Design Tips For A Walk-In Pantry

Kitchen pantry

Who hasn’t struggled trying to get a food processor or air fryer out of a jammed cabinet? Or dug deep to see if you have any taco spice packets, just to find a box of crackers that are now stale? Forget about walk-in closets, it’s time for a walk-in pantry. If you have the space, they can be a big advantage in your kitchen storage and meal prep game.

“Walk-in pantries can be a better way to see, organize and more easily access food items when you’re preparing a meal or getting ready to go grocery shopping,” Normandy Designer Jeremy Paris says. “And a trend that we’re seeing is that people like the idea of getting countertop appliances out of the kitchen and into the pantry, which can provide more room.”

You can use a walk-in pantry for whatever you want but it’s important to decide its main purpose. “Does it need cabinetry for a prep sink and drink station, or do you want it strictly for storage and just have shelving?” Jeremy says. “Some people prefer matching storage systems and containers, while others prefer open shelving.” You can install fixed brackets, which are planned out ahead of time to a degree, according to Jeremy, but if you want the flexibility of changing heights of shelves – like if you get a new appliance, or another cookbook – then you might opt for adjustable shelves.

Depending on its purpose, your walk-in pantry’s location will be impacted. “You generally don’t want it to be too far away from your cooking area,” Jeremy says. “But are you going to use it for everyday storage or bulk storage? If it’s something you don’t need access to every day, it’s okay if it’s further removed.”

barn door and pantryPantry with shelves accented with black and white striped wallsFrom a design point of view, a walk-in pantry can also be an opportunity to play around with aesthetic elements that you might have shied away from using in your kitchen. “If you want to experiment with a pattern or color, but on a smaller scale, a walk-in pantry can be a canvas for that,” Jeremy says. “It can be a little surprise.”

To this point, walk-in pantries can be a chance to add more creativity to your kitchen remodel with the type of door you choose. For one of his projects, Jeremy’s clients repurposed a door from another part of the house. Or you could try out a sliding barn door, or an obscured-glass element.

“One of my recent projects featured a pantry with an exterior window. We installed a clear glass door, which brings more light into the adjacent spaces and makes the pantry design more visible,” Jeremy says. “Frosted doors are also popular – so if you’re not the type to be meticulously organized, you can keep the door shut while still setting it apart from a closet or bathroom door.”

If you’d like to talk with Jeremy about your kitchen, addition or whole home remodel, you can make an appointment to start the conversation. For more kitchen design inspiration, follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest, or check out our photo galleries to see more of our projects.

Kitchen Sinks: Not Just Stainless Steel Anymore

When you’re first thinking about a kitchen remodel, the material of your kitchen sink probably isn’t on your mind But the durability, maintenance and color options will all factor into the material you choose.

There are three material types that are the most popular, and each one has its pros and cons depending on your needs: stainless steel, cast iron, and composite (sometimes referred to by the brand-name Silgranit). “Most people’s first thought when it comes to kitchen sinks is stainless steel, but once we explain the options maybe 80 percent end up choosing a composite sink,” says Normandy Designer Becca Ruggiero.

Below is a breakdown of each sink material:


    stainless steel apron front sink in gray kitchen

“Stainless steel is the tried-and-true option, I recommend them for contemporary kitchens because it works well with the aesthetic,” Becca says. “The biggest negative to stainless steel is that it can scratch or dent, which can be a concern sometimes with kids or clients that cook with heavy cookware.”

If this is an issue for you, the gauge (or thickness) of the sink is important. The lower the gauge, the thicker the steel. “The most common options for stainless steel are 18 and 16 gauge, but if you’re really concerned about durability, there are affordable options in 16 gauge,” Becca says. “You can’t visually see the thickness, but it can be impactful on sound deadening as well.”

Despite its name, stainless steel can stain over time. Becca recommends regular cleaning with soap and hot water, and if there’s any build-up, a non-abrasive cleaner. When it comes to cost, stainless steel can be less expensive than cast iron, and about the same as a composite sink. “Stainless steel is a timeless option for good reason, you just have to remember that it can have some drawbacks.”


Farmhouse sink with a black and gold faucet in a rift cut white oak kitchenDon’t picture a cast iron pan – a cast iron sink is layered with a silky enamel and is beneficial for keeping water hot if you prefer to soak your dishes or pots and pans. “If someone is looking for true farmhouse sink, I’ll recommend they do cast iron because that shiny white enamel sink embodies the style,” Becca says. “Cast iron is beautiful, but it can also stain if not treated right, we would not suggest leaving food or drinks in the sink for long periods of time. And the color of the enamel can shift after years of use.” Cast iron is the most expensive when it comes to sink materials. For cast iron sinks there are a few color options – the most popular right now is white, according to Becca.


“Composite is becoming popular because it’s resistant to staining, chipping and scratching, and it comes in a variety of colors,” Becca says. “If your family includes kids or if you have a very busy life, we like to look at composite for that durability factor.” Many people who are considering remodeling their kitchen also like that composite sinks are matte versus shiny, which can create an unexpected texture, Becca says. “There’s something about composite that people tend to like because of the variety of options it provides,” she says, “You can most easily find an option that suits your kitchen design.” This versatile material is also one of the more affordable options, which is a big selling point for many homeowners.

Choosing the material for your kitchen sink is not only about aesthetics – consider the wear-and-tear of your lifestyle and household, and how much time you want to spend maintaining its appearance.

If you’d like to meet with Becca or one of our Normandy Designers to discuss more about your kitchen remodel, schedule an appointment. And follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest for updates on projects and more design inspiration.



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