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Pretty and Practical Pantry Ideas

May 15, 2019

When it comes to kitchen design, you want to create a space that’s both esthetically pleasing and purposefully organized. You need to be able to keep perishables, dishes, glassware and dry goods in the same room, in a way that makes sense.

Having a dedicated pantry area can really help you stay organized. That said, there are many factors that go into deciding what that will look like in your own kitchen. The size and layout of the kitchen are incredibly important, as well as lifestyle and family size. If you’re planning on updating your kitchen with additional pantry space, consider the type of pantry that will work for you. Once you’ve established that, you can work on optimizing the space using common organizational techniques.

Types of Pantries


A built-in pantry unit is just what the name suggests – a unit built into the wall, flush with your other cabinetry. These pantries can have doors or drawers or be open concept. The built-in can be next to or surrounding the fridge, or off to the side. Having it built around the refrigerator makes sense for cooking, as most of your ingredients will be in the same general area.


A walk-in pantry is like a small walk-in closet for dry goods. When you walk into the pantry, all your non-perishable foods – cans, spices, unopened jars, etc. – will be neatly lined up on shelves. Some people store small appliances in there as well, such as slow cookers or blenders when not in use. If you want to get really fancy, you can have a library-style ladder installed so that you can reach the top shelf!


If you’re home isn’t already designed with a butler’s pantry, building one will require extensive renovations to change the layout. A butler’s pantry is a room between the kitchen and dining room (or living room). They were traditionally used as staging areas for big meals, but also for storage. Rather than dry goods, butler’s pantries are designed to store china, extra silverware and glassware (such as your grandmother’s crystal). While you might not have a butler in white gloves and fine livery polishing the silver in there, it can still be a useful storage space.


An open-concept pantry can be either a built-in or a freestanding shelf unit. What makes it open concept is that there are no doors. The benefit is that you have everything laid out before you – no digging through drawers to see what you have. The downside? It can get cluttered, which leads us to our next part.

Organization Tips

It doesn’t matter if you have a built-in, walk-in, butler’s or open-concept pantry – if you don’t keep it organized, it will not work as intended. The idea of having a dedicated pantry is supposed to make your life easier and your kitchen more efficient. It will not serve you well to have a cluttered mess.

Once you’ve settled on a pantry style, start organizing!

Use shelf separators to keep sections organized. It’s easier to keep everything neat and tidy when there are clear separations. You can also use storage containers and baskets, which is great for keeping items such as spices or baking ingredients grouped together.

When designing the pantry itself, incorporate pull-out shelves and drawers. When we can clearly see all the items in our pantry, we are more likely to use them. You can also label the baskets and jars to make finding dry goods easy.

Pantries can be a game-changer when it comes to kitchen organization, grocery shopping and cooking.

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