How to create a pantry in any space

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Do you dream of carving out a space in your home for a pantry - a place to keep food and overflow kitchenware or entertaining essentials organized in a space that's stylish and well-ordered?
Well, you're not alone. One of the biggest kitchen trends this year has been pantry organization and now the coveted pantry is a space that's on many homeowner's wish lists, especially now that we may be looking for extra storage space for everyday essentials so we don't have to shop as often.

Whether your style is old world butler's pantry or modern but playful - the pantry, a space normally used for storing food and drinks is also where oversized jars of flour might mix with platters, trays and maybe even a wine fridge or prep table - it's like a luxe walk-in closet but for the kitchen.

If you're planning a kitchen renovation you might be wondering how you can squeeze in one of these coveted spaces or maybe you're thinking about converting an under used space. If extra room is an issue that doesn't mean that you can't carve out a mini pantry - a scaled down version with all the style and function.

I've partnered with Schlage Canada to put together an inspiration board with ideas for creating a pantry space that's not only practical, but also a stylish extension of your home. I've designed two inspiration boards with different looks - one full of old world charm, the other, a fresh modern look.

But first, let's talk about carving out a space for a pantry.


Maybe you have bonus room (lucky you!) that you want to transform into a pantry or you're thinking of squeezing in a scaled down version in an unused closet or under the stairs. If not, there are other ways that you can get pantry items organized and create a dedicated pantry style space. Think about stealing space from an adjacent room to create a pantry area with either built-in cabinets or stand-alone furniture - as an extension to the kitchen.

Repurpose furniture

Turn a display cabinet, armoire or shelving unit into a dedicated pantry space. You just need to rethink how it's used. Antique markets, thrift stores and online spaces like Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji are full of vintage treasures that you can transform into a pantry.

Re-purpose an antique cabinet as a butler's pantry that's at the ready for entertaining.  Use baskets to hold linens, antique canning jars to hold cutlery, stack bowls, platters, plates and wine glasses - or re-purpose it into a baking pantry - decant flour, sugar and other ingredients into glass jars.

If your style is a little more modern, opt for the clean lines of mid-century cabinets or professional style steel racks that can be used as a pantry. You just need to rethink how they are typically used. Instead of filling a display cabinet with books and knick knacks fill it with pantry items styled to suit your space.

Open shelving

Whether it's in a walk-in pantry or a repurposed cabinet - being able to clearly see what you have makes cooking easier as everything is visible. Shelving doesn't have to break the bank.  You can create stylish open shelving with brackets and wood, cut to size.  When planning the space, think about what you will be storing so you can customize the height of shelves to suit.


Baskets, bins and crates are your best friend. Use them to stash linens, cleaning supplies or bulky items. Glass jars and canisters are also essential. Investing in clear, glass containers to decant dry goods like flour, sugar, rice etc not only makes it easy to see what's inside,  it also helps to keep food fresh and protected from any critters, and instantly makes your pantry look more elevated. Clearly label jars with not only what's inside but important dates such as when they were opened or expiry dates.


A small space, like a pantry is the perfect place to have fun with colour and pattern - just make sure it works with the palette and style of any adjoining rooms it might be open to. 

If you are converting a room or closet space into a pantry, outfit it with a handsome door - perhaps glass if you want to show it off and add a pretty new doorknob, like the classic glass Hobson knob by Schlage Canada - their custom interior door hardware makes it easy to customize the look of interior doors to suit your space, simply by switching out the trim style or finish. Schlage's custom knobs are stylish and versatile - fitting in with almost any decor style. While the Hobson knob may have a classic style, pair it with a different trim style or colour and it gets a completely new look.

Don't forget the walls and floors. A pantry is a great spot to try out a bold paint colour, wallpaper or tile on the walls. I love both the playful sardine wallpaper in blue and white by Kate Golding and the classic but gorgeous William Morris wallpaper. In fact, I think both papers could work in a trad or more modern space. Just like the Schlage hardware, it's versatile if you pair it with the right things.

Easy to care for flooring is important in this hardworking space but it's also a great spot to have fun with a patterned tile, or add a pop of colour with a washable throw rug.


A stylish ceiling light gives good overhead lighting but you might also want to add under-shelf lighting or wall mounted lighting. After all, a well lit space is key. 

Finally, don't forget to accessorize

Add art - lean it on a shelf. Style shelves so that it is pleasing to the eye. Forget the plastic. Use attractive containers, boxes, baskets and jars to corral pantry essentials. Think about how you can make the space not only functional but stylish. If space allows, look for quirky pieces - that antique industrial metal shopping cart would look fabulous in a pantry. Use it to hold bulky items or to store reusable shopping bags.

Disclosure: I've partnered with Schlage Canada in this sponsored post. All opinions and text are my own.


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