The Ample & Spacious Perfect Pantry

In many homes, the pantry serves as the place to store all the reserves that your family could use on a regular basis, making sure that you don’t run out of the essentials. But what’s critical for one family may be unnecessary for another. That’s where Designer Jennifer Cross, AKBD comes in to help create the perfect fit.

“When designing any space, even a pantry, the key is to ask the right questions so that the final design correctly matches your needs and habits,” says Jennifer. “This family does a lot of their shopping at Costco & Sam’s Club. They prefer to buy in bulk for many items, so they need fewer shopping trips. So when it was time to design their pantry, I knew it would work better for them if it had fewer shelves with larger openings, to accommodate a variety of oversized boxes and bottles.”

This pantry has the added benefit of being sandwiched between the kitchen and the mudroom/garage entrance. Its location makes unloading purchases even easier and less time consuming.

Pantries aren’t just for dry goods though, they can be the perfect place for secondary appliances too. “The size we had available to work with in this pantry let us include a secondary refrigerator,” noted Jennifer. “Many families have a secondary fridge or freezer in the basement or garage, but being able to have it just around the corner makes it easier to access more regularly, and offers next-level convenience when throwing parties that often need overflow chilled storage.” Other families opt to include a coffee maker or microwave in their pantry, again depending on their uses and habits.

Kitchens and pantries go hand-in-hand. When it’s time to tackle your kitchen remodel, set up a time to talk with Jennifer about how you can make the most out of storage opportunities in your pantry, kitchen, mudroom, and beyond. You can also follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook and Instagram for even more design inspiration and practical tips for your home.

Compact Kitchens, Meet Your Match

Whether you call it miniature, slim, or compact; a small-scale island can be a welcome addition to a modest sized kitchen for the increased functionality it can provide.

Slim islands are just what you would expect, a narrow counter space with a cabinet or two below, in the center of your kitchen. “Petite islands are great options for smaller kitchens where there isn’t enough space for a full sized island, but you still want the added counter space and storage,” says Normandy Designer Ashley Noethe. “Slim islands are easily accessible, making them a great place to store overflow items, such as secondary pots, pans, baking sheets, and even extra cutlery.”

When considering a narrow island for your kitchen, it’s important to analyze your current set-up to maximize your space. “It can be tempting to try tofit an island in your kitchen, but you have to be smart about the realities of living with a small island,” notes Ashley. “The rule of thumb is that there should be a minimum of 3 feet of aisle space on all sides of the island. If you’re looking to add seating then you’ll need even more space. After considering clearances, if it looks like your island might have to be smaller than 2 feet by 4 feet, then it’s probably not worth it, since islands smaller than that really won’t provide adequate counter or storage space.”

If you were hoping to include an island in your kitchen, but space is too tight to meet these requirements, there is one other option that might work for you. “A rolling island or movable table might be an option that would work for you. It provides many of the benefits of an island with the ability to be moved as needed,” Ashley says. “These pieces are perfect for homeowners who don’t mind a more cramped space for meal prep but when guests arrive, would rather have a more open set-up.”

It’s also important to note that overloading your kitchen with too many elements can make your already compact space feel even smaller. So although possible, make sure to fully measure your space to determine whether a slim island is the right choice for you.

If you’re looking to make the most of every inch of space in your new kitchen, set up a time with Ashley to find out what other tips and tricks she has to maximize your kitchen’s potential. For even more home remodeling suggestions and tips, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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