Deep fryers, juicers, mixers, pasta machines, Nespresso coffee machines and slow cookers.
Such is the accumulation of gadgets in the average home, and the need for a place to store them, that the pantry is now the staple of the kitchen.
Research from DIY retailer Wickes shows that 21 percent of people insist pantries are now one of the “most desirable” kitchen features, with most now using them as an “appliance garage.” ” for devices.
This latest evolution is just the latest twist in the pantry’s long history. In medieval times, the homes of the wealthy had a special closet or tiny room where bread was kept.
The word pantry takes its name from the Latin word for bread, panis, which became pain in French.
New Order: A Tom Howley kitchen with a hidden pantry, perfect for gadgets like deep fryers and slow cookers
Culinary arrangements became more sophisticated in the following centuries, with meat being kept cool in a pantry.
This cold, north-facing room took its name from the Latin lardarium, a place to store meat. A pantry was reserved for other foods.
Regardless of the name given to this facility, more thought and planning is going into its design than ever before.
The current trend was fueled by increased interest in home cooking during the pandemic, making people more willing to invest in their kitchens.
The desire to incorporate a pantry into a project of this type has also been fueled by social media.
In 2017, actress and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow posted photos of her perfectly arranged grains, seeds, oils, and snacks in her pantry on Instagram. Earlier this year, Kim Kardashian shared a tour of her new well-ordered pantry on TikTok.
People choose a ready-made pantry cabinet or are spending on a custom version.
Tom Howley, of design firm Tom Howley Kitchens, says: “Space is at a premium in the kitchen, so we aim to make the most of it, using the full height of the room and making sure every inch has a purpose”.
Wickes’ research indicates that one in ten people who remodeled their kitchen were more interested in its appearance than its function.
“Consider the size of appliances and the packaging of your favorite foods when planning your pantry,” says Elizabeth Sherwin, creative director of Naked Kitchens. “Opt for a combination of drawers and shelves, especially solid drawers, as they have a better weight limit and storage capacity.”
Sherwin suggests space-saving solutions for narrow kitchens, such as bi-fold doors or “pocket” doors, doors that slide into a cavity in a wall.
If you think a pantry would be a great addition to your kitchen, a total remodel isn’t necessary. There are cabinets for kitchens of all sizes and at all prices.
Cotswoldco caters to those who like the chic look of the country kitchen, with its uncluttered Shaker-style cabinets in soft greys, off-whites, blues and beiges. This is the most popular kitchen aesthetic, according to Wickes’ research.
Cotswoldco Painswick single pantry with one door and one set of drawers is £999; the triple version, with three doors and three sets of drawers, costs £1,999. (cotswoldco.com).
Furniture Market also offers a range of models, with prices starting at £399 (thefurnituremarket.co.uk).
There are fewer options for those who prefer contemporary minimalism, though IKEA’s £490 Metod pantry cabinet in black or white is utterly simple (ikea.com).
Wayfair’s edgy black Esgerth pantry cabinet is £379.99, down from £419.99 (wayfair.co.uk)
The closet, however, is just the beginning. For pantry perfection, look for accessories like cork-topped jars, spice racks, and baskets. Are you ready for all that labeling and cleanup?