Modern designers favor kitchens that are spacious, welcoming, and clutter-free social spaces, ideal for family life and for entertaining.
To achieve this desirable goal, they advocate the creation of a walk-in pantry that both takes the pressure off a busy kitchen and concentrates your foodstuffs into a convenient single space.
Walk-in pantries can range from simple food storage rooms to lovely hidden-away annexes containing not only your dry goods but also food preparation counters, cookware, and numerous appliances.
A well-designed walk-in pantry can be a deeply satisfying working space and quiet refuge for the household cook. Everything is visible and immediately to hand.
But before embarking on a kitchen remodel and designing your new walk-in pantry, it’s important to consider exactly how you’ll use the space.
How Will You Use Your Walk-In Pantry?
The best pantries are designed to meet your family’s personalized lifestyle, storage requirements, and cooking habits.
Will the pantry be used simply for storing food? Or are you wanting to include a fridge, slow cooker, or other appliances? Do you want extra countertop space for food prep?
For some homeowners, their walk-in pantry is a quiet place away from the commotion of family life in which to plan meals, surf for recipes, and bring together the ingredients they need.
For others, the pantry is simply an extra storage space that allows for the kitchen to be more minimalistic in appearance.
And for others still, this walk-in annex fulfills all of the above roles and more.
Do you have a clear idea of how you want to use your pantry?
Determine Location and Layout
To facilitate easy access, your walk-in pantry’s location and layout are essential design features to consider.
You probably already have a good idea of where you want the pantry situated, but how much work will be needed to create the new space?
For example, will you need to move a wall? Or maybe borrow space from an adjacent room to give you the size and shape of a pantry you need? And how big do you want the entrance to be?
For some homeowners, the pantry needs to be a noticed feature, and as such, a wide entrance is desirable. For others, the pantry is merely functional, and a smaller and less obvious access route is preferred.
When it comes to the layout, there are a variety of options depending on the homeowner’s needs and the practicalities of construction. Many pantries are simple rectangles, while others can be L-shaped, curved, octagonal, or whatever fits the space and your imagination!
Design a Space for Everything
In utilizing the space effectively, it’s essential to carefully consider how the various elements will work for optimal convenience and pleasing design. Popular components of a walk-in pantry include open shelving, cabinets, pull-out bins, baskets, countertops, fridges, wine coolers, tables, trolleys, and mini worktop islands in the more ambitious designs.
Take an inventory of what you want to keep in your pantry and ensure there is space both vertically and horizontally to accommodate all of your items.
Consider dividing up your walk-in pantry into specialized areas (zones) based on your needs. For example, dedicate an area for food preparation that is adjacent to where foodstuffs are stored. You can even dedicate sections to breakfast, lunch, and dinner items.
The decisions you make will inform what you need to keep in the pantry and how big it needs to be. Consider floor space, height, and shelving needs. Do you want to avoid high shelves? Or do you want to keep some goods away from the children? Would a sliding ladder be useful? Will wheelchair users need to be considered?
Decide on What Type of Materials to Use
The materials you use for your pantry need to be functional and aesthetically pleasing, just like in the main kitchen area. That said, there are two options here.
If the walk-in pantry is a visible feature in the kitchen, there should be a continuity of the materials and finishes used. However, if the pantry is somewhat separate and hidden, you can select more affordable materials.
For example, while you might have expensive marble countertops in the kitchen, you can instead opt for a marble-like laminate design for your pantry surfaces at a fraction of the cost.
Lighting is another vital factor. The placement of lights can make or break an interior design scheme. It’s crucial to select the right fixtures and carefully consider their placement.
You’ll benefit from strong task-focused lighting if you’re planning to prepare food, especially where cutting is involved. Dimmable lighting will reduce brightness late at night.
The installation of motion sensor LEDs will automatically illuminate your pantry without the need to reach for switches. And small strip lights make ideal localized lighting for shelving units and cabinets. There are so many great lighting choices.
Consider the Visual Decor
Your walk-in pantry’s visual appeal is just as important as the more functional aspects such as materials, layout, and function.
A popular feature of pantries are the large food storage containers that double up as decorative items. A line of glass jars filled with all sorts of colorful and enticing foodstuffs really sets the scene when planning your next dinner party or brunch.
When it comes to decorative items, it’s important to stick with a common theme. A walk-in kitchen pantry is a small space. Too many visual contrasts can create a visual overload and an unsightly clash.
Whether it’s glass jars, baskets, metal bins, canisters, or ceramic bowls, consider buying in bulk rather than choosing an individual style for each and every item.
Remember Plumbing & Electrical Needs
Wiring, pipes, ventilation, and outlet placements – all these need to be incorporated into a fully functioning pantry. When working with your professional designer, it’s essential to know what appliances you’ll want to include in your pantry space and where.
Do you want to add a second refrigerator? A freestanding wine cooler? And what about smaller appliances such as blenders, mixers, or bread makers?
These choices will inform your designer’s plans for electrical, freshwater, and drainage fittings.
Pick the Perfect Partner to Design and Build Your Pantry
Your walk-in pantry might be one of the less public rooms in your home, but that doesn’t mean it should be neglected. You will gain great pleasure and utility from a well-designed pantry space that complements your kitchen and enhances your lifestyle.
It’s therefore essential to work with established kitchen designers with plenty of experience designing and building walk-in kitchen pantries.
We offer friendly and expert in-home consultations where we discuss the potential positioning of a pantry, the design features, and how best to utilize the available space.