Pantry Designs and Ideas

As kitchens have evolved over time, the humble kitchen pantry has now become an almost indispensable addition and turned into a Walk-in or Butler’s pantry. There are several types of kitchen pantries available and the right one for you will largely depend on your floorplan and the available space you have in the kitchen, plus what you need, how you cook and what you need to store.

Here are a few types of pantries to help you figure out which one will suit you best;

Butler’s Pantry

According to Apartment Therapy, traditionally a butler’s pantry was used to store silver pieces and kitchen related items. Usually, a butler would sleep in the pantry to guard these precious items!

Image: Est Living

Today, it acts as a secondary kitchen that functions not only to store food but also serve as your food preparation area. Most butler’s pantries today will have a sink, and sometimes a dishwasher and oven. Sometimes we have clients who want to keep strong cooking smells out of the main part of their home, so having a secondary kitchen works really well in these circumstances. It all comes down to your own needs.


A walk-in pantry is a place to store non-perishable food items along with small appliances such as a coffee machine, mix masters, blenders, and microwaves. Incorporating a breakfast bar in a Walk in Pantry is also a consideration for many.

Image: homebeautiful

Unlike the butler’s pantry, a walk-in- pantry doesn’t have a sink, but you may add a secondary fridge in it.

Traditional Pantry

This can be configured in many different ways, but is ultimately a space that is not walk-in. It could be a pull-out system, a drawer system, corner pantry, or a large cupboard. When space is tight in smaller kitchens, the design is even more critical to ensure you’re able to maximise space as much as possible.


Appliance Cupboard

An appliance cupboard can be used instead of a walk-in pantry to store appliances when space is tight. It sits on a bench and is designed at bench height. It can be combined with your overall pantry space so you have food storage and an area for appliances in one. An appliance cupboard can be designed behind a roller door, bi-fold doors, retractable doors or normal hinged doors.


Step-in Pantry

To make good use of corners, we often design what we call a Step-in pantry. It creates the illusion of a walk-in pantry and gives a bit of bench space where you can place your appliances, and also stores your food. It maximises space and makes good use of tricky corners.

Pull out Pantries

Pull out pantries were popular in the 90’s. The downside with pull out pantries is the lack of access to items that are hidden at the back, and the sides are not always high enough to store tall bottles and items tend to fall over.


For a better solution, use a pull-out drawer tower system from especially designed hardware brands such as Blum or Hettich,

Butler’s Pantry and Walk-in Pantry Setup

A Butler’s or Walk-in Pantry is really an area where you store food and appliances, and can prepare food. It not generally a space that is meant to be revealed to guests. For this reason, we suggest the following;-

  • Ideally, materials are best following through from the kitchen to the pantry. However, you can choose more cost effective materials if budget is a concern. For example, no splashback, or a different splashback, or a more cost effective benchtop.
  • Open shelving- Far more practical as items are more readily visible and accessible.
  • Door – A sliding door is ideal to keep the space separate and out of view.
  • Allows you to store long and wide items and appliances that you don’t necessarily use all the time.
  • Drawers- You can store canned food, baking items or spices.
  • Sinks- If you have the space, adding a sink and a window for natural light is ideal. It’s perfect for dumping dishes when having a dinner party, ideal for coffee and baking preparation.

You can’t really design something unless you know what you need. The functionality, your lifestyle, food preparation requirements and usability of space will determine your ideal kitchen and pantry design.

White Pebble Interiors does a complete Deep Dive Needs Assessment to understand how you cook and entertain, what you need and where you ideally need to store food, crockery, appliances and so forth. This forms the key driver for your kitchen design.

Ultimately, whether you have Butler’s Pantry, Walk in Pantry, Appliance Cupboard or traditional Pantry. It will be driven by your own requirements in your kitchen, so focus on what you need to get your design right.

Beautiful Kitchen Design Made Easy Online Course

Ready to design and create your own beautiful kitchen? Get all the interior designer insider knowledge in the Beautiful Kitchen Design Made Easy Online Course. With 21 self-paced modules, this online course allows you to create your dream kitchen. Find out more here.

We also offer kitchen design packages that include joinery design and material selections for a complete kitchen design. Click the link here to find more.

‘Your Forever Home’ Book – Free Access

Access the first three chapters of the ‘Your Forever Home’ book, a practical and helpful guide to gain insights on how to create a home that will suit your needs for the long term. Get FREE instant access here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.