Up Your Pantry Prowess: 7 Upgrade Ideas

Pantry feeling a little “blah” and dysfunctional? A little redesign may be all you need.

If you are on a budget but want to change the feel of your pantry, a bright pop of color may be all you need. The pantry is often behind closed doors, so don’t be afraid to use a shade you may be hesitant to paint throughout your entire kitchen.

Unless your door is being used to hang extra storage, consider swapping a hinged door for a pocket door or barn door. These sleek alternatives eliminate the door swing and help with kitchen congestion. On the same note, make sure that the design of your door matches the kitchen’s look. Try drawing inspiration from your cabinets; it is more than ok if the pantry door is different from but complementary to the rest of the home’s doors.

GreenHouse, Photography by James F. Wilson

GreenHouse, Photography by James F. Wilson

When it comes to shelving, adjustable shelves are worth the investment; you’ll be thankful when it comes time to stack awkward holiday pans and odd-sized items that wouldn’t ordinarily fit standard shelves. Depending on your storage and usage, you may also consider vertical shelves for larger, flatter items like baking sheets and cutting boards. The benefit to vertical shelves is that you eliminate the need to remove a heavy stack of items on top of the desired bottom item.

Painting done, hardware installed – it’s time to stock up! Keep these tips in mind to reduce clutter and maximize storage space:

– Use clear or wire bins for storage so you can easily discern what’s inside.

– Under-shelf baskets (often short baskets attached to the underside of the shelf below) help to maximize storage if shelf height isn’t adjustable.

– Corner storage is often awkward at best and unreachable at worst. A Lazy Susan can help make corners more accessible and usable.

– For collectors of reusable plastic containers, a plate rack can help keep lids organized by size and shape.


Featured image: Authentic Charm, Photography by Chuck Heiney

Have an idea for or completed a pantry upgrade? Share with us below!


Alexandra Isham is Design Program Manager at NAHB and can be reached at aisham@nahb.org.

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