Although I am in the business of designing and selling kitchen cabinets, there is simply no substitute for a traditional walk-in kitchen pantry for efficient storage.  For the average homeowner it is just easier to find ingredients and tools quickly, and for the serious cook/"Foodie"/hoarder, it is a great place to hang out with the exotic ingredients and gadgets that are the object of their obsession. 

The problem is that houses that were built or remodeled after the middle of the last century, which are most of them, did away with pantry spaces.  In fact, over the course of our 60 years in business we've removed our fair share of pantries to make kitchens bigger so we to fit islands or some other design element built around cabinetry.  But I think pantries are making a comeback, especially now that I see less emphasis on upper cabinet storage in some of the more modern kitchens being published.  

The pantry doesn't have to be big either.  One just the size of an ordinary coat closet, lined on three sides with shallow shelves, can make a huge difference in how the whole kitchen works.

An example:

This kitchen was in a long room, and to shorten the space we built out a new pantry about 6' deep, and then added a run of cabinets against it to act as a butler's pantry for the dining room.  It was especially helpful for this customer for us to put all the heavy small appliances (kitchen aid mixer, etc) at waist level so she didn't have to stoop down to lift them up.


And a view of the cabinets


Here's another, my own pantry.  Food on one side (some exotic but mostly, not)


Gadgets, large roasting trays, and spare wall oven for Thanksgiving/Christmas Eve Dinner on the other