Our Kitchen Remodel: Pantry: For the Love of Usefulness

In the first kitchen remodel installment I mainly talked about copper sinks, but also ever-so-briefly mentioned our pantry update. Now the pantry gets the focus it deserves. Short-story - love it, love it, love it! 

Long story follows.

Here's a shot of the pantry before the remodel. I didn't think to take a picture of it open, but all it was inside was three very deep (3') shelves. It was oh so difficult to place or retrieve items beyond the first foot or so without knocking over other items first. There was really no organization possible except for "tall things in back, short things up front". The knob on the bifold door we swear was on the wrong panel of the door as it was very awkward to open the first year or so until we finally got used to it. Yes, it was a long learning curve!  It also stopped over a foot short of the ceiling so we always had to juggle, jiggle, and gyrate to get things onto/off of the top shelf.

For the cabinets, we had settled on the Innermost brand. We couldn't find a pre-made item of theirs that fit exactly and had the features we wanted for the pantry. So we worked with our very patient and very kind kitchen designers to create a customized combination of base cabinets and ended with a stack of four base cabinets (the top two with toe-kicks removed).

The bottom layer left-hand side is a base unit with a top drawer and two pullout shelves. Our door hinges the left vs. the right as pictured.

The bottom layer right-hand side is a base unit with a top with a top drawer and a pullout with two bins (which we use for dog food*).

The middle layer is a base unit toe-kick removed pantry with door units, swing-out mid units, and shelves in the back. (Ours shipped without one of the door units as you might note in the after picture below, but eventually that was delivered and installed too.)

The top layer is a custom-height base unit toe-kick removed two-door w/ shelf. (I couldn't ever find a manufacturer drawing of this one. Pretty basic though.)

The end result is an absolute dream, for me anyhow. :0) The pantry now goes to the ceiling (ok, ok, a few inches short of the ceiling to allow for the molding). It has a variety of organizational items. It holds everything we need it to hold, and then more. We have a housemate and she uses about 1/2 of the space in the middle and top layers so really it has more useful space than we really need on our own.

Lesson learned for me: if your chosen cabinet manufacturer doesn't have something "off the shelf" that fits, and it's something you feel strongly about having just so, go ahead and get it tailored to your needs. It might cost more for the customization but if the benefit outweighs the cost it can sure be worth it!

* The downside to this - there are only two bins. Hubby uses this as a go-to excuse for not getting a third dog. Drat! ;)