Situated right near the border of Washington, DC, close to some of the area’s most prestigious country clubs, Chevy Chase is ripe for entertaining. I especially love the neighborhood’s small-town vibe—even though the perks of the big city are a stone’s throw away, many of the homes are very spacious, which definitely makes hosting easier.
But it can be difficult to entertain if you don’t have a kitchen that’s set up for it. Walk-in pantries, in particular, have a way of descending into chaos if they’re not organized properly. So, if you dream of finally being able to see everything in your pantry while cooking up a storm for guests, here are a few design options that can help.
Baskets Are Your Friends
Ask any professional organizer and they’ll agree: baskets are essential. Our chrome baskets are one of our most popular features since you can see into them to take inventory before you start cooking. The baskets also slide out fully, which means you don’t have to dig around for what you need.
You’ll want to group everything by category, of course, with each category getting its own basket. Different size options let you use shallow baskets for things like fruit while reserving deeper baskets for taller things like bulk rolls of paper towels. I especially love this option when I need to corral awkwardly shaped items that are hard to organize on shelves—from bags of potatoes to bags of potato chips.
A Lazy Susan Helps You See Everything
Traditionally, we think of lazy susans as serving methods for kitchen or dining room tables, but having a lazy susan in your pantry is extremely useful. Our lazy susan corner unit allows you to turn each shelf independently and get access to cans that might be way in the back (without injuring yourself).
Pasta sauces and canned goods are great items for lazy susans, but if you’re a true entertainer and want even your pantry to have a showroom-worthy look, I’d also suggest transferring your pastas into canisters and displaying them there. You should also take a look at which items you have trouble seeing in your current pantry and transfer those over as well. Just be careful not to stack cans too high—lazy susans do spin and contents can fall if you try to fit too much (something I’ve forgotten a time or two in my own pantry!).
Wine Bottle Racks
Something that many of us struggle with is wine storage. There are a ton of wine rack options on the market, but they either require valuable counter space or quite a bit of wall space. While wine cellars are ideal, if you don’t have the room for one and need an area to store non-chilled wines, consider building a wine rack into your pantry. I’ve found this is a great compromise between out of the way and accessible. These racks can easily slide in and out, and they provide special grooves built to keep wine bottles from rolling around like they would in a regular drawer.
Your pantry might seem more visually pleasing when shelves are at the same height across your entire unit. But I’ve found that, while this looks nice, it isn’t always practical. Spices, condiments, water bottles, pasta boxes—all of these come in a wide variety of sizes, so it’s important that your pantry shelving is adjustable. Otherwise, you’ll waste a lot of space.
For your shelves to be as efficient as possible, you also need to put some thought into the best layout. Shelves that are easiest to reach should be able to accommodate items you use most, with higher shelf space reserved for rarely used appliances or seasonal foods.
Also, be sure you have enough shelves to group like items together: Your breakfast cereals, oatmeal, breakfast bars, and pancake/waffle mixes should all be in the same area; condiments should sit together; and so on. This lets you know exactly where to look when you enter your pantry in a rush.
Entertaining is already hard work. It takes a lot of advance preparation to pull off a seamless event, and with a to-do list that already seems unending, your pantry storage shouldn’t cause additional stress. By adding a few custom features, you can give your DC pantry the facelift it needs to help you entertain flawlessly. If you want to explore your options, get in touch for a free design consultation.