There are five common mistakes that you can make when adding a pantry to your kitchen

The pantry has become a lot like the kitchen island. It was once something that homeowners hoped would be essential to a new or remodeled kitchen. The design of pantries is becoming more compact and clever, allowing them to fit into kitchens with limited space.

You can also get carried away by the idea of all the extra storage and overlook some important considerations. This addition to your small kitchen will only be worthwhile if you get the size, layout, and positioning right. Pantries are expensive, and they take up a lot of space.

Before you focus on the layout of your ever-growing collection of pasta, we talked to kitchen designers to find out what small pantry mistakes are easy to make and how to avoid them.

Avoid these Small Pantry Mistakes

Discover how to make your small pantry work for you with our small pantry ideas, from helpful organization tips to the best shapes and styles of pantries recommended by our experts.

Ignoring the smaller details

It is possible to use a small pantry as a coffee station. This will allow you to keep all of your appliances hidden and your other surfaces clutter-free. Pocket doors work well for this, as they can be slid out of the way and hidden when not in use. Plug sockets are essential to the success of this design. Consider them from the start of your design.

Alex Main, Director of the Main Company, advises: “When designing your pantry consider the small details before designing the cabinetry.” What do you plan to use your pantry for? As an example, a homeowner may decide to use the pantry as a coffee station and not include any plug sockets in their electrical plans. Plan the use of the space, and have these details when designing it.

Reuben Ward, Lead designer at Blakes London, agrees: ‘Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your appliances. Decide which items will go where, and ensure that you have enough power, water, and waste disposal available for them. Lighting is also important to consider at the beginning. We recommend LED strips beneath shelves to ensure that all items can be clearly seen and you do not end up with dark, forgotten areas where things will die.

Going too small (or too deep)

It is possible to make a pantry too small so that it becomes redundant in your kitchen. You could use the space to install standard cabinetry. How small can a pantry be?

Sharon Sherman, founder of The Place and kitchen designer, suggests that you choose a pantry with a 12″ width to create a lot of storage in a small kitchen. I have a Walk-In Pantry that is 8′ deep and 6′ wide. It is a walk-in pantry that I can access. We store bulk items there, such as rice, large stockpots, platters, and bowls. There is also a counter which houses a few small appliances.

Consider how deep your pantry really is. With a small space, it is common to make the pantry narrow and deep. However, as Sharon points out, adding more room in reverse can lead to clutter being pushed backward, which will not be easily accessible.

“Any cabinet pantry deeper that 24” does not really give you extra space. The deeper the shelves are, the more likely you are to lose items at the back. It is a good idea to have shelves that can be pulled out so you can reach the items at the back. However, they should not be above your eye level.

Make sure you have plenty of space to move about the area and not just reach around in hopes you get the right thing. Allison Lynch, Senior Designer at Roundhouse, says, “One of the most common mistakes when designing a pantry is not to allow enough space for moving when It is important to sort items according to how often they will be used.


It is important to position your pantry correctly, regardless of how big or small it is. The easiest way to do this is to think about how you use the kitchen. What is the best place for a pantry? We still love the golden triangle when it comes to layouts for kitchens. It’s important to have your main working areas (fridge, sink, and stove) in a triangular arrangement that is easy to move around. You don’t want your pantry to disrupt the flow of work, so place it outside that triangle.

“One of my biggest no-nos when it comes to pantries is to place them right in the middle of work zones. This is a bad idea. I don’t know who thought it was a great idea, but I have seen this in the plans of many architects. Sharon Sherman says that clients have been told this is a great idea, but it’s not.

Alex Main, director of The Main Company, agrees: ‘As the larder is often used throughout the day, it’s best to avoid. The pantry door must be opened and closed to get items in and out. This is not the best use of space, and you’ll often find yourself in the way. Pantries work best in the corner of a kitchen, for example.

The ideal location for a pantry varies depending on the kitchen. It also depends on what the client needs. What is perfect for one person might not be suitable for another. Each kitchen is different. It is best to keep the pantry far away from your cooking area in order to prevent temperature changes that could affect your dry goods. The pantry should be close to the sink and cooktop for ease of access.

Add too much-closed storage.

When designing your pantry, you want everything to be accessible. We recommend avoiding closed storage units. It is practical to keep items visible, especially in small spaces, as it makes them more accessible. Features such as floating shelves and spice racks make this possible without making the room cluttered.

Consider adding baskets or drawers to your home if you need to contain clutter. Baskets may look attractive, but they’re not ideal for heavy items. If you want to store large amounts of food or beverages, don’t use baskets. Elizabeth advises that combination drawers and shelves are best, especially solid drawers with a higher weight limit and greater storage capacity.


It is important to keep in mind that this can make your shelving completely useless. It is crucial to think about the items that will be stored. There is nothing worse than discovering your favorite cereal or brand-new mason jars won’t fit where you had. If you have these items in mind, then you can decide the height of your shelves or drawers.

Consider the layout and positioning of the shelves as well. If you are working with a small space, it may seem obvious to use a wall of shelves. However, if there is enough room, adding depth can create a more ergonomic pantry. Make sure that you have the right height between shelves to accommodate your jars or storage containers. (We recommend decanting food into these containers for a neater look and more space.) It is best to have shelves that are horseshoe-shaped so you can work comfortably in the pantry without getting a painful bump. Advises Lois Riley, designer at Mowlem & Co.