Pantry design ideas: 7 ways to elevate your kitchen space

a wooden and white pantry design featuring lots of different shelves and compartments with jars and bottles on

Everybody wants a pantry, right? We know that because it’s the ultimate kitchen storage solution and right at the top of kitchen wish lists (including ours) along with kitchen islands. So here are all our best pantry design ideas to help you maximise your space.

Pantry design ideas: we’ve got seven of them heading your way. From working out exactly what space you need, to adding colour, we think you’ll love putting them into action.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve always dreamed of having that extra storage space in your kitchen. Being able to go round the supermarket and fill your trolley, safe in the knowledge that you’ll have enough space to store all the items. And not just space – but beautiful, exquisitely designed space too.

So here are all our best ideas for designing your dream pantry.

1. Pantry design ideas: Work out what size shelves you need first

Firstly, make a list of all the big items you want to put in your pantry: kettle, toaster, coffee machine? Then ensure you’re allocating enough storage space to each. But there’s no need to itemise all the tiny things like spices. Just focus on the things that clutter up work surfaces and typically won’t fit on shelves or in kitchen cabinets unless you allow a lot of vertical space.

a fir green pantry cupboard with rows of shelves featuring jars and bottles
Pantry design ideas: Marlow Navy Pantry, Benchmarx Kitchens.

2. Kitchen pantry ideas for small spaces: Carefully measure your space

Do you have enough room for a pantry? If you’re scoffing, ‘Of course!’, then have you considered installing a walk-in pantry or a double pantry instead? Make sure you choose the size that suits your kitchen best. If you’re not sure, ask a few kitchen designers what they’d recommend.

a larder cupboard with wooden doors and a pale grey interior featuring rows of bottles and tubs
Town & Country Virginia pantry, Mereway Kitchens.

3. Make every millimetre of space work hard

Pantries are expensive but they streamline your kitchen, helping you close all those bits and bobs away. So, to ensure you can fit all your spices and jars in, use every bit of space. Not just the shelves, but the insides of the doors too. If you have too many tiny items, then use baskets to hold them. Just ensure everything’s tidied away. Even the small things can fit into small pantries with the right organisation.

a pantry design in navy with steel hardware
Pantry design ideas: English Revival Signature Diamond Grey pantry, Mereway Kitchens.

4. Think about using reclaimed wood

Using reclaimed and salvaged wood is better for the environment, and can also add charm to your design as well as making it sustainable. In addition, each piece of wood is completely different. So your pantry will look completely unique and stand out from other designs on the market.

a Shaker kitchen featuring a wooden pantry filled with tubs and bottles, a marble kitchen island with a blue bowl of tangerines on top, and a steel American-style fridge freezer
Pantry design ideas: Shaker kitchen, from £28000, John Lewis of Hungerford.

5. Add an element of surprise

Think outside the box when it comes to designing your pantry. How about a glass pantry doors, brass hardware, easy access open shelving or a dark wood interior? These upgrades may come at a premium, but you’ll be glad of them when your guests’ jaws fall open. And they’ll make your new pantry a pleasure to use, too.

a Shaker larder with brass hardware, white Shaker doors and a wood interior
Pantry design ideas: Bespoke Shaker pantry, Simon Taylor Furniture.

6. Pantry organisation ideas: Decant your dry goods into pretty tubs

Sure, the design of the pantry itself is extremely important, but it’s no good just cramming everything in higgledy-piggledy. Keeping your pantry storage clean and organised is just as important as the placement and design of the pantry itself. Buy some gorgeous food storage tubs and decant dry goods into them (rice, pasta, lentils, etc). That will make your pantry look neat, orderly and extra-fancy.

a dark grey Shaker pantry design with rows of jars, baskets and tubs
Pantry design ideas: The Ruislip pantry from Brayer Design.

7. Consider going dark and elegant

Lastly in our list of pantry design ideas: not sure what colour to paint your pantry? Think about a dark and luxurious shade: perhaps anthracite, navy or forest green? Also, try a colour you don’t already have in your kitchen, but which complements it. This will make your pantry stand out for all the right reasons.

a pantry design in dark navy and ash wood with the door open and shelves visible
Pantry design ideas: Pure kitchen, from £28000, John Lewis of Hungerford.

Thoughts on pantry design from Tom Howley

Tom Howley of Tom Howley Kitchens gave his thoughts: “Effective storage is of course the primary function of the pantry. This comes down to not only the internal working of the cabinet but also where to incorporate it into a kitchen design. Where possible, it’s always useful to keep the pantry adjacent to your fridge. This means that your food storage is all zoned in one area and it also looks neat.

“With a bespoke kitchen designer, you will be able to design floor to ceiling units that give maximum storage. In addition, you’ll be able to tailor the internal components to your storage needs. Pantries can also serve a dual purpose as a way of concealing appliances. With a greater shift towards keeping worksurfaces clear of clutter, to give a more minimalist feel and allow for more prep space, the pantry serves as an excellent solution for concealing appliances.”

a dark wood pantry cupboard stocked with tins and bottles with a drawer underneath filled with dry goods
Devine collection in Marjoram, from £20,000, Tom Howley.

More ideas for pantry design from Tom Howley

“If you don’t have large areas to play with, incorporate slimmer, tall pantry cupboards around the room. Position narrower designs in key areas of your kitchen. For example, frequently used appliances and ingredients in main prep zones and dishware or glasses close to social spaces.

“The first port of call when planning a walk-in pantry is to consider how much space can be allocated to it. This will determine the overall layout of the design – straight line, L-shape or U-shape. If you’re tight for room, opt for pocket or sliding doors – this will maximise floor space and create easy access to essential zones. Walkway and appliance clearances should also be considered to ensure there’s plenty of room to manoeuvre.”

a cream shaker kitchen with steel handles and an open light oak pantry cupboard filled with food
Harrington collection in Light Oak, from £20000, Tom Howley.

Pantry design ideas from Helena at The Myers Touch

“Walk-in pantries are popular inclusions for busy families as they help the homeowner organise and hide away everyday food supplies. We can design them to include bespoke shelving, with options such as wine glass racks and box shelving units for everyday items such as crockery, trays, food jars and pet food. Most new kitchens are likely to use underfloor heating, but it is important to keep food stored away from this heat. If your kitchen is not big enough to have a walk-in pantry, a tall cabinet with multiple drawers can be great for organising and easy access if supplies. Alternatively, a smaller area with pocket doors can keep the door and small appliances safely out of sight.” Helena Myers, Designer at The Myers Touch. 

Thoughts from Keith at The Myers Touch

Director of The Myers Touch Keith Myers adds: ‘“A truly great kitchen will include great storage for all your family food preparation, cooking and entertaining requirements. We love the re-emergence of the pantry; that tucked away place to arrange and carefully store food, from flour and potatoes to hams and jams. Away from the harm of underfloor heating and tempted pets, these well-ventilated rooms can be as simple as a dark cupboard or as elaborate as a glass-framed mini-kitchen.”

a pantry design filled with food in a modern kitchen behind cream gloss cabinetry
Pantry design idea from The Myers Touch.

“Visibility of goods, and easy access are crucial, as is flexibility, allowing for those three-for-one offers on extra-large boxes of cereals! Even better if you can include a fair-sized worktop for storing plated buffet food when entertaining. Bespoke pantries are also a chance for their design team to truly reflect a customer’s personality within a scheme. From colourful interiors that contain internal wicker storage baskets, shelving and marble countertops to pull-out drawers that store spices, sauces, dry foods and pet foods, many customers are embracing their hidden pantry as a statement piece within their kitchen.”

a pantry design filled with food with white shelves and a wooden floor
Pantry design idea from The Myers Touch.

Ideas from H. Miller Bros

Howard Miller of kitchen omcpany H. Miller Bros says: “Storage solutions like pantries have become a key part of H. Miller Bros kitchen design solutions and are increasingly seen as one of the must-have items in a modern home. The rise in popularity of the pantry cupboard is linked to self-sufficient living with so many more of us growing food and cooking from scratch with the pantry space playing an important role in kitchen and food storage. The other great advantage of a pantry and cupboard is that the kitchen space no longer needs to be full of wall cupboards so entire walls are left free for a strong design aesthetic allowing it to become more of a relaxed environment.”

a pantry design in rich wood with several shelves containing crockery
Pantry design ideas: The eye-level pantry in H. Miller Bros Siatama Kitchen design allows the family to access their most-used equipment and food in one place. To keep the kitchen clutter-free, the pantry features obscured wired glass on the door fronts that also provide contrast and interest situated next to the stainless-steel Fisher & Paykel Fridge-Freezer which sat in a specially lined nook so that it felt part of the design. Luxury Miele appliances were also integrated into the design. Bespoke kitchen designs from £35,000, H. Miller Bros.

More ideas from H. Miller Bros

“Utilitarian, raw and natural materials will continue to be used in 2023 to add luxury and statement details in our kitchen designs through their natural variance, imperfections and uniqueness. From using obscured wired glass to create contrast and interest on pantry doors to recycled retro-terrazzo worktops, these types of materials will be increasingly seen in a variety of creative ways within our luxury kitchen design schemes.” 

a dark wood pantry design with glasses, wine bottles, cups, jars and a food mixer on rich wood shelves
Lastly, the Oak Pantry cupboard in the H. Miller Bros Seaside kitchen design incorporates shelves, wine rack and rails for hanging wine glasses and a hanging rail for things like onions and drying herbs. Bespoke kitchen designs from £35,000, H. Miller Bros.

Thoughts from John Lewis of Hungerford

“Pantries are really versatile, and because they’re full height, you get lots and lots of storage capacity. How you use your pantry really is down to personal choice. But you can use them for everything from dry food storage to somewhere to stash your plates and glassware. You can also install plugs at the back and a piece of worktop. So you can use them to house your toaster and create a mini breakfast bar”. Rebecca Nokes, Head of Design & Brand Creative, John Lewis of Hungerford 

Featured image: Vard Butlers pantry range, Smile Kitchens.

So, did you love all our pantry design ideas? Then you’ll enjoy reading about how one designer created her own gorgeous pantry.

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