Small Pantry Ideas – How to Create the Perfect Kitchen Storage Space

Having pantry storage in the kitchen is the dream, isn’t it? Especially a walk-in one if you’ve got the space. I was constantly searching for small pantry ideas when we remodeled and renovated our current house as I knew we needed to make room for one. 

Having lots of kitchen storage is such an important factor when designing a kitchen. We always have a lot more to hide away in a kitchen, from glassware to food and rice cookers, to random objects we have no idea what we need them for.

I was googling kitchen storage ideas before I was planning the design of our kitchen! Originally, I wanted to put in a built-in pantry from Howdens which could nestle into the corner of our kitchen and give us a small pantry to walk into.

However, when we were planning our kitchen layout, it became apparent that a corner pantry where our oven currently sits, wouldn’t work.

Our first floor plan for our kitchen renovation
The original plan was to put a pantry-style cupboard in the corner of our kitchen

Our American-style Fridge Freezer would have needed to go into a little corner of our kitchen under the stairs if we had gone with our original pantry plans. This would mean it would be away from the food preparation area where the sink, island, and oven are, and it wouldn’t work.

I knew I wanted the fridge, sink, and oven to be close together and within reach of the right-hand side of the island as you walked in. We changed the layout and included 2 smaller-sized cupboards on either side of the fridge freezer and my pantry dreams died with it. Ha!

Our final floor plan for our kitchen renovation
We went for this kitchen layout instead. I preferred the fridge being nearer the sink and island.
3D imagery of our kitchen renovation with Howdens
Also, the fridge looks more fitted here than under the stairs!

Moving the fridge meant we freed up the space under the stairs to the left of the door as you walked into the kitchen. It already had a wall here to hold up the stairs so this area was sectioned off nicely.

We were blocking off the original L-shaped lounge diner to create a separate snug, so the space was calling out for a cupboard! We put the fridge here, to begin with, but it just looked out of place. 

stud wall separating the kitchen from the living room
We put up a stud wall to separate the lounge from our large kitchen diner. You can see the stair slope just to the left of this picture.
View from the new kitchen out into the hallway
We originally put the fridge here, but it just didn’t feel right.
stud wall and steel beams in the kitchen
In the thick of our kitchen reno! You can see the space to the left of the stud wall

I realized this was the perfect space to put a small pantry cupboard so we asked our builders to build another small wall to box in this space. The small pantry was born.

our pantry taking shape
Perfectly formed.

Our builders needed to put in a raised platform as this corner has gas pipework running along the back. They also put a shelf above the door so we could have extra kitchen storage space above the small pantry.

We finished the space with saloon-style doors so that the doors didn’t take up too much space when they were opened. This is how our pantry storage remained for nearly a year. 

double stable style doors going on in the pantry
My favorite cupboard in the house

Small Pantry Ideas

With the space sectioned off and doors added, I started planning the inside to maximize the storage space. I wanted the pantry to be solely for food, so we needed lots of shelves to store baskets, jars, and cans on.

shelves in the pantry
Using what we already had!

We had some left-over end panels from the kitchen renovation and a slab of marble worktops, so our builders cut all these to size and created the shelves out of them.

shelves and pine doors in the pantry
I wanted to be able to walk in so we kept the left wall free from shelves.
shelves in the pantry
We also have a double socket in here. We were initially going to put the microwave in here as well.
the pantry full with baskets and food
The microwave and toaster were placed in our pantry temporarily but we quickly realized that the heat from both was making our food go off quicker!

With the pantry hardware and shelving sorted, I started looking at how to incorporate it into the kitchen design. I knew I wanted the doors to be anthracite grey to match our bi-folds and I wanted the flooring to have the same pattern as our utility.

I initially ordered doors with frosted glass for our pantry, but due to a mix-up, we ended up with clear glazing. It wasn’t a huge problem, but when Glass Films contacted me asking if I had any projects coming up where I could use some glass film, I immediately knew where I wanted to use it.

I had used Glass Films on my Faux crittal doors for the utility room and was really pleased with the result.

I wrote a blog post on how I created this faux crittal style door here.

I wanted my pantry doors to look like they’d always been there, so I opted for a vintage frosted pattern – Fleur de Lis.

I bought some Valspar paint, color matched to RAL no. 7016 (the code for anthracite grey) to paint the doors and the skirting boards to match. I then added the glass film on the window panel and already the pantry was transformed!

pantry doors painted in anthracite grey
Doors painted in Valspar Ral no. 7016
pantry doors painted in anthracite grey and glass films covering the windows
With the glass film added! They look so much better
dark anthracite grey doors and window films

Once the doors were complete, I started designing the inside. Initially, I wanted to paint the back and right wall anthracite grey and then wallpaper the stud wall to the left.

However, when I started to paint the back wall I thought it would be too dark, so I used paint I already had – Lick Taupe 03 which is part of their Soho House range.

This color is grey and brown, with a hint of red. Next to the anthracite grey, it gives off a lovely pink hue and is perfect for our small pantry. 

double doors to the pantry
Painted inside all one color – Lick Taupe 03
shelves in the pantry
The paint makes the walls look freshly plastered which I love.

With the doors and pantry painted, I started on the floor. I had some leftover Frosted Floral Tiles vinyl from the utility room which I knew would be perfect for this space.

It would help integrate the pantry into the kitchen and the vinyl goes perfectly with the doors.

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Here’s how I laid the vinyl –

  1. Make sure the area is completely clean and flat.
  2. Fill in any holes and sand down any lumpy or uneven areas.
  3. Measure the area and cut the vinyl to size. As this is such a small area, I cut it to size but if the area is bigger, it is probably best to leave a few inches around the perimeter and then cut it once it is in place.
  4. Apply double-sided adhesive tape around the edges and under high-traffic areas to stop the vinyl from moving.
  5. Lay the flooring. Use a heavy object, like a small piece of wood, to smooth the vinyl around the edges and ensure it is flat.
  6. Use caulk around the edges to fill in any small gaps and give it a smooth finish.
  7. Add the cover strip where the vinyl meets the door to stop the vinyl from lifting and tripping people up.
tile vinyl for the pantry
Tools for the job – vinyl, cover strip, sharp scissors, double-sided adhesive, tape measure, and caulk.
tile vinyl going down in the pantry
Lay the vinyl in the area and press it into the corners, cutting it to size
tile vinyl in the pantry
Cut the vinyl and make sure it fits
double sided sticky tape for the vinyl
Apply double-sided adhesive to the edges
sticking the double sided tape down in the pantry
Peel off the backing tape
vinyl in the pantry with caulking
Stick the vinyl down and add caulk around the edges
vinyl trim
Finally, add the cover strip
vinyl laid in the pantry
Vinyl down!
vinyl in the pantry

With the vinyl down, the last thing to do was add some lights, and hooks and put all the baskets and food back in the pantry! 

I bought these LED lights from Aldi, but they no longer sell them. You can get similar ones from Amazon. They are mains powered and stick to the underside of the shelves. 

The finished doors and windows
The lights work a treat!
pantry doors painted in anthracite grey and doors covered with glass films fleur de lis

I have always wanted a nice, organised pantry and over the years I have bought jars and baskets to put food in to help with our kitchen storage.

Finally, I can open my pantry doors and admire the view instead of looking at unorganised chaos! 

completed pantry with shelving, vinyl flooring and LED strip lights
Much more organized and a pleasure to look at!
completed pantry with shelving, vinyl flooring and LED strip lights
Lights are easily turned on and off with a switch
completed pantry with shelving, vinyl flooring and LED strip lights
Large baskets from IKEA help with kitchen storage
completed pantry with shelving, vinyl flooring and LED strip lights
Jars are an assortment from Tesco, Amazon, IKEA, and recycled coffee jars. Perfect for pantry storage
completed pantry with shelving, vinyl flooring and LED strip lights and jars for food and seeds
I used our Dymo label maker to label each jar. Pumpkin jar from Amazon

However, my favorite thing about the whole pantry has to be the frosted windows on the doors and the lighting!  A small pantry and kitchen storage do not have to be ugly 🙂 Designing and creating kitchen storage ideas has to be one of my favorite things when it comes to renovating our home. 

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small pantry ideas - the perfect kitchen storage space

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