Why we love the look
A pantry can be more than a place to store chips and cereal. It can serve as a caterer’s kitchen, craft room, bar area, dog room, or all of the above. It also offers an opportunity to experiment with a design that’s different from the main kitchen.
About this pantry
Buckhead homeowners Ricky and Kristen Nelson were able to commandeer an unused bedroom located beside their kitchen for a multipurpose pantry. “They can use it as a ‘dirty kitchen’ where the activity happens, so the main kitchen is pretty for staging,” says kitchen designer Mary Kathryn Timoney of Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath. “It’s also great for a caterer or as another serving area for dessert and coffee.” Kristen uses the room as a crafting space with her two small children (hence the durable engineered quartz countertop). There’s also a dog-feeding station tucked into a drawer.
The Nelsons’ main kitchen is primarily white with touches of gray, while the pantry flips that color scheme with gray cabinets and geometric tile. “We wanted it to be a more whimsical and fun area with a pop of color to pull you in,” says Timoney. “It’s a little jewel box, so even though it’s utilitarian, the look is precious.”
Incorporating countertops in addition to shelves and cabinets elevates a pantry into a work or serving area. “Glass-door cabinets are expensive and have to be staged, so I advise going with closed, functional storage and saving the money for a fun backsplash to add the wow factor,” says Timoney. Natural light is nice, if possible, to make a tight space feel welcoming.
Timoney recently designed a pantry with pricey upgrades like antique-mirrored cabinet doors and a pizza oven. But she notes that concrete tiles are one current look that is relatively affordable.