Let’s explore the pros and cons of these popular kitchen storage options.
When you’re building a new home or redesigning your existing kitchen it is only natural to decide whether to go with a walk-in or cabinet pantry. Some homeowners want wall-to-wall shelves and customized inserts, while others are satisfied with just a few shelves and pullouts tucked inside a kitchen cabinet. Here are the pros and cons of both styles.
Pro: Have More Storage Capacity
Walk-in pantries are a home chef’s best friend. They take the cake when it comes to sheer volume of storage space. With multiple walls of floor-to-ceiling shelves, they’re big enough to store dozens of ingredients, cookbooks, snacks, pots, pans, medium to large cooking appliances and more.
Con: Storage is More Spread Out
Bigger isn’t always better, especially when you’re in the mood to whip up a quick dinner. It may take a few extra minutes to gather your ingredients in a large walk-in pantry. You may have trouble remembering where you put your sugar and flour. Walk-in pantries are also some distance away from appliances and prep space, which can reduce efficiency when you’re cooking. Some homeowners prefer the convenience of having ingredients on hand in their kitchen.
Pro: Can Be Better Organized
Cabinet pantries aren’t inefficient by any means, but walk-in pantries let you get a little more creative with your organization techniques. You can sort your items by row or column, by food group and so on. The limit is only your imagination.
Con: Require More Upkeep
Unfortunately, a highly organized pantry comes at a price. More space, more shelves equals more to keep clean and tidy. It takes time and effort to dust off dirty surfaces and declutter shelves. If you’re looking to cut back on your weekly to-do list, you may prefer a cabinet pantry with less storage and less upkeep.
Pro: Can Store Appliances with Ease
Cabinet pantries can house toasters, coffee makers and mixers too, but it’s usually at the expense of valuable storage space. Walk-in pantries can comfortably fit larger appliances like microwaves, slow cookers, juicers and deep fryers, freeing up kitchen counter space and they’re easy to grab when you need them. Some pantries may even have enough space for a second refrigerator or freezer.
Con: Take Up a Lot of Space
A major downside to walk-in pantries is that they require a lot of space to be functional and efficient. If you’re designing a new kitchen or remodeling an existing one, you’ll have to shrink your kitchen’s footprint to accommodate a walk-in pantry. This can be an issue for homeowners who are short on space and want to maximize the size of their kitchen.
Pro: Storage Space is More Centralized
Cabinet pantries confine all of your snacks, ingredients and small appliances to a single space. You don’t have to spend time searching through several walls of shelves to find what you need. Less time looking means more time cooking.
Con: Have Limited Storage Space
A single cabinet devoted to pantry storage won’t be enough for some homeowners, especially avid cooks. While you can fit larger appliances inside a cabinet pantry, they use a lot of the limited space. One way to get an excellent storage capacity with cabinet pantries is to have more than oneinto your kitchen, but that will eat up more counter space.
Pro: Storage is More Accessible
Having your pantry in the middle of your kitchen will cut down on the time you spend walking to and from your pantry. Placing it next to your refrigerator and across from your range will create a super efficient workstation.
Inside features can also increase your cabinet pantry’s accessibility. Pullout drawers, for instance, allow you to see every snack and ingredient at once, which reduces the amount of time you’ll spend rummaging. They’re easy on your back too.
Pro: Don’t Take Up a Lot of Space
Cabinet pantries are on the smaller side compared to walk-in pantries. Most measure 24 to 36 inches wide. They’re an efficient storage solution for small or medium-size kitchens, providing a little extra shelf and drawer space without giving up too much in return.
Con: Take Up Counter Space
You’ll definitely lose some counter space, no matter how small your cabinet pantry may be. If you’re designating multiple cabinets as pantry storage, be prepared to give up a significant amount of prep space. Either way, it’s important to navigate the delicate balance of storage and counter space with care. This loss is felt less in larger kitchens but can impact the way a smaller kitchen functions.
Consider the size of your kitchen and the way you cook when deciding what type of pantry is best for you.