Today I am addressing how to create a beautiful pantry in a small space. You might be wondering, how small? The space I used is approximately 24 square feet, and it functions as well as any pantry I’ve had! Maybe even better because we started from scratch.
First, let’s answer the question: What is a pantry?
According to dictionary.com, a pantry is a small room where food, dishes, and utensils are kept. I think the modern pantry has evolved, and it can be open shelves with jars for food storage or a cabinet or two where food is stored. But let’s face it, we would all love a small room for a pantry, right? You know, like a walk-in pantry.
Our current home did not have a walk-in pantry when we moved in. It had only one floor-to-ceiling cabinet that was quite shallow, not leaving much room for pantry storage. We considered bumping into a small closet in the office behind the kitchen cabinet, but removing closets is never really a great option in a small house.
So how do you find space for a walk-in pantry in a house that doesn’t have one?
Once again, the stairs to the basement became our pantry. Our house was built in 1920 and was renovated at some point, making the only access to the basement on the outside of the house. This part makes it a little inconvenient but perfectly manageable.
Below is the door that leads to the pantry. I like to keep it tidy and constantly refresh this space each season. Soon it will look like this again with spring plants!
There’s a small landing inside the door leading to the basement. When we bought the house, it was filled with junk. Mostly things like extra paint cans and stuff that could easily be stored in the basement. The landing inside the door with access from the driveway was just too perfect of a spot to ignore.
Designate the space and start fresh!
When we had the floors refinished in the house before moving in, they also refinished the floors in this area, and that definitely made it feel fresh and like the space could become something more than a dumping ground for half-empty paint cans.
How we converted the space into a beautiful small pantry
Okay, maybe beautiful is a stretch with so many professional accounts specializing in beautiful pantry spaces in all sizes, but to me, this space is beautiful and, more importantly, functional.
The actual space measures about 4′ x 6′, so there is not a lot of room to work with, but by choosing smaller scale shelves from Ikea so that it did not overwhelm the space and then custom shelves, we gained a lot of storage.
Brent made narrow shelves on three walls and utilized the existing ledges by covering them with custom-fit shelves. He even rounded the corner ledge so we wouldn’t bump into it! We used the Hyllis shelves from Ikea. This one is for $19.99, and this one is for $24.99. Madeline also has the tall one in her tiny NYC apartment. We spent less than $100 to create a beautiful (and functional) pantry in a small space.
Why use such narrow shelves?
The actual space dictated the need for making the narrow shelves part of the design. Any wider, and they would have protruded into the flow of the space. What I like about the narrow shelves is that visually nothing gets lost. I can see exactly what we have and what’s missing. We keep everything in the same spot. So when the olive oil shelf has only one bottle left, we see a blank spot and write it on the chalkboard.
As you can see from some of the photos, we worked using the space we had along with its restraints. Like that small narrow pipe next to the shelf, we have no idea what that is, but in a house over 100 years old, it’s better to leave it alone and work around it!
You may also like this post where we used a similar type of space in our New Canaan Home.
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