Inspiration for my Walk-In Pantry

By Kate Riley September 24, 2018

I spent the weekend mapping out my pantry design and beginning the building process. It’s a 4×6’ walk-in closet so not big enough to treat as a butler’s pantry but large enough to store kitchen staples. I’ve been living with basic wire shelving units for years and finally I’m getting around to upgrading to real shelves.

Before I began the project I thought about how I use the space and what I store in my pantry. I don’t store cleaning products or vacuums or brooms in there, I prefer not to mix them with food. I did write down all the basic categories of products: paper goods, canned goods, breakfast foods, etc. then came up with a design for how I’d store it all.

Before buying building materials, I did a lot of research online. I was trying to narrow down what look I was going for, and while navigating the internet found several inspiring ideas for pantry design. Below are some details that stood out to me, and some of my favorite looks.

I decided I’d be satisfied with basic shelves and I kept coming back to this design, so I gave my shelving a wraparound design similar to this clean and bright pantry.


coastal style


I’m creating separate cubbies for better organization and giving the edges a look of greater thickness by adding 2” lattice trim. I’ve used that trick before on shelving, and I’ll share more about it next week when I feature the new built-in shelves. These designs also appealed to me, clean and white with separate spaces created by adding vertical dividers for cookbooks, appliances, and food items.




neat method



architectural digest



steven alexander homes


clark & co. homes


I love how Sandra added wine storage in her DIY walk in pantry. Even without a wine fridge this is a great idea for the shelving above where she added more utility for storing wine or other glass bottled beverages.


sawdust girl


I never really thought about using labels since I habitually store things in certain zones, but I suppose if you have more than one person storing items in a pantry the labels can be useful. Do you use labels in your pantry?

I like the tonal paint in this space and how the shelves and cabinets are all the same soft gray blue. I considered painting my shelves all the same color too but in the end opted for a pale greenish gray backdrop and white shelves.


betty lou phillips

This pantry is a beautiful extension of the kitchen in its design, with its tiled backsplash and black brackets supporting the shelves. I didn’t create anything this fancy though. :)


via the kitchn


My pantry is light and bright but I had to share this idea I found because it’s the opposite of mine but I still love the look of this pantry with its moody dark paint, tongue and groove paneling, and natural wood countertop. Inspiring combination right?


I’ll share the final look and the step-by-step process of building the shelves next week. :)



  1. Hi Kate!
    I love the inspiration! We are just putting the finishing touches on our walk-in pantry now. The Coastal Style photo that you posted is my favorite! I loved her blog but sadly, I don’t think she’s blogging anymore! Lots of inspiration there! Her photos inspired me to put my microwave in my pantry rather than out in the kitchen itself. I’m not a big fan of microwave ovens visible in the kitchen. We don’t use it that much anyway. I’m happy with that decision. I love that it’s out of the way (along with the Kuerig). My pantry has a swinging door that matches the cabinetry and it feels like a hidden room. The kiddos love it for hide and seek! LOL. I will eventually have photos on my blog to share but for now I only have a photo of the door and the rest of the kitchen, I can’t wait to see yours!!!

  2. These inspiration photos are very helpful! When our home was built, we upgraded to nice shelves, but I could do a lot better at organizing them. I may consider labels on mine, since my hubby never puts anything the same place twice :).
    The brackets are pretty, but not practical, because they take up space in the shelf below. I believe most of us put a lot more in our pantries than any of these pictures show. And although those storage containers look nice, I can’t imagine how long it would take to put away your groceries if you had to unbox all of your staple items.

  3. Most of those pantries look like they are in homes where people don’t cook! Where do they keep the 8 different types of flours, 10 types of sugar, 6 different salts, 20 different varieties of vinegar, a dozen types of oils, the numerous bottles to count of preserves and chutneys and sauces and honeys, 3 boxes of hers and spices – and that is just the staples that we run through regularly. Let’s not start on the specialised items. Pretty to look at, but not useful in a practical, working kitchen.

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