldn't fit on 8" shelves, so it could never look that neat and tidy. But that's why we're all here...to show different ways of doing things for different lifestyles. Be sure to post on the pantry thread in the gallery!

    Florantha, Have you checked out that thread? With it and all the links, you could spend the day looking at pantry images. ;-)

  • doonie
    11 years ago

    shelly k,
    You've got a really nice pantry space. I am hoping my space turns out with enough room for a counter similar to yours. Mine is an odd shape, so I will find out this week. I will have 2 walls of 10 inch deep shelving.

  • willowdecor
    11 years ago

    My pantry is approximately 9' X 8'. Gray cabinets and marble counters. I love how it turned out. Even with less space you could modify my design and stil have so much storage area. Here are the before and afters.

    Here is a link that might be useful: willows butler's pantry

  • china_rose
    11 years ago

    Glad to find all this great info on walk in pantries. I'm working on one, too, in our new build. I found a lot of useful information on clearances, shelf dimensions, etc at the link below.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Everything pantry design help

  • paulyb
    5 years ago

    I planning on a shallow 2 foot deep x 7 foot wide pantry, using double doors, would that work, or should I try to redesign?

  • sjhockeyfan325
    5 years ago

    Long and wide pantries can be very useful, the problem with 2' deep is that things tend to get lost in the back. You might want to use some deep shelving and some not-so-deep shelving in your pantry.

  • PRO
    Shades of Design
    5 years ago

    shades of design

    I'm designing a small walk in pantry; inside dimensions are 36" and 39"; 12-15" deep shelves; door swings out. It's small, but hold more than cabinetry with half the cost.

  • Tracy Kristensen
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I am wondering if I can do a 60" wide pantry 30" depth, and do a 24 inch door on one side, on the left side tucked in the corner of a U shaped kitchen. Would that work you think? Otherwise its essentially wasted space. Will I be able to access the stuff in the back right where the door isn't at 30 inch depth?

  • formerlyflorantha
    4 years ago

    Since I read and worked on this thread years ago, I've lived with a new pantry closet that is now overstuffed. Things I never expected to store in this pantry but which are now resident there:

    table leaves and pads [dining table leaves used to live under a bed; leaves are now slid into padded pajamas and then into a built-in wooden sleeve on one side of pantry but new pads--needed since our dog is no longer trustworthy--are stored willy nilly, if I take them off my table]; second set of leaves for kitchen table, also stored willy nilly at back of closet.

    dog food bin; dog pills, etc [I have an underslung add-on for the wire shelving that holds the dog meds]

    extension cords, including my wind-up outdoor cord

    folding two-step ladder stool with support hoop at top, replacing smaller folding step [hey, I'm old now]

    two dehydrators [no longer operate them inside closet--humidity problem]

    ironing board and iron [holder is mounted on wall]

    booze, beer--okay, so we are retired and recreationally we try exotic stuff that isn't in everyday use, but we don't want to truck it to the basement for some reason or other, so it ends up here, esp. a tote bag of speciality rums and DH's collection of Scotch in fancy boxes

    specialty foods and beverages for my [new] digestive condition [anyone else buying ginger products, wheatless crackers, no-fructose beverages, tinned meats in bulk?]

    canning jars in boxes, for jelly making

    paper bags

    offseason tins for holiday baking [yes, I have too many but they're cute and it's hard to find Scandinavian theme ones when you need them]

    two large Ikea trays for toting stuff to and from deck, etc. that don't fit into my kitchen vertical storage cabinet

    offseason storage of materials associated with offset deck umbrella

    offseason storage of some summer deck stuff

    attachments caddy for vacuum cleaner; I always knew we'd store a vacuum in the closet but who knew the new model would have so much stuff associated with it?

    new, larger crock pot (oval) as well as old crock pot

    food mill [hangs on a hook]; mandoline; sausage making equipment and supplies

    more than one thermos bottle [well, actually four thermoses on average, they come and they go]

    broom holder [is mounted on the inside of the door--holds regular broom, faux mop, and stiff broom; waste pans clip to the brooms]

    We mounted a light on the inside of the door wall, shining into the closet. We had to install a vent at top of the closet [feeds into stairwell] to allow air passage. There is a cold air return at bottom of closet wall. Door of the closet is louvered for air passage. All are necessary. Don't neglect air passage in a place that has potatoes, onions, stinky brooms and dog food!

    --Florantha


  • jenswrens
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Wow Florantha! That is a lot of stuff! You didn't mention the dimensions. How big is this overstuffed pantry closet of yours?

  • Nadine
    last year

    Florantha I am late to the pantry party! But I would love to know the dimensions of your pantry ? I hope to store canned foods, large cookery ( crockpots, canners etc) , bag of dog food and broom , mop , bucket , vacuum cleaner in my pantry, I hope to have a barn door to avoid the loss of floor space . Renovation is in progress. How big do I need ?