The Loft

The Home Base blog

Hide the Mess

From simple pantries and shelves through to walk-in sculleries – there is a kitchen storage solution for every home


One of the secrets to a gorgeous kitchen is properly planned and executed storage spaces. If everything has a place and is easily accessible, the kitchen is less likely to be cluttered and its owners will have a much better chance of keeping it clean.

Kitchen Designer Sue Jansen says pantries have always been one of the most important storage areas in the kitchen.

“In Grandma’s day, they were full of preserves and bottled goods made from her own garden and ready to be exchanged for other homemade goodies with neighbours. So the bigger they were, the better.

“The size of a home, number of occupants and proximity to shopping are all contributing factors in determining what size pantry may suit the family. Nowadays, with so much produce readily available, some clients do not need as much long-term storage as they shop more frequently and would prefer to compromise pantry space for additional bench space.

“The same applies to smaller households or those families who perhaps purchase more fresh produce than bottled and canned goods. Yet, for some big or busy families, or those who live more remotely, their needs are often for a bigger pantry as they perhaps do not shop as often and do more bulk buys, or simply need to have a large supply of food on hand for the hungry hordes.”

Whatever your situation, a well-designed pantry is an important part of the kitchen and should cater specifically to your needs. Sue says slide-out shelves are great for easy access and visibility to all the contents.

Serious cooks are increasingly opting to include a scullery in their kitchen plans.

“If space and budget allow, a great option is a walk-in pantry or a separate scullery which can double as pantry storage,” Sue says. “With the very popular open-plan kitchens, it is great to be able to section off an area for piling up dirty pots and pans and to store all the excess small kitchen appliances and other bits and pieces.

“Open wall shelves provide excellent pantry storage with goods all visible and easy to access. This can help to keep the main kitchen area clearer of clutter and mess.”

Town & Country Designs’ Mel DeMelt agrees and says that while not every house has room for a scullery, if there is an opportunity to include one, there are rarely regrets after it is installed.

“Because it is closed off, a scullery doesn’t have to have expensive fittings and finishes,” she says.

“Even the most basic fit-out will suffice because it is more about having a place to stash dirty dishes and store extra pots, pans and appliances. I don’t see these as a passing fad at all.”

There is a style and type of scullery to suit all situations and budgets.

Walk-in scullery: Ideal for creating an addition to your pantry or a storage space for appliances.

The hidden scullery: Complete with a sink, the hidden scullery is the place to hide all the mess that comes with meal prep. It also means you can prepare two meals at once seamlessly, for example using the scullery to prep your dessert while you cook your main meal in the main kitchen.

The sectioned scullery: Great for the budget-conscious, this type of scullery simply involves closing off (sectioning) a part of your kitchen with folding doors or a screen. This allows you to enjoy a hidden area for food preparation and storage without it affecting your entire kitchen space.

To find out more, visit Town & Country Designs.