22 Kitchen Pantry Ideas for All Your Storage Needs

Storage is never in short supply when a well-designed kitchen pantry is just steps away.

Slide out kitchen pantry
Photo: Greg Scheidemann

Storage is never in short supply when a well-designed kitchen pantry is just steps away. A pantry can be built-in, butler's style, walk-in, freestanding, or a combination. No matter the style, it should optimize your kitchen layout by consolidating everything in one handy location. Keep food items organized and on-hand with these kitchen pantry design ideas.

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Reach-In Pantry Ideas

organized pantry with labeled jars and bins
David Tsay

​​Keep food items fresh and within reach with an organized kitchen pantry. Clever reach-in pantry designs make access and storage easy for canned and dried goods, small appliances, and tableware. Shallow, angular pantry shelves provide easy viewing of food items and help small items stay organized rather than become lost among larger appliances. A whiteboard surface on the inside of the door provides space to jot down meal plans and grocery lists.

02 of 22

Small Pantry Storage

home coffee station inside pantry
Julie Soefer

This small kitchen pantry design cleverly maximizes space by blending various storage styles. Custom-fit upper shelves provide accessible storage for spices and dishware, while racks mounted underneath the lowest shelf hold wine glasses. Slim shelves attached to the backs of the double doors store oils, vinegars, and wine bottles. Below a tabletop surface that houses an espresso machine, deep drawers and open cubbies provide plentiful storage for beverages and other pantry items.

03 of 22

Spacious Butler's Pantry

beachy home makeover pantry ladder organization
Edmund Barr

Keep small appliances, serveware, and food out of the way with a large butler's pantry located off the kitchen. A long, shallow counter provides an extra work surface and additional storage space. Below the countertop, open drawers hold pantry items. A rolling library ladder allows access to upper shelves, which house infrequently used serving dishes and a collection of cookbooks.

04 of 22

Pantry Organization Ideas

Back of door storage in kitchen
Jay Wilde

The right tools can make all the difference in pantry organization. An over-the-door storage system, for example, can turn a blank space into a hardworking storage zone that frees up room within the pantry. Choose a wire organizing rack ($150, The Container Store) with adjustable storage baskets so you can customize the unit to your needs.

05 of 22

Organized Pantry Zones

food pantry shelves
Cameron Sadeghpour

A simple walk-in pantry with open shelves becomes much more efficient when organized into zones. Designate specific shelves or sections for breakfast foods, snacks, beverages, dinner ingredients, extra paper products, and other pantry items. Use labels to define the zones, so everyone in the household knows where to find things and where to put items away.

06 of 22

Cabinet Pantry Ideas

kitchen view pantry cabinet
John Granen

Floor-to-ceiling cabinetry provides plenty of space to store your kitchen essentials. A tall cabinet with shelves at different heights makes it easy to store various groceries just steps away from where meals are prepared. This easy-access pantry matches the dark-stained lower cabinets, keeping the kitchen's look cohesive.

07 of 22

Food Storage Central

Slide out kitchen pantry
Greg Scheidemann

Keep all your food in the same area for quick, easy access. A tall pullout pantry acts as an extension of the refrigerator, consolidating dry goods and cold-food storage into one place in the kitchen. The narrow cabinet slides out to reveal long shelves for a lot of storage in a little space.

08 of 22

Small-Pantry Storage

Small-Pantry Closet Storage
Jay Wilde

Smart storage and efficient use of space are essential with a small pantry. Try portioning snacks into bags and food storage bins for easy access. Cereal, pasta, and other dry foods can be emptied into clear plastic bins for easy recognition. An over-door wire rack ($50.99, Target) provides extra storage without having to cram too many items on each shelf.

09 of 22

Neat Pantry Organization

minimalist style large pantry
Paul Dyer

With the pantry door open more often than not, organization and a neat presentation are essential. A wooden wine rack immediately gives off a sophisticated and orderly look. This walk-in pantry looks clean and presentable with intentional placement of food, appliances, and cookware on clean white shelves.

10 of 22

Vertical Pantry Storage

tall pantry shelving cabinetry
James Salomon

Installing a tall pantry with open shelving and cabinetry amps up the room's storage capacity while adding furniture-style elegance. The 14-inch cabinet depth is just right for storing dry goods and makes taking inventory easy. When using deeper shelves, enlist baskets or shelf dividers to organize storage items.

11 of 22

Small Pantry Ideas

Slim Savvy Small Pantry
James Yochum

Placing a kitchen pantry cabinet in an adjacent space just outside the kitchen creates more space for cooking. Shelves on the backs of doors maximize pantry cabinet storage. Pullout shelves utilize every inch of pantry space for food, supplies, and small appliances.

12 of 22

Recessed Pantry Design

Recessed Pantry Storage
James Yochum

The built-in look of recessed-panel kitchen cabinets offers attractive, out-of-sight pantry storage. This recessed pantry design matches the surrounding cabinetry for a cohesive look. The area provides shelf and door storage for spices, dry goods, and small kitchen appliances.

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Built-In Pantry

built in pantry sliding drawers

Replace conventional shelves with sliding drawers for easier access to your cooking essentials. Deep shelves on top and pullout drawers below offer abundant storage in a compact form and make it easy to do a quick visual inventory. White double doors match the kitchen's style and hide the collection of dry goods.

14 of 22

Pantry Ideas for Fine China

Fine China pantry

Pantries aren't only meant for storing food. Arrange your china and tableware on your pantry shelves in an organized, presentable fashion. Neatly stack plates and bowls and carefully arrange glasses to ensure that your china is ready for the eyes of any dinner guest.

15 of 22

Pantry Shelving Ideas

shelf-lined pantry walls

The simple style and architectural details adopted from the adjoining kitchen make this pantry more of an additional room than just a storage closet. Wainscoting along the walls and a soapstone countertop add style elements to the space. In addition, the shelf-lined walls provide ample room for staples and dishes and reduce the need for above-counter cabinets in the kitchen.

16 of 22

Cubby-Style Pantry

Cubby-Style Pantry
Adam Albright

The better you label your food items, the more easily you can organize your kitchen pantry and keep it that way. Cabinets fit together to create a cubby-style pantry design with room for both bulk and everyday items in one accessible location. Shallow boxes and small bins are easy to take with you into the kitchen and help cut down on multiple trips back and forth.

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Compact Pantry Ideas

compact pantry below microwave
Erik Johnson

A compact but extra-deep pantry stores food and small appliances just steps from the kitchen island. Deep rolling drawers allow easy access to otherwise hard-to-reach items. The compact style allows the pantry to blend with the kitchen while keeping food and appliances out of sight.

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At-the-Ready Pantry Storage

retrofitted pullout pantry storage
Kritsada Panichgul

This pantry is all about easy access. The retrofitted pullout storage provides convenient access to deep drawers, perfect for storing several items while still keeping them tucked away. The corkboard-lined door provides a handy hanging zone for keys, notes, and charming handmade family artwork.

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Hidden Pantry Items

country style walk in pantry
Jeff Herr

Keep an elegant kitchen clutter-free by hiding countertop appliances, food, and more in an out-of-sight pantry. Built-in china cabinets set flush against the wall flank the pantry hidden behind a door. With the door closed, the space feels almost like a paneled room. Despite being tucked away, the pantry maintains the quiet color palette and simple kitchen design.

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DIY Pantry Ideas

repurposed closet pantry
Jay Wilde

A repurposed closet was transformed into a DIY pantry in this kitchen. The pantry doors slide open for easy access to the storage space. Rows of deep shelves, hidden by clouded glass doors, provide plentiful storage for food as well as kitchen essentials, such as a microwave or even a garbage can. Custom cabinets on both sides of the pantry sport chalkboards made by covering the panels with insets of black laminate.

21 of 22

Locker-Style Pantry

Built-in metal lockers pantry
Erik Johnson

Add a fun element to your kitchen by transforming metal lockers into a unique kitchen pantry. Combined with wooden shelves, the lockers provide adequate storage space and bring style to an eclectic kitchen. Bonus: the metal locker doors work perfectly for holding magnetic spice containers.

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Closed-Door Pantry Ideas

built-in tall cabinet pantry
Ed Gohlich

Tall cabinet doors keep food storage hidden and keep the kitchen looking sleek and organized. These panel-style doors open to reveal deep shelves perfect for storing dry, canned, and jarred goods. The doors don't just hide the pantry—they also hide the refrigerator, allowing all food to be kept in one central area.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the standard pantry size?

    A common walk-in pantry size is 5x5 feet. For a reach-in pantry, the average size is 5x2 feet—but if you're short on space, even a single wall-mounted shelf can make a difference. For shelf depth, experts suggest you stick with shelves that are 16 to 20 inches deep or install slide-out shelves to prevent stored items from getting lost and buried over time. 

  • Can I make my own pantry?

    Absolutely! With a little creativity, you can create pantry storage in even the smallest kitchen. Repurpose a closet, use bookshelves, or open a wall and set some recessed shelving between the studs. Look for unused corners and spaces near the kitchen (like hallways, mudrooms, or the space under the stairs) where you can add shelving to store canned food, dried goods, and lesser-used kitchen appliances. 

  • What should you place on the top shelf of a pantry?

    To maximize the efficiency of your pantry, reserve the top shelf for special occasion items or things you do not use daily (like party supplies, paper plates, and holiday cookie cutters). Keep similar items together in baskets or bins so you can easily access them when the time is right. 

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