Walk in Pantry vs. Cabinetry Pantry – Which is Better?
In many kitchen design conversations that our team has with clients, the discussion often turns to the debate about the relative merits of a walk in pantry versus a cabinetry pantry. People who already have walk-in pantries in their kitchens are often wedded to them and are very hesitant to abandon them in a kitchen remodel process for fear of losing storage space. However, it is often the case that a walk-in pantry will need to be removed to open up space in a major kitchen renovation. Nevertheless, there are pros and cons to each, which we will explore here.
The Walk in Pantry
On the surface, a walk in pantry seems like a great choice for a kitchen. They are spacious and elegant and are retro and modern at the same time.
The major issue with walk in pantries is location. For the most part, walk in pantries are either located inside the kitchen, taking up a lot of important space, or they are situated outside of the kitchen, making them inconvenient to access when trying to prepare a meal. Leaving the primary cooking area numerous times to get food items and other ingredients can be very annoying.
Another con is the amount of space that actually gets used. Incorporating a walk-in closet into a home that doesn’t have one already requires a lot of space and the right home layout to make it work.
Furthermore, while they seem large, a walk in pantry is not always the most practical in terms of organization and storage. Most walk-in pantries are lined with shelves and, while these shelves can be great for storage, most people will only access the front part of the shelf. No matter how deep the shelf, if you stack items behind each other things quickly become impossible to find.
Cabinet pantries are exactly what their name implies – tall cabinets with lots of storage space that contain food and other items right in the main kitchen space. Although these cabinets will typically offer less square footage of storage space than a walk-in storage area, the different options for storage are nearly endless. The key to the flexibility of a cabinet pantry are the different elements that can be incorporated into the unit.
By integrating rollouts and other internal cabinetry components inside your cabinet pantry you can achieve as much or even more storage space in a cabinet pantry than you can in a walk-in pantry. For instance, if the cabinet is designed with 24″ deep rollouts for cans and other items, the convenience is greater than a walk-in since you will be able to see all of the contents of the shelf without having to move one can to get to the next.
There is no real answer to this debate. Both walk-in pantries and cabinetry pantries have their merits and it is ultimately a matter of style, convenience and the size and configuration of the space that will determine which is the best option for your kitchen. What is important is that you work closely with your Performance Kitchen designer to come up with the best option for you.
For further reading on kitchen cabinets, read our post on cabinets that go to the ceiling