Kitchen Storage Cabinet: Unique Pantries for Beautiful Kitchens

Kitchen storage is an essential consideration when designing a functional and beautiful kitchen. The right kitchen storage solutions can help maximize space, keep kitchen items organized, and contribute to an overall aesthetically pleasing design. One excellent kitchen storage option to consider is a pantry cabinet. Pantries provide dedicated storage space for food items, small appliances, cookware, and more. When thoughtfully designed, a pantry can be both highly practical and a visually appealing feature in your dream kitchen.

In this article, we’ll explore creative pantry design ideas to inspire your next kitchen refresh. From walk-in pantries to corner pantries, we’ll cover unique layouts, materials, customization options and clever organizational systems. With the right pantry cabinet storage, you can gain tons of usable space for a tidier, more efficient cooking area. Read on for beautiful pantry ideas to help build your ideal kitchen!

Clever Walk-In Pantry Designs

For many homeowners, a walk-in pantry is the ultimate kitchen storage dream. Walk-in pantries provide copious amounts of storage space for food staples, small appliances, cookware, dinnerware, and more. Though walk-in pantries require ample square footage, there are clever ways to incorporate them into your floor plan.

Repurposing Closets or Small Rooms

Looking for unused space that can be transformed into a walk-in pantry? Consider repurposing an existing closet, mudroom, or small room off of the kitchen. Shelving units, cabinets and other organizational systems can turn a room into a fully functioning pantry. Just be sure to add features like lighting and ventilation.

Adding a Pantry Bump-Out

Bump-outs or bump-outs extend a portion of the home exterior by a few feet to allow for a larger interior space. Adding a small bump-out by the kitchen is a smart way to create space for a walk-in pantry without major construction. The bump-out can be as large or small as your space allows.

Pantry Island

A pantry island creates a centralized, easily accessible storage hub in an open floor plan kitchen. The island can be designed as a full walk-in pantry, or simply outfitted with cabinets, drawers, shelves and other organizational systems. Pantry islands are great for keeping ingredients and cookware within arm’s reach.

Diagonal Walk-In Pantry

Maximize an unused corner with an angled walk-in pantry design. The diagonal layout takes advantage of awkward, often wasted space for a uniquely shaped storage area. Shelving can be installed vertically on the angled walls.

Skinny Pantry

Even a narrow, skinny pantry can house an impressively large amount of storage. Optimize the layout with a combination of deep shelves, vertical dividers, drawer organizers, slide-out cabinets and other space-saving solutions.

Wide Pantry

A wide pantry design can accommodate more traditional shelving units on the long walls, upper cabinets for extra storage, and potentially room for a freestanding cabinet or two. Wide pantries offer flexibility in layout and plenty of space for stocking up on kitchen essentials.

Ideal Corner Pantry Designs

Don’t overlook those corner areas when planning your new pantry. With clever layouts and organizational systems, corner pantries can transform unused space into highly functional storage.

Diagonal Corner Shelves

Fitting shelving units into a corner area can be tricky. Diagonal corner shelves take advantage of the angles and maximize every inch. This shelving style is great for pantries, allowing you to stack cans, jars and other food items.

Tiered Corner Shelving Unit

Multi-level, tiered shelving units are designed specifically to optimize corner storage. The stepped shelves fit neatly into the right angle and provide both vertical and horizontal storage surfaces. These units come in many sizes and configurations.

Spice Rack Pull-Out

Dedicate a corner pantry cabinet to storing spices and frequently used ingredients. Install pull-out shelving units with narrow shelves designed for spice bottles. Keeping spices visible and within reach simplifies cooking prep.

Corner Lazy Susan

Lazy Susans are turntables that allow easy access to items stored on deep, corner shelves. A corner pantry lazy Susan can hold multiple layers of food items and rotate for quick access to ingredients at the back.

Upper Corner Cabinets

Take advantage of vertical space with upper corner cabinets. Glass-front doors keep contents visible while protecting food items from dust. Use for displaying cherished dinnerware or storing small appliances like blenders.

Unique Pantry Cabinet Materials and Finishes

Standard wood cabinets are a popular and affordable pantry cabinet option. But don’t stop there when exploring pantry design ideas. Consider mixing up the materials and finishes for added visual interest.

Metal Shelving and Cabinets

Industrial style pantries are trending, often incorporating exposed metal elements. Stainless steel shelving, countertops and cabinets have an edgy, modern appeal while still being food-safe.

Wood Finish Varitation

Playing with different wood finishes and tones keeps your pantry interesting. Try combining painted white cabinets with natural wood shelves. Or opt for pale oak cabinets contrasted with dark walnut drawers.

Glass Cabinet Doors

Glass-front cabinet doors create a lighter, airier feel in pantries while also letting you view contents easily. For a touch of privacy, try frosted or patterned glass doors. Display pretty dishware in glass cabinets.

Open Wire Shelving

Open shelving offers visibility and a lightweight, airy aesthetic. Wire shelving comes in sleek metal finishes like stainless steel and brass. Mix with solid cabinetry and closed storage for a balance of form and function.

Wallpaper Lined Cabinets

Lining cabinetry interiors with removable wallpaper protects surfaces while also letting you showcase fun prints and patterns. Try a bold geometric, delicate floral or preppy toile to add interest.

Clever Pantry Storage and Organization Systems

Once you’ve settled on the footprint and materials for your new pantry, it’s time to optimize the layout. Thoughtful organization systems make your pantry both efficient and easy to navigate.

Pull-Out Pantry Cabinets

Cabinets with pull-out shelves and drawers conveniently bring items out of the depths of the cupboards to you. No more crawling to the back of cabinets! Pull-outs are great for storing canned goods and bulky items.

Slide-Out Shelves

Slide-out shelves instantly double your storage surface area. When closed, slide-outs sit nearly flush. Pull them out to access items in the back without the hassle of reaching in deeply.

Pantry Swing-Outs

Swing-outs are vertical storage units mounted on cabinet doors. Simple swing the unit our to access small shelves, trays and compartments for spices, sauces and other kitchen items. Close the door to tuck it out of sight.

Drawer Organizers

Designate drawers for utensils, baking pans and other items. Use vertical organizers to divide the space into sections for neat storage. Label drawers for easy access.

Tiered Shelving

Tiered, stepped shelving fully utilizes all the vertical space available. Lower shelves can hold bulky appliances and larger jars. Upper shelves are great for smaller condiments, spices and bags.

Deep Shelving

Maximize deep pantry cabinets with shelving that extends to the back wall. The depth provides tons of storage space. Use risers or tiered shelves to optimize the rear areas.

Baskets and Bins

Baskets and bins add warmth while corralling loose items like snacks and cookware. Labeled bins create organized zones. Just avoid overly cluttered or messy basket contents.

Inspiring Custom Pantry Ideas

Beyond the design elements we’ve covered, don’t be afraid to really customize your pantry storage. Get creative with size, layout, features and styling to build your dream space.

Built-In Seating Nook

Carve out an area in your spacious pantry for a mini seating nook. This is a great spot to flip through cookbooks or enjoy a morning coffee while admiring your organized space!

Pet Food Station

Designate part of the pantry for your furry friends. A pet food station with lidded bins keeps kibble fresh and neatly stored. Add elevated feeders and comfy mats for a full pet dining zone.

Charging Station

Install outlets and USB ports in your pantry to create a device charging station. Store small appliances like blenders and mixers on open shelves near the charging area for easy access while cooking.

Coffee Bar

Build a coffee station right into your pantry complete with coffee maker, mugs, sugar jars, stirring sticks and more. Add a mini-fridge for creamer and milk. Coffee bars keep morning mess contained.

Meal Prep Area

Take advantage of pantry square footage by adding a small countertop prep area. Use this space for chopping, food storage and assembling ready-to-grab lunches or dinners.

Styling an Attractive, Inviting Pantry

A well-organized, functional pantry doesn’t have to look clinical. Use these tips to style your pantry in a welcoming, aesthetically pleasing way.

Use Decorative Storage Containers

Upgrade basic food storage containers with pretty canisters, jars and bins. Opt for clear containers so you can identify contents easily. Infuse personality with different sizes, shapes and colors.

Add Greenery

Potted herbs, plants and flowers bring life to pantries. Try a blooming orchid, fresh rosemary and thyme or a trailing ivy. Greenery adds freshness and vibrancy.

Limit Visual Clutter

An overstuffed pantry with packages spilling off shelves has an unappealing look. Edit down to frequently used items and store the rest elsewhere for clean sight lines.

Fun Wallpaper

Lining the back of shelves or interior of glass cabinets with removable wallpaper packs visual punch. Opt for whimsical fruit and veggie prints, delicate florals or graphic patterns.

Mood Lighting

Skip harsh overhead lighting and create a warm glow with pendant lights, sconces or strips lights installed along shelves. Dimmable, adjustable lighting sets the right ambiance.

Display Special Items

Highlight cherished dishes, pretty cookbooks or unique food items. A mix of open and closed storage lets you show off special pieces guests can admire.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Pantry Design

Looking to learn more about designing your ideal kitchen pantry? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about pantries.

What size should my pantry be?

The ideal pantry size depends on your kitchen storage needs and available space. As a general guideline, shoot for a pantry between 25 and 40 square feet. Walk-in pantries can range from small 5′ x 5′ footprints to spacious rooms over 100 square feet.

How deep should pantry shelves be?

Standard pantry shelves are about 12 to 16 inches deep. For pantries with lots of canned goods or large boxes, opt for deeper shelves around 20 to 24 inches to allow items to stack efficiently. Deep shelves can also house pull-out drawers for additional storage.

What height should upper pantry cabinets be?

Upper cabinets typically have heights between 30 and 42 inches. Place higher cabinets like 42-inch uppers along the top and shorter cabinets around 30 to 36 inches along the bottom for balance. This allows shorter and taller people to reach items comfortably.

How much weight can pantry shelves hold?

The weight capacity depends on the material. Basic wire shelves hold around 25 to 35 pounds per linear foot. Wood or glass shelves can handle 50 to 75 pounds per linear foot. Heavy duty metal shelving units can withstand over 200 pounds!

Should my pantry have doors?

Doors help conceal clutter and create a cleaner look. However, open shelving improves visibility. Combining sections of doors and open areas balances style and function. For food safety, doors in deeper pantries prevent cooking oils and odors from reaching food.

What flooring works best in pantries?

Durable, water-resistant vinyl plank flooring is ideal for pantries which can encounter spills. Tile, concrete and wood also work well. Choose slip-resistant materials in case of fallen ingredients. Avoid carpeting which can harbor odors, mold and pests over time.


Creative pantry design can completely transform your kitchen’s storage capacity and style. Walk-in, corner, or traditional cabinet pantries all offer excellent organized storage when thoughtfully laid out and styled. Optimizing these hidden kitchen spaces can make your cooking experience far more enjoyable. Use the inspiration from these unique pantry ideas to design your beautiful dream pantry. With good planning and custom organizational systems, your new pantry can be both functional and stunning.