Whether you’re building a new home or you’re redesigning your current one, a typical dilemma arises when considering pantry options. Is a walk-in pantry or a cabinet pantry right for you? It’s natural to dream of yourself in a roomy nook with wall-to-wall shelves and customized inserts (a.k.a. a walk-in pantry), but these types of pantries definitely have their downfalls. Cabinet pantries can be just as satisfying for homeowners of all walks of life.

In a nutshell, there’s a time and place for both options. Here’s the pros and cons of walk-in pantries vs. cabinet pantries.

Walk-In Pantries

Pros

  • More storage space – Obviously, the biggest pro when it comes to walk-ins is the volume of storage space. Multiple walls of shelving and customized inserts? It’s basically a home cook’s best friend.
  • Better organization – Not only can you store dozens of ingredients, snacks, cookbooks, pots, pans, appliances, and more, but you can also keep things organized. When everything has its own storage place, it makes it easier to stay more organized and structured time and again.
  • Store bigger items – Along with all your typical pantry items, a walk-in allows you to store some of your bigger items as well. That means more counter space is available when you need it!

Cons

  • Eliminate valuable space – The issue with having such a big storage space is that it takes up a fair amount of valuable real estate in your kitchen. This space could be used for more seating, more prep space, etc.
  • Require more upkeep – Tip-top organization comes at a price. More shelves to dust and more space to declutter. More storage space always requires more time and effort to keep things tidy.
  • Inconvenient – While walk-ins can be extremely convenient for home cooks with a lot of kitchen supplies, they can also be sort of inconvenient for those who lead busy lives. If your walk-in is located on the other side of your prep space, or even outside of the kitchen, it can be more time consuming and just annoying to cook a simple meal.

Cabinet Pantries

Pros

  • Centralized – It’s not the space you have, but how you use it that matters. While a walk-in features an abundance of shelves, cabinet pantries confine everything to a smaller space. You won’t have to spend extra time searching for what you need.
  • More accessible – Having a cabinet pantry within your kitchen is so much more accessible than walking across the room to a walk-in every time you need supplies. Plus, by integrating rollouts and other customizable cabinet options, everything is easy to find and right at your fingertips.
  • Don’t take up much space – Cabinet pantries require much less of a footprint in your overall kitchen space. That means more space for seating, prepping, cooking, and even socializing. And even though they’re small, components within your cabinet pantry can capture just as much storage space as a walk-in.

Cons

  • Limited space – Due to their smaller size, it is harder to store larger appliances in cabinet pantries. That means using counter space or outside storage to keep those crockpots, large pots and pans, and other big kitchen components.
  • Added cabinet expense – Customization comes at a cost. Custom cabinets are already pricy, and when you add in features like pullouts or spice racks, prices jump significantly.

When it comes down to it, storage is storage and both walk-in pantries and cabinet pantries are excellent options. Which is better? It depends on who you are and what your priorities are. Different solutions work best for different people. If you’re going through the building or remodeling process and putting the time, money, and effort into improving your space, allow the professionals to guide your decisions and lead you to the best choice for you and your lifestyle.