A walk-in pantry is a functional space for kitchen storage that should maximize access, organization and convenience. If you want to upgrade this room, these walk-in pantry ideas are charming and practical options that will transform your kitchen with well-organized and beautiful storage space.
When looking to organize your walk-in pantry, the best designs feature the right shelving, containers, cabinets, baskets, counters, lighting and doors to increase efficiency and improve useful storage. For a small walk-in pantry, a stylish and effective built-in solution can add capacity while enhancing decor. For a luxurious approach, a butler pantry is a secondary preparation area that can take your home to the next level.
Whether you need new shelves and cabinets or a complete makeover, a nice pantry can be an impressive addition to your kitchen.
For inspiration, here are the best walk-in pantry ideas to create a functional and clutter-free kitchen. From organizational tips to basic upgrades, these timeless walk-in kitchen pantry designs will help you find creative and stylish ideas.
Walk-In Pantry Ideas
Open Cabinets For An Airy Pantry
Open cabinets can be a controversial design decision in a proper kitchen. Many homeowners stay away from open cabinets and shelving because they don’t want to worry about keeping their dishes and glassware in order. Walk-in pantries tend to be a much better venue for open cabinets because they tend to be out of sight of guests. And because walk-in pantries are often small and windowless, open cabinets can make the space feel airier and less cramped.
Stained Wood Shelving For A Farmhouse Pantry
Wood shelves with lots of knots and visible wood grain are perfect for a farmhouse walk-in pantry because they have a natural, rustic quality. Applying a light wood stain to these shelves will give the space a more finished look without covering up any of the character. If you’re going for more of a modern farmhouse design style, storage options like black metal baskets and glass jars will give the pantry a clean and contemporary feel.
Small Walk In Pantry with White Shelves and A Pocket Door
A small walk-in pantry can be a beautiful and practical design choice when it features a pocket door, white floating shelves, large drawers and open countertop space. While walk-in pantries don’t always have doors, many homeowners find that they give the kitchen a more finished look. Pantry doors can hide a disorganized space, keep pets away from food, and help maintain climate control. Figuring out the right door to use can be tricky. A door that swings inward may block access to shelves, while a door that swings outwards may interrupt the floor of your kitchen.
Storage Baskets For Organization
A walk-in pantry offers plenty of storage space, but sometimes you need more accessories to keep it well-organized. Storage baskets are a great way to keep similar items grouped for easy access. Placing items like canned goods, sauces, or boxes of tea in baskets will help your pantry feel less cluttered. If you need several items from one basket, you can also take the entire vessel out of the closet and into the kitchen. For example, if you store all your spices in one basket, you can bring your whole collection into your prep area while you cook.
Use Your Pantry For Prep Work
Instead of installing shelving from floor to ceiling, consider installing a wraparound countertop in your pantry. You can use the shelving above and drawers below for storage while gaining a bonus space for balking and food prep. The countertop can also serve as supplemental storage space for appliances you use more frequently, like an espresso machine or a stand mixer.
White Pantry Shelves with Woven Baskets
Woven storage baskets are incredibly versatile because they fit in with a wide array of interior design styles. Whether your style is boho, coastal, or transitional, woven storage baskets will be right at home. Woven storage baskets are made from materials like rattan, cane, or seagrass, and add interesting visual texture to any space. White pantry shelving will help enhance the warm neutral hues found in many baskets of this type.
Make Space For Small Kitchen Appliances
Small kitchen appliances like stand mixers, slow cookers, and waffle irons are often very helpful but aren’t necessarily intended for everyday use. Leaving these appliances on the countertop can make your kitchen feel crowded, but not everyone has enough room to hide them away in cabinets. A walk-in pantry is an ideal place to stash these niche appliances.
Mount A Wine Rack or Build In Wine Storage
Shelving is a great multipurpose storage solution, but sometimes you need something a little more individualized. Wine drinkers often like to have several bottles on hand to choose from, but they can be unwieldy to store upright on a shelf. Installing a wall-mounted wine rack into your walk-in pantry makes it easy to find the bottle you’re looking for and makes for a more secure storage spot.
Add Proper Pantry Lighting
Since most walk-in pantries lack natural light, it’s important to choose the right lighting solutions for your space. A bright overhead light can do a lot of the work, but some people find that adding individual lighting to the shelves keeps pantry items from getting lost in the shadows.
Decorative Food Storage Containers For A Cute Look
Food storage containers are a practical way to keep a walk-in pantry organized while maintaining a cute look. You can pick decorative containers that allow you to inject your own style into your kitchen. You may want to look for pretty patterned pottery instead of keeping dry goods like flour and sugar in clear plastic jars.
Use Drawers For Storage
Many walk-in pantries are outfitted exclusively with floor-to-ceiling shelves, but drawers can be a thoughtful addition to the space. Use drawers to store items like table linens or family heirloom silverware that would look messy and out of place on shelves. You can also place a butcher block top on pantry drawers to create an additional kitchen prep space.
Buy A Rotating Spice Rack Organizer
Spices are arguably one of the more difficult pantry items to keep organized. Because the bottles are so small, they’re often stacked three or four deep on a shelf, which means you have to rummage around to find the seasoning you’re looking for. A rotating spice organizer enables you to locate the right spice in a matter of moments.
Modern Storage Containers For An Organized Pantry
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to food storage containers. Mixing and matching different types of vessels will help you make the most of your space. In this pantry, a mixture of woven baskets, ceramic pots, and glass jars accommodates a wide array of ingredients.
Get Labeled Clear Storage Containers
Decorative storage solutions like woven baskets and ceramic jars are pretty to look at, but they can also make it challenging to locate a particular ingredient. With clear storage containers, it’s much easier to spot the items you need. While you could just skip the clear containers altogether and place items directly on the shelves, many people find that the storage containers help them stay organized.
Buy A Second Refrigerator For Your Pantry
When families lack enough space in their refrigerators, they sometimes place a second fridge for beverages in the garage. If you have the space to spare, a walk-in pantry is an excellent location for an fridge. Conveniently located, this refrigerator will also feel like a luxurious touch.
Hanging Baskets For Fruits and Vegetables
Even with wall-to-wall shelving, there are always more ways to utilize your space. Suspending hanging baskets from the ceiling or the back of the door will help you take advantage of the vertical space in your walk-in pantry. Jute baskets are great for fruits and veggies and have a charming boho vibe. A stacked wire basket is also an excellent option for bottles that are too tall to fit onto shelves.
Build High Shelving and Access with A Wood Ladder
People often stop installing shelves once they’ve reached a certain height because they won’t be immediately accessible. But that leads to a lot of wasted space. If the high shelves in your walk-in pantry are out of reach, a built-in wooden ladder will allow you to fully utilize your storage options.
Integrate A Wine Cooler In Your Walk In Pantry
Wall-mounted wine racks are great for storing wines, but they won’t keep wine at the right temperature for drinking. It’s common knowledge that white wine should be chilled before serving, but even red wine tastes best when served slightly cooler than room temperature. Installing a wine cooler in your walk-in pantry will help you level up your entertaining skills.
White Metal Wire Shelves For Small Walk-In Pantry
If your walk-in pantry is on the small side, every inch of square footage matters. Instead of installing wooden shelves, opt for white metal wire shelves. These low-profile shelves take up very little space, and because they aren’t solid they also have a minimal visual impact.
Beautiful White Walk In Pantry with Luxury Details
If you have a small walk-in pantry, you can still add character through architectural details. Placing vertical shiplap on the walls draws the eye up and elongates the space while adding a touch of farmhouse flair. Placing scalloped wood trim just inside the cabinet interiors creates additional visual interest.
Feature A Rustic Sliding Door
Fans of modern farmhouse interior design often incorporate sliding barn doors into their decor, and they are very well-suited for a walk-in pantry. Like pocket doors, sliding barn doors don’t obstruct the kitchen or block access to a section of the room. A rustic wood barn door with metal hardware will also add some character to your kitchen.
Stunning Pantry with Natural Light
This long and narrow walk-in pantry lacks windows, which means it gets darker the deeper you go. Installing recessed lighting in the ceiling helps illuminate even the farthest shelves. The iron and glass food has a crisp and modern look and also lets in natural light from elsewhere in the home.
People often label shelves and storage containers to help keep their walk-in pantries well-organized. To go the extra mile, you can label your door. This frosted glass door is emblazoned with a “Pantry” decal, which helps the space feel more dedicated and intentional.
Create A Clever Cabinet Cubby
While we would all love to have an extra full room for a walk-in pantry, many homeowners simply don’t have the space. With a little creativity, you can make space for a secret storage room right inside your kitchen. Here, the homeowners have commissioned custom cabinetry that’s perfectly sized for their refrigerator. The cabinet is deep enough to accommodate a mini pantry and coffee bar hidden behind the doors.
Separate Your Spices
If you have a sizable spice selection, creating a designated storage space can help you keep them organized. This multi-tier wall-mounted cubby has narrow dowels in front of each shelf to help keep glass spice jars safely secured without obstructing the labels.
Built-Ins That Blend In
If you don’t have the space to build a full walk-in pantry, a recessed wall niche can make for a clever compromise. This kitchen nook is only a few feet deep, but it still features workable counter space as well as ample storage opportunities in the open shelving above and below. The countertop in the nook matches the kitchen island, so it feels cohesive with the rest of the space when exposed. Sliding barn doors also give you the option of hiding the niche away when not in use.
Have Fun with Your Finishes
A small walk-in pantry is the perfect place to experiment with high-end materials. In a larger room like a kitchen or a bathroom, you often need to be cost-conscious because there’s so much space to decorate. More compact locations like a powder room or pantry have a much smaller footprint, so you can afford to spend a little more per square foot. This butler’s pantry has a luxe look thanks to modern touches like a Carrara marble countertop with matching backsplash and brushed brass faucets and sinks. Meanwhile, the highly-polished black and white marble checkerboard floor brings in a bit of vintage charm.
Get Creative with Color
While colorful kitchen cabinets have been trending over the past few years, some homeowners hesitate to take the plunge. Many people worry that they’ll get tired of a bolder cabinet color or they fear that it will quickly feel dated. Walk-in panties are a great place to start pushing your boundaries and experimenting with new palettes. Here, azurite blue shelving is a lively counterpoint to heavier elements like the black quartz countertops.
Even when it has high-end finishes, a new construction home can sometimes feel like it lacks architectural interest. Incorporating vintage and secondhand elements into your decor can instantly make your space feel more interesting. Here, a standard pantry gets a fresh look courtesy of antique wood and glass doors. Visit your local architectural salvage store to find inspiration of your own.
Long Narrow Walk In Pantry with Counter, Shelving and Wine Storage
This pantry may be narrow, but it is jam-packed with storage space that meets a multitude of needs. The built-in shelving on one side provides plentiful storage space for drinks and dry goods, while the adjacent countertop offers prep space on top of several drawers. On the back wall, a built-in wine rack showcases a more specialized storage option.
White Pantry with Space For Appliances
Certain appliances like refrigerators and stoves are standard-issue in every kitchen. People who enjoy cooking and entertaining may also want to customize their kitchen with specialty appliances. In addition to drawers and shelving, this U-shaped pantry features a warming drawer. Warming drawers are used by bakers to proof dough, and can also keep prepared food warm for guests when you host holidays or dinner parties.
Stainless Shelving and Doors with Storage
The stainless steel shelves in this walk-in pantry are great for holding larger, more stable objects. But smaller items are likely to topple over on temporary shelving like this that isn’t anchored to the wall. The hanging racks on the back of the pantry doors are ideal for displaying jars and small bottles of sauces, syrups, and spices. Because the pantry doors swing open right into the kitchen, these ingredients are also even easier to get to.
Rustic Walk In Pantry Design
Heather gray wood stain gives these kitchen cabinets a clean and contemporary feel. A set of double doors swings into an adjacent walk-in pantry outfitted with cabinets in the same style and shade. Using consistent cabinetry throughout the two spaces creates a visual flow and lends a sense of cohesion.
Step It Up
A sliding ladder is a fun and useful addition to a modern pantry, but it doesn’t work with every layout. In this rustic, traditional pantry, the counter extends past the shelves, creating an awkward angle for a ladder. A wooden step stool is an easy alternative that fits in seamlessly with the old-fashioned charm of the space.
Light and Lively
Small rooms like pantries can feel dark and crowded, but the right finishes and materials can go a long way toward counteracting that issue. This pantry is filled with reflective surfaces, including shiny subway tiles, polished marble countertops, and a mirrored inset. They work together to reflect light which makes the space feel airier and more spacious. The dusty pink hue on the cabinetry serves as a bright neutral, further enhancing this effect.
Simple DIY Pantry Design
Custom built-ins look amazing in a walk-in pantry, but they can be cost-prohibitive. With a little ingenuity, you can use modular shelving to create a bespoke pantry on a budget. These shelves feature pegboard sides so that the removable shelves can be adjusted for your specific needs and rearranged at any time.
While some people like it when their kitchens transition seamlessly into their pantries, others prefer to keep the spaces feeling separate and unique. Raising the floor so you have to step up into the pantry gives the room its own distinct feel. The dark wood cabinets in the pantry are quite dissimilar to the pale blue kitchen cabinets, creating further contrast.
Heighten Your Hall
Many older homes feature long hallways to transition between rooms, resulting in lots of wasted space. Transforming a hallway into a walk-through galley-style pantry makes the room more functional and adds value. Adding a barrel-vaulted ceiling helps the space seem bigger and makes the architecture feel more intentional.
Try Out Some Textiles
Even the most well-designed pantry can feel cold and unfinished without the right accessories. This narrow U-shaped pantry is packed with crisp corners and sharp angles, but the addition of textiles helps soften the space. Pieces like a long runner rug and a linen-wrapped box window shade bring in some texture and warmth.
Down To Brass Tacks
This low-profile pantry may be on the small side, but it doesn’t skimp on storage space. Both pantry doors are lined with shelves, effectively tripling the storage capacity. The bright brass bars on these shelves are a perfect match for the faucets in the niche and the hardware on the doors’ exteriors, providing a cohesive throughline.
While some homeowners want pantries that blend into their surroundings, others prefer to make a strong stylistic statement. The interior cabinetry and exterior doors of this pantry are painted a deep charcoal color which stands out against the dove gray walls. Built-in lighting prevents this sophisticated space from feeling too dark.
Beg, Borrow and Steal
Many homes feature multipurpose closets that can be used to store different items. If you have one of these storage spaces adjacent to your kitchen, you can always co-opt it to create your own pantry. This kind of space is ideal for bulk items and backup ingredients that you don’t need daily.
Special Occasion Style
Pantries are a practical choice for food storage, but these spaces can serve several purposes. A pantry is also the perfect place to stash items that usually only come out for special occasions. Store seasonal dinnerware and fine china in the cabinets, keep antique silverware in the drawers, and display cake stands on the open shelves. A sliding ladder will grant you access to the uppermost cabinets.
Level Up Your Lighting
Installing a statement light fixture is one of the simplest ways to take your pantry from cookie-cutter to custom. This rope-wrapped wagon wheel chandelier plays well with the rattan storage baskets and the unfinished wood floors. The glass panel on the pantry door ensures that the light fixture will always stay on display.