10 clever ways to design your dream kitchen pantry

Beautiful kitchen pantries

With ample space for dried goods, small appliances and pull-out drawers, the kitchen pantry has become a must-have for many renovators.

Whether you’ve got ample room to play with or are short on space and need to think creatively, we’ve got some clever ways you can introduce a pantry in your kitchen design. Take a look at some of our favourite ideas to get inspired and make your storage work harder…

Multi-functional pantry

Assess your space to see if you have potential to create a walk-in pantry – from unused nooks to repurposing the space under the stairs, which can be re-envisioned with clever design ideas. For example, this Kinsasha bespoke walk-in pantry and bar by Wood Works Brighton was previously an unused space. “We worked with designers Pfeiffer Design and its client to visualise and transform an abandoned corner into the now show-stopper of the kitchen,” says the company’s managing director Francois Damseaux.

The addition of the sliding fluted glass door means the beautiful space is never completely closed off. The left side of the pantry is the perfect breakfast bar and by sliding the door you can reveal the drinks cabinet, ready for evening entertaining. “This space can have many functions depending on your way of life,” adds Francois.

walk-in pantry and bar with fluted sliding door
Kinsasha bespoke walk-in pantry and bar by Wood Works Brighton. Prices start from £25,000.

Dreamy walk-in design

Martin Moore‘s designer Pam Baker created this pretty walk-in larder to suit the needs of the owners and to function seamlessly within the space. The pantry is conveniently located near the cooking zone. It contains open shelving and a cool granite shelf to help keep food fresher for longer. For easy access to ingredients, a spice rack, made of English oak, sits on the back of the pantry door. And the unique twist? Snakeshead wallpaper in Forest/Thyme by William Morris, in keeping with the Arts and Crafts style of the property, dresses the interior walls and pairs beautifully with Martin Moore’s New Classic cabinetry hand-painted in Evergreen.

Bespoke larders from Martin Moore start from £10,000.

Lit-up drawers

Keep your kitchen organised and cooking essentials close to hand with the help of lit-up drawers, such as the clever LightTower by Hettich. “Drawers are the most space-savvy way to order your pantry or larder, but internal lighting makes it so much easier to tell your kidney beans from your chopped tomatoes,” explains Jonathan Hunt, marketing manager at Hettich UK.

“It compensates for the shadow you cast with overhead lighting. And, when it comes on automatically, makes life easier when your hands are full. Last, but not least, it looks fabulous, too.”

cupboard with illuminated glass drawers in blue kitchen design
LightTower Glass by Hettich, from £1,099.99.

Get creative

If you don’t (yet) have enough space for your dream walk-in pantry, get creative. Why not transform stacked pull-out drawers into an unconventional larder? As seen in this kitchen design by Pronorm, be inspired to transform the storage system within your island or run of cabinetry into the ultimate spot for keeping spices, utensils, dried goods and pots and pans within easy reach. This is a great space-saving idea if your kitchen is more modest in size.

dark island with open drawers used for storage
Kitchen design by Pronorm. Price on application.

Think about practicalities

Don’t forget about the practicalities such as electrics – a key element when designing your dream pantry. “Including lighting and electric sockets in a larder cupboard can greatly enhance its functionality,” advises Richard Atkins, managing director at DesignSpace London. “Adequate lighting ensures visibility, making it easier to locate items, while electrical sockets enable the use of appliances including blenders or chargers.”

wood kitchen with open larder, shelves, veiny worktop and built-in lighting
Frame kitchen collection in Rovere Bruges wood veneer. Kitchens from DesignSpace London start from £25,000. Interior design: Emma Maitland Design.

Pretty and practical pantry

Proximity is another important factor to think about when designing your dream pantry. Ensure your cooking ingredients are always on hand by placing your larder next to the food preparation zone. This solution, from the Arbor collection by Harvey Jones, sits nicely right behind the island. So, this way you can easily access spices, canned goods or extra crockery when cooking or hosting.

white shaker cabinetry with classic larder, double fridge and green island
Arbor collection, from £30,000, Harvey Jones.

Kitchen pantry goals

“Creating a kitchen, utility and pantry area within a basement presented a unique challenge due to the presence of a supporting wall and chimney breast,” says Allison Lynch, senior designer at Roundhouse. “I designed a kitchen run to conceal the wall, maximising space on the opposite side for a walk-in pantry accessible through kitchen cabinet doors, akin to Narnia doors.”

The pantry features Classic and Urbo matt lacquer cabinetry with statement surfaces in Silestone Calacatta Gold. “Anticipating the pantry’s role as a baking area, ample worktop space was allocated for small appliances, ensuring functionality and convenience. Base units beneath the worktops were equipped with deep drawers for crockery and dry foods,” adds Allison.

wood kitchen in a bright basement, featuring a marble clad island, modern ovens and a walk-in pantry
Bespoke kitchens by Roundhouse start at £35,000. Photography: Mary Wadsworth.

Daring design

Gone are the days of the plain storage cupboard. The latest solutions pack bright pops of colour and personality. Uplift your mood every time you open your larder by painting the interiors of your cabinet in a vibrant shade. We love this cherry wood larder with a coral pink interior. “Our larders are designed to be as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside, with customisable colours and woods,” says George Glasier, kitchen company Pluck’s co-founder. Why not take it even further by adding bold wallpaper at the back of the cupboard too?

colourful and wood cabinetry, yellow island and coral larder
Kitchens by Pluck start from £25,000. Photography: Malcolm Menzies.

The classic larder

“There are two types of pantry, traditional and butler, both of which provide homeowners with the ability to store ambient food items easily, as well as potential room for small appliances, especially if you have a butler pantry,” says Richard Davonport, managing director at Davonport. So, seek the advice of a designer at the planning stage to ensure your pantry ticks all the boxes – from extra worktop space and power sockets to lighting and even an extra sink and tap if the space allows.

timeless design with blue island, grey bar stools and open larder with walnut interiors
Mayland kitchen, from £40,000, Davonport.

Compact pantry design

Short on space? No problem! Why not transform a cupboard within your run of cabinets into a pretty and practical breakfast bar? “The inclusion of bi-fold doors is a practical choice as they don’t swing outward into walk spaces, effectively saving valuable kitchen space,” recommends Ammanda Cosh, head of design at Masterclass Kitchens. “Internal drawers also open up the opportunity to store items more effectively within a cabinet – the perfect option for smaller spaces.”

grey timeless kitchen with veiny worksurfaces and breakfast cupboard with bi-fold doors
The Clifton Light Grey kitchen features a breakfast dresser with bi-fold doors in Tuscan Walnut. Masterclass kitchens start from £15,000.

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