By Ailis Brennan published
Pantry door ideas can conceal, reveal, entice and display – so choosing the right ones for your space is crucial.
Pantries are a growing trend among kitchen ideas, and you don’t always need a palatial amount of space to make them work.
‘From large walk-in pantries to slim pull-out larders, these sought after solutions can be designed to fit seamlessly into any size kitchen,’ says Tom Howley, Design Director at the eponymous kitchen brand. ‘With so much accessible space and versatility when it comes to food storage, a pantry can bring order to the busiest of environments.’
Whether it’s a grand walk-in pantry or a neatly concealed cupboard, getting the doors on point will decide how much of a feature it becomes in the room, and can even boost the functionality of your whole space.
Pantry door ideas
From traditional shaker styles to contemporary glass doors with an industrial chic touch, we’ve found some inspiring pantry door ideas to turn your storage space into a stylish kitchen feature.
1. Be bold with color
Perfect pantry ideas are something to be proud about – so make sure they stand out. Painting your pantry doors a different color to those in the rest of your kitchen, like in this joyful blush pink example by The Secret Drawer, will celebrate this desirable space.
‘Built-in larders have a show stopping quality in their own right,’ says Al Bruce, Founder at Olive & Barr. ‘Turn yours into a subtle centrepiece, simply add an eye-catching splash of colour and some standout details. For instance, some chrome or brass handles on the outside and an accent colour inside, especially one that celebrates the special items you’ve stored in there.
5. Choose bi-folding doors for a breakfast station
‘Smaller than a walk-in pantry, a breakfast pantry is a great place to hide all the everyday chaos,’ says Howley. Creating a dedicated breakfast station is one of the hottest tips among pantry organization ideas, but what makes it an even better addition is combining its presence with a clever door choice.
‘The doors’ bi-folding action gives neater, more usable access to the contents of the cupboards without blocking other cabinets,’ says Howley of this example. Bi-fold and pocket doors mean the pantry space can be left open for continual use without interrupting your kitchen’s flow.
3. Show off your walk-in pantry with glass paneling
Your walk-in pantry ideas are likely to be the envy of many of your guests – so show them off from the corridor or kitchen with glass doors. While some may like the way a glass door forces them to keep the pantry organized, you can spare yourself any blushes by choosing a halfway house.
'Even the most house-proud amongst us couldn't possibly keep a pantry with glass doors really neat all the time, so half-glazed doors are a really good option if you are worried about showcasing mess,' advises Homes & Gardens Editor-in-Chief Lucy Searle.
'Another option is to glaze the doors with frosted or decorative glass; this will allow light into the pantry and enhance the feeling of space from the kitchen, without its interior being fully visible.'
4. Install storage onto the insides of your doors
‘Get the most out of your larder with tailor-made [design], allowing you to get creative with your storage options and use every inch of the space to maximize the functionality of your space,’ says Bruce. The main purpose of pantries is to make the most of kitchen storage ideas, so make sure you pack as much of it in as you can – even on your doors.
‘From installing spice racks on the inside of your doors to dedicating a space to your most-used appliances, bespoke larders allow you to design your space with your kitchen preferences in mind.’
Shallow racks installed on the back of the doors create excellent storage solutions for small objects, and are great for the likes of under stairs pantry ideas and making the most of tight spaces.
5. Keep it traditional with shaker style doors
An enduring favorite among kitchen cabinet ideas, the shaker style of cupboard doors – those with a recessed panel – is an excellent choice for traditional pantries. If you’re installing them in a period home, bespoke is best, says Howley.
‘Charming cottages and period homes almost always have challenging features such as chimney breasts, sloping ceilings, quaint proportions, quirky nooks and uneven floors,’ he explains. ‘Choosing a bespoke shaker design allows you to preserve and work around these original features, enhancing your space’s look and individuality.’
6. Save space with sliding doors
For contemporary kitchens in particular, effortlessness of flow is everything. If the bi-fold doors still strike you as too much of an interruption, keep it simple by hiding your pantry area behind a pair of sliding doors.
‘Sliding doors are a great space-saving design feature, and offer a clever way to contain cooking smells as well as creating a broken-plan kitchen layout,’ says Bruce. In this example by Lanserring, the slick pantry shelving ideas are still visible too through a metallic mesh sliding door.
7. Add a luxe touch with gold hardware
To mark your pantry out as something a little bit special, consider choosing statement hardware. Warm, bright metallics will add a luxe touch, such as the glistening gold cremones on the turquoise doors to designer Liz Caan’s pantry.
‘Burnished brass and matt gold handles add a whole new dimension to kitchens,’ says Howley. ‘Brushed or aged finishes can enhance the brightness of white paint finishes and echo harmoniously with the ever-popular greys and dramatic darks in our palette.’
8. Contrast your door color with the interior
Kitchen cabinet colors aren’t all about the doors, but often about the relationship between your internal and external hues. Add an extra element of design-forward surprise by choosing a contrasting color for the interior of your pantry door.
‘From a decorative perspective, choose finishes for the external and internal cabinetry that work together to create a contrast, whether subtle or striking,’ says Howley. ‘If your cabinetry is deep green or black a la moment, choose a smoky wood finish for the internal shelving for a stylish edge. If your cabinetry is crisp white or cream, you could opt for a contrasting walnut finish for the racks and shelving within.’
9. Get a modern industrial look with Crittall glass doors
Industrial elements are proving hugely popular in contemporary kitchen design, and where better to use them than in your highly industrious pantry. With their origin in the Victorian era, glass Crittall windows, doors and wall panels are very much on trend, and also allow for you to showcase your pantry with barely interrupted glass.
In this pantry by Mowlem & Co., Crittall window doors painted in Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe make the neatly organized kitchen shelving ideas the star of the show, while also giving them industrial framing.
10. Modernize a shaker style with contemporary handles
Shaker style cabinet doors may be an enduring favorite of traditional kitchens, but their unfussy elegance means they also fit easily into more modern settings. ‘Regardless of whether you live in a modern renovation or rural cottage, traditional shaker style cabinetry is perfect for creating a welcoming, lived-in look,’ says Howley.
In this kitchen by Harvey Jones, shaker pantry doors from the Arbor range are painted in contemporary Pavilion Grey by Farrow & Ball, and made to feel even more up to date through the use of dark metal, geometric handles that reference the Crittall windows either side.
How do you upgrade a pantry door?
If your pantry door is looking a little lacklustre, there are a few simple things you can do to revive it and make it the feature it deserves to be. A statement color that differentiates it from the other cupboards and doors in your kitchen is an easy way to make it stand out – all it takes is a lick of paint in a color that complements the rest of your kitchen, but adds a touch of pizzazz. Alternatively, choose some statement hardware, like cremones or a warm metallic, to give it a luxury touch.
How do you cover an open pantry?
While you could opt for country kitchen-friendly options like a curtain, the most stylish way to enter an open pantry would always be through a neatly designed and well-installed door. It doesn’t mean however, that you need to introduce a solid panel into the space – half-glazed or even Crittall glass doors are a great way to create a halfway house between open space and closed-off storage.
I started out at British GQ, where a month of work experience turned into 18 months of working on all sorts of projects, writing about everything from motorsport to interiors, and helping to put together the GQ Food & Drink Awards. I then spent three years at the Evening Standard on the GO London team, covering restaurants and bars, and getting to eat and drink a veritable smorgasbord of wonderful things around the city. I left the paper in 2020 and went freelance, writing about food, drink and homes for publications including Conde Nast Traveller, Luxury London and Departures. A little less than a year later, I started at Homes & Gardens as a Digital Writer, allowing me to fully indulge my love of good interior design.
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