Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

Pantry Makeover: Ikea Pantry Shelves

Last summer I started on a little pantry makeover! Our pantry was a typical builder pantry with basic white wire shelves. While it was wonderful to have walk in pantry, we didn’t like the wire shelves or the organizational options. Our pantry was pretty much chaos — no one liked going in there.

But because brand new custom shelving wasn’t in the budget or my DIY plans, I decided to customize the entire feel and layout of our pantry using affordable and easy to hang IKEA shelving and jars and other items we already had.

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

We don’t consume or store a lot of packaged food (we do try to eat mostly fresh whole foods), so our pantry is used primarily for bulk grains and beans, some canned goods and sauces, overflow storage for the kitchen, Jack’s dog food and some cookbooks.

We also have additional pantry space in our garage for bigger or surplus pantry items, so this kitchen pantry is for smaller more frequently used items.

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

Although our pantry is a walk-in, it is under the staircase so it is quite small and obviously has an awkward slanted ceiling that makes shelving and storage a little challenging. But because it is so tiny, we decided to play up the more eclectic charming feel with a mix of open shelves, a real wood table and bins, baskets and glass jars.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE looking in my pantry now! So much so that we even removed the door between the kitchen and the pantry during our kitchen remodel. Not only we can now move freely in and out, but the “butler’s pantry” feel to the space has become a charming feature of our kitchen.

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

Breaking up the shelving really helped open up the pantry and helps it to feel less cluttered and claustrophobic since there is a little more room to breathe. I prefer to create “zones” for organization rather than have everything jumbled up everywhere on pantry shelves. Having defined sections of shelving and various sizes of baskets to hold items helps to create a logical but flexible system for storage of snacks, breakfast items, pastas, sauces, and bulk foods.

The shelving on the left side of the pantry is all hung on adjustable tracks so we can make changes if we decide we need more or less space between shelves.

I bought the framed chalkboard labels from Amazon. I’m a sucker for labels, especially when you can’t see what is hidden in a basket!

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

You might have noticed in my kitchen cabinet colors post (the whole kitchen reveal is HERE!) that we moved the microwave away from over the stove. Now you know where it went — it is right here, in the pantry! Actually, we got a new microwave because the old one was broken.

The main reason we wanted to remove the microwave from over the stove was so we could install a more powerful exhaust hood. Properly sized exhaust hoods should be at least the size of your stove top, but our microwave and exhaust system was smaller and therefore not as effective.

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

The other reason we moved the microwave was because the previous layout of our kitchen only provided enough space for one cook. By moving the microwave were were able to spread out the work zones a little bit more. We decided the most convenient place for us to set up our microwave was here in our pantry. Now anyone can heat up a quick snack or hot drink without getting in the way of the main work zone!

We had a sofa table that was not being used elsewhere,  so instead of adding in another shelf for the microwave we decided to use what we had and put the table against the far wall. It is nice and sturdy for the microwave and still allows for storage above, underneath and along side. A little washi tape boarder and new knobs gave the table a more spunky personality without paint. Easy DIY!

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

I love finding fun new ways to group and organize items in the pantry! The cute round basket with the coral stripe is from Target, as are the green metal bins in the photo below. It is the little details like this that make working in this pantry and keeping it organized so much fun for me! Cute and functional details really inspire me.

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

The woven baskets have been found over time, mostly from places like Pier 1, World Market and TJ Maxx. I don’t think you can ever have too many baskets like these!

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

I really love the stainless shelves with the glass jars filled with grains, beans and other assorted items.

As I’ve mentioned a trillion times before, I enjoy decorating with useful everyday items. I keep my eye out for pretty but affordable dishes that serve more than one purpose (decor and function!). And why hide the pretty white, wood and colorful bowls and bundt pans in a closed cupboard where I would likely lose or forget about them? Might as well show them off where I can see how pretty they are every day! I find most of my affordable bowls and baking dishes at Target or Pier 1 or TJ Maxx.

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

Our pantry and kitchen has a place for everything we need! And, we can see everything quite easily because we have narrow shelves. They not only maximize our floor space but also help so that nothing gets lost or hidden behind other things.

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

The glass jars with the flip tops and the stainless shelves (as well as all the other wall shelves) came from IKEA.

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}

This small wall just as you enter in the pantry is the perfect place for  keeping my keys! No more lost keys! The skeleton key holder is from Anthropologie. The chalkboard sign was a DIY project from ages ago.

Kitchen Pantry {Reveal}
So that is what our pantry looks like!
We LOVE how it turned out and are so pleased with how functional and organized it is! Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out the Kitchen Makeover Reveal if you haven’t seen it yet!
Want more info on organizing in the pantry?  Come see my post on how I organize my house!


  1. One word…FABULOUS! Your pantry is not only practical but beautiful, too. Your food is even prettier than mine!ha ha. Love the colors, the narrow shelves, and the smartness of the microwave in there. And how brilliant it was to locate it under the stairs. WOW.

  2. LOVE those wire baskets … and I’m always a fan of clear jars, especially the old vintage mason jars lined up in a row. But the sofa table … who would’ve guessed?! Just too fun!

    Here’s a few more ideas for organizing this little nook …

  3. I’m getting ready to redo/organize my pantry under our stairs (ours will also house our DVD collection because I do NOT like looking at them and it will be sooo much easier to see what we have) You have given me a few more ideas. Thank you!!! Yours looks awesome!

  4. It’s dreamy, Melissa. Things I love about it: a real table in there – makes it feel like a room vs. a storage closet; the color on the walls; the dressed up shelves; the chalkboard labels!! Thanks for sharing….it’s fabulous.

  5. I LOVE the way it turned out Melissa! All of the baskets and jars are great!!!

  6. Wonderful use of space. A sweet little pantry under the stairs…

  7. Wow!!! I LOVE!!!

  8. It looks wonderful! I love the shelving, baskets, and well…everything!

  9. Melissa, I just LOVE it! Especially the different mix of baskets. I am n the midst of a pantry makeover/organization project myself so I am DEFINITELY pinning yours to my board! xo

  10. This is amazing! Love the shelves, the baskets, the labels, well everything!!!

  11. Melissa: Please refer to your thesaurus for synonyms for Green With Envy. Then double, triple . . . . ! Great job ‘neath the stairs!!

  12. Very colorful and creative!! I love that you made your pantry a “room” and “decorated” it with all the items already stored there.
    Great idea keeping the microwave in the pantry….hehee…I have to fly down to the basement to use mine on that rare occasion. It’s my stair-stepping exercise. :)

  13. I love that you used “real” furniture in the pantry. And placing the microwave there is so clever. Its so nice to have a utilitarian space that is pleasing to the eye. Great job!

  14. Love, love your pantry so neat and clean, and I think the use of the jars is great you can what everything is and have quick access. Great job!


  15. Hey, that’s pretty neat! Love what you have in your pantry too in the wire baskets. Now, can you come over to my house…:-)

  16. OH my goodness! LOVE! {when are you coming over to complete my pantry makeover?} :) Time to pin! I featured you on my blog this morning! Had to share!

  17. Your pantry is so cheery.


  18. I love your pantry! I always wanted a walk-in, although I doubt I could ever be this organized. I would totally show this pantry off to all of our friends and family. How do you like the microwave off the main countertops? We just have a regular pantry but we made sure to leave a whole shelf open to put our microwave behind closed doors… I find them so clunky in a kitchen and I love that it is out of the way!

  19. Your pantry looks fabulous, love the baskets and the shelves oh and the storage jars look great too! It just goes to show what you can do under the stairs. A great job.

  20. It looks fantastic, Melissa. I love organization.

  21. What a beautiful, functional space! My pantry needs some attention very soon, love the microwave in there too.

    xo, Tanya

  22. Perfect place for a microwave. Great idea too with the narrow shelves

  23. I noticed that you mentioned where the wicker baskets are from, but what about those metal ones? Those look great!

  24. This looks great Melissa! I love the industrial style shelving and that cute spot for your keys :)

  25. Wow! My pantry has been an issue for me since we moved in our new home. Is it difficult and messy to tear out the wire shelves? were lots of holes left in the wall? my husband hates holes!

    • Yes, there were lots of holes. I have quite a few pictures of the process so I will have to do a follow up on the before and during and after :-). My daughter and I removed all the shelves and brackets and then my husband filled all the holes, primed and painted the walls. But it wasn’t really that bad! It was worth it!

  26. I love the narrow shelves–you are right that stuff gets lost when shelves are too deep.

  27. Besides your new pantry being adorable, cheery, colorful, darling, the functionality blows me away. So smart!

  28. Looks amazing! I must say I’m a little bit jealous! :)

  29. Love it!! My husband and I are in the middle of redoing our rental apt kitchen. We live in an old prewar apt in NYC, and we’re lucky enough to have nearly 10 foot ceilings but we had absolutely no (i.e. only 4) cabinets in the kitchen! We just did stacked Ikea expedit shelving nearly floor to ceiling, but we’ve been struggling whether to put cabinet doors on the front of the shelving or leave it exposed. We’d talked about getting mason jars and baskets, and after seeing it here I’m full of ideas and inspiration! Thanks for sharing!! :)

  30. WOW! That is amazing! I am inspired! Love all of it…everything! :)

  31. There’s something to be said about organization and your pantry looks great! Truly an inspiration to get my own organized! Thanks for posting!

  32. It looks GREAT!!! Funny, I just did our pantries too!!! But all I did was clean them up and arrange them nicely:) YOURS is fabuloiys. In my last house I had our microwave in the pantry too. Now it is over the regular oven in this new house. Love all your jars and baskets. XO, Pinky

  33. I love it! I am so jealous!

    Seriously, beautiful.
    And, might I add. I admire your shopping choices. I think you should invite me over for lunch {wink!}.
    MISS YOU!!!!!!!!

  35. Great transformation!

  36. Even your cookbooks look good! Love that aqua colored bundt pan, too. I think the slanted ceiling adds to the charm. Can’t wait for the final kitchen reveal!

  37. Clever idea to remove the door – this way it has to stay tidy as it is always on show! Pantries are always so messy….when there is a door to hide them behind!

  38. If you have a pantry like that you are a lucky girl. Thanks for sharing. Have you seen the old screen doors some have put on their pantries? Extra charm! Janita

  39. So pretty! I love the table in the pantry. I’m looking forward to seeing your finished kitchen — the open door to the pantry a la butler’s pantry sounds so charming.

  40. Your pantry looks fabulous! I love all the wire baskets. All the filled jars are awesome.


  41. Pretty sure I have panty envy!

  42. Aahhhhh! PANTRY envy! not panty. sheesh. How embarrassing:)

  43. that is great. since Dave died, I’ve been working on eating all the food in the freezers and the pantry. it’s easier to organize when I know what I’ve got.

  44. Is the paint color used in your pantry the same gray that is in your kitchen reveal? You did a very nice job on the entire project.

  45. Your pantry came out splendid! Excellent solution to the microwave and gave me an idea. We are going to do a kitchen makeover as well to a really small space and our microwave presents the same quandary because we really want a hood as well. Also, I love to pick up bowls from here and there. Some of my favorite have been grocery store finds. Good taste needn’t cost a fortune. :)

  46. I love, love, love your pantry. The metal basket that is holding the dried mango is my favorite. Perhaps best of all is seeing that you have some Quinn Popcorn, such a great company and product. I love everything the stand for.

  47. Great ideas! We’re planning some ikea pantry updates, but finding inspiration for ikea can sometimes be difficult. Where did you get the big white can on the floor? I’ve been looking for something like that for our pet food!

  48. This is beautiful~ Thanks for the fabulous inspiration. Love the open, floating shelves. Much nicer than wall-to-wall standard wire rack shelves. Love all the stuff you post. Keep it coming!

    I have one question though, what color paint did you use on the walls in this pantry?


  49. I think I have fallen in love…with your pantry!

  50. LOVE everything about it! What a dream to be able to replace those horrid wire shelves! I’ve slowly been adding baskets and am constantly reorganizing. Thank you for such lovely inspiration, as always! :)

  51. These are gorgeous. I’m in love with the wire baskets on the shelves: I never would have thought of that. It keeps everything from falling everywhere, and you can still see what’s on the shelf!

  52. Tracy Lewkowiez says

    The clear jars make the ordinary look like art! No wonder you took the door down. You’ve got me thinking…

  53. This organization is just darling!

  54. This is the epitome of inspiration! I barely finished reading the post before I wanted to blow the door off our pantry and put the microwave inside. :) Beautiful job!!!

  55. HI Melissa, your pantry looks amazing. I love it. What an incredible job you did organizing it in such a beautiful way. Who would have thought walking into a pantry could be so wonderful! Love the jars and the chalkboard labels. I bought some from Amazon too and I’m going to use them in my sewing room where I have things hidden in baskets everywhere! Hahaha…
    Great post.

  56. if only we could leave our comment words in color…..mine would be green…..with envy!

    your pantry looks great!

  57. Kelly, I have to laugh at your comment( your food is even prettier than mine) ! I love the pantry, I wish I were this organized !

  58. I love the sofa table in the pantry! It looks great! I’m going to work on my pantry and display some of the fun dishes I would love to see more of! Thanks for the inspiration!

  59. absolutely LOVE what you’ve done there…
    it’s on our list of things to change in our new home…
    builder grade pantry shelves…hate them.

    I pinned this for future use. :)

  60. Wow – that is a STUNNING pantry. We’re building an apartment downtown right now, and I will get to have my own walk-in pantry for the first time, so there are several ideas here I’ll be stealing.

    Just today I was wondering where in our new kitchen we’d put the microwave, since we never talked about that, and I wondered if it could go in the pantry.

    Do you like having it in there? Does it seem like a pain to have to go in there to use it? I love the idea, but I’m wondering if it will be too much of a hassle?

    • Thanks! It really isn’t a hassle for us, you’d have to evaluate your own space and use of the microwave to know for yourself though. If we had a HUGE kitchen it might feel like a hassle to go in a pantry, but our kitchen is really quite small so it is literally just a few steps away from our island. I’m glad it isn’t taking up space in our kitchen so we have more counter and cabinet space which is really more valuable to us in the main part of the kitchen. :-) Thanks again!

  61. Love your pretty and functional pantry!! And your updated kitchen reveal!!

    Did you get the large lidded glass jars at IKEA too? (Like the one with the popcorn it it).

    Thanks for the inspiration!


  62. I have total pantry envy – looks awesome!!

  63. Love your pantry….and the sofa table …genius!
    Nothing better than an organized pantry!
    Happy Day…I will be using some of these ideas

  64. Katie Martell says

    Hi, your pantry is so sweet and well organized. Like another poster commented, your food is prettier(and looks more interesting!) than ours. When we bought our new home in Port Orchard in 2007 (2990 sf), the builder didn’t install a pantry, so we turned our linen closet into a pantry. It us pretty well organized, and now I am going to copy some of your ideas to make it even more so. Nathan’s for the great ideas!

  65. Katie Martell says

    Should have said thanks for the great ideas!

  66. Hi im new here and was wondering, did you have to add electrical to the pantry for the microwave. i would love to move ours just not sure about the electric

  67. Melissa, have come late to this conversation and I am wondering now that you have been in your kitchen for a while have you had to tweak it in any way.

    BTW: I have just read your 10 reasons you removed your upper kitchen cabinets…I am ready to send off a scope of work to some cabinet makers for our new kitchen…and…you guessed it. Out come the overhead cupboards and up goes some glass shelves, either side of the window above the sink, for the everyday cups, mugs and glasses.

    I have been dreaming big since February 2012…and now…I have put my sensible undies on and am ridding my kitchen of anything that doesn’t spark joy [Marie Kondo anyone?] and plan to keep my surfaces 80% clear, my cupboards 80% full, avoid stuffing 5 cubic meters of stuff into 3 cubic meters of space, and don’t love it, don’t use it, don’t want it = don’t keep it [Peter Walsh my first declutter guru!].

    Wish me luck…

  68. Angie mcghee says

    May I ask how you have the microwave plugged in, was there a plug in the pantry? I’m trying to relocate mine now and I have now plug ?

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