How do I Design a Custom Pantry?

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  • Written By: Elva K.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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Build a custom pantry by first selecting sufficient closet space in the kitchen or right outside of the kitchen area. Once you have an adequate closet space, add shelving if needed. After adding your shelves, add shelf paper or paint the closet space. At that point, you will be ready to start putting things into the pantry that you will need in the kitchen.

Some people may find it easy to use a closet in the kitchen or just outside of the kitchen to build their custom pantry. If a small closet does not exist here, it could be necessary to put a bookcase in the kitchen to serve as a makeshift custom pantry. By contrast, you may have to hire a professional builder to help you with the process of designing your custom pantry.

Decide if you want to have a plain wood pantry, a painted pantry that fits with the decor in your kitchen, or whether you want to use shelving paper for the pantry. If you decide to have a plain wood pantry, you could stain the wood so it will be protected and look presentable. If you choose to paint, make sure you choose waterproof interior color paint that isn’t likely to crack and peel. If you choose to use shelving paper, make sure to choose paper that will stick and choose a color that does not clash with the rest of the kitchen.


Add some shelves to your custom pantry. The number of shelves will to some extent depend on how large your family is, how much cooking you do at home, and how long you plan to store necessary foods or materials. It will also somewhat depend on the types of things you keep in your pantry.

For instance, homes with children will tend to need many shelves because there will be always be a need for items such as cereal and child-friendly snacks. Cooking flour, buttermilk powder, napkins, food storage bags, and even things such as dishwashing detergent that are not food-related may be put on pantry shelves. Homes with older people who have no children may have things such as crackers or luxury foods that could be used as appetizers or gifts. So, in such a pantry, it is not necessary to have as many shelves.

Organization of items in your custom pantry should occur predominantly according to whatever schematic makes the most sense to you. After all, you are the one who will be using your pantry and you are the one who will need to be able to quickly get whatever foods or cooking materials you need. Typically, people will use the upper shelves for things that are used less often. Foods or materials that are used more often or which have an expiration date will tend to be placed on middle or lower shelves so you can reach for them easily without struggle.


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