Page D1.1 . 27 August 2003                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
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Home Storage Solutions

by Sarah Susanka

Have you noticed that when you start talking about storage, people light up? It's a subject near and dear to our hearts: where to put our stuff. And when it comes to food stuff, we become especially animated. So a pantry, for many folks, is the most important storage spot in the house.

But what constitutes a pantry? It can be anything from the bottom shelf in the linen closet to a spacious, cabinet-lined anteroom off the kitchen. However, the option that offers the greatest amount of storage may not always be the best choice. One of the most important things to understand about storage is that if something is not easily visible, it's less likely to be used.

The Pantry Closet

The simplest of all pantries is a basic closet lined with shelves. It has a single access door, ideally with a light that turns on and off when the door is opened and closed. The advantage of this design is that when you open the door, you see everything with one sweep of the eye.

I normally make pantry shelves the depth of a cereal box — about 10 inches (25 centimeters) — which can accommodate almost any kind of packaging. Some people will also use this kind of pantry closet to store occasional-use items, such as large platters and coffee urns. These items require deeper shelving that should be sized to fit.

Beware of the urge to fill the pantry closet with deep shelves to maximize space. Although you will have more shelf surface, you won't be able to see most of it easily, so you'll end up using only the front few inches of each shelf, reducing the effective storage capacity overall.   >>>

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This article is excerpted from Not So Big Solutions for Your Home by Sarah Susanka, with permission of the publisher, The Taunton Press.



ArchWeek Image

A pantry can be anything from a closet shelf to a spacious, cabinet-lined anteroom off the kitchen.
Photo: Jeff Krueger

ArchWeek Image

A fold-out pantry is compact, but items in the back can be easily forgotten.
Image: Sarah Susanka


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