Insufficient living space is pushing us to bold decisions. The demolition of partitions, redevelopment, the unification of the living room with the loggia, and the kitchen – from the living room has become as commonplace as the destruction of storage rooms, which were envisaged by the design of many houses. It is good if the practical owners thought out the storage places in advance, but often after the pantry was destroyed and became a continuation of the adjacent room, an impromptu pantry begins to form in the rooms and on the balconies, creating a feeling of chaos and disorder. The owners of apartments, where the storage room was not originally provided for, face a similar problem. The abundance of things that we need, but are not used every day, can and should be stored in a special room. We will figure out how to equip a pantry in an apartment, what must be taken into account and how to think over the design of a pantry.
Sledges, skateboards, conservation, vacuum cleaner, ironing board, umbrellas, stocks of vegetables and cereals, construction tools, kitchen appliances, household chemicals, off-season clothes and shoes – all this can be placed in a small pantry if its space and storage system are properly organized. Even in the smallest apartment, it is better to equip a pantry, otherwise the dwelling can be littered very quickly. True, the same can happen with the pantry, if you do not think in advance about its arrangement.
# 1. Where can I find storage space?
It’s good if the apartment already has a storage room – all that remains is to plan its design. If it was once, but was later attached to another room, you might think about putting everything back in its place. The most difficult thing is if the pantry was not provided for by the project, but in this case, a place for it can be found even in a small apartment, if you look carefully, but you can search in the following directions:
dead end of the corridor in the apartment. It is in such places that storage rooms are located in some Soviet-built houses. You can easily fence off a dead end, put a door and get the coveted storage space, especially since the corridor area often remains useless;
a niche is the simplest and easiest way to organize a pantry in an apartment. If there is a niche in the kitchen or living room, then it will be enough to finish building a small partition or even get by with installing a door. In thick walls, you can make a niche yourself;
separating part of a room or kitchen is the most radical way. In this case, the area and shape of the pantry can be absolutely any, and you can very cleverly disguise the entrance to the utility room. Doors, mirrors and furniture sets with a secret come to the rescue;
the space above the door can be used to organize a mini-pantry, which will look more like a mezzanine. There will be a minimum of storage space, access to it is complicated, and the height of part of the room will have to be sacrificed, but if there is no other way out, then this option will do. It will be possible to beat the slightly reduced level of the ceiling with built-in spot lighting or LED strip;
- space under the stairs;
- an option without alteration – to give for storage of a vacuum cleaner, cans and other household utensils part of the wardrobe, if it is large and occupies the space in the room from wall to wall.
Please note that we are considering only options for placing a storage room in an apartment, since organizing it on the interfloor spans of apartment buildings (and this is a frequent practice) is associated with great difficulties.
# 2. Planning
A pantry is a small room, but a huge number of things have to be stored here, and often these things differ in the requirements for storage conditions. A careful plan is essential here. It is advisable to have a good idea in advance of what exactly will be stored in the pantry – it will be much easier to create a well-thought-out system of shelves, drawers and hooks, which will be as functional and convenient as possible.
It is better to depict on paper or in a special program the design of the pantry with shelves and an approximate set of things that will be located on it. Do not forget to think over the lighting and ventilation system, and also provide outlets if they are needed here.
No. 3. Choice of finishing materials
The choice of finishing materials to some extent depends on what kind of things will be stored in the back room (clothes, appliances, preparations for the winter or fresh vegetables), but in general, when arranging a pantry in an apartment, the rule of the rule of practicality and functionality applies. This does not mean that you should completely abandon aesthetics, but design excesses will be inappropriate here.
When choosing finishing materials for the pantry, it is worth considering the advice of specialists:
- natural breathable wear-resistant materials are optimal. Difficulties sometimes arise with their selection, therefore, natural materials are combined with artificial ones, while providing conditions for maintaining a normal microclimate and maximum durability of the finish;
walls can be covered with plaster, liquid wallpaper or plastic panels;
- for finishing the floor, the same coating is often used as in the adjacent rooms. Ceramic tiles show themselves well (it is better to choose one that has a rough embossed surface and will not slip) and linoleum;
the colors of the finish do not play a special role, since the pantry is a purely functional room, they are not here for a long time, but usually light shades are used for its design, which is logical, given the small dimensions.
The doors are worth mentioning separately. Ideally, they should be the same as all other interior doors in the apartment so that the pantry does not attract too much attention. An excellent solution would be to decorate the surface of the door with a mirror sheet – you can kill two birds with one stone.
Sliding doors show themselves well – they will not take up space in a cramped corridor or hallway. Swing doors have their own plus – on their inner surface facing the pantry, you can place several shelves, baskets or hooks for storing all kinds of not very heavy trifles.
No. 4. Lighting and ventilation
As a rule, a pantry is a deaf room without windows, so there is no need to talk about natural lighting and ventilation. It will be difficult to find something in the twilight, so it is better to approach the organization of artificial lighting with all responsibility. Swivel spots, tablet lamps and spotlights will fit perfectly into the pantry space – in general, everything that gives good illumination, but does not take up much space. You can use LED strip to highlight individual shelves, and hang sconces on the walls. Don’t be afraid to use high-power lamps in your closet – bright light is essential here, like air, but keeping it on won’t be long anyway, so your electricity bills won’t bankrupt you. As a last resort, you can install energy-saving lamps.
A deaf storage room needs high-quality ventilation, especially if food is stored here. In order not to have problems with dampness, the appearance of mold, rotting vegetables and an unpleasant odor, it is better to equip forced exhaust ventilation in the pantry or connect the room to the general supply and exhaust ventilation of the apartment. It can be difficult to organize this, so in most cases you have to be content with regular ventilation.
No. 5. Choosing racks
The heart of the pantry is a shelving unit with plenty of roomy shelves. It can be purchased ready-made or assembled independently if you have certain skills. Depending on the area of the room and the characteristics of the stored items, the rack can be located:
Shelving shelves can be made of the following materials:
- wood is an environmentally friendly and durable material, but expensive and not resistant to high humidity;
- MDF is a cheaper substitute for wood, which is most appropriate to use for arranging shelving. Only chipboard will cost more budgetary, but such plates are less resistant to moisture;
- metal is a strong, durable material that shows itself well in a pantry. Withstands decent loads, you can create both a solid shelf and a lattice from it. It is best to use galvanized steel racks;
- plastic is not afraid of water, easy to clean, but withstands light loads and may turn yellow over time.
By type of construction, the shelves in the shelves can be as follows:
- solid – the most common and familiar option, suitable for storing not very heavy items;
- shelves with stiffeners – suitable for storing the heaviest items;
- perforated shelves and drawers provide adequate ventilation, are suitable for storing food, clothes;
- shelves with sides are designed to store small items that can easily fall off (jars, for example).
The small pantry space must be used to the maximum, so it is better to place the racks up to the ceiling. If it is supposed to store heavy things at the bottom (vacuum cleaner, bags of sugar, flour, etc.), then it is better to put them on the floor, and make the first shelf at a level of 70-100 cm.
If there are a couple of rows of shelves in the pantry, then there should be space between them for the normal movement and transportation of things. The minimum distance between the shelves is 70 cm.
In addition to the shelves in the pantry, it is worth using hooks, baskets and boxes.
No. 6. How to equip a pantry?
What sections should be foreseen in the pantry? What’s the best way to organize your storage system? What things should I put on what shelves? To place everything you need on 1-2 m2, you need to think over literally every centimeter very carefully and determine what exactly you will store in the utility room. The following guidelines will help you organize the space:
the largest and heaviest items are stored on the lower tiers of the rack. A vacuum cleaner, boxes with winter clothing, stocks of vegetables and cereals, containers with water are placed here;
the middle shelves store what you use most often. Dishes, kitchen appliances, laundry baskets, preservation are often put here;
the upper shelves are suitable for placing those things that weigh a little and are least used. It is better to use a ladder to access them;
- shelves can be of different heights, they can be divided into sections of different widths, thus obtaining an ideal space for orderly storage of many completely different items;
- corner shelves and rotating corner blocks show themselves well, which make it possible to maximize the space of the corner and easily get the necessary item;
wicker baskets are perfect for storing vegetables, as they are well ventilated and will not contribute to the development of putrefactive processes. For these purposes, metal mesh boxes are also used, which are also suitable for storing groceries. For convenience, the bottom can be covered with organic glass, plywood or cardboard;
- the main secret of an impeccable order in the pantry is that each category of things has its own place, then it will be easier to find what you are looking for, and there will be no problems with forgotten rotten cabbage and delays;
- do not forget about the hooks on which it will be convenient to store rollers and sledges;
- if the pantry is more or less spacious, you can place part of the clothes in it, for which they use a barbell, several drawers or shelves. The latter can be covered with its own door.
Note that usually the pantry plays the role of a universal storage: everything is folded here, from the iron to the skis, but if necessary, the pantry space can be arranged in a completely different way:
a laundry pantry is located near the bathroom, serves to accommodate a washing machine, clothes dryer, ironing board and for storing household chemicals;
pantry-dressing room will be an excellent solution in the bedroom or living room. It must be equipped not only with shelves of different heights, but also with a mass of drawers, rods and hooks;
The workshop pantry is equipped with a work table, hooks for hanging tools, shelves and drawers. Here economical and bright lighting comes to the fore;
pantry-office – an option, of course, not for everyone, but it also has a place to be. The area of the room should be sufficient to accommodate a small table and chair, the space under the ceiling is used for storage. A magnetic board would be appropriate here. In a workspace without windows, lighting arrangements require special attention.
A pantry requires organization not only during its arrangement, but also during operation, so do not forget to put everything in its place and from time to time to put things in order, mercilessly getting rid of those items and things that are clearly not needed.