Dining Room

Stroll-in Pantries: Hidden Gems – Kitchen & Tub Design Information

Reacting to the modifications in shopper attitudes for the reason that early lockdowns from COVID-19, suppose tanks and commerce associations have been researching and forecasting how the post-pandemic house owner needs to dwell. With individuals spending a lot time at residence, wants and wishes have undergone a metamorphosis, and kitchen and bathtub designers are taking discover.

One of many developments that has emerged out of the pandemic is the growing curiosity in massive walk-in pantries. Dwelling cooking and storage of additional meals grew to become all-important in the course of the pandemic, and that development stays.

However kitchen designers say that, whereas Instagram-worthy pantries with rows of cork-topped spice containers and apothecary jars of canine treats have gone mainstream, the pantry as accent kitchen predates COVID. And that sort of pantry guarantees to be the actual development forward.

At a latest kitchen design summit, the Nationwide Kitchen & Tub Affiliation outlined nearly all of luxurious pantries as both a walk-in area for dry items and kitchen objects or an outsized, floor-to-ceiling area only for dry items. However skilled kitchen designers like Sarah Robertson and Heather Hungeling say that prep or “mess” kitchens are on their option to exchange the traditional pantry.

“Principal Avenue is catching on to the comfort of the prep kitchen idea,” says Hungeling, an Atlanta, GA-based kitchen designer and influential blogger. “Savvy builders are already providing residence designs with these supplemental workspaces.”

She finds it ironic the way it has gotten to some extent the place there’s a want for an ancillary kitchen. “We’ve been craving open flooring plans for thus lengthy,” she explains. “Each residence enchancment present on tv has had the designer flattening the partitions in the principle dwelling area to create these open flooring plans. As well as, householders needed to extend the variety of home windows of their kitchen, inevitably resulting in an absence of storage and comfort.”

Hungeling continues, “We’ve gladly accepted these trade-offs as a part of getting a kitchen that we will dwell in, till we realized that we had nowhere to place the toaster. Additionally, we’ve discovered ourselves feeling burdened by the necessity to have our kitchen be pristinely displayed always. The answer to this pickle is the prep kitchen. It permits us to have the openness and wonder in our major kitchen whereas giving us an additional work/storage space that’s a bit out of sight.”

Robertson, principal, Studio Dearborn, in Mamaroneck, NY agrees. She calls pantries that supply greater than storage “scorching.” 

“Be it a espresso bar, a house bar or a secondary prep/cooking space, individuals adore it as a result of it permits the principle kitchen to be designed extra as a luxurious dwelling area,” she observes.

PB Kitchen Design and Haven Design Group match a house bar right into a slim hallway behind the kitchen of a historic residence. The door was mirrored to replicate the sunshine again into the area and make the room really feel wider. — Photograph: Michael Kaskel


The design that Robertson created for one shopper is an efficient instance of the best way the pantry is evolving. The shopper needed a cupboard space off the principle kitchen for overflow of small home equipment; a espresso bar that included a small fridge, sink and chilly brew faucet; a children’ snack bar and room for youths’ artwork provides, and, in fact, meals storage. The overriding purpose was a pantry the place a multitude can dwell, however be open and accessible. 

The design completed all of this, however she needed to get very inventive. For instance, 11′ ceilings required a ladder that might wrap across the room, and the espresso bar wanted a chilly brew faucet as a result of the shopper loves a particular model of chilly brew and has it delivered to the home in a small keg. Robertson used perception from a New York Metropolis espresso bar on the right way to run a chilly brew faucet from the basement up into an unused nook of the pantry. The youngsters’ space was designed with shallow drawers for granola bars, nuts and different snack objects. Open cabinets and baskets are used to corral issues like chips and popcorn. The “exterior” a part of the pantry shops children’ artwork provides.

“That is what true luxurious is all about,” feedback Robertson. ”It’s not simply anticipating a shopper’s wants, however tailoring a design to satisfy these wants and supply particular areas the place the whole lot is contained and arranged when our lives are uncontrolled.”


Two distinctively totally different pantries have been Peter Deane’s idea for these householders, who like to entertain. Right here, the butler’s pantry gives numerous storage for meals staples, drinks and kitchen overflow. — Photograph: Paul Johnson

Not all pantries need to be that difficult, nevertheless. Empty nesters who prefer to entertain requested PB Kitchen Design of Geneva, IL for a nice-looking residence bar. PB and Haven Design Group of Geneva complied.

“It was a historic residence, and discovering room for such a bar was difficult,” tells Dan McFadden, president, PB Kitchen Design. “We did discover room within the again corridor between the kitchen and the again door. It was a good squeeze, however we pushed a tall cupboard right into a void within the wall and mirrored the door to assist replicate gentle again and make the area really feel wider. “

The bar is a supply of pleasure for the householders. The black customized cabinetry incorporates a sink and many storage, whereas open cabinets on a background of gleaming subway tiles maintain ample provides of glassware and bottles.

A eating pantry designed by Peter Deane of Deane, Inc. is the elegant companion of the butler’s pantry subsequent door, with customized cabinetry for wonderful china and equipment.
— Photographs: Paul Johnson
Valerie Corsaro and Alyson O’Hanlon designed this self-service residence bar space of a butler’s pantry for the Clive Christian Furnishings New Jersey showroom to showcase utter glamour. The backsplash for open shelving is gold leaf-backed mirror and the high-gloss black cabinetry consists of fridge/freezer drawers outfitted with an ice maker. — Photograph: Philip Innes Productions

Peter Deane, principal, Deane, Inc. in Stamford, CT designed two pantries for discerning householders. One, referred to as the butler’s pantry, options wall-wide, floor-to-ceiling cupboards and shops meals staples and overflowing kitchen objects, whereas the opposite is a eating pantry, situated proper subsequent to the eating room. It shops china, silver and different objects for elegant internet hosting. The eating pantry is very lavishly appointed, with gentle blue/grey cabinetry, ornamental wallcovering and gorgeous equipment. 

For his or her showroom on the Clive Christian Furnishings New Jersey showroom in Tenafly, NJ, Valerie Corsaro and Alyson O’Hanlon determined to showcase simply how glamorous a butler’s pantry could be. They selected high-gloss black cabinetry, a wall of deco-inspired glass mosaic tile by Creative Tile, and a light-weight marble countertop and flooring. A beneficiant residence bar is included. It’s designed as a self-service bar, with uncovered cabinets displaying glasses and bottles. The backsplash is goldleaf-backed mirror by Vintage Glass and elaborate wallpaper by Pierre Frey. The butler’s pantry features a hid fridge, freezer drawers outfitted with an ice maker, and, in fact, loads of area for ice buckets, serving items and bottles.


As Hungeling reviews in her weblog, traditionally, a butler’s pantry was a downstairs room in a big property residence, the place the china and silver was saved. Because it contained useful objects, it was a locked room to which the butler had the important thing. Therefore, the identify. 

Finally, the butler’s pantry advanced right into a walk-through space between the kitchen and eating room, often with glass show cupboards and a bar sink. In at present’s properties, it typically incorporates a espresso station or bar space.

Within the palms of Jere Bowden, an Auburn, AL designer lengthy serving a world clientele, a butler’s pantry turns into a gem of effectivity and traditional magnificence, As lovely as any major kitchen, it options all kinds of specialty storage:
extra-deep bases for big home equipment and trays; raised areas to accommodate infinite flatware, full with locks, and many fastidiously calculated room to cover small home equipment, a pair of dishwasher drawers, a big ice machine and cooking and serving gear. The additional-deep countertop is crucial when serving massive casserole dishes and arranging silver trays. Basic, timeless cabinetry and outdated reclaimed pine flooring creates the impression that the area has at all times been there. 

Bowden has designed quite a few auxiliary kitchens, thought of musts within the wonderful outdated mansions and trendy estates which have been her venue all through her profession. “In most properties there was at all times a clear and a unclean kitchen,” she tells. ”The clear kitchen was for visitors and the brand new method of cooking with ease, with higher gear and opulent, detailed interiors. The soiled kitchen was the service kitchen/chef’s pantry, typically with business home equipment. For a couple of years now, this formal service/caterer’s kitchen has given option to the chef’s prep kitchen. It has some actual soiled work occurring. Near the first kitchen, it has loads of mechanicals, comparable to many retailers for specialty small home equipment. These prep rooms are the place the meals is ready and readied for plating. It’s additionally the place the chef’s bar cart, crucial part, is available in. That includes heavy-duty, good-looking casters, it rolls backwards and forwards to the kitchen.”

One in all Bowden’s favourite initiatives is a kitchen for world-traveling householders, with superb treasures from unique locations. These treasures – sculptures, work, rugs and materials – are even displayed all through the kitchen and bar/chef’s prep areas. 

There are a number of components to this kitchen, which was designed with an abundance of blended cupboard colours, glass doorways and open shelving. There’s a bar space, with cabinetry, beaded backsplash, marble counter tops, filtered water dispenser, sink, a crystal assortment displayed behind glass doorways, microwave, ice machine and wine cooler; the kitchen, with each banquette seating for household eating and dialog and counter-height seating; and a chef’s prep space with all of the prerequisite parts. 

“Solely a really massive area might accommodate all these components,” feedback Bowden. “The house owner loves it as a result of there’s room for 2 or extra cooks and visitors to work and revel in meal preparation collectively and nonetheless be in dialog.”


This major kitchen, designed by Sarah Barnard, is adjoining to the pantry space and showcases a light-weight blue paying homage to nature. — Photograph: Chas Metivier
The householders needed the fridge and most meals storage remoted from the kitchen to supply ample meals prep and socializing In the principle kitchen. Sarah Barnard designed the storage with devoted area for dried items, spices and occasional and included massive drawers for crafts provides.
— Photograph: Chas Metivier

Sarah Barnard, principal, Sarah Barnard Design, in Santa Monica, CA says she is very within the infinite ways in which design can improve life, and she or he thinks pantries and auxiliary kitchens can do exactly that.

“A well-designed pantry for dry items, supplemental refrigeration and home equipment instills a way of order, group and abundance,” she says. “Having the ability to enter a pantry area, rapidly discover the objects you want, and convey them right into a prep area will enhance the effectivity and pleasure of cooking. And a closed-off pantry will help with sound discount, muffling the whir of the espresso grinder or blender within the early morning.”

A kitchen designed for Pacific Palisades householders additionally reveals her fondness for connecting design with nature. The cabinetry shade is the sunshine blue of sunny seas and skies, and art work by Christopher Medak, Kalsang Dawa and Louise LeBourgeois additionally shows nature’s greatest blues. The adjoining pantry space is designed to retailer meals and small home equipment, and  additionally consists of the fridge.

Designing a terrific luxurious pantry or prep kitchen takes loads of technical know-how, in fact, however Bowden encourages designers to get to know all the brand new bells and whistles coming down the pike. Of the presently obtainable improvements, she specific enjoys the brand new hid LED lighting, the array of equipment, the engineered hinges for hid storage, and superior air-tight containers for dry items and condiments. 

“There are such a lot of methods to make the house enjoyable once more,” she says. With all these new methods to arrange meals and drinks, there’s a want to search out additional area to retailer elements and small home equipment. Stroll-in pantries match the invoice and are having fun with their resurgence in recognition. ▪

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