Tips from an Architect’s Home: A Practical Pantry

My kitchen has a fairly small and strangely shaped walk-in pantry.  When we were building, there was nothing left in the budget for anything other than some unpainted particle board shelves.  Because of the unusual shape, most of these shelves were 18” deep.  More room for storage, I thought.

For many years, the pantry was a disaster.  The extra deep shelves were a terrible idea.  Things just got piled on the shelves and I could never find what I was looking for.

When I finally got around to redesigning the pantry, I decided to install base cabinets with pull out shelves instead of just lining the walls with shelves.  The base cabinets serve the function of storing some baking dishes, recycling, and pet food.  Two of the cabinets have two pull out shelves (shallowdrawers, actually) and a lower shelf with a plastic container for recycling.  The third cabinet holds a bin with a flip top for pet food and one drawer for other pet supplies.  The top was finished with granite to match my kitchen countertops.

The upper shelves are melamine wall cabinet units from Ikea.  Ikea lets you purchase a basic kitchen cabinet without the door and these are great to use as shelving units.  There are many sizes to choose from and because they come flat-packed, we were able to alter them to fit where needed before putting them together.  Best of all, the shelves are adjustable.

The remainder of the pantry is lined with a rack to hang brooms, a rack to hold a step ladder, and a bulletin board.

Now I can find what I need in my pantry at a glance.  It holds the things that don’t fit or belong in my kitchen, such as pet food and recycling.  The adjustable shelves store everything from large cereal boxes to canned goods efficiently.  The countertop is a handy place to rest items coming or going from the pantry and also holds a chafing dish and blender that I don’t use often.  It’s truly a practical pantry.