Kitchen pantry ideas – to create chic food storage and larders to love

It's the traditional kitchen feature all modern kitchens want
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  • Inspired to seek kitchen pantry ideas? You’re not alone, as this traditional kitchen feature is trending once more. That’s right, kitchen pantries and larders are back in fashion..

    These days when it comes to getting a new kitchen, a well-designed pantry is high on the wish list of built-in features, with some even making space for a walk in pantry. The essence of all pantry designs is to showcase the very best of bespoke cabinetry packed with clever storage options – such as shallow shelves inside the door for herbs and spices, to deeper shelves for dry foods and neat baskets for organising fruit and vegetables.

    See all the latest trends and designs on by visiting our kitchen channel – for more inspiration

    New research by Wren Kitchens reveals ‘Kitchens pantry’ has seen the largest increase in demand with Google search volumes increasing a staggering 147 per cent. This is followed closely by ‘kitchen pantry shelves’ seeing a 124 per cent increase.

    Is the recent demand simply due to the charm and nostalgia associated with the kitchen pantry? Or simply its practical benefits. Whatever the reason we’re not complaining, we’re all for the resurgence of this traditional design. Take a look at our kitchen pantry ideas to help shape how your store the goods in the heart of your home.

    Kitchen pantry ideas

    1. Save costs with a freestanding pantry

    Freestanding kitchen pantry

    Image credit: Darren Chung

    You can still have the dream pantry without blowing the budget, simply go for freestanding rather than built-in. Opting for a freestanding pantry solution will keep costs low, and provide flexibility on positioning. a freestanding unit is also ideal to take with you should you ever move. Win, win.

    2. Set the scene with statement finishes

    navy kitchen with pantry with pink walls

    Image credit: Rachael Smith

    Make your built-in pantry design a showstopper with a splash of colour and decorative detailing. This fine example of a pantry sits within a striking navy blue kitchen. Inside a splash of accent pink colour helps to illuminate all the elements inside. The traditional style storage area is modernised further by on-trend fluted glass doors with brass fixtures and fittings.

    Make room for a pantry: Kitchen extension ideas that will open up your space

    3. Add a splash of colour

    pink kitchen pantry

    Image credit: Neptune

    As the new hero of the kitchen  a pantry shouldn’t be hidden away, it should be celebrated in all its glory. This dreamy shade of pink helps to enhance how beautiful this design is – there’s a beauty in perfectly organised cupboards. A well-stocked, tidy pantry is a pleasing vision – if you love it, check out our pink kitchen ideas.

    4. Conceal goods with on-trend fluted glass

    green pantry cupboard with fluted glass doors

    Image credit: The Main Company

    Open up the look of a pantry cupboard by choosing glass doors. On-trend fluted glass is the most popular choice right now, helping to blur the lines by concealing more than plain glass panels. This stylish solution allows just enough insight into the pleasing pantry design behind the doors but the obstructive glass helps to keep it slightly more hidden.

    5. Allow a preparation station

    kitchen pantry with service station

    Image credit: The Main Company

    Create a kitchen pantry that caters for your dedicated needs. This hot drinks station is ideal for storing everything needed to prepare and serve the perfect blend of tea and barista-style coffees. The high level shelving allows for storage without taking up valuable counter space, which is left free to act as a preparation station – where the coffee machine can live, hidden out of the way.

    6. Make a statement

    Image credit: Ardingly Cabinet by Neptune

    Use a bold coloured wallpaper choice in your kitchen to make a style statement. ‘Effective storage is a really simple way to create a happy and homely kitchen. By including a single piece of furniture you can completely transform your kitchen,’ says Nerine Vacher, Kitchen Designer at Neptune Fulham.

    ‘By creating more surface space and keeping clutter out of sight. Even in the smallest of kitchens, it is easy to insert a freestanding piece, meaning you don’t have to commit to a total kitchen refresh if a pantry is what you’re after.’

    7. Dedicate a cupboard to creating a DIY pantry

    kitchen cupboard pantry

    Image credit: David Giles

    Rather than fill a cupboard with a mishmash of bulky household items, like the vacuum and other miscellaneous items, carve out your own DIY pantry. By popping to your local DIY retailer you can pick up simple shelving and stacked units to tailor the space to suit your needs. IKEA is another great place to seek out smart cupboard storage solutions – on a budget.

    8. Add lights for ease of use

    white and navy kitchen with pantry

    Image credit: The Main Company

    Built-in pantries and country schemes go hand-in-hand, as this kitchen demonstrates perfectly. ‘Pantries and larders give you the opportunity to have some open shelving without worrying about everything being on display’ explains Alex Main, Director of The Main Company. ‘Open shelving is ideal for easy access and storage and hidden behind a larder door ensures that your kitchen remains clutter free.’

    Adding simple strip lights will aid the task of finding exactly what you need from upon the shelves, as being hidden behind the doors when integrated within the kitchen might mean it feels a tad on the dark side.

    9. Corner off an area

    Image credit: David Parmiter

    If you have the space corner off a dedicated area, quite literally with sliding doors. The circular pod will allow the area to feel less shut away, while keeping it very separate from the rest of the kitchen layout – as and when suits. Creating a walk-in space without the need for permanent structure. Painting everything in the same shade, from doors to walls and shelves, will help to unify the space. While also providing a canvas of colour for store cupboard goods to sit against.

    10. Keep it compact with a countertop design

    kitchen pantry cupboard

    Image credit: David Giles

    A pantry doesn’t need to be a walk-in wonder or even a whole cupboard, it simply has to be a space dedicated to the function of keeping store cupboard goods and essentials. This compact cabinet design allows for a even the smallest space to be utilised, above wider storage for pots and pans.

    Despite being compact in size its offer smart storage in the doors and multiple shelves for dried goods, all in labelled jars to add to the scheme. There’s even room for the wine glasses – a kitchen essential after all.

    11. Squeeze in a vertical version

    Vertical pantry cupboard beside oven

    Image credit: David Still

    No matter how small your kitchen you can still utilise any space to fit in pantry-style storage. Think vertically to allow for maximum shelving allowance, because most items for a pantry will be taller rather than bulky – think along the lines of storing bottles and jars. A slim cupboard won’t take up much dedicated kitchen space but if it scales from top to bottom it can provide plentiful space for all your pantry needs.

    12. Pack in all your storage needs

    built-in kitchen pantry

    Image credit: Robert Sanderson

    When choosing a built-in bespoke design you can go to town with the elements. Work with every inch of space to pack in maximum storage potential in one space. in addition to door racks add rustic wicker baskets on rails, to store fresh fruit and veg.

    13. Fashion a pretend pantry

    Image credit: Andrew Woods

    No room or budget for an actual pantry? Transform a regular cupboard into a DIY petite pantry. Easily done by adopting the same aesthetic of decanted goods into labelled or decorative jars to showcase a hearty herb and spice collection, baking essentials and more.

    14. Leave the layout open

    open pantry shelving

    Image credit: The Main Company

    Leave the space open to interpretation. Let the structure determine how hidden away you want the pantry area to be, but having no doors allows the space to flow. Walk-in pantries are becoming super popular but not all homes have the space, so an open structure is a happy compromise. We love the upcycled take on this stylish kitchen storage idea.

    15. Stack creates for hearty storage

    kitchen pantry

    Image credit: Rachael Smith

    If you need a pantry that maximises your kitchen storage needs, choose to fill the space with more plentiful solutions such as crates. Stacked from top to bottom on door glides that allow for easy pull-out access they cater for all manner of food supplies. This pantry idea is less about show, more about smart storage to make the most of the space.

    16. Carve out a space near the cooker

    Image credit: Alistair Nicholls

    When designing the layout it’s always important to consider how you use your kitchen while cooking. It makes more logical sense to keep your supplies of spices and dried goods near the stove, to make them easily accessible to grab as you prepare delicious dishes.

    17. Create a simple walk-in wonder

    walk in pantry

    Image credit: Jody Stewart

    Make the most of a narrow space with a walk-in pantry. Effortlessly create the effect with simple wall shelving stocked with tinned goods and jars of pasta and dried grains. Use the floor space beneath to house wicker baskets with kitchen essentials. On the opposite wall hang a rail to store kitchen linens, to prevent the main kitchen space from looking cluttered or untidy.

    18. Choose a calming colour

    The calm exterior of this anteroom, used as a walk-in pantry, from Plain English, belies the abundance of hard-working storage within. A tall cupboard on the left hides a fridge and freezer and a double larder cupboard.

    Incorporating cupboards rather than open shelving helps to conceal items that are not in daily use so they can stay stored away until needed without collecting dust. The choice of paint colour, here French Grey by Little Greene, also adds to the feeling of orderliness.

    What’s the difference between a pantry and larder?

    These days a pantry and a larder serve the same purpose. But essentially a separate walk-in pantry combines food storage and prep area, keeping the main kitchen clear for cooking and entertaining. A larder is typically the same premise but at a lower temperature for keeping ingredients cooler, not refrigerated – just cooler.

    What is a good size for a kitchen pantry?

    A good size for a kitchen pantry is one that works within the space, no matter how generous or how small. A successful pantry is not just about the size. ‘Kitchen storage is personal. Every household will differ so it’s important to firstly consider what you will be storing before you design your larder or pantry’ advises explains Alex Main at The Main Company.

    ‘If you need space for wine, for example, think about integrating some dedicated wine shelving into your larder. If you would like to keep your small appliances out of sight, consider space for your toaster, kettle and / or coffee machine to be neatly tidied away.’

    Where should a pantry be placed in a small kitchen?

    In a small kitchen a slim, vertical pantry is best. This gives the freedom to slot a small pantry in beside the fridge or between supporting walls and cabinets. If you wish to create more of a larder feel choose a colder area of the kitchen. Consider a countertop design when space is tight. Or go for freestanding to allow for movement.

    Related: Small kitchen ideas – to turn your compact room into a smart, super-organised space

    ‘Even in the smallest of kitchens, it is easy to insert a freestanding piece, meaning you don’t have to commit to a total kitchen refresh if a pantry is what you’re after’ says Nerine Vacher, Kitchen Designer at Neptune.

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