The Top 10 Design Solutions for Kitchen Pantries

The COVID pandemic has shown us that it pays to be prepared. A fully stocked pantry is no longer a luxury but a necessity!

Many Kitchen Designs of the past had forgone pantries due to the convivence of purchasing food daily.

With once a week or even once a month food shopping now becoming the norm, the Kitchen Designer needs to find solutions to include pantries in all her Kitchen Designs.

Follow along to learn my Top 10 Pantry Solutions you can begin incorporating into your Kitchen Designs today!

A perceived road block for some Kitchen Designers can be a small kitchen. I often hear:

“My client’s kitchen is too small for a pantry.”

That however is not the case and this is where the creativity on the part of the Kitchen Designer comes into play.

Shallow Depth Pantries

A shallow depth pantry allows easy access to food items stored inside without the need to add an interior pullout accessory.

These pantries are typically 12″ deep but can range in size between 6″ and 15″ deep.

They function as great pantry storage because standard packaged food stuffs easily fit onto these shelves one or two items deep.

Look to place shallow depth pantries at the end of a cabinet run, behind an island or on any under utilized piece of wall. Their shallow depth will not overwhelm the space.

Narrow Width Pantries

Incorporating a pantry into a narrow space is often an option in a small kitchen.

There are multiple pullout storage accessories that can be installed to take advantage of narrow deep spaces.

These pullout systems are available in standard widths of 12″, 15″ and 18″.

By doing a bit of research, the Kitchen Designer can find pullouts 9″, 6″ and 3″ wide.

Even the smallest kitchen can fit in a 3″ wide filler sized pantry and provide storage for the homeowners canned goods.

Don’t limit these narrow pullout pantries to only small kitchens.

Incorporating a bank of 4 to 6 narrow pullout pantries allows the homeowner to organize their supplies by category adding to the efficiency of the space.

Looking at medium and larger sized kitchens, they can usually accommodate a standard 24″ deep pantry. These units can double in functionality with the addition of interior accessories.

“Don’t settle for a pantry with stationary shelves.”

Single Door Pantries

A popular pantry size is the single door pantry which is usually 21″ or 24″ wide.

To add function to this type of unit, an interior accessory system needs to be included.

A go-to solution for many Kitchen Designers is pullout shelves.

To get the most out of pullout shelves in a pantry, position them to fit the supplies by varying the distance between different shelves.

A newer pullout system on the market is a unit that pulls all of the shelves out at once, allowing the cook to see all of their supplies.

For cooks that have multiple different items to store, a pantry system that swings open to provide shallow storage on the door with additional pullouts in the interior may be the solution.

The best advice here is to look at options for food storage in a standard pantry and fit the solution to the individual homeowner.

Double Door Pantries

Double door pantries offer additional opportunities for accessorizing the interiors of the cabinet to meet your client’s needs.

Traditional rollout shelves are always a safe bet, but take it one step further by specifying them in a material that shows at a glance what items are stored on that shelf.

Two door pantries also offer the opportunity to mix up the interior storage accessories to include different sizes and different materials.

A “Chef’s Pantry” accessory can organize food stuffs for homeowners that purchase mostly one-of items. This pantry accessory puts each item in view on it’s own shelf through a series of door shelves, pullouts and swivels.

To minimize the bulk of a bank of two door pantries consider specifying them as mid-height cabinets.

Pantries With Drawers

Pantries that incorporate drawers are a convenient way to configure the cabinet.

Drawers are a single movement of pulling them out, compared to a rollout shelf which requires the user to first open a door and then pull out the shelf.

Installing deep drawers at the bottom of a pantry cabinet is very ergonomic and provides the perfect place for large boxes of cereals or bulk foods.

Including drawers fashioned from wicker provides the perfect place to store non-refrigerated fruits and vegetables in your client’s pantry.

Corner Pantries

The corner of the kitchen can be the perfect place to install a pantry.

To utilize the space most efficiently have the corner pantry produced as a cabinet rather than a bulky framed and drywalled one.

The interior of a cabinet corner pantry can be fitted with shallow shelves or revolving baskets.

By including a corner accessories such as a “Le Mans” pullout shelves, a blind corner pantry can become functional with your client having access to all the food items stored in the back corner of the unit.

As you become more familiar with the pantry storage options available you can add some creativity to your Kitchen Designs. As a Kitchen Designer you should:

“Develop unique pantry solutions for your clients.”

Furniture Look Pantries

Designing a pantry that has the feel of a furniture piece allows it to be tucked into a variety of areas.

A wall in the dining space or a wide hallway can accommodate a pantry when you give it a furniture feel.

To easily get this look, place a base cabinet, add a matching counter top and stack a tall upper cabinet on top. Make the upper cabinet deep or the base cabinet narrow for the best proportions.

This set up offers flexible storage for a variety of pantry needs.

Commercial Look Pantries

The popularity of commercial or industrial look Kitchens can transfer into the design of the pantry.

Simple metal shelves evoke the food storage of a restaurant and are an easy way to incorporate the commercial look into a space.

You could choose to install these metal shelves behind closed doors or celebrate the industrial feel by placing them out in the open.

Look for pre-fabricated options available in the market or design your own signature look for these easy access pantry solutions.

In many cases, your client’s home may be large, offering you opportunities for unique pantries.

“Take advantage of extra space to provide client’s with their dream pantry.”

Walk-in Pantries

The ultimate in pantry design is the walk -in pantry.

Dedicating an entire room to food storage offers the kitchen designer multiple opportunities to be creative.

Survey your client with an in-depth needs assessment questionnaire to plan the perfect walk-in pantry for them.

Do they purchase in bulk? Do they preserve and can food? Do they decant food items?

As you design the space also consider the aesthetics of the room. A well coordinated look will make this room a pleasure to enter.

Butler’s Pantries

A butler’s pantry is a more formal approach to the walk-in pantry.

It typically was placed between the kitchen and the dining room to facilitate serving of formal dinners, but has morphed into a room with built-in cabinetry for kitchen storage.

Incorporating a butler’s pantry in a new kitchen design can add a lot of extra food storage to a home.

A great addition to this space is a sink for food prep work such as cleaning vegetables from the garden.

And an extra refrigerator or freezer is always a welcome addition to the butler’s pantry.

As you begin working on your client’s new kitchen design never rule out including dedicated pantry storage.

As illustrated above there are multiple ways to include pantry storage in your client’s kitchen design no mater the size of the space.

I would love to see your unique solutions for pantry storage. Please leave a comment below to let me know how you tackled food storage in your last kitchen!

Jan Rutgers B.Sc. H.Ec.

Jan Rutgers is a Professional Kitchen Designer with more than 25 years experience. During her career she has designed over 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! She is the founder of VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.

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