Once upon a time, the pantry was a space relegated to food storage alone. It was a domain belonging to canned soup and bagged potato chips and many home owners could not imagine imposing on that domain, until now. With luxury home owners constantly testing the boundaries of creative uses for rooms, more contractors and architects are seeing requests for walk-in pantries that serve as much more than just food storage. Today, luxury home owners are turning their pantries into food prep rooms, work spaces and even gift-wrapping spaces.
These “super-pantries,” as they are being called, are the newest trend in the ever-evolving world of luxury home design. According to the National Association of Home Builders, which conducted a survey petitioning home owners’ most desired home features last year, 85 percent of respondents cited a walk-in pantry as No. 1 on their “most wanted list.” Of those respondents, 31 percent expressed that the feature was a “must have” while 54 percent said that it was “desirable.”
With the increasing popularity of open floor plans that combine kitchen, dining and living room space into one large area, a walk-in pantry is the perfect place to stage a behind-the-scenes area that is incredibly useful for entertaining. In any home, the kitchen is often the universal gathering place for guests with the kitchen island behind the ever-important central hub. A walk-in pantry enables home owners to move any clutter out of these areas.
“An open floor plan is great. But not all aspects of the kitchen are great to look at all the time,” said Peter Pfeiffer of Austin-based Barley & Pfeiffer Architects, to The Wall Street Journal.
Pantries Are Hub For Heads of Luxury Households
At times, being the head of a luxury household can be a full-time job, and for many stay-at-home moms, the walk-in pantry can be the central nervous system of a home’s activities. Such is the case for Kari Oxford, a luxury home owner in Minneapolis who recently spoke with The Wall Street Journal about her multi-use, walk-in pantry.
“It’s my headquarters,” Oxford said to the Journal of her 288-square-foot pantry, which cost about $24,000 to build into the space adjacent to her Country French-style kitchen.
Being an amateur photographer, Oxford wanted to combine her passions and duties as the head of the house into the functionality of the room. The pantry includes a work area with a desk computer and light box for viewing negatives in addition to cabinets that store food, a kitchen sink, microwave and a small area where the family dog is fed.
Being the primary area where Oxford spends her time during the day, no expense was spared on the space and it was designed to be just as attractive as the rest of the house with high-end cabinetry and appliances incorporated throughout the room.
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