Most every homeowner wants a pantry. In fact, walk-in pantries are among the most desired kitchen features, according to a 2021 National Association of Home Builders survey. But if your home doesn’t have a pantry, where should you keep boxes of cereal, canned goods, snacks, and other unrefrigerated foods? Not to fear! You can still create an organized and useful food storage place in your home.
Repurpose a closet
If your kitchen doesn’t have an actual pantry, you can utilize a nearby closet. A coat closet close to the kitchen can be converted to a pantry, for instance. Install shelving purchased from a big box store that suits your needs. Alternatively, you can have a designer or contractor install custom-designed shelving. For a rustic look or for an inexpensive DIY, stack wooden crates (the type often found in craft stores) and use wood screws to fasten them together for quick and easy pantry shelving.
Convert a bookshelf
If you have a small area of unused space in your kitchen, you can use a bookshelf as pantry space. Choose a bookshelf that is already stained in a color you like or paint it to match your kitchen’s design. Add some glass or ceramic canisters to contain your pantry items, plus some shelf liners in a fun print, and the bookshelf will be a beautiful decorative element.
Create a pegboard pantry
Renowned French chef Julia Child was famous for the kitchen pegboard from which she hung her pots and pans. Pegboards are quite versatile, and can be used to hang and store almost anything—so why not create a kitchen pegboard pantry? You can get pegboard from a local hardware store, plus everything else you need, such as baskets, shelves, and hooks.
Hang open shelving
A blank wall in your kitchen is an ideal spot to add open shelving, which are shelves not hidden by doors. Floating shelves with no visible brackets are popular. You could install trendy stained wood shelves with dark metal brackets—industrial L brackets and black elbow pipe supports are great options. For a quick and easy installation, opt for a shelving system with the usual standards and brackets from a hardware or big box store. Open shelving can be pretty, but it also has its drawbacks. It’s imperative to keep the items on your shelves neat and organized if you don’t want a messy kitchen.
Borrow cabinet space
Some of your kitchen cabinets can be devoted to a mini pantry area. There is no set rule that cabinets must be used solely for glasses and dishes. A single kitchen cabinet could provide much needed space for items like canned goods, flour, sugar, and snacks. You could install easy to reach slide-out shelves for these goods or use inexpensive shelf risers or a lazy Susan to give you better access to your items. Adding glass canisters and wicker baskets can make your cabinet pantry both practical and beautiful.
Roll with it
If your kitchen has enough floor space, you could purchase a rolling kitchen cart. This cart could be placed against a wall, or, if there is enough room, in the center of the room to double as a kitchen island. Use the cart’s shelves to contain your pantry items. Meanwhile, you can use the top shelf or the countertop of the rolling cart as an extra work surface, or even as a place to set up a coffee bar with a coffee maker and some coffee mugs.
Squeeze it in
Some kitchens have space between the refrigerator and the cabinetry, and this slim spot is the perfect place for a vertical roll-out pantry. You simply pull this rolling pantry out when you need access to what you have stored there. These mobile shelving systems can be purchased, or you can make one yourself.
Build between the studs
If you have the budget to hire a contractor or if you have some DIY skills, you can construct a pantry space between the studs in your kitchen wall. This method requires some skill, as you’ll have to take wiring and structural hurdles, like removing drywall, into account. You can even hang doors to conceal your within-the-studs pantry area.
As you can see, you don’t need a built-in pantry to get the food storage space you need.