You’re most likely well aware that your countertops and cupboards only have so much room. So, for bulk shoppers, foodies, and people who love kitchen gadgets, walk-in pantry ideas to help extend your space can be critical. These smaller rooms give you extra storage space for dry foods, canned goods, snacks, beverages, and a range of kitchen supplies.
It’s time to maximize how useful it is while making it more beautiful at the same time. A walk-in panty is a great investment, and a lot of homeowners want to have this feature in their homes, and it’s something you can enjoy now and benefit from later if you decide to sell the house. Below, we’ll go over 26 great walk-in pantry ideas for you to consider to keep your kitchen free of clutter.
A walk-in pantry allows you to maximize your storage space while keeping an eye on your kitchen inventory.
1. Back of Door Storage
Being smart about the space available when you think of walk-in pantry ideas means that you look for any opportunity to create storage space, especially in more compact setups. If you don’t have a pocket door on your pantry, the back of the door provides great storage space. This is a great place to add some hooks to hang your aprons or install a door rack that easily turns this space into something more functional for storage. If you install an over-the-door rack, you can easily place spices or smaller containers inside to ensure you can fit everything you need in the pantry.
2. Bifold Doors
Traditional pantry doors are great until you leave them open and you have to squeeze through them to get past your kitchen island. If you’re planning to put in a walk-in pantry idea in a smaller kitchen, consider adding bi-fold doors to help minimize how far they protrude into your space when they swing open. If you can’t decide if you’d like a closed or open pantry, consider adding pocket doors that you can slide out of view into a wall cavity when they’re open.
3. Cabinets and Drawers
While shelving may be very practical, cabinetry will elevate the look of the whole walk-in pantry idea. Adding drawers or doors make your pantry look less cluttered while keeping your kitchen gadgets and food supplies easily accessible. Cabinetry that matches or complements the kitchen’s style creates a very cohesive look and feel.
4. Decorative Door
You may have heard of having a statement wall, but what about having a statement door? You can add some extra charm to the pantry by adding a decorative door to make it stand out of the washroom and closet doors. Decorative doors are available in a huge range of sizes and styles, so before you order them, make sure it fits nicely into the doorway. Also, ensure that your door has the hardware on the correct side so it swings the way you need it to.
5. Double Pantry
For many people, the most memorable part of high-end kitchens are the double walk-in pantry ideas. The act of opening a double pantry door and seeing packets, bottles with infused oils, artisanal jarred vegetables, special seasonings, and more gives you a moment of awe. It can also transform the cooking process and make it much more enjoyable.
A walk-in double panty isn’t feasible in every home, but as long as it matches the look of your kitchen, you can add some sensation while getting a three-sided walk-in space. You may even place one in a smaller corridor that leads out of the house with large double doors to enclose it.
6. Fresh Produce Storage
Having a ready supply of fresh produce in your home makes it easy to cook with or grab a healthy snack. Instead of stacking everything from your indoor fruit trees into a fruit bowl and taking up valuable space, you should bring along reusable produce bags and use them to neatly hang your produce in your pantry out of the way but close enough to grab when you need it. You can get reusable mesh bags that work perfectly on Amazon.
7. Glass Doors
A lot of people tend to hesitate from having open walk-in pantry ideas as a storage option as it can easily leave your kitchen feeling cluttered or untidy. However, when you do it right, it can help to open up your kitchen and create the feeling of a lot of space. Glass is a great finish for kitchens as glazed cabinets break up the repetitive, solid-fronted door style, but they also maximize light flow into darker corners.
If you have a hidden walk-in pantry, you can give it a totally different look to the main kitchen. But, if it’s semi-open, going for a smaller style will help create a coherent and seamless feel so that the pantry acts like a natural extension of your kitchen. Glass doors will help it feel included, and it makes a great space to showcase your wine or spirit collection.
8. Kitchen Decor Match
To help your walk-in pantry idea come to life, think of it as an extension of your kitchen. Working to create a more cohesive style that flows from the pantry to the kitchen will make the space look more elegant and larger, and your pantry won’t look like an afterthought. Use the same tiles, colors, handles, cupboards, or lighting fixtures to help tie both rooms together. When the pantry reflects the same design style, you’ll be more prone to leaving it open and showcasing it.
Having your pantry match your kitchen colors, pattern, or design makes it look much more cohesive.
9. Labeled Drawer Bins
It can be very helpful to stock up on certain items when you shop to help minimize your shopping trips. Avoid ending up with a cluttered disaster with this easy walk-in pantry idea. You’ll get deeper bins and place them on your shelves, counters, or in the drawers in the pantry. Clearly label and group the bins by type so you can easily find your items and you don’t double up.
10. Laundry Room Pantry
Did you know it’s possible to have a walk-in pantry/laundry room combination? All you’ll need is simple shelving units, butcher block countertops, an elegant floor tile, and upgraded lighting to make this stunningly functional space more elevated and useful.
To make it as functional as possible for this walk-in pantry idea, make sure that you add taller shelving units. Leaving enough space between the shelves allows room to place boxes, tall bottles, small appliances, and bigger decanting containers. The shelves should also be wide, and this will help give you space for a healthy stockpile of items. If you’re shorter, you’ll want to include a step stool to reach everything comfortably.
11. Lazy Susans
Cooking oils, sprinkles, spice jars, canned goods, or a range of other smaller containers and bottles can easily get lost on a packed shelf. Rather than having to carefully pull out several jars, bottles, or cans to get to the item you want or need, you can make your walk-in pantry much more user-friendly but putting these smaller items on lazy susans, and it also prevents you from having dead corner space. Rotate the turntable quickly and pull out the one or two items you need while keeping everything else in place. You can get short or taller units to suit your needs.
12. Movable Cart
A versatile cart will help you enhance your walk-in pantry ideas. You can load it up with all of the items you need from the pantry to avoid making a second trip in, and you can also use it as a makeshift drink cart or serving caddy for your guests. There are several ways a pantry cart can add convenience and value to your home, and it’s a very classy addition at your next dinner party. When you finish, you can store it in the pantry so it’s always on-hand when you need it.
13. Mudroom Pantry
If you have a closet where you store a range of items, you can designate a specific area for each group to create a mudroom/walk-in pantry idea. You can use the back wall to store seasonal items neatly organized, and you can add shelving units on the side for spare canned goods or dry goods. Shoes, outdoor items, and pet items can also go along the back of the pantry on shelves, and you can add drawers for smaller items.
14. Narrow Counter
If your walk-in pantry idea is larger, this is usually enough space to add a narrow counter system. It looks sharp, and it makes your pantry look more like your kitchen to make it more cohesive. A countertop gives you the space to put your smaller kitchen appliances that you may not use every day, like espresso machines or toasters. It’s also a great place or organize and sort your items before you bring them into the kitchen. You can easily set your grocery bags down on it when you put your items away.
15. Open Shelving
Above anything, getting your walk-in pantry organization ideas right from the start is critical, especially when you work with a smaller space. No one wants to walk into a cluttered mess, so using things like open shelving will force you to keep things organized and tidy while making the space easier to use. The goal of this space is to be able to walk in, take a look around, and quickly grab your utensils and ingredients. This makes open-shelving a good choice. To make the most of your pantry space and increase how much you can store, consider adding shelves that go all of the way to the ceiling.
Also, consider that there has been a real trend lately toward having sustainable packaging that is very stylish, and more and more people aren’t trying to hide it away like they did with plastic. You can add pretty glassware, ceramics, and wicker storage pieces to your space that are pleasing to look at and practical.
Open shelving makes it much easier to store your items neatly, and you can get creative with glass storage options too.
16. Partition Wall
The first step to achieving your walk-in pantry idea is deciding where you want to put it. The easiest time to do this is when you’re designing your kitchen from square one. If you don’t have an alcove or nook to put it, you can create one yourself at this point using a partition wall during the initial build process or during a kitchen remodel.
An experienced designer will be able to give you valuable and useful storage options in whatever space they have to work with. This could involve combining several smaller rooms to create one bigger space, or you could put up a partition wall to section off a corner of your room for your pantry.
17. Pocket Door
Door hinges cause problems for many home chefs. Unless the door stays closed, it takes up much more room then it needs to. This walk-in pantry idea involves swapping out a traditional swinging door for a pocket door, and this helps you keep the doorway clear without a doorstop. When you have a door that slides neatly out of your way and into a wall cavity, you can quickly pop in and out of the pantry while you cook and close it when you finish.
18. Shelf Liners
An easy and affordable walk-in pantry idea that boosts how it looks is to get shelf liners and use them as a cover. They’re not just aesthetically-pleasing, but they can also be very practical. They give a non-slip grip for any pantry items you set on them, and you can find shelf liners that don’t have adhesive on the back if you’re prone to swapping out decor styles for different materials and designs. There are also adhesive-backed shelf liners that stick in place and wipe away easily with a damp cloth.
19. Sliding Shelves
It can be very challenging to fit larger pans and pots into square cabinets. So, you can easily equip your walk-in pantry with a pullout cabinet system to take care of this problem. Not only does it open and close easily, but it gives you instant access to your cooking items and keeps them off of your shelves to give you more storage space overall.
20. Small Appliance Storage
How often do you really use your electric mixer or rice cooker? If it’s not an appliance you use every day, it’s either taking up space in your cupboards or cluttering up your countertop. Moving these smaller appliances to a dedicated space in your pantry will make your kitchen seem more neat. People who have kitchens that are short on storage space but have a lot of small appliances find this walk-in pantry idea a game changer as it gives them counter space to work on while keeping everything in reach.
21. Spice Rack
People who like to cook usually have a dedicated collection of spices and seasonings to make their food taste better. But, one large drawback of having so many options in your kitchen is having enough space to store them all. Storing every spice you have in a cupboard can make it very time-consuming to find the one or two you’re after. So, you really want to consider storing your species in a specialty spice rack that allows you to find all of the spices you need. There are wall and door-mounted options that give you plenty of space while keeping your spices dry and out of your way.
There are dozens of spice rack styles available, and you can find the one that fits neatly into your pantry.
22. Stackable, Clear Storage Containers
Airtight containers can work nicely to keep your baking supplies, food, and spices fresh. Buying stackable, clear storage containers is a great investment for two reasons. The first reason is that you can see at a glance exactly how much of a certain item you have and you can add anything you’re running low into your grocery list. Stacking containers also make the most of any space you have available while keeping your items secure and stable.
23. Stand-Alone Wire Shelving
While built-in shelving units look very nice in your pantry, they can be expensive. Narrow or smaller walk-in pantries also may not require all-around shelving, and a standalone unit will suffice. A wire shelving rack is easier to keep clean too because any spice spills or crumbs will slip through the gaps and fall to the floor. A quick sweep and dust will keep your shelves in the pantry looking nice, and they’re very sturdy and capable of supporting a decent amount of weight.
24. Tall Storage with Built-in Counters
Something a lot of people don’t think about when they get their first homes is the amount of smaller appliances they would end up with. While they’re all useful in their own way, you need to find a place for them. If you regularly decant your ingredients, you’ll have a collection of funnels, scoops, and larger countertops will make the whole process easy and quick. Make a point to label everything in your containers so you can tell everything apart, and have a dedicated space for everything.
25. Thoughtful Lighting
Most walk-in pantries are windowless, and they have the unique ability to trap a few shadows, so it makes sense that they would need thoughtful lighting ideas to illuminate the whole space. Carefully placing your lighting ideas will ensure that there are no dark recesses that hide tins and Tupperware, and this allows you to maximize your storage space.
You should consider potentially installing thoughtfully placed spotlights in your pantry and kitchen area. Task lighting is essential when you’re working in your pantry or kitchen space, and it helps you get a very well-lit and safe area to store your food, find your items, and prepare meals.
26. Wrap-Around Shelving System
Maybe your walk-in pantry idea involves a lot of shelves. If so, it makes it easy to organize the space with a shelving system that gives you a dedicated place for everything. When you know exactly where the food product or item is you’re after, you won’t waste time going through the whole pantry and disturbing items. Better organization also makes your pantry look much nicer, and it enables you to store seldom-used or heavy items on lower shelves with your more commonly used ones in arm’s reach.
The more shelving you can add to your pantry, the more storage space you’ll have for all of your items.
Five Main Walk-In Pantry Benefits
A walk-in pantry is usually a room or closed either by or near your kitchen. It’s a space designed to work for kitchen storage, and you can use it to store appliances, dry goods, canned goods, and anything else you may need as you cook. They usually come with some type of shelving, and you can customize it to fit your needs. The five biggest benefits of having a walk-in pantry are:
1. Flexible Organization Options
Due to the increase of storage space, your walk-in pantry idea allows for much more customization in how you store your kitchen supplies and food items. Kitchens that don’t have a walk-in pantry usually offer limited storage space, and this makes them less efficient. By having enough storage space, you get much more flexibility with how you organize it. It also makes it easier to spot and access your items.
2. Larger Item Storage
If you have bigger appliances that you don’t use on a daily basis, a walk-in pantry can be a great storage space for them. Not only will this free up space on your counters or cupboards, but it also helps you keep everything organized, accessible when you need them, and out of the way when you don’t need them.
3. Keep up with Inventory
If you’ve ever lived in a home with limited storage space in the kitchen, you know how easy it is to shove everything into your cabinets. This can make it nearly impossible to see what you have in your inventory. Also, this makes it very hard to tell when your items are gone and need to be replaced, and you can forget what you have and double up on items you don’t necessarily need. Also, since it’s much harder for you to take inventory, items can get lost in the clutter and forgotten about. So, the next time you go to clean out and organize your pantry, you find items that are long expired.
A spacious walk-in pantry idea can solve all of these issues. The additional storage space they offer is not only very efficient, but it also makes it easy to take inventory of your food supply. You can also tell at a glance which food ingredients for prep and cooking are available. So, it can help you reduce food waste and save money on groceries.
Being able to keep up with your inventory helps ensure that you don’t overbuy items you can use before they expire and that you don’t run out of things.
4. More Storage Space
One of the biggest reasons people choose to have a walk-in pantry is the amount of storage space it adds. The kitchen is typically one of the busiest rooms in the home, and you also need to have places to store a huge amount of items. It gives you extra space to store appliances, and it usually stores things out of the way and out of sight while keeping the items you normally use easily accessible for a tidy and uncluttered look.
5. Versatile and Customizable
Finally, most walk-in pantry ideas are customizable and versatile when it comes to storage space. Depending on the rest of the design of your kitchen, you can get a smaller storage closet or a bigger room for your walk-in pantry idea. Since having enough storage space is huge in the kitchen, a well-designed walk-in pantry can boost your home’s value. You can customize your storage options too to match your needs. Hooks, built-in shelving, racks, baskets, and much more can all get used to help create the optimal storage solution for your pantry.
These 26 walk-in pantry ideas will help you maximize your space while getting everything organized and put away neatly. You can scale your pantry’s size and customizations to match your needs and wants, and it boosts the value of your home at the same time.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.