Pantry storage is an essential component of kitchen design for many homeowners. The ability to store your items away from the kitchen’s primary workspaces makes it significantly easier to keep your countertops clear and your cabinets organized. However, the right pantry for your space serves as so much more than an area to store your groceries. Kitchen design companies and professional interior designers can help you plan out a kitchen pantry for your home that’s multi-functional, easy to access, and appealing in design.
Whether you’re seeking to repurpose a nearby closet or cabinet, or you’re building the pantry as part of a kitchen renovation project, you’ll want to carefully consider how you’re going to use the new storage space, what building materials match your existing design, and how you’ll make room for non-food items, like cookbooks and appliances.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the primary considerations you’ll need to account for when constructing this space. Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook the design basics in favor of the fancy bells and whistles.
Review Which Kitchen Items Need a New Home
When you’re planning a new pantry space for your home, the first step is to consider what items in your kitchen feel out of place or occupy too much space. Which things seem like they’re occupying too much space?
In addition, which of your cabinets feel like they’re overly crowded, with too many items in one small space? Chances are, you have more than a few items that need a new home within your kitchen’s storage areas.
Plan Where Everything Goes Beforehand
The next step in designing your new kitchen pantry is reassigning storage space to all of your items, not just the items that seem like they belong in the pantry.
While spaces and dry or canned goods are an obvious choice for the new cabinets you’ll be adding, other appliances that you aren’t using as often, like your coffee grinder or food processor, can also find a home within this new storage space. Take items out of their respective boxes whenever possible, and you’ll also quickly free up a considerable amount of space.
Finding Room for the Pantry
The ideal spot for your pantry is close by to your kitchen, but out of the way of your workspace triangle, i.e. the space between your stove, refrigerator, and sink.
In the event that you need to access something within the pantry, it’s easy to reach over a grab whatever you need. On the other hand, if someone wants to grab a snack from the pantry while someone else is preparing food, the pantry’s location is well out of the way.
A repurposed cabinet or closet is an excellent option for many homeowners, though many others will prefer to gut out and renovate a new area. The ideal pantry space is dry, clean, and cool, with a reasonably low humidity level compared with the rest of the house.
Review Building Materials
Plywood is the standard fare for new pantry shelves, but other are plenty of different building options that you may want to consider instead. Wire shelving and stainless steel options are always reasonable, though they can sometimes look too cluttered. Rather than cutting your own shelving, you can also use freestanding shelving, such as a bookcase or small cabinet unit, to make the pantry space more flexible.
In many cases, the choice of building materials comes down to cost. For most homeowners, plywood shelves are usually the most reasonable of the available options. Regardless of what you’re constructing the pantry with, make sure to purchase baskets for smaller items, spice racks, and drawer liners to maintain a neat appearance for your shelves.
Make Room for Appliances
Blenders, food processors, and slow cookers are all appliances you’ll want to keep near at hand to your kitchen, but they aren’t the type of tool you’re usually making use of on a daily basis.
Sometimes, the pantry is the perfect place to store these options, particularly if you’re building a few taller, low to the ground shelves. Due to the weight of these appliances, you usually won’t want to store them too far above shoulder height for both safety and convenience.
Waffle irons, coffee grinders, rice cookers, and tea kettles are other appliances that might fit within your pantry, clearing up your counter space and increasing your available cabinet space in the more central areas of the kitchen. You’ll want to keep the eye-level shelves of the pantry free of these appliances, as they often appear bulky and less organized than your traditional foodstuffs.
Glass Panes, Open Shelving, and Closed Doors
When you’re designing a new pantry for your home, you’ll need to carefully consider often you’re planning to access the items within. Open shelving is often the most convenient option for individuals moving in and out of this space, or otherwise frequently accessing its contents.
However, open shelving can sometimes give your kitchen a more cluttered appearance. For this reason, many homeowners shy away from open shelving and opt for a traditional door or a pull-out shelving solution instead.
Glass panes for your cabinet pantry doors add decorative appeal to your kitchen, though you’ll need to be careful in matching their design with the rest of your kitchen’s appearance. Pantries with glass pane doors should be out of direct sunlight at all times to ensure the preservation of the food items you’re storing.
The location of your pantry within the kitchen directly affects its functional value, so you’ll need to have at least some idea of how you’ll use this space well before beginning its construction.
Cabinet and door handles are also essential to consider before building, particularly for items that you’ll want to access while you’re cooking, such as spices, flour, or salt.
Match Your Kitchen’s Design
Before building a new food pantry for your home, you should first review the design of your existing kitchen. If your kitchen features a cooler color palette with sleek edges and metalwork, you’ll want to design a pantry that fits the modernity of your space.
If you have more of a traditional kitchen build, you’ll also want the pantry to match up and flow into your existing design. If you’re interested in learning more about pantry design as part of a renovation project, speak with your local kitchen design firm today.
Alex Grogoyan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in popular platforms such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.