Or a pantry with drawers and shelves?!

I loved this question when it popped up our FB community group. The decision on how to design our kitchen pantry hovered at the top of my mind when designing our kitchen renovation; did we need drawers? What about shelves? What would be best for a family of four? and I was so excited to be thinking about a pantry after sooooo long of making do.

So let’s explore the different design options with your pantry.

Traditional Pantry Shelving

Traditional pantry shelving is easy, common and generally inexpensive. However it can be hard to reach items at the back of shelves and very awkward to access when low or high. 

Just In Place Pantry Design with Shelves Sydney
Traditional Pantry with shelves; Just In Place, Sydney

Pantry Drawers

Drawers are more expensive due to the cost of hardware (runners) and materials. The benefit is they allow for maximum visibility and you can convert an existing pantry into one with pull-out drawers. 

There is a range of drawer options available from baskets to solid. Keep in mind that those with angled sides can impact overall storage capacity.

Gallery Living Pull Out Drawers with Shelves
Pull-out shelves behind door; Gallery Living, Sydney

BUT what about a mix of both?!!! (hint – this can also help your budget!!)

Mix of both traditional pantry shelving and drawers...

In our FB community group the consensus around best pantry design was definitely a mix of both shelves and drawers with some members loving having drawers to bench height and shelving above, to some having drawers up to eye height. 

Just In Place drawers and shelves in pantry kitchen design
Pantry with internal drawers and shelves; Just In Place Sydney

Our expert, David from Cutting Edge Kitchens, recommended five drawers up to chest height with shelves above. Drawers with quality hardware can hold up to 65kgs, far more than a shelf, and provide excellent visibility and access to see items at the back.

Some top design tips to consider:

  • Pantry can be tucked behind two doors to give an integrated sleek look. 
  • Box caps can be fitted to the side drawers to fill in the gaps
  • If you think it would be annoying to open two doors to then open drawers then you could have drawers with faces to bench height with shelves above behind two doors. 
  • Depending on pantry width you could have one door!
  • Install a light that comes on when the doors open for shelving
Internal drawers behind doors Improva
Pantry with internal drawers and shelves; Improva Sydney

Don't forget FUNCTION - how would you best use pantry drawers?

When designing your pantry remember how it would function for you and your family. If you have drawers the trick is finding the right containers to suit the drawers, and having a mix of drawer heights, these could be:

  • Spice drawer (if you don’t already have this placed near your cooktop)
  • Baking drawer – for larger containers of baking products such as flours
  • Labelling the tops of containers for ease of finding products
  • And consider how you would store those easy-access high-use items i.e. cereals, kids snacks….

So what did I design for my kitchen?

Well, after much consideration (and perhaps overthinking 🙂 I’ve gone with drawers to bench height with a Hamptons-style profile and a two-door cabinet above with pantry shelving. A lot like this pantry below that you can spy to the right of this gorgeous kitchen by Joinery Hub! Cannot wait!!

Joinery Hub Kitchen Pantry drawers and shelves
Pantry with drawers and cupboard above; Joinery Hub, Sydney

x Marissa

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