Your pantry is, or should be, a fundamental component of an organized and well-functioning kitchen, offering a designated space to store and access a variety of items. From maximizing space to incorporating organizational solutions, in this post let’s look at how to design a functional and stylish kitchen pantry in your home. We’ll show you how to design a pantry that aligns with your lifestyle needs, complements your kitchen design, and optimizes your daily tasks in a marriage of form and function.

What is a Pantry?

A Historic Townhome Bath and Laundry Room Remodel in Alexandria, VA

A pantry is a designated storage area within a kitchen or adjacent space, specifically designed to provide a centralized location for organization and storage for food items, kitchen supplies and household essentials. Outfitted with shelves and various storage solutions, its primary purpose is generally to provide storage for non-perishable goods, dry ingredients and small kitchen appliances in order to optimize kitchen workflow and minimize clutter in the kitchen workspace.

How Will You Use Your Pantry?

There are a number of ways you can use your pantry to create a functional kitchen.

  • kitchen pantryDry goods and canned storage. Your pantry serves as a place to store dry goods like flour, sugar, pasta, rice and cereals so you can easily locate ingredients for cooking or baking. It is also a great place to store canned goods.
  • Grouping vegetables, fruits, soups, and types of ingredients together helps you find them easily when needed and allows a quick inventory of what’s available.
  • Snack grab. Organize your pantry with a grab-and-go snack section, making it a simple task to select your favorite snack. This is a great organizational tool for families with children.
  • Small appliance storage. Your pantry serves as a home for the kitchen appliances and tools you don’t use often, such as blenders, food processors and specialty cooking gadgets.
  • Cleaning supplies. Beyond food, store your cleaning supplies, household essentials and paper goods in your pantry.

How Much Space is Available for your Pantry?


When remodeling your kitchen, talk with your design build firm about adding or increasing the size of a pantry. You’d be surprised at the creative ways a pantry can be incorporated into your kitchen design.

You’ll begin by assessing the layout and dimensions of your kitchen, including the available wall space width and height. You can often find underutilized areas that can offer the potential for additional storage without compromising the kitchen’s flow and functionality.

Next, consider the existing cabinetry and appliances and evaluate whether they can be relocated or resized to create room for a pantry. The goal is to seamlessly integrate the pantry into the kitchen layout.

Corners and alcoves can serve a pantry spaces with the installation of custom-built pantry cabinets and pull-out shelving. Vertical spaces, such as the area between the countertops and ceiling can also be used for tall pantry cabinets.

Determine whether you want a walk-in, reach-in or pull-out pantry, and ensure that your pantry does not impede movement or create obstacles. It should be strategically located for easy access without disrupting the natural flow of kitchen activities.

Two Popular Types of Pantries: Walk-in and Reach-in

The two most popular types of pantries are walk-in and reach-in. Understanding the characteristics and differences of each can help you make the right decision.

Walk-in Pantry

A walk-in pantry is a larger space typically enclosed by a door or double doors. It resembles a small room within the kitchen and offers ample storage capacity and the easiest accessibility to a wide variety of items. Homeowners can organize their groceries, small appliances and kitchen essentials in a systematic manner using build-in shelving, cabinetry and even countertop space within the pantry.


  • Abundant storage space for bulk storage. Ideal for large families or avid cooks who like to stock up on ingredients.
  • More organizational options with custom shelving, drawers, countertops and organizational systems to keep things neatly arranged and available.
  • Clutter-free kitchen, with everything neatly hidden behind a door.


  • More square footage A smaller kitchen design may not allow for a walk-in pantry.
  • Cost of building or converting a space into a walk-in pantry may be more expensive than a smaller, reach-in solution.

Reach-in PantryA reach-in pantry is a more compact and space-efficient option and fits best into smaller kitchen layouts. This type is characterized by its accessibility and ability to seamlessly integrate into your existing kitchen cabinetry. Typically, a reach-in pantry includes tall cabinets or pull-out shelves to provide convenient access without requiring a separate enclosed space. And while it may not offer the same storage as a walk-in pantry, a reach-in pantry can maximize storage in kitchens where space optimization is a priority.


  • Ideal for smaller kitchens. A reach-in pantry optimizes space without compromising functionality.
  • Easy access, with everything within arm’s reach, making it convenient for daily meal preparation.
  • Budget friendly, making a reach-in pantry a more practical choice for those with a limited budget.


  • Limited storage. While more space-efficient, a reach-in pantry may sacrifice some storage capacity in favor of integration with existing cabinetry and countertops. For those who like to stock up on pantry staples, or have a large family, the space may feel cramped.
  • Organizational challenges. A smaller space can become quickly cluttered, requiring more thoughtful organization.

Which Pantry Type is Best for You?

The Open Concept Kitchen – One Solution Suitable for Many Lifestyle StagesDetermining the best type of pantry for your needs involves thoughtful consideration of available space, organizational requirements, accessibility preferences, and your overall kitchen layout.

  1. Assess your kitchen’s size. Do you have room for a walk-in pantry?
  2. Consider your storage needs. Do you like to purchase in bulk or have a large family?
  3. Account for accessibility. Do you need to reach items without extensive reaching or bending?
  4. Look at flow. A walk-in pantry can impact the flow and aesthetics of a kitchen since it requires a dedicated space, while a reach-in pantry can seamlessly integrate with existing flow.
  5. Seek the advice of a design build firm that can provide valuable insights based on your specific kitchen layout, storage needs and preferences.

Quick Guide to Choosing the Right Pantry Type:

Walk-in Pantry

  • Large households who can benefit from the additional storage space
  • Cooking enthusiasts who need a variety of ingredients on hand
  • Entertainers who enjoy hosting dinner parties or gatherings

Reach-in Pantry

  • Smaller households or those who appreciate space-saving design
  • Efficiency of a minimalist and efficient kitchen set-up
  • Everyday cooks who stick to the essentials and prioritize quick access to ingredients

By integrating the principles in this post, you’ll have the tools that can help you create a pantry that meets your storage needs and reflects your personal style. Whether opting for a spacious walk-in pantry or a compact, efficient reach-in design, keep in mind your ultimate goals: streamlining your daily tasks, minimizing clutter, and contributions to a kitchen environment that is both practical and a pleasure to use.

Choose a Qualified Design-Build Firm like Schroeder Design Build for your New Pantry

To ensure a successful and satisfying outcome, select a qualified design-build firm. Schroeder Design Build is an excellent choice for Northern Virginia homeowners seeking to create a pantry in their homes due to its distinguished reputation, comprehensive experience, and commitment to delivering high-quality design and remodeling services.

You’ll enjoy our client-centric approach. Our commitment to open and honest communication ensures that your vision for your pantry is understood and translated into a design that works with your lifestyle and preferences. By integrating the design and construction phases, we streamline the entire project, resulting in a more efficient timeline and better coordination.

With a proven track record of successful projects, and a deep knowledge of kitchen design principals and organizational efficiency, Schroeder Design Build can help you create a functional and stylish pantry.

Contact Schroeder Design Build Today

Get started on your kitchen and pantry design. Contact Schroeder Design Build for your free initial consultation.

Take a look at our kitchen design portfolio. And sign up for our newsletter for great remodeling ideas.