Why you need a pantry in your home

kitchen pantry ideas
The best pantry ideas for your home1909 Kitchens

Whether you’re looking for extra storage space or wanting to create a separate area in the kitchen that is as beautiful as it is functional, the humble pantry has returned as a key trend. A cupboard or space with a difference, it is designed to maximise your kitchen space by adding to its layout. The word ‘pantry’ is believed to originate from the French word for bread ‘pain’, as a large cupboard was usually used as a cool, dark place to store perishable foods. Beyond this idea of practicality, pantries have now become eye-catching centrepieces in our homes.

To help you figure out which style pantry is best for your kitchen, we spoke to Ashleigh Hanwell, Senior Designer at 1909 Kitchens, to ask her expert tips on how to create the perfect pantry and how to personalise yours. She also reveals the best pantry ideas for those with limited space or not looking to renovate their kitchens.

What is a pantry?

kitchen pantry ideas
1909 Kitchens

To many of us, a pantry is a large cupboard or small room that is used to store dried foods, crockery, or cutlery. Skip to 2024, pantries have become more extensive, with many people now using them as dedicated spaces in their kitchens.

“I’m seeing sole purpose pantries becoming more popular. A pantry can be used for whatever you please - whether it be as a breakfast pantry, a drinks cabinet, or a baking station. It seems that everyone is now enjoying having a separate area in their kitchen.”

What are the different pantry styles?

kitchen pantry ideas
1909 Kitchens

Depending on whether you’re redesigning your kitchen or planning to add more storage space, there are two main styles of pantries, which are the ‘Traditional pantry’ and the ‘Butler’s pantry’, but both can be altered to suit your ideas and budget.

“A traditional pantry is designed within your kitchen cabinetry and can either be integrated into your kitchen units or can be a free-standing feature piece. A stand-alone cabinet is normally about 80-100cm wide or if you’re planning to use up a pocket of space in your cupboard, you can add a pantry rack onto the back of one of your doors. These tend to have three to four shelves and are perfect for storing your spices, jars, baking essentials and more.

“Differently, a Butler’s pantry is traditionally a small room off your kitchen. A walk-in pantry provides you with so many possibilities, including extra worktop space and room. It will give you a place to store all your favourite kitchen gadgets, as well as place that you can escape to- away from the busyness of the kitchen.”

What are the benefits of a pantry?

kitchen pantry ideas
LochAnna Kitchens

Beyond maximising your storage, pantries are an eye-catching element to your kitchen that will instantly make your kitchen look sleek and stylish. With many free-standing and walk-in pantries tending to have open shelves, you can get creative with how you decorate them. This can be anything from colour coding your favourite mugs to adding coloured strip lights.

“One of my favourite things about pantries is that they allow you to have everything off your kitchen work tops and store away those big kitchen appliances. Also, since COVID-19, many people now buy multiple tins and jars of perishable foods and have got used to working by stock rotation. This means less of us are shopping for the essentials each week and instead just refreshing our fresher items as and when.

“Depending on the type of pantry you’ve opted for, but anything from ample storage to enhancing your kitchen usability and space in your home, a pantry should be a must-have in any new kitchen designs.”

How do you design a pantry?

kitchen pantry ideas
Olive & Barr

Whether you’re starting from scratch or have a small kitchen, a pantry is guaranteed to be a wonderful addition to your home. It’s important when thinking about creating pantry to understand what you need its function to be in your kitchen and how your design choice will serve that purpose.

For example, if you're opting for a free-standing or walk-in pantry, you should look at what you need inside your pantry. For example if it's a breakfast pantry, it's important that you have enough storage for your selection of cereals and breakfast bits, with the shelves being at accessible heights, as well as plug sockets on the surface level so you can plug in your different kitchen appliances.

“I always tell customers to write a list of wants and needs, but I always encourage them to put a pantry in their needs section to make sure they’re always concentrating on including one in their design. Differently, if they want to add it into their existing kitchen, you will have to get a professional to assess your cabinetry and how you use it daily, to see if there is any spare space anywhere in your kitchen.”

How to personalise a pantry

kitchen pantry ideas
1909 Kitchens

While pantries are normally known for their practical purpose, the options are endless when it’s come to personalising the space. From painting your pantry cabinets a different colour to trying out bright coloured internal doors, it’s a place in your home that you can give a fun, bespoke touch that can be completely different or alike to your kitchen.

“Once you’ve worked out the layout of your pantry, all the finer details tend to come second. For the inside of the pantry, you could go for a classic timber look, or paint it your favourite colour or even try patterned tiles. You can also make sure the worktop matches your kitchen.

"For lighting, you can either get built in spotlights or strip lights too. Another popular thing we’ve seen recently is people asking for mirrors at the back of their pantries, to give them more of a decorative, luxurious look.

“Also, depending on the use of the pantry, but if it’s a Butler’s pantry or a free-standing one, you could add in your own wine racks or contact your worktop manufacturer and ask them to create integrated chopping boards inside your pantry.

“Equally if you’re just using yours for organisation, to make it look super pristine, I would put all your spices and dried foods in matching storage jars. Also, if you’re anything like me, you could go as far as labelling and colour coding them too.”

It will become your new favourite spot in your home.

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