Walk-in pantries are becoming more and more popular, topping many a homeowner’s wish list. Even in a small kitchen, you can make a pantry work, but you may have to compromise onsomething to make way for it. For example, opt for a smaller, built-in fridge in the main space rather than a big American-style fridge. The global pandemic and trend of working from home has had an impact on their growing popularity. “We‘re definitely seeing a rise in demand for pantries from clients designing their kitchens,” says Chelsea Smith of cast london. Sophie Hartley, kitchen designer at Tom Howley agrees: “Enquiries about walk-in pantries are at an all-time high as people have been buying in bulk and cooking at home more often.”
The location of the pantry is flexible but ideally, it will be close to the preparation areas in a kitchen. If there is an island, the pantry needs to be on the work side of the kitchen, close to the hob, fridge and worktops. “Traditionally, they were located on a north-facing outside wall to keep foods cool,” explains Kate Strong of Run Projects.
THE RISE OF THE PANTRY The modern-day store cupboard is made up of old-fashioned foods prepared and packed with a new level of convenience in mind.
Jarred legumes are ideal for those quick weekday meals, while dry legumes are for weekend cooking, or for those who love to cook from scratch. Pulses are to the Spanish what pasta is to the Italians – daily nourishment.
Aromatics such as saffron, herbs and spices provide essential flavour. Nuts and tinned fish such as anchovies, tuna and sardines add personality to sauces for jarred legumes or pastas.
Oils and vinegars are fundamental ingredients to almost everything we make nowadays. You can never be without but refresh your oil often and don’t hold back – the fresher it is, the better.
Buying Mediterranean vegetables fresh and in season is a true pleasure, but ensuring that your stores include tins of artichokes, asparagus, hand-peeled peppers and olives gives you a wonderful opportunity to create antipasti and apéritif tapas in seconds. Source: Brindisa
A useful way to mark where you want a pantry to be is with glass walls and doors. “We’ve successfully designed walk-in pantries in even the smallest of galley kitchens,” says Oana Sandu, lead designer at Blakes London. “On a recent project in a small, terraced house in London, we demarcated a pantry area by adding glass doors which led through to a space which housed the more utilitarian parts of a kitchen, including a larger sink and dishwasher, as well as other appliances. This allowed the open-plan kitchen to feel less functional and to blend in more harmoniously with the sofa and living areas in the space.” Glass doors work well in small spaces where you wish to draw light in, or simply where you want to add further visual interest. “Reeded glass works particularly well in pantries that may not always look tidy. It still lets light through, but it obstructs enough of the view that it needn’t be immaculate all the time. If glass doesn’t work, hiding a pantry behind tall joinery that matches the rest of the kitchen is another popular and elegant solution,” continues Oana.
Before you design your pantry, consider exactly what will go in it. Historically, non-perishable foods such as jams, grains, and flour, together with table linens and silverware, would have been stored in a pantry. “Nowadays they are more versatile, and often they double up as a utility room and may include a supplementary fridge or freezer too,” says Adrian Bergman, design manager at British Standard by Plain English. “As appliances are becoming more chic, there is more likely a combination of some on display and some that are concealed,” explains Thea Ingram of Stanza ID. Plan a mix of cupboard types and shelving to accommodate a variety of needs, then Before you design your pantry, consider exactly what will go in it. Historically, non-perishable foods such as jams, grains, and flour, together with table linens and silverware, would have been stored in a pantry. “Nowadays they are more versatile, and often they double up as a utility room and may include a supplementary fridge or freezer too,” says Adrian Bergman, design manager at British Standard by Plain English. “As appliances are becoming more chic, there is more likely a combination of some on display and some that are concealed,” explains Thea Ingram of Stanza ID.
Plan a mix of cupboard types and shelving to accommodate a variety of needs, then identify how you would like the space to function – do you want to incorporate a sink or small fridge? Do you want a dishwasher in there or is it simply food storage? This will determine your choice of flooring, lighting and heating. “In most cases, the space is primarily for storage and has lower footfall, so there’s no one floor that I’d say is miles better than another,” says Adrian. “To keep it connected to the kitchen and continue the flow, we often recommend using the same material in both spaces.”
Alternatively, tiles always work well. “Clients often like to have a bit of fun in a pantry. We’re currently installing a pantry with mosaic hexagons and writing in the tiles, to create a more laid-back bistro vibe,” explains Oana. “But if the space is open-plan or particularly small, it’s a good idea to run the same flooring throughout.” Ideally, you should avoid underfloor heating – traditional pantries wouldn’t be heated as food is better preserved in a cool, dry place. Functionality should be your first thought, then aesthetics.
Add LED strips under each shelf of a pantry at the rear, so that the jars are backlit by a soft, flattering glow. In the evening, when the doors are closed, fluted glass diffuses the light even more, creating a cosy and inviting atmosphere. “Some clients like to paint the pantry a different colour to the rest of the kitchen, perhaps a bold, bright shade,” suggest Anna Sadej of Kitchen Connections. “In a small space like this, you can have fun with colours and finishes in a way you might not feel confident to do elsewhere.” Finally, who can resist a well-stocked shelf of neatly labelled Kilner jars? Indulge your inner Marie Kondo and display your food in ways that bring you joy.