The Case For the Kitchen Cabinet Pantry

It is time to take a fresh look at home design and consider the kitchen cabinet pantry. There was a time when every home was built with a large pantry off the kitchen. In many average homes, the pantry was the size of a small to mid-sized room.

Over the years, the pantry disappeared from the average American home. At about the same time, people migrated from rural areas to the suburbs. The migration, more than a change of address, brought a change of lifestyle.

People did not have space in the suburbs to maintain small family orchards or vegetable gardens. They stopped growing and canning or freezing their fruits and vegetables. They also stopped making their own jellies and jams.

Another lifestyle change occurred during the same time that people moved to the suburbs – the two-career family. When Mom began working outside the home, there was no time for canning and freezing. In fact, there was far less time for meal preparation.

Trends in home design and kitchen preferences led to smaller kitchens, larger major appliances and a smaller number of cabinets. The great proliferation of small appliances in the kitchen followed. Soon people needed more cabinets to store the food processor, coffee maker, mixer, electric can opener, waffle iron, toaster, etc.

With the renewal of interest in gourmet cooking, there was also a perceived need for all manner of gadgets, tools and the like. As people became invested in preparing meals, the kitchen began to recover its status as the center of family life. Today, kitchens are the center of a family’s life – eating, talking, entertaining, food preparation and cleanup.

Although designers began to design larger kitchens with space for top-of-the-line appliances, they did not include a kitchen cabinet pantry. People today are busier than ever, making shopping one more time-consuming chore. Because many people want to shop only weekly (instead of daily), it seems that the time has come to consider the kitchen cabinet pantry.

The kitchen cabinet pantry is available in a range of sizes, styles, woods and configurations. A kitchen cabinet pantry can be free-standing, wall-mounted or slide between two cabinets (or a cabinet and a refrigerator). In fact, a custom kitchen might have more than one “pantry” modified for specific uses.

Today’s kitchen cabinet pantry is used for storage of any number of items. It also can be customized for specific types of storage and items. A kitchen cabinet pantry can be organized in any number of ways, as well.

Many pantries have a number of shelves and organizational units to store canned soft drinks, soups, canned vegetables and canned fruit. They can be customized for roll-out shelves and slide-out baskets. All or part of a kitchen cabinet pantry can be built to store almost anything in a way that is organized, neat and accessible.

Some people organize their kitchen cabinet pantry alphabetically; others put items together that are used together; still others group items by size of container. A growing number of homeowners are also designing kitchens for multiple single-use pantries –

one beside the stove and oven for spices

one near the stove for canned goods and

another in a corner with bins for potatoes, onions and large fresh vegetables, glass or heavy plastic containers for staples like flour, sugar, brown sugar, etc., containers for pastas, and containers for grains and beans

A kitchen cabinet pantry can be used for any number of other items, including

table linens




light bulbs

candles and matches


pet treats

serving trays

The recent housing crisis has caused us to leave the huge houses and think about smaller homes. These homes will also have smaller kitchens. In small kitchens, it is essential to maximize space with storage options that include the kitchen cabinet pantry.

Thinking about all of our “stuff” and our need to reduce visible clutter to make the room look larger, we need organized space-saving storage options. Clearly, it is time to consider the kitchen cabinet pantry. Call your cabinetmaker to create the pantry (or pantries) you need and match your kitchen cabinetry.

By Laura