Get Inspired by These 20 Walk In Pantry Ideas

Jars of Food in Pantry

Food storage is one of the most basic functions of a kitchen. Many of us must make do with devoting a few kitchen cabinets to storing canned goods, pasta, spices, flour, and other staples. If our kitchens are slightly larger, we might be lucky enough to have a floor-to-ceiling cabinet that functions as a pantry. But for the ultimate in food storage, there is no comparison to a full walk in pantry. It's simply much easier to keep your kitchen organized when you have a place to neatly store food.

Let's take a look at what's possible! I'm sure you'll be able to spot some design ideas you can use.

White Shiplap

Crisp white shiplap paneling provides pleasing continuity between the interior and exterior of this open pantry. Omitting the pantry door helps make the items within easily accessible and blends the storage space with the rest of the home.

Hidden Pantry

Image: Willow Homes

This clever walk in pantry is hidden behind a jib door that blends into the surrounding cabinetry. A genius pantry design! I have to admit, I'm a huge fan of jib doors and their chameleon-like ability to blend into any wall.

Beautiful Baskets

Image: Monika Hibbs

This kitchen pantry features rows of woven baskets that add a pleasing organic feel, while also keeping food items sorted and secluded. Baskets are especially suited to storing fresh citrus fruit and root vegetables because they allow produce to breathe.

Open Shelves

Image: Refined

Sometimes the simplest design is best. Pantry shelving that is open and adjustable will suit almost any needs, now and for decades to come. Everything on these shelves is out in the open and easy to find.

Small Kitchen Pantry

You don't necessarily need to carve out a lot of space to create a functional and attractive food storage area. The sliding barn doors of this farmhouse-inspired small pantry also help save space. The top shelves are devoted to lesser-used items.

Go Green

Who says a pantry has to look sterile? This showpiece pantry is full of vitality with its green color scheme and abundant plant life. When making your pantry your own, don't be afraid of incorporating a few ideas that are slightly out of the ordinary.

Butler's Pantry

Image: Timber Trails

A butler's pantry is not so much for storing food staples as it is for storing serving dishes and utensils, as well as a place to keep less-often used things, like your giant turkey carving dish. Although butlers have more or less been relegated to history, having a working butler's pantry can be a wonderful luxury, especially if you have fine silver or china in your possession. Just make sure you leave enough dedicated space for your foodstuffs if they will share the pantry.

Larder Ladder

I just love the look and functionality of this rolling library ladder set against the spunky blue cabinetry. The wood countertop matches the ladder and ties it all together.

Climate Controlled

This pic blurs the line between pantry and refrigerator, but this climate-controlled food storage room might be at home in a restaurant. Of course, it's about a million times as stylish as its workhorse food-service counterpart.

Natural Light

Including a source of natural light is one of the best ideas you can have when designing a pantry. The large window floods this beautiful pantry with sunlight and makes for an inviting space.

Is a walk in pantry necessary?

Whether or not you need a walk in pantry depends greatly on your storage needs and your cooking and shopping habits. I would say that these days most homeowners expect to have some sort of dedicated pantry space, whether that is a built-in pantry or a cabinet pantry. The pandemic has reminded many of us of the value of stocking up on staples. In terms of the sheer volume of storage, nothing compares to a walk in pantry. A walk in pantry can also give you more room to stretch out and organize. A larger, organized space can be visually appealing, and it can be very helpful to be able to see all your provisions from one central vantage point when you are cooking or planning a meal or writing your grocery list.

A cabinet pantry can be just as functional

Despite the many benefits and features of a walk in pantry, they aren't for everyone. When we tackle new kitchen remodel projects, we often have a limited amount of space for that room. Even a small walk in pantry takes up a significant amount of space. (See the section below.) We are all doing more entertaining and eating in our kitchens these days, and the trend has been toward more open layouts. In some cases, this makes it difficult to squeeze a walk in pantry into the kitchen design. Fortunately, a cabinet pantry can be just as functional. Usually consisting of a large floor-to-ceiling bank of cabinets dedicated to food storage, a cabinet pantry design offers lots of shelf frontage. Adding a lazy Susan or thin shelves on the insides of your cabinet doors can be a great solution for storing spices, canned goods, and other small items.

Crown Molding

Just because a pantry is partially hidden from view doesn't mean it can't be embellished. The dark crown molding set against the white walls adds a bit of gravitas and grandeur to this pantry design. The cabinets feature the Down Pipe paint color from Farrow & Ball, a wonderfully versatile shade.

A Place for Everything

Image: Neat Method

Let's face it: Organization is not everyone's strong suit. The best way for many of us to keep our house organized is to put everything in order once, label every storage bin and basket, and then just put new items in the appropriate spot whenever we restock.

Diamond Pattern

Diamond pattern floor tile, richly detailed molding, a white door, and classic cabinetry make this soft-hued butler's pantry a hidden treasure.

Pantry with Sink

The addition of a sink blurs the line between pantry and kitchen. It can add great functionality. Think of the possibilities if you like to preserve food or if you simply want a convenient spot to wash produce.

Crisp White

I like how the white cabinets, white pantry shelving, and white tile backsplash contrast with the dark hardwood flooring. I want this adorable pantry for myself!

Old World Charm

The brick wall accents give this highly functional pantry a unique, custom look. The open pantry shelves make it easy to spot what you're searching for, and the butcher block countertops are the perfect landing spot for small appliances.

How much space do walk in pantries need?

To be fully functional, a walk in pantry should be around 5 by 5 feet, or 25 square feet. That's a lot of interior area, so you need to factor in an additional 6 to 12 inches for the surrounding walls. Most pantries use a U-shaped design. Sometimes the door is the full width of one of the pantry walls, providing easy access to the entire interior space. Another approach to pantry design is to leave off the door entirely. The choice is yours and depends on how tidy you plan to keep your pantry. (It's important to be honest with yourself.) Most pantries have simple open shelving, but the larger ones (usually bigger than 25 square feet) successfully incorporate lower cabinets, usually with a functional work surface and upper shelving. The lower shelves or cabinets should be deep enough (around 18 inches) to accommodate large items, such as bulk food storage bins and small appliances. The upper shelves can be shallower for smaller items, like canned goods. Shelves devoted to very small items, like spice jars, can be as little as 6 inches deep. Overall, a kitchen pantry takes up quite a bit of room, but most people lucky enough to use them consider them a great addition to their kitchen.

Wire Mesh

This pantry design is stunning in every way, but what sets it apart is the use of stainless-steel wire mesh drawer fronts. Not only do they add a totally unique look, but they allow air-flow through the storage drawers, helping to preserve food. Plenty of open shelves make the clear plastic storage bins easily accessible.

Bright and Cheerful

This cheery space is mostly white, but brass and aqua accents give it such a pleasing pop of color. The colorful spines of the owner's cookbook collection add to the effect and just make you want to whip up something tasty.

Wine and Dine

Image: Castle Homes

This lovely pantry with its no-hardware drawers and contrasting white shelves reminds us how important it is to incorporate table wine storage, if wine is your thing.

Espresso Bar

An epicurean's dream, this pantry not only has loads of easily accessible shelving, but it boasts an espresso setup.

How do you go about adding a walk in pantry to your home?

So, if you're like me, you love all these ideas, but how do you go about getting one of these built? I would rate adding a walk in pantry as a major renovation project. To do it correctly, you will want to use high-quality custom cabinetry and shelving, and you will want to style the space to feel integrated into the rest of your home. All of that can be expensive, but the major cost would come with the need to redesign and rebuild the entire layout of your kitchen. Unless you happen to have a large broom closet that can be converted for pantry use, or your kitchen has about 30 square feet of wide-open space in which you can have a separate pantry built, you will likely need to reimagine the layout of the entire kitchen space. Walls, appliances, and fixtures will likely need to be moved to carve out that extra space for your dream pantry.

This article highlights a hand-picked selection of work by a variety of designers and builders and is meant to showcase their talent. Please drop us a line if you would rather not be featured on this page.

Article Categories: Interior Design, Design Tips And Trends, Kitchens

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