Pantry Cabinets With Charm


I first fell in love with pantry cabinets when I opened a magazine and saw Martha Stewart's baking pantry. The armoire was attractively decked out in copper pots, pottery, a mixer, and utensils. Who could ever close the door of such organization bliss?

A freestanding kitchen pantry (or cupboard) is a piece of furniture just for the kitchen!  It gives the kitchen owner pantry space or additional storage room. Pantry furniture can be functional, as well as an attractive decor accent for the kitchen. 

Understanding the importance of freestanding cabinets in kitchen design

Freestanding cabinets are not fixed to the wall or floor, which allows the flexibility to move them around. In the United States, the term "freestanding" kitchen cabinets, or "fitted kitchens" are not used. Fitted kitchens refer to what Americans call "built-in" kitchens. Built-ins are primarily how kitchens are installed in the United States - they are permanent.

Americans may find it hard to believe that Europeans find a need to own freestanding kitchen cabinets. Germanany and France are two countries with a strong rental population, due to renting being a highly affordable choice. The Germans also have a reputation for quality-built cabinets, owners want to take their prized furniture with them.

Red freestanding pantry.

Red freestanding pantry.

That's not to say that people move around a lot, but you can see why there is a need for freestanding kitchen cabinetry. Unlike American rental units that include a kitchen, many European rental units do not have installed cabinets. Don't be too surprised  - European kitchens are typically smaller when compared to US homes, so the idea of packing up and moving your kitchen isn't so inconceivable.

1920 kitchen.

1920 kitchen.

Kitchens from Victorian times up to the 1940s were a mix of freestanding cabinets and lone appliances. Only the sink cabinet was fixed in order for it to be hooked up to water. Moveable tables provided enough sufficient work surface. In today's modern kitchen, freestanding cabinets offers charm that built-in kitchens don't. Blogger Miss Mustard Seed is pondering reverting back to an all-freestanding kitchen. She's not alone. Look for more use of freestanding furniture in future design kitchen trends.

Freestanding pantry cabinets add to kitchen decor

Manufacturers today offer many beautiful cabinetry designs for the kitchen. Anyone with carpentry skills can even build their own freestanding pantry with a set of cabinet plans.

A pantry cabinet is a marvelous solution for apartment dwellers or short-term renters, just like they are in Europe. Renters can take the portable storage piece with them anytime they move. Owning their own stylish pantry cabinet helps make an apartment feel more like home.

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Kitchen pantry furniture can be new, antique or upcycled furniture. Old cabinets can be painted in a favorite color, jazzed up with a patterned contact paper, or restored to past glory. New cabinets can be very simple and utilitarian in nature and fit into a minimalist design theme. They can also be very traditional and timeless. A freestanding pantry cabinet doesn't have to be expensive. Many options are very economical - there is a size and dollar tag for everyone.

Freestanding pantry cabinet adjacent to kitchen

Freestanding pantry cabinet adjacent to kitchen.

A common question people ask is "how much does a pantry cabinet cost?" Based on size, material, and craftsmanship, pantry cabinets range in price from $80 - $2,000 and beyond. There is plenty of room in the price point to find a suitable cabinet for a consumer's needs.

As expected, materials include anything from plastic to custom-built wood cabinets. For DIY's there's room to upcycle or refinish old furniture and repurpose it for a pantry cabinet.

Pantry cabinets as fine furniture

Of course, it's not surprising that the cost goes up when more superior material and craftsmanship are part of it. One such fine cabinet maker is Chalon Handmade, an award-winning company that makes handcrafted furniture in England. On their website they state that they produce "kitchens and furniture which emulate the classic elegance of the 18th & 19th Century English furniture." 

Their handcrafted kitchens and furniture are gorgeous. Chalon Handmade fills the need for furniture that has an immediate sense of history and time.

freestanding pantry handmade cabinet

Pantry cabinet built by Chalon Handmade.

Are pantry cabinets in your future? Maybe you have built your own. Let us know your experience below!

About the author 

Renee Matt

Renee is a former kitchen designer, home remodeling enthusiast (having lived through several DIY projects), and an Iowa farmwife. Renee is passionate about preparedness, garden skills, and knowing where her food comes from. Years of being a stay-at-home mom and supporting the family farm with hearty meals has been key to Renee's pantry readiness. She uses her professional IT background and expertise to bring the Everything Pantry website to life.

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