It's time to showcase kitchen storage - here's why an open pantry is essential in 2024

Get the best of both worlds with your kitchen storage by making it into a design feature too

Kitchen with navy built-in open pantry.
(Image credit: Future)

Pantries have quickly become one of the biggest kitchen must-haves, largely thanks to the sheer amount of stuff that they can contain, but the latest trend is to stop hiding it all away and instead, focus on opening it up. 

This probably sounds like a terrifying concept. Everyone wants their kitchen storage to be organised into labelled glass jars and completely crumb-less, but the reality is often far from this dream. So when it comes to open pantries you might be wondering how to turn them into a kitchen design feature instead of a dumping ground. 

Through clever use of colour, chic storage solutions and on-trend finishing touches, you can easily make your pantry a design feature in your kitchen instead of something to hide away. Here's how to make it work for your home. 

How to style an open pantry

Kitchen pantries are a storage must-have for so many reasons. It offers sought-after space, whether it's to hide away spices and dried goods, use as an appliance garage or even as a make-shift bar. And while sometimes you might want to close the doors on the mess, a pantry is the prime opportunity to double up on design points by making it into a focal point. 

An open pantry doesn't need to be perfect, either. While you might want to go for a neatly styled approach, sometimes an imperfect, messy look is just what your kitchen needs to feel homely and lived in. 

1. Be bold with colour

Kitchen with central island, timber clad wall and unit, green and wood cupboards and black stool

(Image credit: Future PLC/Damian Russell)

Open pantries lend themselves particularly well to showcasing a statement colour. Whether you already have a bold kitchen design that the pantry matches or you want to make it a standout feature, choosing a unique paint colour will make your storage look purposeful and professionally curated.  

Bold red and damson shades are a simple way to embrace the current kitchen trends as well as earthy tones that offer a new perspective on neutrals. However, when it comes to picking a palette, anything goes - just have fun with it.  

A traditional-with-a-twist-inspired pantry is also a great way to embrace Pinterest's trend prediction for 2024 - 'kitschens'. 'We have coined the trend 'Kitschens' to describe the increased searches for eclectic kitchen decor, alongside greens and pinks making the cooking area a real destination,' says Matt Siberry, head of home at Pinterest UK. We're officially bringing personality back into our kitchens, and a pantry is the best place to start. 

2. Go for bespoke internals

Kitchen with navy built-in open pantry.

(Image credit: Future)

Above anything, you need a pantry to be as practical as possible. And while handmade built-in units won't be in everyone's budget, there are so many ways to achieve a bespoke pantry with internal shelves, cupboards, lighting and plug sockets. 

'Think shelves, drawers, and a stone splashback, it can be whatever you want and need it to be,' recommends William Durrant, owner of Herringbone. 'A functional and beautiful internal appearance can make all the difference to the way you use your pantry.' 

A great way of achieving this for less is by purchasing puck lights to adhere to the underside of shelves for a more premium look. Alternatively, in the design process paying careful attention to what you're going to store in a pantry so that the storage is right will make you want to keep it on show.  

3. Add a glass door

Red pantry with black doors with glass panel in kitchen

(Image credit: Future)

If you're not quite feeling ready to launch straight into a fully open pantry, then opting for a glass door is a handy halfway option. 

'Even with open pantries you sometimes want a secret, glass or hidden door and there are many options,' adds William. 'A great solution would be to have bifold doors or pocket doors so when the pantries are in use and the family are in and out during the time of use the doors are off to the side. However, glass doors such as Crittal doors are also beautiful ways of designing your pantry so that you can always peak through.'

4. Pay attention to organisation

Kitchen with plywood pantry doors

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

Even the most well-styled pantries will fall victim to the mess of everyday life, so establishing some storage solutions that are chic will make even the most untidy of spaces look a little bit better. 

Instead of unaesthetic cardboard boxes and plastic pasta packets, switch out your containers to glass jars. You can choose to add labels for a more streamlined look or keep it eclectic with mix and match jars found in charity shops. The beauty of this trend is that you can decide exactly how 'undone' you want your pantry to look, depending on your kitchen style. 

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).