I would love a walk-in pantry.
I would also love a master suite, a Porsche roadster, and a baby who doesn't bite me after a marathon nursing session. But, the reality is I have to walk across the hall to use the bathroom, I drive a ten-year old SUV, and my baby bit me today after a marathon nursing session (when will this terrible teething stop?). Oh, and I have a closet for a pantry.
Here's the probleme-o: I really love to cook, I have an insane amount of kitchen gadgetry that I am not willing to part with, and our kitchen is small. I have to make the most out of every square inch of this small cottage. I needed a pantry. So when we started the kitchen renovation, we also turned our attention to this built-in in the hallway right outside the kitchen.
This was the view of the built-in and the hallway when we first bought the cottage. That little door was a laundry chute that we removed a while ago. Don't you just love seeing all these old teal photos? This is a bonus photo: you also get to see the pink of the old kitchen on the right side of the photo!
This shows the built-in right before we tore the kitchen out (about three years after we bought the cottage). Normally I don't advocate tearing out built-ins as they add a ton of character and badly needed storage. But in this instance I needed to better utilize the space. This built-in was positioned right over the stairway and the wall is angled down - this will make more sense when you see the inside - so that bottom drawer wasn't as functional as it could have been. Plus there was unused space above the closet that was being wasted.
Tired of all the blah, blah, blah? Me too.
Here's the pantry now...
When a friend of mine told her husband that we were planning a barn door for our pantry, he responded with "What? Why?" I get it. It seems an odd choice. Here's why we did it. The pantry is located in the hallway between the kitchen, dining room and bedrooms so the hallway gets a ton of use and we didn't want a big swinging door blocking the traffic. Also, the barn door is awesome. Reason enough!
Now for the inside...
Like I said, the kitchen is small, so we opted to move the microwave out of the kitchen and into the pantry. Because we were re-wiring the entire kitchen and re-framing the "closet/pantry" it was easy to install an outlet at the right height to provide power.
You can see at the bottom of the pantry how the wall is angled down. Instead of letting that space go to waste, we installed some shallow drawers at the bottom that would utilize the space.
This pull-out is for all the larger 'small' appliances that I don't use everyday, but often enough that I don't want to store them in the basement storage. Bread machine, crock pot, rice maker, food processor, mini food processor.
I couldn't have a walk-in pantry, so I devised a pull-out pantry. They pull all the way out, so I have full access to everything I have stored in the drawers. Now every square inch is used for storage.
Just like in our master closet we used stock components from Ikea to make our pull-outs. For the top three we used the 36"x 24" 'deep' drawer component found in the kitchen section. They don't offer drawer fronts for drawers that wide so we made our own fronts out of MDF (medium density fiberboard). For the bottom two pull-outs we had limited space but the shallow drawers didn't come in 36" widths. We used two 18" x 12" drawers instead, and installed a divider between the drawers out of MDF. For the drawer fronts we used the Ikea ones and then placed some large white plastic bins (also from Ikea) in the pull-outs.
Now for the barn door hardware...
Long before we started this project, we started searching for the perfect hardware. We were not prepared for what we found. Barn door hardware is spendy! Like $400 and up! Yeah, not a splurge we were willing to make.
We happened to mention our predicament to a craftsman who was visiting us one weekend, and he said "Oh, I can make that." We gave him the dimensions and he designed and fabricated the whole thing for our Christmas gift! It really is a work of art. He is a true craftsman...he can make anything. I am proud to tell you that he is also my brother!
He devised these rubber stoppers for each end to keep the door from falling off the track at one end and from running into the wall at the other. Genius!
Thanks for stopping by. Cheerio! (Sorry, I'm allowed one bad pun a week and I had to reach my quota!)
In case you missed it, go here to see how we made the barn door.