15 Kitchen Pantry Ideas With Form And Function

By definition, a pantry is “a small room or closet in which food, dishes, and utensils are kept.” While the definition (or, frankly, the very idea) of a pantry may not be the most glamorous part of your home design, the functional pantry can still be a stylish space.

Kitchen Pantry Ideas

Whether your kitchen pantry is a spacious room in and of itself or a tiny closet squeezed into some spare inches near your kitchen, you can make it feel like an aesthetic and pleasant part of the house with a few simple tricks and a bit of organization.

Types of Kitchen Pantries

Types of Kitchen Pantries

There are multiple types of kitchen pantries that differ based on their structure and size, so let’s take a look at what are the most common types that you’re bound to come across.

Walk-in kitchen pantry

Walk-in kitchen pantry
Image from keystonemillworks

A walk-in kitchen pantry provides ample storage space; normally, the area is large enough for one person to enter and comfortably retrieve ingredients. Cabinetry and storage shelves can adorn the walls, and some of these pantries even have counters. These pantries are designed to house large pans and pots, as well as small appliances, in addition to the normal pantry food essentials.

When building a walk-in pantry, keep in mind that bulkier things such as recyclables, pet food, or small appliances should be accommodated. Otherwise, you risk running out of floor space. If you intend to store cleaning materials such as detergents or cleaning supplies, you will want to allocate a space for these goods that is a safe distance away from food and appliances, so plan ahead.

Wall kitchen pantry

Wall kitchen pantry
Image from Don Foote Contracting

A wall kitchen pantry is an excellent method to add storage to a kitchen by utilizing an otherwise unused space. Wall pantries are precisely what they sound like: pantries which have been integrated into a wall of your kitchen. To be sure, the wall space used by a wall pantry cannot be used for cabinets or anything else.

However, when the kitchen plan allows for the addition of a wall kitchen pantry, it may be an excellent use of space and give enormous amounts of storage capacity concealed behind a set of doors. You can even have custom-made wall pantry doors that blend in with the rest of the wall.

Freestanding Kitchen pantry

Organize your pantry by color
Image from Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co.

A freestanding kitchen pantry is an excellent alternative if you want additional storage space in your kitchen but do not have the space for a built-in feature or a dedicated pantry area. Freestanding pantries can be used as a focal point in the kitchen. They are great at offering storage, but they also provide for some versatility in terms of pantry location.

Freestanding pantries can be designed to match the kitchen cabinetry or to provide a touch of color to the room. Additionally, freestanding pantry configurations can be modified to match your individual needs. Doors, shelves, and drawers, among others, can all be altered to add additional storage space.

Slide-out Kitchen pantry

Wall pantry

Slide-out pantries are an ingenious way to save room in the kitchen. They are particularly important and advantageous when it comes to maximizing the utilization of limited space. You have the possibility to install and incorporate pantries into the kitchen cabinets.

As such, they integrate rather well into the overall kitchen arrangement. They provide significantly more storage space than expected. Sliding shelves and revolving doors can all provide abundant storage space while simplifying the process of storing, accessing, and seeing kitchen products.

Reach-in Kitchen pantry

Organize your pantry by color
Image from shineyourlightblog.

A reach-in pantry constricts your shelves to a smaller space, typically a cupboard or small closet, with the shelves taking up the entire area. This is a fantastic alternative for houses with limited space or for individuals who do not want a lot of additional storage. The advantage of these sorts of pantries is that your belongings are more organized and accessible.

Numerous reach-in pantries can be integrated into existing cabinetry; some have storage drawers; while others lack doors totally and consist of a row of shelving which is mounted on a single wall.  There are an infinite number of possibilities for reach-in pantries, and these are nearly always the best option when working with a limited amount of space.

Butler’s Kitchen pantry

Butler’s Kitchen pantry

A butler’s pantry is another form of pantry that offers a variety of advantages. Historically, butler’s pantries provided a location for the storage of food and cooking equipment, as well as the preparation of meals away from the view of guests. Now, if you incorporate a butler’s pantry into your custom home design, you can enjoy some of these same benefits.

A butler’s pantry serves as additional cabinet space as well as additional countertop space. It might be an excellent addition to a kitchen if you entertain frequently and frequently find yourself in need of additional space to prepare meals for larger groups of people. Even if this is not the case, a butler’s pantry adds additional storage to the kitchen and serves as a unique and elegant accent piece within the home.

Do Kitchen Pantries Need Doors?

Do Pantries Need Doors?

Of course, they don’t, but why would you omit them? Here are some facts about pantry doors that might help you make a decision:

  • Consider adding shelves with or without doors to a windowless wall in the kitchen, adjacent hall, or mudroom. While open shelves provide the convenience of swiftly grabbing what you need, they can also act as a magnet for d8st and clutter
  • Group similar objects together to avoid having to scan the entire wall or move doors in search of the pretzels.
  • Prior to lining cabinet doors with additional shelves, ensure that there is sufficient space inside for the doors to close.
  • Windowed doors serve a functional purpose while also enhancing the pantry’s appearance and merging it with the surrounding space.

Here are 15 kitchen pantry ideas to get you started on creating your very own kitchen storage with form and function.

Organize your pantry by color

Getting creative with pantry organizers will always improve your pantry storage capabilities as well as the inherent visual appeal of an organized space.

Organize your pantry by color

Built-in shelving that is customized to the objects you need to store (e.g., serving trays, beverages, snacks, etc.) fights more than half the battle against pantry disorganization.

Small walk in kitchen pantry

A simple pantry door with a frosted glass window makes for a pretty picture with the door opened OR closed.{found on crisparchitects}.

freestanding kitchen pantry

Buying matching containers for storing food items in the pantry not only looks attractive, but it also makes shelving-maximization much, much easier.

Organize your pantry by color

Pull-out drawers maximize traditional cupboard space because they allow for easy access to all items inside, whether they’re in the front or the back.{found on kitchensbyemanuel}.

Pull-out drawers maximize traditional cupboard for pantry

Continuing your home décor style into the pantry (e.g., whitewashed wood storage boxes, aluminum storage bins, etc.) makes it feel like less of a closet and more like an important aspect of your home, which will ultimately help you maintain its order better.

Continuing your home décor style into the pantry

Sliding pocket doors provide easy expanded pantry access while still allowing the entire thing to “disappear” when the doors close.

Organize your pantry by color

Adjustable wire shelving looks consistent and organized (and, thus, aesthetically pleasing) but also provides infinite organizational opportunities because of its adjustable characteristics.

Organize your pantry by color

Pretty wallpaper provides the perfect backdrop behind brightly colored pantry food storage items – a unified look amidst otherwise unconnected items.

free standing kitchen pantry

A successful pantry doesn’t have to be its own room. Clever and strategic use of metal shelving and coordinated bins make this wall pantry both aesthetic and inarguably functional.

Organize your pantry by color

A pantry camouflaged behind faux cabinet-faced doors makes the pantry both pleasantly accessible and hidden away. A secret room for your breakfast cereal is never a bad thing, right?

Organize your pantry by color

Chalkboard food labels look fantastic, they’re reusable, and they let you know exactly what you’re reaching for. That’s a triple-win.

Organize your pantry by color

Smaller cubby spaces create intuitive storage slots for often-used items without crowding the objects or piling them up into awkward-to-retrieve mounds.{found on jamesyochum}.

kitchen pantry door chalkboard

Easily add a chalkboard component to your kitchen pantry doors to help you keep track of what needs to be restocked or for messages and fun notes between family members.

kitchen pantry cans storage

When all else fails, organize your pantry by color in a rainbow pattern. Instantly attractive, plus you’ll find any expired cans of food that need to be tossed in the process.


Is a Pantry and Kitchen the Same?

Pantries and kitchens are designed as two completely different rooms that serve different purposes. A kitchen is a special room that’s designed mostly for food preparation, while the pantry is a smaller room, usually attached to the kitchen, serving the main purpose of food storage.

Unlike refrigerators, pantries lack the ability to control temperature, and use mostly shelving to store different kinds of ingredients that don’t require low temperatures. Pantries often lack windows and usually create good conditions for food to be kept away from light and heat.

What Is the Point of a Pantry?

A pantry is used to store dry items. The more storage space you have in it, the more space you save elsewhere in your kitchen. As a practical option, you might keep all of your food in a single refrigerator/freezer and pantry.

Even if not everyone can afford to install a walk-in pantry, a well-designed larder makes efficient use of available space – whether pull-out, corner, or cabinet form. Pantries can significantly alter the dimensions and arrangement of your area, as well as the way you live and utilize your kitchen.

What Is the Standard Size of a Pantry?

The usual pantry is 5 x 5 feet, although this might vary based on the size of your home and the amount of storage you desire. A minimum aisle width of 44 inches should be provided to allow for easy movement within the pantry.

Naturally, different types of pantries will have different standard dimensions, because you can’t expect a slide-out pantry to be the same size as a walk-in one. Reach-in pantries usually measure around 5 x 2 feet, while butler pantries are larger and measure 5 x 6.5 feet. 

Pantries can be tucked into the most inconvenient locations. If your kitchen has a windowless wall, you may be able to fit a pantry by removing the drywall or paneling and using the studs in the inner wall.

A pantry of some sort fits into almost every available area. In case you opt for a narrow pantry, you may be unable to store bulkier goods such as cereal boxes, potato sacks, or appliances that you wish to conceal.

What Is the Standard Height for a Pantry?

If we’re talking about a walk-in pantry, this is typically the same height as the room it’s attached to, which is commonly the kitchen. However, some of the height figures you might be interested in could be pantry shelves and cabinets.

Pantry cabinets are typically 84, 90, or 96 inches tall. Small gaps between the cabinet tops and ceilings are frequently filled with decorative molding, while larger sections might be filled with a soffit or left open. Two shorter cabinets are sometimes placed on top of one another to create a tall pantry.

Typically, the bottom shelf is between 20 and 24 inches from the floor. Increase it further if necessary. This will provide you with additional space to store bulk things.