Small-Space Living

10 Inspiring Small-Space Pantries

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Most cooks appreciate every scrap of storage space allotted to their kitchen, big or small, urban or suburban. Some of us let the kitchen spill out into other spaces in the home (remember how David Lebovitz kept his ice cream maker under the bed?). I recaptured an inefficient coat closet and

turned it into a cheery little pantry

Packing all your kitchen goods together in a pantry like this can really streamline your organizing and post-grocery shopping routine. Here are 10 more inspiring examples of pantries — not all of them small, but each with a smart takeaway for small spaces.

Not all of these pantries are tiny, and not all of them are in especially small kitchens, but I chose them because I thought each had something interesting to demonstrate for small kitchens and pantries, too.

  1. Pantry Reorganization, via Eleven Magnolia Lane. There’s so much to love about this pantry re-do. It uses a large cupboard as a more organized pantry (a cupboard like this can be inexpensively added to a spare corner, even in a rental). I like how she uses a big basket on the bottom shelf to corral opened bags of chips and crackers.
  2. Storage by the Door, via Better Homes & Gardens. I like how these shallow shelves fill a wall near a door. Entryways and enclosed lean-to stoops adjacent to the kitchen often have unused wall space that can hold shelves like these.
  3. Tiny Pantry in DIY Blogger House, via The House of Smiths. This is one of my favorite little pantries. What could have been a narrow, inconvenient closet is made into a lovely feature of the kitchen with a glass door, good lighting, and pretty storage containers.
  4. Perfectly Imperfect Closet Pantry, via Perfectly Imperfect. Lots and lots of kitchens (even small ones) have a closet like this nearby. This is a great example of how to organize a closet effectively.
  5. DIY Canned Storage, via Classy Clutter. What an amazing project! This can storage pull-out is built from simple materials and slides into that narrow, otherwise useless space next to the fridge!
  6. Robin’s Egg Pantry Makeover, via Cup of Mai. The takeaway from this bright little pantry closet is color! No matter how small your pantry is, you can give it a coat of color. A cheery, pretty color makes the pantry feel more special, and makes it more fun to keep organized!
  7. Glass Door Pantry, via Southern Living. A pantry doesn’t need to be an eyesore. Here, softly opaque glass doors and lighting inside make this small closet a source of gentle ambient light for the whole kitchen.
  8. Hallway Pantry, via Cote de Texas. This butler’s pantry is in a perfectly enormous home, but it is such a smart idea, I had to include it. Think about little pass-throughs and small hallways in your home. Is there a spare six-inch area to claim for a shallow cabinet, maybe fronted with a skirt like this romantic example?
  9. Library-Inspired Pantry, via Houzz. OK, this pantry is pretty fabulous (and spacious). The takeaway here (besides, once again, lighting!) is the lovely idea to cram in an extra shelf or two for books, maybe even between the studs.
  10. Pull-Out Cabinet, Ellentuck Interiors via Houzz. If you don’t have a closet to repurpose, make your own pull-out cabinet! The pull-out units in IKEA’s AKURUM line are quite reasonably priced. If you nudge your fridge over a foot, perhaps you can squeeze one in!

How have you found ways to squeeze in some extra pantry space in your own kitchen?

Last published 9.17.2014