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In praise of the pantry

Thinking about renovating your kitchen? Well before you even consider making eye contact with the salesman at Lowe’s, listen up.

Kitchen cabinets, which can run anywhere from about $100 per linear foot (installed) for landlord specials to well over $1,000 for custom hardwood units, are ruinously expensive, and for what? Without stilettos, no one under five foot ten can easily reach anything above the bottom shelf of a wall cabinet, which means you’re paying top dollar for storage you cannot access without a stepstool, and frankly, if I have to haul out a stool, I’m not going to bother with whatever is on that top shelf, unless of course it’s really “top shelf” and I’ve already got the swizzle stick in my hand.

Exhausting, confusing and weird

So what’s the answer? Simple, save wall cabinets for glass and dishware storage around the dishwasher and sink and have your contractor build a pantry closet for food. All that formerly wasted space between counter top and cabinet gets used, and a built-in closet is much cheaper than comparable cabinet space.  And don’t be taken in by arguments for those weird pull-out pantries. You can’t find anything without running U-shaped wind sprints around them, they cost the earth and are vexing to arrange.

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