The clients live in a 1950's ranch style home that had an average-sized kitchen, but the limited storage space did not suit this kitchen amateur chef’s culinary needs. She needed more cabinets and countertops to keep all her food preparation gadgets organized in addition to more overall storage space for bulk foodstuffs. The home’s standard kitchen couldn’t accommodate any additional cabinetry or pantry storage shelves. Finding a solution meant that we had to look to the past as a way to solve their 21st century needs.
The subterranean room for the new pantry was created by the customer. A section of the original basement laundry room was sectioned off to make a dedicated pantry area for food and small appliance storage. We did a variety of revisions to this space to accommodate items the customer wanted to place in the area. Vertical tray dividers and open shelving for casserole dishes dominate the upper, suspended storage section. Heavy items like canned goods, beverages and potatoes are stored on the lower, floor-based storage shelves. Two corner cabinets received doors to hide small appliances and gallon size containers of vinegar, olive oil and other sundries, but the bulk of the storage is in the form of open shelving. This keeps all the foodstuffs visible. A long countertop divides the upper suspended shelving from the lower floor-based shelving. This gives the homeowner extra food prep space when cooking for large gatherings. We stuck to a white and light gray palette to keep the space feeling airy and bright. We purposely ended the upper shelves on the right side of the pantry so that the client would have room for her mirror-in-a-window frame. It was important to her to have the sensation of being able to look out of a window while working underground.