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The biggest kitchen trend of 2021 isn’t sage green cupboards or two-tone subway tile backsplashes—it’s making the room look nothing like a kitchen. One way everyone has been achieving a seamless aesthetic is with panel-ready refrigerators, meaning fridges in which the facades are customized to match the rest of the room’s built-in cabinetry. Celebrities like Jenna Lyons and Hilary Duff and designers such as Martyn Lawrence Bullard support the sneaky camouflage. But covering up the bulky stainless steel appliance with colored laminate or white oak isn’t your only option. Consider hiding your walk-in pantry, too.

A sliding barn door or a plain white hinged one with a single round knob is a dead giveaway that this is a pantry. But make the entrance nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the cabinets around it, and the closet will blur into the background. Here are three benefits to hiding your pantry from plain view. 

It Keeps the Visual Clutter to a Minimum

When you’ve splurged on custom cabinets, it can be painful to chop up that nice flow you’ve created with a pantry entrance. Some extra hardware and a little trim offer cohesion. Liz Hoekzema of KLH Custom Homes went so far as to mimic the look of the adjacent drawers and uppers in this all-white kitchen—and the optical illusion totally works. 

You Won’t Constantly Hear About Snack Time

An unexpected pro of a secret pantry? “My child couldn’t beg for snacks every three minutes,” shares designer Whittney Parkinson. Out of sight, out of mind, right? It might not be ideal for first-time guests who are trying to figure out where you keep the cashews, but for everyday family life, it means fewer distractions. 

It Streamlines a Tiny City Apartment

This works magic for reach-in pantries in tiny galley kitchens, too. Brooklyn-based designer Delia Kenza pulled the trick off in this space by continuing the classic subway tile backsplash onto the wall and over the push-to-open doors. It’s a sweet surprise, especially if it ends with you snagging a cookie.