Whatever happened to the kitchen pantry?

23rd April 2019

small jars of herbs and spices

People of ‘a certain age’ will remember visiting their Grandparents and being sent to the pantry for the biscuit tin. There are still many older houses that offer a ‘walk-in’ pantry as a feature. But equally, new houses are not usually designed and built to include this type of room.

What was a pantry used for?

Years ago, probably before fridges were a standard kitchen accessory, a pantry was the coldest place in the house. A room to store semi-perishable items, away from the heat of the kitchen. Food that didn’t need to be in a fridge but stored at room temperature.

They were really walk-in store cupboards. Probably associated more with the era of pickling and preserving, one of the seasonal jobs that was undertaken. An opportunity for home grown fruit and vegetables to be enjoyed throughout the winter months, picked, prepared and stored in jars using various recipes.

 Photo by Kokil Sharma from Pexels

You could also store tinned food. Something we have done in more recent times. Encouraged by the cooking programmes on TV to make simple, quick easy recipes from the store cupboard. The essentials you always need in the house to ensure you can make that supper dish everybody loves.

Replaced but not forgotten

These days, and for the majority of houses, a pantry is a bit of a wasted room. With larger kitchens that double up as dinning-rooms, often used as the main living space. A separate room to store your food could be considered a bit of a luxury. I mean a cupboard you can walk into with shelves of food!

If you have designed your kitchen correctly, there isn’t really a need for a pantry. Plenty of cupboard, even draw space, to store food and those essential items you always need to have in the house.

The thought of running out of space is not an issue either. There is always the utility room. An additional shelf in here could enable you to store the extra jars, tins or bottles. Even shelves in the garage can be used as an overflow.

traditional style blank and white kitchen

Still around today

It might sound like we don’t like pantries, which isn’t the case. Fitted with a shelving system they are great places to display all your store cupboard items.

You can even theme the contents, try putting all your baking ingredients together. This helps you see what you’ve run out of and where the gaps are. So next time you go shopping, the store cupboard item can be replaced.

How you use your space

A well-planned kitchen should give you enough space to store your pots, pans and food. All easily accessible. The type of stacking systems available behind cupboard doors will let you see all your stored items. You simply have to pull the storage unit out to see them.

white kitchen with textured white tiling

Empty wall space in the utility room is another area where you can put shelves. Or, if you have spare cupboard space this can be used. It’s almost a modern-day pantry, with all the kitchen accessories added.

If you don’t feel you have enough space in your kitchen or think you can use it a lot better, talk to a kitchen fitter. They will have a lot of ideas and might suggest something you hadn’t even thought about. Always looking for ways to make the heart of your home beat.


Why not leave a comment and let us know what your thoughts are on the pantry?