kitchen pantries

Kitchen Pantries

Kitchen pantries

A kitchen design has a lot of elements that need to be well planned and executed to allow you to use your kitchen as best possible.

 It is important to have 

  • a comfortable distance between the main fixtures, 
  • to reduce traffic, and
  • to keep vertical storage in mind. 

One way to achieve this is to have a kitchen pantry

What is a kitchen pantry?

kitchen pantry

A kitchen pantry is a room, cupboard, or other structured storage where food ingredients, beverages, dishes, and other useful provisions are stored. 

A pantry serves in a secondary capacity to support the features of the kitchen. Thus, some pantries feature household cleaning products stored with food items. Both sets of products are stored separately in sealed containers.

How important is a pantry in a kitchen?

kitchen pantry importance

A pantry should be high up on your list if you envision owning a clutter-free kitchen. This is because storing food is often an overlooked aspect of kitchens. 

It is important to have canned goods, spices, condiments, dried goods, and cutlery neatly arranged in a way that allows quick access and clear visibility. 

Pantries may also include additional gadgetry and storage compartments to increase usability. These include wall racks, pullout base cabinet storage, spice racks, and wall hooks from which large cutlery items can be hung. You may also want to consider wire baskets, see-through containers, shelf dividers, and erasable labels for easy identification.

What is a good size for a kitchen pantry?

pantry size

Design experts recommend a minimum aisle width of 44 inches (112 cm) for walk-in pantries. Many homeowners prefer rectangular U-shaped pantries because they are a seamless addition to different types of kitchens.

Before you consider different layouts for your pantry, ensure that you have the necessary room to accommodate storage space. The primary purpose of the space is to store items for regular use, so establish and keep desired dimensions in mind.

Therefore, if you are considering a pantry, you will want to measure the dimensions of your available space. This will allow you to organize your pantry well and will be a smooth transition to the next step which is to set up shelving. Consider whether you want to have shelving from floor to ceiling or whether a few running shelves fit your vision more suitably.

Designers recommend having bottom shelves that are about 16 to 18 inches (44 to 46 cm)deep and placed nearly 18 to 24 inches (46 to 60 cm) apart from each other. On the other hand, shelves placed at eye level ought to be 12 to 14 inches (30 to 35 cm) deep and spaced between 14 to 16 inches (35 to 40 cm) apart. You can also consider shelves for cans and spices which need be no more than 6 inches (15 cm) from front to back.

kitchen pantry design

Smaller pantries set up with storage spaces to one side ought to be a minimum of 60 inches (152 cm), while bigger pantries with dual storage on both sides should be 76 inches (193 cm) at least.

A rectangular walk-in pantry should have at least 44 inches (112 cm) of open space for a circulation zone, and a width of 5 feet 4 inches (162 cm) that can hold 12-inch deep (30 cm) shelves on both sides of the entry. This ideally requires a pantry room that is 9 feet long to accommodate shelves that surround all the walls except those along the entry point.

A corner walk-in pantry is out to be 27 inches deep (68 cm) with a doorway angled at 45 degrees. Consider the door swing range since it could reduce your pantry counter space by a few feet. Remember that the size and spacing of your shelves will influence how your pantry layout ends up being organized. So, remember to have compartments that suit large items stored separately from smaller products to prevent clutter.

Kitchen Pantry Design

Pantry design

An L-shaped design is ideal for pantry shelving since it allows you to arrange items in a way that does not prompt moving more than one item aside to access what you want. You can use the longer shelving side for food items to keep the back area open for larger items such as kitchen appliances.

Consider adding a Lazy Susan in the recessed corners of the pantry to get the best possible use of space and to ease access to items stored in a corner. 

Using matching storage bins is a good way to avoid a cluttered look while keeping overstocked items and less-used items on high shelves. Consider clear bins that will allow you to see what you have at a glance.

Have different zones of pantry storage meant for different items. A creative idea is to design and divide lower shelving for a snack station, baking products, or any other food group with an extraordinary volume of products.

Instead of cramming things into a small space, add some shelving units like magazine racks and spice racks to the wall. You can also add an organizer to the inside of the door of a walk-in pantry to maximize the use of the available space.

pantry design

Your pantry shelving should be deep enough to accommodate rows of deep containers. Where floor space is at a premium, maximize on the vertical height of the room by fitting floor to ceiling shelves. Remember to fit a step ladder that will help you reach items placed up high.

Ensure that you design a door whose swinging range does not interfere with storage space on the floor. A creative space-saving design is the use of sliding barn doors, which do not affect pantry or kitchen space when open or closed. The forward sliding mechanism adds a fun element to the kitchen while ensuring you can maximize storage space in your pantry.

Another innovative idea is to have pantry doors that swing outside to allow you to use the main floor space within the pantry.

Managing Pantries

managing pantries

After figuring out the layout of your pantry and organizing the shelving, the next step is to manage what you have and keep the space functional. Part of this process is cleaning out what you have to ensure that you start with a clean slate.

You will want to read the dates of whatever food items you have and dispose of expired products and empty packaging. After all, no one wants that old bag of chips hanging around.

After cleaning up your pantry, it is time to take stock of everything you have. You can write up a list of everything, which will help you in figuring out 

  • what goes where, 
  • what needs to be replenished, 
  • and what storage containers may suit you best.

Once you are well versed with what you have, it is simple to determine a location for the different food items you want to store in your pantry. 

Use the right containers

food containers

Storing food in the right size and shape of containers will save you a lot of space in your pantry, and a lot of time when deep in the hassle of sourcing ingredients to whip up a quick meal. Remember that ceramic containers and glass storage are ideal for processed food, baked foods, pulses, and other similarly sized food items.

These storage containers have airtight lids made of plastic, rubber-lined glass, and cork stops which suit the storage for both wet and dry foods. Glass and ceramic are the least reactive of kitchen container materials, and their aesthetic appearance adds to the beauty of a pantry.


Kitchen pantries are an incredibly important part of a modern kitchen. They hold a lot of useful food items and tools which can be neatly arranged and retrieved within moments when needed.

Even when you don’t have much space to work with, there are many versatile ways to have some storage space within your kitchen. Look up some of our kitchen designs to find out how to execute the right pantry design idea for you.

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