Gadget garages! Pantries are perfect for storing those kitchen devices

Gadget garages! Pantries are perfect for storing all those kitchen devices

Air fryers, juicers, mixers, pasta machines, Nespresso coffee makers and slow cookers.

Such is the accumulation of gadgets in the average household — and the need for somewhere to store them — that the pantry is now the top kitchen essential.

Research from Wickes, the DIY retailer, shows 21 per cent of people insist pantries are now one of the ‘most desirable’ kitchen features, with most now using them as an ‘appliance garage’ for gadgets.

This latest evolution is just the latest twist in the pantry’s long history. In the medieval era, the houses of the rich had a special cupboard or tiny room where bread was stored. 

The word pantry takes its name for Latin word for bread — panis — which became pain in French.

New order: A Tom Howley kitchen with a hidden walk-in pantry, perfect for gadgets such as air fryers and slow cookers

Culinary arrangements grew more sophisticated in subsequent centuries, with meat being kept fresh in a larder. 

This chilly, north-facing room took its name from the Latin lardarium, a place to keep meat. A pantry became reserved for other foodstuffs. 

Whatever you call this facility, more thought and planning is going into its design than ever before. 

The current trend was fuelled by the upsurge of interest in home cooking during the pandemic, which made people more willing to invest in their kitchens.

The desire to incorporate a pantry in such a project has also been driven by social media.

In 2017, actress and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow posted pictures of her perfectly arranged cereals, seeds, oils and snacks in her pantry on Instagram. Earlier this year Kim Kardashian shared a tour of her well-ordered new pantry on TikTok.

People choose either a ready-made pantry cupboard, or are splashing out on a bespoke version. 

Tom Howley, of design company 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 ensuring that every inch serves a purpose.’

Wickes research indicates that one in ten people refurbishing their kitchen were more interested in its appearance than its function.

‘Keep the size of appliances and the packaging of favourite foodstuffs in mind when planning your pantry,’ says Elizabeth Sherwin, creative director at Naked Kitchens. ‘Opt for a combination of drawers and shelves, especially solid drawers as these have a better weight limit and storage capacity.’

Sherwin suggests space savings 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 refit is not necessary. There are pantry cupboards for kitchens of all sizes and at all prices.

Cotswoldco caters for those who like the chic cottage kitchen look, with its uncluttered Shaker-style cabinetry in soft greys, off-whites, blues and beiges. This is the most popular kitchen aesthetic, according to the Wickes research.

The Cotswoldco Painswick single larder with one door and one set of drawers is £999; the triple-sized version, with three doors and three sets of drawers is £1,999. ( 

The Furniture Market also offers a range of models, with prices starting at £399 ( 

There is less choice for those who favour contemporary minimalism, although IKEA’s £490 Metod larder cabinet in black or white is entirely plain ( 

Wayfair’s edgy black Esgerth pantry cupboard is £379.99, down from £419.99 (

The cupboard, however, is just the start. If you want to achieve pantry perfection, source accessories such as cork lid jars, spice racks and baskets. Are you ready for all that labelling and tidying?

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