Kitchen pantries have evolved through the years. Find out what your options are if you want to incorporate a modern pantry into your home.
The kitchen pantry existed in the medieval times when food and supplies were kept in specific rooms. A larder stored meat, the buttery stored alcohol and the pantry — from the French word paneterie, meaning bread sack — stored bread. It was also where any food preparation with bread was carried out.
In the 19th century, England and America incorporated the kitchen pantry into their homes. The turn of the 20th century, however, made it obsolete because of the introduction of better food-storing methods. The pantry has been reduced to a floor-to-ceiling or vertical cabinets.
Table of Contents
Depending on the floor plan of your kitchen and whether or not it is open, you may benefit from having a corner pantry in your kitchen. These fit into the corner so they do not take up too much space and can be located near the “work triangle” of the kitchen so you can easily access all of the ingredients that you need without having to step out of the prime work zone. Hidden behind a door, you won’t have to worry about this kind of pantry being in the way or seeming out of place, as you can simply shut the pantry door and everything inside it will be hidden. No matter how large or small your kitchen is, hiding your pantry in plain sight is a great idea and will allow you to take advantage of some of the otherwise-ignored real estate in this room.
It can be really tricky to find a place where you can fit a full-sized pantry, especially if your kitchen is a little on the small side, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to store your food in just the same way. If you are unable to find a location for a main pantry, you may benefit instead from a slide-out pantry that slides in next to the refrigerator. These units are on wheels so that you can easily pull them out and see what food you have available for cooking. One of the main benefits of a slide-out pantry cabinet is that they do not have a back, so you can easily access the food or ingredients that you need from either side of the unit, which will save you time and energy while in the kitchen. When you are finished with your pantry and have selected the items that you need, you can simply push the slide-out pantry back into its place alongside the refrigerator and it will remain hidden there until you need to pull it back out again.
Wall pantries generally have one door and a slightly deeper pantry or double doors with a pantry that is not as deep. Depending on how much spare room you have in your home to install your pantry, you can choose between these two, and both have their own set of benefits and will make it a lot easier to store and to find ingredients, appliances, and tools in your kitchen. Pantries that are deeper are useful if you want to be able to store other items such as a vacuum or broom inside as well. They do tend to become messier than shallower pantries, and this is just because you can more easily fit items in to the back of the pantry and then forget that they are there. On the other hand, if you have more wall space for a pantry but not as much room behind the kitchen itself, you will benefit from a wall pantry that is shallower. Having double doors on this type of wall pantry ensures that you can easily see all of the items that you have stored, and homeowners with this option love that they can easily open up the doors to their pantry and see everything that they have stored in it laid out in a neat and linear fashion. While you won’t be able to store large items in this type of wall pantry, being able to see everything that you have at once when you open up the doors is a huge benefit for many people and is the main reason why this type of wall pantry is so popular.
You don’t have to give up the dream of having a pantry in your home even if you do not have the space for a traditional-sized pantry. One of the best ways to get the storage that you desire without having to come up with the space for a large pantry is to opt for built-in cabinet pantry storage. These are generally located near the refrigerator, as you will have enough room on this wall to put all of the cabinets that you need. These cupboard pantries are built and designed to blend in with the rest of the cabinets in your kitchen so that there isn’t a major difference in appearance and your guests will not realize that you have a pantry hidden in plain sight. Instead of having to open individual cabinets to find the items that you are looking for, when you opt for a built-in cabinet pantry, you will be able to open large doors. This will allow you to see multiple shelves at the same time so that you can easily find what you are looking for without having to dig through many different cabinets, thus saving you time and frustration when you are cooking a meal.
Ideal for anyone who has a large enough home to support additional storage space near the kitchen, modern butler’s pantries go far beyond simply being used for entertaining in the way that they were in the past. They are great for storing all of the appliances that you need in your kitchen that are too large to fit in cabinets and on countertops. Slow cookers as well as mixers are great to store in this space, and many homeowners also use their butler’s pantries to store their fine china so that it is easily accessible but out of the way of the main part of their kitchen. Before planning a butler’s pantry, you need to make sure that you know exactly how you are going to use this space, as that will play a huge role in the layout of the pantry and the way in which the space functions. If you want to be able to use this pantry as a place to prep your food as well as for storage, you will need to make sure that there is ample countertop space as well as a prep sink for you to use. Having enough cupboard space for dry goods, additional glasses, and even built-in ice makers and coffee makers will help you to maximize your use of this space. Make sure that you have enough room in your pantry for fast storage when you want to clean up your kitchen quickly before guests come over, as you can easily move items into the butler’s pantry and then shut the door to keep them hidden.
While most people think of having their pantry either right in the kitchen or attached to it, as with a butler’s pantry, depending on the layout and the size of your home you may have to consider moving it a little farther away from the kitchen. The closer that you can get it to your kitchen the more convenient that your pantry is going to be, but even having to walk past a breakfast nook or into another room will provide you with the storage that you need to operate your kitchen efficiently and keep food items on hand. The problem with having a pantry removed from your kitchen is that it can be tiresome to keep having to go back and forth when you need items for cooking a meal, but if you simply don’t have the room in your kitchen for a pantry there then this may be your best bet, as it will provide you with the storage space that you need.
If you are lucky enough to have an empty wall in your kitchen but do not want to do any demolition to add a built-in pantry to your space, you may prefer a freestanding pantry. These are larger pieces of furniture that stand on their own but operate in the same way that other types of pantries do in that they provide the user plenty of room to store dry goods as well as small kitchen appliances. They come in many different styles and with various features that you can choose from, making it relatively easy to find the freestanding pantry that will work best in your space. When choosing one you will want to make sure that it is large enough to meet your needs and that it matches the rest of the décor in the kitchen so that it does not stick out. While it may be impossible to find one that is a perfect match to your cupboards, getting one that is close or is a complementary color and design will ensure that your kitchen looks put-together. You do not want a freestanding cabinet to impede the flow of your workspace, so choose the wall where you place it wisely, as otherwise it can make it difficult to cook and to move freely through your kitchen.
Nobody ever said that a pantry had to be huge, and if you only need a little extra space in your kitchen, you may benefit from a hanging pantry that fits on the wall. These are perfect for storing spices near the stove or keeping cooking utensils close on hand. Ideal for any size of kitchen, they do not look like pantries and often have a chalkboard on the front or a place where you can place pictures or recipes to incorporate them into your kitchen design.
When shopping for a freestanding pantry, you will want to make sure that it can stand up to years of abuse and won’t get knocked over, no matter how hard it is bumped. For this reason, it’s smart to look for one that is made of solid wood. These freestanding pantries are able to stay in the place where you put them without wobbling, and due to their great construction, they will not become damaged or fall over. They are built to last for years and have the added benefit of being able to be repainted or refinished as your tastes change. Since wood is such a forgiving material, you’ll be able to easily make changes to the appearance of your freestanding pantry when it comes time to update your kitchen.
You can make sure that you always have room for the items that you need to store in your pantry when you opt for one that comes with adjustable shelves. This will allow you to easily move the shelves around when you need to store taller items, such as a large stand mixer or particularly tall package of food. Being able to move your shelves around is the best way to maximize the space inside your pantry. In addition, if you have a pantry that has adjustable shelves and you find that you have a lot of wasted space, you can generally have additional shelves made for a very low price and, with little hassle, can increase the amount of storage space in your pantry. This is great news for anyone who really loves to cook, as you can keep plenty of ingredients on hand. Instead of having to go to the store more often due to having a number of people in your home, you can simply store more items in your pantry for future use.
While shelves are great if you want to store items so you can easily see and sort through them, sometimes you want to be able to hide items away, and that’s when a drawer comes in handy. Another reason to opt for a pantry that has drawers is that you can use it for specialized spice storage where you can easily see and select from your various spices. Having a lot of control over the way that you store your food is a great reason to opt for drawers in your pantry. Depending on the amount of space in your actual kitchen, drawers can also be used to hold items like silverware.
If you do not want to have to deal with assembling your freestanding pantry on your own, you will be happier with one that comes completely assembled. This means that once you get your pantry delivered to you, the only thing you have to do is take it to the location where you are going to put your pantry and place it there! Instead of dealing with lots of tools and small parts, when you choose a pre-assembled pantry you do not have to stress over how to get the pantry put together correctly. While some people love the challenge of assembling their own furniture and will enjoy putting together their pantry, if you are not comfortable with tools or simply do not have the time to tackle this job yourself, be sure to opt for one that comes pre-assembled.
A distressed finish looks great in any country home or one that features a farmhouse style. These pantries function in the exact same way that other pantries do, but add a little visual interest to the space as a whole with their interesting finish. While it is possible to distress a finish on your own, this is harder than it sounds and unfortunately can end up with a person making major mistakes, which is why it’s best to leave this work to a professional if you enjoy this look and want a distressed pantry in your home.
You’ll enjoy a certain peace of mind about the safety of your items being stored inside your pantry when you opt for one that locks. This isn’t necessary in every home, but if you have a lot of expensive appliances and tools and want to make sure that they are safe no matter whether you are home or not or you have alcohol in the home and want to make sure that it is not accessible to anyone else, you will benefit from choosing a pantry that can lock. This will allow you to keep items in your pantry that you do not want anyone to touch and will let you rest easy that nobody can get into your storage space without your permission.
While built-in pantries come with opening shelving, if you are going to be buying a freestanding pantry and want to have certain items out on display in your kitchen then you should opt for a pantry that has open shelving. This allows you to display gorgeous pottery or dishes that you love instead of keeping them hidden behind doors all the time.
Your pantry can be a blank slate that you get to work with if you choose one that is unfinished. While you won’t want to leave the wood bare for long, as you will want to protect it from the humidity in the kitchen, an unfinished pantry is great if you are able to paint or stain it to match or complement the cupboards that you currently have. This will allow you to create a cohesive look in your kitchen without a lot of frustration, and is especially useful if you made your own cabinets, as you can create the same look and appearance with your pantry.
While some people want to be able to shut their pantry and hide everything inside, if you want to be able to see into your pantry and tell what is in there without opening up the door, you will be better off with a pantry that has windows. Freestanding pantries come with this option, and even if you have a more traditional pantry in your home you can choose to change out the door for one made of glass. This creates a very interesting and modern look for your home, although it’s not for everyone. If you have a hard time keeping your pantry neat and looking orderly then you will probably not want to have it on display for everyone to look into when they come to your home.
While a pantry on casters may not be right for every home, if you have a very small kitchen and want to add storage but need your space to stay flexible, this may be a great option for you. When choosing a moveable pantry, you will want to make sure that the casters can lock so that you don’t have to worry about your pantry moving when you do not want it to. This will allow you to customize the space in your kitchen anytime you are going to be entertaining but still provides you with additional storage.
Only standing about 40 inches tall, these small pantries are great if you only have a little room for a pantry in your kitchen but do not want to miss out on the extra storage space that a freestanding pantry can provide. They are shorter than the average countertop and are often used alongside the end of an island where they will not stick out too far into the room.
A little bit taller than a small freestanding pantry but still under 70 inches, a medium-sized pantry adds a little bit more storage space but doesn’t take up a ton of room, which is great if you do not have a particularly large kitchen.
Buy it on Wayfair here: https://www.wayfair.com/kitchen-tabletop/pdp/ameriwood-home-60-kitchen-pantry-ar1534.html
For optimal storage space in your kitchen, look for a pantry that is more than 70 inches tall. Of course, these freestanding pantries are going to take up a lot of room and will appear bulkier than other options, so you will want to make sure that your kitchen is large enough to support this type of pantry and that it has enough free space so it doesn’t appear too cluttered.
Home Stratosphere Giveaways...
Enter to Win Small Appliances
We're giving away all kinds of top small appliances including a Vitamix blender, Instant Pot, Juicer, Food Processor, Stand Mixer and a Keurig Coffee Maker.
Get FREE 3D Kitchen Design Software!
Try our amazing kitchen design software that you can use entirely online and then download your creations.