How can I make my pantry look expensive? 10 features of good pantry design

A well-organized and stylish pantry is the dream for many homeowners. Not only does an elegant pantry help keep your kitchen clutter-free, but it can also make a statement and add visual interest to your home. The good news is you don’t have to break the bank to create a pantry that looks and feels luxurious. With some clever design tricks and affordable upgrades, you can easily transform your existing pantry into a space that looks like it cost a fortune. Here are 10 features to include that will make your pantry look expensive and high-end.

Use upscale finishes and materials

One of the easiest ways to make your pantry look more high-end is to use upscale finishes and materials. Swap out standard cabinets for custom built-ins made from solid wood. Opt for a natural material like marble or quartz for the countertops. Install glass-front cabinet doors to showcase pretty dishware. Consider adding touches like crown molding, wainscoting, or other architectural details on the walls and ceiling. Using these more elegant materials automatically elevates the look and feel of the space.

Add hidden storage

Well-designed luxury pantries utilize every inch of available space with hidden storage solutions. Incorporate pull-out shelves, Lazy Susans, and slide-out bins to neatly tuck away items. Install floor-to-ceiling shelving or mount narrow shelving units on the inside of cabinet doors. You can even have cabinet fronts custom made to conceal entire refrigerators or freezers while still allowing access to them. Taking advantage of hidden storage options makes the pantry feel specially customized while also keeping all your food items out of sight.

Incorporate specialty storage

Upscale pantries often include storage solutions tailored to the homeowners’ needs and preferences. For wine connoisseurs, incorporate a temperature-controlled wine fridge or racks. Avid bakers would appreciate spacious pull-out trays for baking sheets and cooling racks. Consider hooks for hanging cooking utensils or shallow baskets for organizing spices and jars. Specialty storage shows that thought and care has gone into the design to cater to the way you cook and use your pantry.

Use high-end organizational solutions

The most luxurious-looking pantries have a place for everything and keep clutter neatly contained. Install pull-out drawer organizers to neatly arrange cooking oils, canned goods, and other items. Acrylic or glass canisters in different sizes make grabbing pasta, rice, and snacks easy while keeping the space looking tidy. Baskets or trays can corral fruits, vegetables, and other fresh foods. Uniform jars for dry goods like flour, sugar, and coffee can add visual appeal. Investing in high-quality organizational solutions makes the space look curated.

LED lighting

Proper lighting can make all the difference in creating a glamorous pantry that sparkles. Avoid basic overhead lighting and opt for adjustable LED puck lights, strip lighting under cabinets, or even toe kicks with soft illumination. Lighting on dimmers allows you to adjust the brightness as needed. The goal is to bathe the pantry in a clean, bright glow that shows off all your beautiful organizational systems and high-end finishes.

Natural wood shelves

Swap out basic wire shelving for natural wood shelves to instantly upgrade your pantry’s aesthetic. Wood shelving has a timeless, luxury feel that pairs well with any design style from modern to traditional. Opt for solid wood shelves in a light tone to keep the small space feeling bright and airy. Or go for a rich walnut stain for a bold, dramatic look. Adding warm wood shelving brings texture and softness to the pantry.

Mirrored backsplash

For glam pantries, consider adding a mirrored backsplash. Mirrored walls add depth to small pantries and reflect light to make the space feel open and airy. The reflective surface also creates the illusion of having more space. A mirrored backsplash paired with glass-front cabinetry and LED lighting makes a dazzling display. For a unique look, mix mirrored tiles with natural stone or go bold with a wallpaper-style mirrored backsplash.

Natural stone backsplash

Another backsplash option that instantly elevates a pantry is natural stone like marble, travertine, or limestone. While these stones are on the pricier end, even a small section as a mini-backsplash can make a big impact. Neutral beige and white stones add subtle elegance, while marble with grey veining has lots of depth and visual interest. Stone backsplashes complement both traditional and modern kitchen designs.

Glass cabinet doors

For a light and airy aesthetic, consider trading some solid cabinet fronts for glass-front doors. Glass cabinetry allows you to artfully display beautiful dishware, glass canisters, or other pretty pantry items. Just be sure everything is neatly organized and orderly so the look stays polished. Glass fronts work especially well for open shelving or wall cabinets. Paired with puck lighting, glass doors create a gorgeous focal display.

Create zones

Large or walk-in pantries can be divided into zones for different types of storage to feel tailored and high-end. Common zones include:

  • Dry goods area with shelves for canned goods, boxes and jars.
  • Refrigerated zone for fresh produce and refrigerated items.
  • Baking zone with pull-outs for baking sheets and stand mixers.
  • Wine area with racks and/or temperature-controlled fridge.
  • Serving zone with glassware, dishes and serving platters.
  • Cleaning zone with cleaning supplies neatly tucked away.
  • Pet food area with storage for pet food bags or cans.

Creating specific zones adds function while making the pantry feel exceptionally organized and well-designed.

Incorporate high-end appliances

Top-of-the-line appliances take any pantry up a notch in luxury. Benchtop wine fridges keep wine at optimal temperature without taking up kitchen space. Undercounter refrigeration units are discreetly concealed. Miele and other pro-grade brands have column-style fridges with specialized deli, freezer and wine storage drawers. Even a small undercounter beverage cooler feels indulgent. Integrated appliances both enhance functionality and make a bold design statement.

Add a sink or wet bar

For the ultimate luxury, incorporate plumbing into your pantry design. Many high-end pantries include a prep sink for washing produce and tidying dishes. Or go all out with a wet bar including sink, beverage fridge and icemaker. Add microwave, wine fridge and glassware storage to create a butler’s pantry perfect for entertaining. The built-in sink and appliances transform the pantry into a fully functional extension of the kitchen.

How much does a luxury pantry cost?

The cost to create a high-end, luxury pantry can vary widely based on the size, features, and finishes you select. Basic upgrades like adding wood shelving, glass cabinet fronts and lighting could run $2,000-$5,000. More elaborate built-ins with organizational systems, stone counters and specialty storage might cost $10,000-$30,000. Top-of-the-line appliances like wine fridges and integrated refrigeration units can tack on several thousand dollars more. And fully customized walk-in pantries with wet bars, sinks, and specialty zones can easily exceed $50,000. While luxury pantries require an investment, focusing on just a few designer details can elevate your space without necessarily breaking the bank. With some creativity and strategic splurges, you can create a magazine-worthy pantry that looks like a million bucks.

FAQs about designing an expensive-looking pantry

What paint color makes a pantry look expensive?

White and soft gray shades are classic, clean colors that make a pantry look bright and expensive. Avoid bold colors in favor of neutral, timeless hues. Soft sage green or pale blue can add subtle color if desired.

What flooring looks best for an upscale pantry?

Natural stone tile, porcelain tile, and hardwoods are elegant pantry flooring options. Marble or herringbone patterns add visual interest. For a seamless look, match the kitchen flooring but opt for easy-clean materials.

What type of lighting works best?

LED lighting on dimmers allows you to control the brightness. Puck lights, strip lighting under cabinets, and toe kick lighting give the best illumination. Avoid harsh overhead lighting.

Should I remove upper cabinets to open up the space?

This can work in larger walk-in pantries. But removing all upper storage usually isn’t feasible. Consider swapping one or two upper cabinets for open shelving to keep some storage.

What organizational items look the most high-end?

Acrylic canisters, glass storage jars, woven baskets, and wood crates can help conceal clutter while adding style. Invest in organizational systems like pull-out drawers and slide-out shelves.

Should I add doors or leave the pantry open?

Doors help conceal clutter and create a polished look. Glass-front doors add style while still displaying pretty dishware. Open shelving works for highly organized pantries with uniform storage jars.

What appliances boost the luxury factor?

Wine fridges, undercounter refrigeration units, beverage coolers, and integrated column-style fridges add luxury. Incorporating specialty appliances tailored to your needs makes a statement.


With the right combination of storage solutions, high-end finishes, specialty features and a touch of luxury, you can create a breathtaking pantry that looks like it belongs in a magazine or million-dollar home. Focus on details like upscale cabinetry and hardware, elegant countertops and backsplashes, top-of-the-line lighting and clever organizational systems. Don’t be afraid to incorporate splurges like integrated appliances, custom built-ins or even a wet bar. The investment is well worth achieving the elegant, expensive-looking pantry of your dreams. With some smart planning and design, you can craft a flawlessly organized and strikingly beautiful pantry space.