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If you’re a neat, clean-as-you-go cook, you may not need a dedicated space for meal prep and staging, but for the rest of us, a working pantry could just be the perfect solution for keeping the mess at bay. Countertops and electrical outlets provide the working space to accommodate small appliances, such as mixers, toasters, blenders and coffee makers.

And when small appliances and entertaining supplies—such as serving platters, barware and the “good” china—are housed in the pantry, the kitchen may not need as much cabinetry and countertop space, says Michelle Moran, partner at J&K Custom Homes. Even if these rooms don’t include a lot of bells and whistles, the additional counter space alone comes in incredibly handy while hosting gatherings.

black and white pictures with a splash of color background best

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