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Designing a Functional Kitchen with Pantry Cabinets and Accessories

Designing a kitchen with functional storage is a topic we think about daily. The top two reasons that inspire a homeowner to remodel a kitchen include a dated kitchen style and poorly functioning kitchen cabinet design. If your kitchen doesn't work as hard as you do, it will quickly turn into your unhappy place. Poor kitchen design, no matter how new, pretty, and shiny it may be, is a source of stress that ultimately results in less kitchen use and more money spent eating out. So, if you're designing a new kitchen, let's put some thought into this topic to help you get your design right the first time. If you're remodeling a kitchen, especially one you have cooked in for a while, you can probably make a list of areas working against you right now... We'll see if we can help you get it right the second time!

White Shaker Kitchen Cabinets in a small open concept kitchen with built in appliances, pantry cabinet, and beautiful crown molding on top.
Hudson White Shaker Kitchen Cabinets featuring a Tall Pantry Cabinet on the Right

I don't care if you are designing your new kitchen for yourself or you plan to sell, there are two things that are an absolute must:

  1. Your Kitchen Should Be Pretty

  2. Your Kitchen Should Function Easily

You may have already narrowed down some beautiful cabinet styles, so let's move on to kitchen designs that function easily. Specifically, in this post, I want to introduce you to some of the different options there are for pantry cabinets. If you already have an actual pantry in your kitchen, maybe a walk-in pantry, great! You've got an advantage. If your kitchen doesn't have a pantry or your pantry simply doesn't offer enough storage, we've got a solution... Tall Pantry Cabinets.


Tall Pantry Cabinets

The image above shows a tall pantry cabinet to the right of the refrigerator in the Hudson White Shaker Ready-to-Assemble Kitchen Cabinets Pantry cabinets are a full 24" deep and come in multiple heights that allow you to match the height of your upper wall cabinets. Pantry cabinets are available in multiple widths allowing you to select a cabinet size that makes sense for your kitchen. You can even use multiple pantry cabinets together to create a beautiful wall of built-in cabinets. I want to take a step back to point out the 'pretty' factor. If you're wanting to give your kitchen a bit of a high-end look without breaking the bank, notice how this pantry cabinet has been installed directly next to the stainless refrigerator creating a built-in fridge design. The other side of the fridge sits next to a full depth tall oven cabinet, but this design could also be created with an additional pantry cabinet or simply a tall refrigerator end panel to complete the built-in look. If you're considering building an actual pantry in your kitchen, you may want to do the math. Pantry cabinets offer additional style for your kitchen, install quickly compared to traditional pantry construction, and may actually save you money in the long run.


Tall Pantry Cabinet Pull-Out Trays

This image shows the bottom half of a tall pantry cabinet with roll-out trays installed.  Once the pantry cabinet doors are open, these built-in trays (that function like drawers) can be easily pulled out to increase visibility and access to items in the back.
Lower Portion of Pantry Cabinet with Easy to Access Roll-Out Trays

Many pantry cabinets include adjustable shelves, which are super helpful and make it easy to customize your pantry storage. Other pantry cabinets include easy to access Roll-Out Trays. Roll-out trays function just like drawers for the insides of your cabinets. Once you open your cabinet doors, these trays can be pulled out allowing you to easily access items in the back. No more bending over and reaching into the dark cabinet only to find your expired green beans. These solid wood trays being everything out into the light and really make life easier. Now your expired canned goods will be in plain sight :)


This pantry cabinet has wire roll out trays installed in the lower portion of the tall cabinet.  THese chrome finish wire roll out trays make items in the cabinet easier to find and the metal finish easily wipes clean.
Kitchen Pantry Cabinet with Wire Roll-Out Trays

Wire roll out trays are also a great option. Roll-out trays are an easy add-on if you select cabinetry that does not already include them or you choose to add them at a later date. Please note that roll out trays should only be installed below eye level as it is too hard to see into them in the upper cabinets; the pictured cabinets show the lower portion of a pantry cabinet with installed roll out trays. If you're having trouble deciding on wood vs. metal roll out trays, consider what types of items you intend to store (especially if you might be storing seasoning packets that are likely to fall through the slots). This decision really is a matter of personal preference.



A full height base pull out pantry cabinet shown installed in the Gloss White Euro Slab Kitchen Cabinets.  Base pull out cabinets create easy to access storage for spices, pantry items, and other cooking essentials while creating accessibility for individuals with disabilities or mobility issues.
Base Pull-Out Pantry Cabinet | Base Pull=Out Spice Rack shown installed in the Gloss White Euro Slab Kitchen Cabinets

Base Spice Pull-Out Pantry Cabinet

The above picture shows a newer style of kitchen cabinet that many people are not yet familiar with. Base pull out pantry cabinets or base spice pull out cabinets are full height base cabinets that create easy-access food storage in narrow spaces. These cabinets are available in a 9" width (some cabinet styles offer them in a 6" width as well). While you can place these cabinets almost anywhere in your kitchen design, we often use them next to the stove, sometimes on either side, as they make great storage cabinets for spices, oils, and other frequently used cooking essentials. If you are designing a kitchen for someone with mobility issues, pull out spice racks / pull out pantry cabinets (as well as the other accessories mentioned above) are a super helpful addition to your kitchen design as they make items easy to reach and provide a lower storage option for items that are traditionally stored in upper cabinets.


I hope this article helped you find some inspiration and options for your kitchen cabinet design and pantry options. Prefinished Cabinets specializes in creating beautifully functional kitchens for contractors and homeowners alike. If you decide you need a little help creating your best possible kitchen layout, please take advantage of out Free Kitchen Design Service. This service is available to both contractors and homeowners and is an excellent investment in your kitchen's future - It really is free! You will be able to see your kitchen space in your selected cabinet style and be able to order exactly what you need to successfully install your kitchen cabinets. To learn more about Prefinished Cabinets, click here.


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