Power Pantries

pantry planAs a residential architect and working mom, I make it my mission to find ways for our houses to be more user-friendly for both families and moms.

This next solution involves the way we shop. Today’s working moms don’t have the luxury of daily trips to the market to get the freshest bread and produce. Instead, we engage in “power shopping,” buying as much as we can in one trip so we don’t have to go as often.

When our kids we were much smaller, my husband and I took power shopping to a whole new level. Each of us would take a kid, a cart and an opposite side of the store. Then we would race to see who could get to middle first. But – I digress.

So at a minimum, families need a walk-in pantry to house everyone’s favorite breakfast cereal, specialty soup or snack bars. If you happen to belong to one of those wholesale warehouse stores and you buy in bulk, you need an even bigger pantry – what I call the power pantry.

Simply put, a power pantry is an oversized pantry that recognizes how we shop today. I like to divide the space into two zones based upon usage; shorter term items up front and longer term items in the back.

Okay, so you’ve just bought out the store, you now have to schlep a month’s (or year’s) worth of paper towels and sodas into the house. My ultimate power pantry is large enough for a personal grocery cart and has a door and ramp leading directly into the garage. Now unloading the groceries can be done in one trip stopping first at the pantry, then onto the refrigerator with the cold goods.

If we all weren’t so busy trying to balance work and family, we could stop and think about how we live today verses our parents and grandparents. Shouldn’t our houses change with the times? Our houses should work for us and not against us.

by Deryl Patterson, AIA, President, Housing Design Matters

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