According to the National Association of Home Builders, a pantry was the kitchen feature most desired by new home buyers. Kitchen pantry possibilities range from a closet, a nook to a dedicated room. A couple of interesting trends in pantry design:
- Wanting more daylight in the kitchen prompts a shift in storage design. Delivering more daylight means less available wall space and that has translated to an increased interest in walk-in room pantry space.
- A really large pantry can serve as a secondary kitchen; also known as a “messy kitchen” , or a back kitchen – complete with cooktop, dishwasher, sink, prep space, floor to ceiling storage for canned goods, serving platters, oversize pots and pans, and space for caterers to set up. With open kitchens adjacent to living areas, a back kitchen provides a place to keep kitchen chaos out of sight when company comes.
Convenience, accessibility, and “at a glance” visibility are the key attributes of a great pantry. A walk-in pantry doesn’t need to be fancy since it’s behind closed doors. However, even if it’s only simple shelving, it’s a good idea to include a countertop for a landing zone. It’ll make it easier to stock items, provide extra place for food prep, and space for a blender, a stand mixer and a coffee maker. You can add as needed wall cabinets with pull-outs and built-ins. Other features can include pullout baskets for root vegetables, narrow cubbies for large platters, and nooks for cookware. The pantry should be large enough to hold a week’s worth of groceries and close enough to the food prep area. Organization and the right location are more important than size alone though.
Other pantry design ideas to keep in mind are:
- Which way will the door open? A door that opens inward can work, but it may make an already small space smaller. When space is at a premium, the best options are a pocket, folding or a sliding “barn door.”
- Ideal lighting illuminates every shelf evenly, so be sure to install quality LED lighting. A skylight is a great idea if the home design allows. And make sure the light switch is in a spot by the pantry door.
Whether your pantry is built-in cabinetry, a butler’s, a walk-in, or a combination – storage is never in short supply, and your kitchen layout is optimized for maximum efficiency.