Designing the Ideal Kitchen Pantry
As kitchens have come to play a much more integral role in home design, we’ve seen homeowners increasingly opt for butler’s pantries as a way to balance form and function.
Perfect for families, frequent entertainers or avid cooks, walk-in pantries offer a multitude of functions to help get the most out of your kitchen. From storage to extra food preparation space and a home for appliances, a perfectly planned pantry will pay for itself many times over.
Even if your kitchen doesn’t allow for a walk-in pantry, there are still some best practices to guide you in maximising the space you do have. Here are the crucial things to consider when designing your pantry with bespoke joinery in Sydney.
While walk-in pantries can come in all kinds of layouts and configurations, there are a few basic measurements you’ll want to factor in when planning your renovation.
Benches will generally require at least 600mm, and kitchen pantry cabinets around half this depth. Allow at least 1000mm for walkways (though 1200mm is recommended if you have space). Factor in that any appliances like fridges and dishwashers will need additional space again; plus room to allow for the doors to open.
You may find that a U-shape layout works best for deeper spaces; if your pantry area is narrower, it may be better to opt for a single bench with cabinetry above.
If you find yourself struggling to reclaim an extra 300mm from your main kitchen area or adjoining rooms, then consider how a built-in pantry might work better for your space.
The main idea behind a butler’s pantry is its functionality – so storage should all be planned around helping you find what you need quickly, and with as minimal effort as possible.
Opting for open shelving instead of cupboards helps to keep your most-used items visible and easily accessible.
Drawers can also help make efficient use of under-bench space. While deep-set drawers might not be practical in your main kitchen area, these can be the perfect solution for keeping small or medium-sized appliances that get moderate use.
Open shelves paired with baskets can also be a good option for storage beneath the bench. This gives you the flexibility to customise your storage as needed, while still keeping things organised and easy to find.
Extra bench space is one of the walk-in pantry’s major appeals, so your design should maximise room for preparation and storage for things used frequently.
Incorporate plenty of powerpoints as your walk-in pantry is the perfect place to set up daily appliances like kettles, coffee machines, toasters and other appliances that would otherwise take up space in your main kitchen.
As you’ll likely be coming in and out of your pantry quite frequently, lighting is key to its functionality.
Motion-sensor lights can be a great option, particularly when you’re unloading the groceries or carrying dishes. This frees up your hands and also means you won’t accidentally leave the lights on.
Natural light if you can incorporate it will help to prevent the space from feeling cramped and stuffy, as a window can also help with ventilation.
Ensure benches are well-lit – strip lighting under your kitchen pantry cabinets is an effective way to illuminate your workspaces, both in a walk-in pantry or in your main kitchen area.
The finishings you use in your butler’s pantry will be determined by its relationship to your main kitchen.
If it’s more of an open extension that’s on display and visible from the kitchen area, then you’ll likely want to match the materials and fixtures for consistency.
In our years of experience designing bespoke joinery in Sydney for walk-in pantries, incorporating a sliding door to keep the zones separate gives you more options, in terms of the materials you use and how much you spend on the fit-out.
For example, you could opt for budget-friendly materials like laminate in a similar finish to your main kitchen benchtops as a cost-saving measure.