What Would Your Dream Walk-In Pantry Look Like?

Last Updated on December 24, 2015 by Kristi Linauer

It’s been a slow and frustrating week.  I’ve made some progress on the bathroom built-ins, but since I didn’t have a car for most of the week, and haven’t been able to make any trips to Home Depot for necessary supplies, that progress has slowed to a virtual crawl.  Thankfully, my new ignition switch finally came in, and my neighbor fixed my car for me yesterday evening, so I’m back in business today.  I hope to make up for my slow week by making lots of progress this weekend.

In the meantime, I’ve been dreaming.  Of course.  It’s what I do.  🙂  Yes, I’ve been dreaming and planning how I want to decorate my new dining room, and how I want to arrange my new breakfast room.  But mostly, I’ve been dreaming about how I want to organize and arrange my walk-in pantry.  And I just have to say…

When I wrote my post yesterday morning to share my new plan with y’all, I was really excited about the new direction I was heading.  But after reading ALL of your comments, and seeing that literally 100% of you liked my new plan (if I’m remembering correctly, not even one single person disagreed with my new plan!!), well, that just made me even MORE excited!!  I’m seriously like a giddy little school girl over here.  I wasted probably half of my day yesterday going from room to room, measuring tape in hand, planning, dreaming, thinking.  It was so fun!  🙂

Anyway, about the pantry…I’ll probably be getting rid of the two windows I have in there right now, and I’ll just put one window in the center of the back wall (in the space between the two windows I have currently) so that I have more wall space for shelves.  OR, it might be better to get rid of all of the windows and just opt for a solar tube or two for natural light in there.  That would allow me to really maximize the wall space I have in there.  Hmmm…do I really need a window in my pantry?  What would you do, keep a window, or opt for more shelf space?

Anyway, I took just a little time over the last day to look through some pictures of pantries on Houzz, and the ones I really like the most are like this…

walk in pantry - Busby Cabinets, via Houzz - 1Traditional Kitchen by Alachua Cabinets & Cabinetry Busby Cabinets

…where there’s a good combination of built-in drawers, lots of open shelving, maybe some pull-out baskets, and at least one area that has a countertop that is actual kitchen countertop depth, or at least close to it.  The pantry above does have closed cabinet storage along the top that I don’t think I’d need.

Oh, and that step stool?  Awesome!  I’ll definitely be needing one of those.  🙂

This is another really well-organized pantry with lots of different storage options, although it’s considerably smaller than mine will be.

walk in pantry - Marie Newton, Closets Redefined, via Houzz - 1Traditional Kitchen by Weymouth Closet & Home Storage Designers Marie Newton, Closets Redefined

Again, I really like that countertop.  And I’m thinking that a pocket door will be a must.  A swinging door, whether it swings in or out, would get in the way.  And a sliding or rolling barn door would take up too much wall space on the breakfast room side…unless I make it a design feature like my other rolling doors in the music room.  That might be interesting.  I’d have two sets of rolling doors, one on either side of the kitchen, and with both sets along the same plane and about the same distance from the kitchen.  Y’all know I love my symmetry!

But I’m probably overthinking it.  An opening wide enough to accommodate a set of rolling doors like the music room doors would take up more wall space than is necessary for a pantry entrance, and as pretty as it might be, I think I need to maximize the storage and keep to a single door so that I have more wall space for shelves.  Plus, I’d have to be standing at just the right spot in the kitchen to appreciate the symmetry of two sets of rolling doors on either side of the kitchen.

This one is another favorite of mine that I’ve had saved in my house file for a while…

walk in pantry - Tyner Construction Co, via HouzzVictorian Kitchen by Burnsville General Contractors Tyner Construction Co Inc

Of course, that’s more butler’s pantry than walk-in pantry.  I don’t have any need for pretty cabinets or a sink in my pantry.  But again, I do like the open shelves on the left, and I like that the right side has an actual kitchen-depth countertop for storing larger appliances.  And of course, I love the stained wood at countertop height on the left shelves.

This is probably more of what I have in mind, with a countertop and open storage above and below.

walk in pantry - Crisp Architects, via HouzzTraditional Kitchen by Millbrook Architects & Building Designers Crisp Architects

Since everything will be inside the pantry, behind a closed door, I really don’t see any need to store things neatly behind cabinet doors inside the pantry. I like the idea of being able to walk in and see everything out in the open, so that I can see what I need at a glance and quickly grab it without having to rummage through cabinets.

So what features would you want in a walk-in pantry?  I’ve only started looking at ideas over the last day, so I haven’t really even delved into the world of Pinterest.  I’m sure there are a million ideas on there that will probably keep my mind on overdrive from now until the day I actually finish my pantry.  😀

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 9:30 am

    The green one would be my dream!!! I’ve always wanted a place to store and use appliances (right where they are stored) so they don’t clutter up my kitchen counters! Lots of plug ins!!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 10, 2015 at 10:11 am

      What a great idea! A small “prep kitchen” where you can mix up items like cakes and cookies and let any associated mess stay in there! I’d much rather carry a sheet of cookies ready for the oven from the prep kitchen to bake rather than toting appliances back and forth! Then all you have in your beautiful kitchen is the cooling rack and freshly baked cookies!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        April 10, 2015 at 6:19 pm

        We lived In the Phillippines for 3 years and practically every modern home (even small apartments) have a ‘dirty kitchen’ and a ‘clean kitchen’ – BRILLIANT! In some larger homes the dirty kitchen could even be outside (under cover) so strong smells never a problem! Your home is never far from company ready – often meals would be served from the clean kitchen (making spills easy to clean and food kept warm easily) and the mess & prep stays contained in the dirty kitchen!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Love all the ones you’ve got posted! I like the idea of a window. Good light is essential in a pantry. I have several small appliances that I don’t use very often in mine as well as dishes and serving pieces that are oversized, or not often used. All of my food (other than what’s in the fridge) is stored in the pantry. I agree with you on open shelving but on the lowers use pullouts or drawers if you can. There’s nothing more annoying than having to get down on the floor and drag things out to find the stuff that’s pushed to the back.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 9:33 am

    My husband balked at the size of our walk in pantry on our house plans. He was all, “what the heck are you going to put in there?” I am happy that I stuck to my guns because that puppy is chock full of all the serving wear and small appliances we don’t have room for in the kitchen. It also houses our craft supplies and tool box. We don’t have a window in ours but one feature I do really love is that the light comes on automatically when you open the door. No fumbling in a dark closet for the light switch.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      April 10, 2015 at 9:37 am

      I love that idea! I’ve seen those used on bedroom closets, but I never would have thought to put one in a pantry. That’s going on my list!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        April 10, 2015 at 10:22 am

        I have that in my storage/tool room and LOVE it!!!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Beverly W
        April 10, 2015 at 1:24 pm

        Pantries are best built without windows, because some foods keep better when stored without light. For instance potatoes and other fresh veggies and fruits that don’t go in the refrigerator. One door is all you need for a pantry. As you said the extra door would just eat up storage space.

        The suggestion of a light that comes on automatically is brilliant! You will often be carrying things to the pantry using both hands. Personally I would have really bright artificial lighting on the ceiling and add under the shelf lighting over the countertop area.

        I didn’t have a place in my house for the vacuum, broom, mop, and other cleaning supplies, so I made a dedicated space for them in the pantry.

        In my personal opinion the solar tubes would be more useful at the back of your breakfast room, If it were my breakfast room, I would want one or two really cushy chairs where I could sit and rest or use the laptop while I have something I need to watch something cooking in the kitchen. I’ll bet your breakfast room turns out to be your most used living area.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tammy (Pa.)
    April 10, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I love pocket doors…!! I’m not a huge fan of you opening up your kitchen after all of that hard work you put into it but it is YOUR house ..!! What ever helps you and Matt get around comfortably..

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I agree. That last one seems much more practical, considering you don’t really need “double doors” to hide what’s in your pantry. Seems to me that defeats the whole purpose! And I can’t think why you’d need or want a window in there either. The space would be much easier to insulate and build if you could use all the space, and it wouldn’t be hard to ensure there was adequate lighting. Natural light in a closed off pantry seems like overkill to me.
    So why not just nix the windows altogether, and if you don’t have enough natural light in your new breakfast room, what about adding the solar tubes in there, since natural light counts where you live, not in your storage areas!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan B.
    April 10, 2015 at 9:46 am

    I love the first one, it is pretty much my dream pantry. The combo of drawers and cabinets and open shelves is just right. You may want to rethink the cabinet door thing — with door you wont see the dust gathering on items so the room will always look a little neater.

    As for the door to the pantry — why not a door that is similar to your bathroom? You could do a swinging door with bifolds. We did it in our laundry room for the same issues you have in your space. No, when full length they do no look like saloon doors. I would keep the window–but I love a lot of light in a room.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 9:47 am

    I like the last one with the frosted window in the door….that would accomplish using the style of the frosted window that you were thinking about for the bathroom…you could possibly make the window big enough and artsy enough to make it a focal point on that wall. (hope that makes sense…i am a terrible decorator!!)

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 10, 2015 at 10:40 am

      I agree with Tammy. Love the last one and the artsy glass door could be amazing! I have a very tiny pantry and all my non-refrigerated stuff fits nicely and has for over 30 years. I will admit I could use the space for appliance storage and it would be great to have a freezer. You are definitely on the right track. Love the new floor plan.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mark Tisdale
    April 10, 2015 at 9:47 am

    I guess the question is do you think the doors to the pantry will always be closed? And/or what are the doors ultimately going to be? If they were glass doors, even with opaque glass, or if you sometimes left it open, then it might be nice to have a source of natural light in there for the back of the breakfast room. Does it have to be a full sized window, though? could it possibly be smaller or maybe even wide and squat and placed higher on the wall?

    I have to admit I’m just partial to natural light. The idea of a big dark hole pantry doesn’t appeal to me, but a solar tube would take care of that as well, so I guess you have your bases covered no matter. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I love the new plan, and think it’s great to really design the space for the way that you and Matt live. I think I’d keep the single centered window in the pantry, since it will provide nice natural daylight. I’d do a single sliding barn door (since as you noted a pair seems overkill for the space) and do something similar to your music room doors, that will allow light from that end of the space into your breakfast room area. I’m going to be so jealous of your pantry when you’re done. Our house doesn’t have room for one, but it would be fantastic to have something like yours.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 9:59 am

    If you decide to leave a window in the pantry, I would make the pocket door look like the sliding doors in the music room and place directly opposite the window. This way you would still get some diffuse light at that end of the breakfast room. Or maybe a door with some pretty stained glass insert.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:00 am

    I vote against a window in the pantry if there is a lot of direct sunshine through it, as it’s not so good for the stored foodstuffs. Other than that, light is always nice and might even help with lighting up your breakfast room (if you consider frosted glass doors). You give me so many ideas here that I might want to change the layout of my kitchen in order to build in more storage space. Thank for that, can’t wait for more input 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      I agree about the window, some items need to be stored in a cool place, away from direct sunlight.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:03 am

    I’d planned a walk-in pantry for the house we probably won’t be building now. My idea was to maximize wall space and include at least one countertop deep enough to permanently house small appliances and where I could actually use said appliances, rather than hauling them back and forth to the kitchen. This was especially key since we live overseas and I need an inverter to use my American-made-for-110 appliances. My design plan was for a small kitchen and tiny walk-in pantry right in the kitchen, so this type of set-up may not make sense for you. Although for some appliances it might. If you’re eating breakfast in the room right off the pantry, then why not make your toast right there? Anyway, just thought I’d throw this idea into the mix 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

    One of the houses I grew up in was an old Victorian and it had a pantry with a lovely window. I have never forgotten that little room, it was gorgeous. Details mean everything, space can define us. Make your pantry a space you love. Your home seems pretty modern and I think a modern pantry wouldn’t need a window but perhaps a very lovely light fixture instead.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Oh, and as for light. Why not put in a long but high transom style window on both the outside wall, and the wall between the pantry and breakfast room? So light could shine through both, providing a little more natural light to the breakfast room, but not taking up too much wall space in the pantry?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      If I’m understanding what high transom windows are I love this idea! You get natural lighting for two rooms and this type of windows doesn’t take away from your shelving space. It’s a win–win! I’ve always wanted a butler’s pantry. No matter what layout you choose there is only one idea I would do differently. I would not have a deep chest freezer — stacks of meat etc fall over and messing up any organization — reaching & digging to the bottom makes rotating to use the oldest first a frustrating challenge. I liked having an upright freezer much easier for organizing, reaching in and rotation.☺

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:07 am

    First, I want to say, that I love your new floor plan! If I had a walk-in pantry (and I dearly need one) I would want some open shelves, some glass door cabinets, and of the pull out baskets. My pantry would hold not only buy ahead staples, but our home grown and home canned food. It would also need to hold all of our canning equipment. The pull-out baskets would hold potatoes, onions, and other long term storage items. It would need to fit a large freezer, since we have raised our own meat, as well as venison. While having the light from a window sounds lovely, sunlight can badly affect your stored food, and the sunlight can warm the room. You will want your pantry to stay on the cool side. I would like to use part of the pantry as a butlers pantry to store extra china, and silver serving pieces. Just my thoughts, I know that your needs are different. Oh and yes to the foot stool, even at 5’8″ I need a step stool sometimes.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 10, 2015 at 11:48 am

      I never considered the heat affecting the stored food. Excellent point!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Well I see that after reading the comments above few agree on a window. I however like light and I think I would opt to keep the windows if at all possible so you have light in that room. That is my take for what it is worth…it is your house and you can do what you want. I just like windows as a source of natural light.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Just a thought….As someone with pocket doors (which I love) there is very little structure in the wall to hang shelves off of. The rolling barn style would best in my humble opinion. And you could keep the window and line up the window and door allowing light to pass through to the breakfast area. But then again, I love a view.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      April 10, 2015 at 10:13 am

      I hadn’t even thought about that, but you’re right! I’d basically be trying to hang shelves just on drywall, and those wouldn’t hold much weight. So glad you pointed that out to me! I never would have thought about that.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        April 10, 2015 at 10:35 am

        Since these are new walls, there’s no reason you can’t build the pocket wall thicker so that it can have end-facing 2×4’s on the pantry side like you normally would. I wouldn’t let that drive your choice of pocket or not. Also, you’re going to need a blank or mostly blank wall for the freezer or brooms, so maybe you could work that to back-up to the pocket.

        However, you do have to be careful how long your screws are. 😉

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          April 10, 2015 at 11:10 am

          This is exactly what I was thinking. Freezer behind the pocket door. Just make sure there’s plenty of ventilation room and the door swing for the freezer is correct. Many advantages of the pocket door for this area. Although I do like natural light I would opt for no windows for the pantry for just the reason you stated, Kristi…..more shelving area. However, I would NOT put a light tube in as I believe you will want that option somewhere else in your home. Fewer things jutting out of the roof the better. Also like your plan for no cabinet doors in the pantry and a nice counter Hey, it’s for utilitarian purposes so it doesn’t have to be any more than just that.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:12 am

    How about one window with glass shelves in front of it and maybe one of those between the panes of glass blinds. You could put your more pretty storage items on the glass shelves and would be able to close the blinds at night. That way you have the light and the view of the outside when you are in the pantry, the light when the pantry door is open, and one spot in the pantry that will always look pretty. Just a thought. My pantry gets a bit unruly from time to time, so I always thought that it would help me to have a few shelves of pretty dishes or pitchers or the like. That way I would always feel happy when I open the pantry and I could be less frustrated with the more messy shelves that hold ugly things like juicers and crockpots.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Darnell Baker
    April 10, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I’d say go with open shelves for sure. Whats the point of a pantry if you can’t see what is in there at a glance. Baskets and pretty boxes on shelves can corral those items that need that type of storage. a few drawers would be the most closed storage I would go with for linens and flatware. I would go with having a window because it is a pantry NOT a closet. Your pantry is certainly going to be large enough that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice a window. I love the new direction your going with your plan!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:16 am

    That stepstool has your name on it, Kristi, lol! I have a walk-in pantry, without a window, and I like it just fine. Since it is basically a storage room for foodstuffs, I’d opt for the extra wall space rather than a window. The suggestion above to have the light come on automatically when the door is opened is a winner, and remember to put in enough electrical plugs for small (or large, such as a freezer) appliances you may want to store and use in the pantry. I also have a little tool section where I have my tool rechargers plugged in, which is convenient. If you keep the door closed most of the time, having cabinet doors on the shelves seems redundant to me, plus it’s another barrier to quickly grabbing what you want.

    Having said all that, I still like the design you did a while back where you left an entry into the family room from the breakfast room, leaving the left window in place and having the pantry door on the end of the pantry instead of in the center of the long wall. Seems that would allow better flow and circulation for people coming and going from the family room into the breakfast room during family get-togethers. You could make the pantry door open out like the bathroom door and have the shelves and drawers arranged in the galley style with maybe your freezer on the back wall. Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will be practical and stylish with excellent craftsmanship.

    Have a great weekend!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 10, 2015 at 11:18 am

      I agree with April. I think a door from the breakfast room to the family room is a must have.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        April 10, 2015 at 11:25 am

        Haha, I meant I agree with Alta.

        Also, you do such a beautiful job with everything you do. Love to read your blog everyday.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        April 10, 2015 at 11:28 am

        I meant I agree with Alta. Oops!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I would opt to keep the windows and install glass shelves in front of them. You could put pretty glass dishes there or even a small selection of herbs. It’s not an inexpensive thing to remove windows and patch the outside of the home. Just my opinion, but I’m sure you will find the right solution for you, good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Colleen F
    April 10, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I’d opt to remove the window to maximize space, and put plenty of recessed lighting in. I love the idea of a pocket door, so much more practical, I’d love to see the frosted glass idea, if you can even do that with a pocket door.

    While a lot of enclosed space does not seem necessary to me either, a little bit might be good. Maybe in the form of drawers? Love the countertop idea. Myself, if I had a huge pantry like that, I’d like some sort of wire roll out storage for vegetables etc.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:20 am

    All of those pantries are dreamy!! The green one is my favorite….but probably mostly for the color and space!! I am so excited for your new plan of action!! It makes a lot of sense and, if i am recalling correctly, it seems that the living room was never 100% in your mind…..like your subconscious knew all along that room had another purpose!! 🙂 So, one pantry detail I would have to have is that the bottom shelves could be rolled out so I could get what I needed without getting on my hands and knees. I can’t wait to see what you do!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Love the photos full of ideas! If you keep a window you could put up glass shelves in front of the window and grow herbs. My laundry room has this and I love it. (although it does get a tad dusty because I usually forget to clean them!)

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 10, 2015 at 11:46 am

      I was thinking plants or herbs in front of the window too. I love natural light and I wouldn’t want to go without it, personally.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I like the idea of the light switch that turns on when you open the door, for two reasons. 1. Matt can go in there without having to reach up to turn on the light, and 2. It forces you to keep the door closed to keep the light turned off. That way, if you decide to use all open shelving, you don’t have to worry about neatness since the doors will stay closed. Don’t skimp on electrical outlets. You can use small appliances in the pantry if you want since you can plug them in right there. Or, if you want to set up your phone charging station, you can put it in the pantry, out of the way and in a dedicated location. You can never have too many electrical outlets is my motto.
    I also find that deep shelves are sometimes a waste of space for your canned goods and such. Three or four cans deep is a good rule of thumb. You can have your lower shelves deeper for your small appliances and storage and that would give you the counter you want to have as a working surface. I love the wall of cabinets you did in the condo and that look is how I see your pantry. That is a beautiful look in my opinion.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I think I’m as excited about the pantry as you are because I can’t seem to fit one into my own home, so I’m living vicariously through your project. 🙂 That said, I have converted a couple of closets to pantries and I have some things I’ve learned that might prove helpful:

    – Before you build your shelving, gather most of the stuff you plan to store and have a good look at it, specifically with respect to height. If you’re not using adjustable shelving, you’ll want to make sure you have enough tall shelves for your bigger items. Appliances (like blenders and food processors) are the worst offenders for this. Believe it or not, Cereal boxes are too, and liquor and wine bottles. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to put a shelf in where you think it should go and find out it’s an inch too short for a box of corn flakes.

    – Consider whether you plan to keep your most used foods in their original packaging or not and what kinds of containers you will need to accommodate if not. For example, I like to buy snacks like granola bars in bulk…3 or 4 boxes at a time…and I find it takes less space to empty the boxes into a snack basket when I get home from the grocery store and immediately recycle the boxes. Some food keeps better in sealed containers or mason jars (crackers, flour, sugar, candy…basically, anything loose in a bag or box). Large volume items like bulk rice, pet food, etc., work well in plastic pet food bins (available at Container Store and places like that). You’ll want your bottom shelf set high enough to fit these bins, which are often on rolling casters.

    – This seems silly, but I love to have a pair of scissors and a sharpie nearby for opening and labeling things. If you keep a grocery list, one in or very near the pantry is not a bad idea. A place for bag clips, twist-ties, and rubber-bands helps too. Maybe a small trash can if the kitchen one isn’t close enough.

    – If you buy paper goods (toilet paper, paper towels) in bulk from a place like Costco, actually buy a new package and make sure it fits somewhere either on the shelves or below them on the floor. The same goes for cases of soda or bottled water.

    – Consider whether you will store holiday serviceware (dishes, flatware, glassware, serving pieces) in the pantry and where that can be stashed out of reach so the everyday stuff is more accessible. Don’t forget linens if you have them.

    – Mops, brooms, vacuums, Dustbusters. If you’re going to be storing those items in your pantry, you’ll need an empty wall for hooks. You’ll want to keep cleaning supplies away from food, of course. If you have a rechargeable vacuum or Dustbuster, install a plug where it will live.

    – I know you want a chest freezer and I have one in my basement. Remember that the lid swings high, so you’re going to lose a lot of vertical space above it even though it isn’t that tall. For that reason, you might want to consider an upright. I also know from experience that digging through a chest freezer that’s full for something you know is at the bottom is a pain and you’ll want a landing area (table or counter) nearby to put the stuff on that you’ve removed as you dig. Plastic baskets inside the freezer can be helpful.

    That’s all I can think of for now. 🙂 Can’t wait to see your design ideas!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I love that you stuck to your guns and rethought the lay out! I really like the new plan!
    the pantry sounds heavenly for sure! As far as natural light though, I’d skip that one! UV rays are no friend of food being stored. Most items are asked to be stored in a cool dark area, so that being said, I’d totally just opt for that awesome sounding automatic on light that the above poster suggested.
    If you have an IKEA around, they have a step stool that I swear by – it runs about 15 bucks and its as solid as solid can be with a wide stance and a double step. I had one in NJ, and when we moved to GA, I got a second one for my new kitchen so I could keep my other one in my craft room.
    I literally is the BEST stool I have EVER bought! I painted mine and they look adorable in their new homes!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Two suggestions: 1) any lower shelves that are counter depth will be most useful if they are some form of a pull out/drawer. Lowe’s carries a line of very handsome, smooth working chrome units. 2) I like the idea of natural light in the pantry, so what if you put in a window that is just the top half of a typical window. You will maximize your wall space and still get the light. It isn’t as if you will be going in there to enjoy the view!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:31 am

    I DON’T have a window in my walk-in pantry, and don’t see the need for one. Mine’s just open shelving, which I have completely filled.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:34 am

    We have a walk in pantry in our home that is always full. I would leave the out the window and add more shelving. I would also add a coat hook so you can dump your coat off. It could be used for aprons as well or to hang reuseable grocery bags. I know you live in Texas, but you do sometimes wear a coat. Speaking of Texas, I saw two episodes of ‘Fixer Upper” yesterday with dining rooms just as you walked through the front door. You’re on the right track as always.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:38 am

    What I like in my pantry is the movable shelves and shallow-depth shelves so I can see at a glance what I have.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa W.
    April 10, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Obviously this is just my opinion, but I feel like the room is large enough that it needs some type of window or solar tube. Otherwise, I think it would feel like a large cave. Since I’m a shortie, like you, a wide, squat window up high would give you natural light, while at the same time not really taking away from any storage space that would be usable to you. Also, Matt probably can’t reach high shelves either, so it would definitely make sense to me to maximize the storage on the lower wall space. You also may want to think about how the back elevation of your house is going to look. A large stretch of wall with no window might look weird from outside. I know you don’t have plans for your sunroom/family room renovation, yet, but giving some thought to the entire back elevation might be worth it now. Regarding prepping in that space, personally I would not be doing any prep in there. The thought of creating crumbs in an area so far from the kitchen sink gives me the skeevies. I like to prep in an area where it’s easy to clean! Regarding the lower shelves, I’d definitely opt for something that pulls out (drawers or baskets or such). Low shelves are not easy to use. Constantly squatting to search. The automatic door light is an awesome touch. My parents have that on their pantry and it is awesome. In terms of overall look, I was surprised by how neutral all of these were. I always associate you with COLOR! Obviously all the cans and boxes create color, but what about a punchy color behind all of the shelves? Can’t wait to see how this turns out!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda K
    April 10, 2015 at 10:52 am


    We have a walk-in-pantry in our kitchen that was already here when we bought the house. It was a huge selling point! But after 12 years there are things I would do differently if I were doing it again. the whole wall on the left as you walk in has narrow soup can depth shelves or varying heights. I’d definitely make these a bit wider as anything like a box of cake mix is too deep to sit sideways and hangs off a bit. But not much wider in this area since that is the trouble with most shelves- they are too deep and you have to move the from stuff out of the way. We also have a small counter with three regular drawers and one really deep drawer on the bottom. We keep our quick access tool box there. It also has hooks above for things like duct tape, the staple gun, grill tools, etc. Above this side and across the back are deep shelves where we store things like crock pots, over sized soup pots, punch bowl, etc.

    I LOVE that across the back it has a counter and a plug. I could use any of my small appliances there including the kitchen aid or a crock pot. I have used my bread machine (how passé! 🙂 in there. The other very convenient item is the dividers for upright storage of platters, trays and cookie sheets. Makes so much sense and keeps them handy.

    There isn’t enough room to keep my broom dust mop, etc. AND have room for the garbage can. But we force them in since we like to keep the recycling and garbage behind doors so the dog won’t get into it. I do not think I’d need cabinet doors as it would be redundant since we keep the door closed, again so the dog doesn’t get to the trash.

    I love the look of all these and I’m sure yours will be pretty and functional!


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Praline McCormack
    April 10, 2015 at 10:53 am

    This is what my dream pantry would look like – enough space for everything!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Yeah, I would eliminate the windows and put in a solar tube. That’s what my parents have in their walk-in pantry, and it’s perfect. One of my other favorite features of their pantry is a tall cabinet that’s just the right size for wrapping paper rolls!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brad W.
    April 10, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Although a well lit pantry is a must, I hesitate about any windows as the darkness will preserve the freshness and shelf life of so many items going in there. The idea of a light on/off connected to the door opening/closing is great. That way if you are maneuvering larger items all you have to do is give it a shoulder bump on the way out to close the door and the light is off. If you store any appliances in there, have them on a rolling cart so you can just roll it over to your prep area without having to lift them. Make a dock area for that rolling cart in the pantry.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Thinking a little form over function here: what would the outside of your house look like depending on the window placement? Would that matter to you? I’d probably use that in my considerations, although I guess it wouldn’t be the deciding factor. Someone mentioned the affect of light on some foods, so I would almost not center the window if you do include it, so that you would have a ‘darker’ corner for those food that need it that way. I do like the idea of the door being right in line with the window with frosted glass or something in it so that light is let in. But then again being able to just close it off is great too. I’d definitely put outlets in there more than you think you’ll use because you never know. 🙂 Lot of ideas!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda Adney
    April 10, 2015 at 11:10 am

    LOVE the larger pantry ( i am putting this size in the house we are building) because I want all my mixer, blenders out int he open but NOT in my kitchen as it is open…I also want to put all my china out in the pantry so I can easily get to it if I want to celebrate more than Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas…I don’t like upper cabinets because I can’t reach them so MOST of my dishes will be in the pantry along with crystal, appliances, food of course, and emergency supply section (to go bag, dehydrated foods, stocks, etc for power loss, etc…No snow here) so my pantry needs to be BIG…Just don’t want counter clutter…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 11:13 am

    I think a prep area in the pantry is not necessary considering the work spaces you have in your current kitchen. You wanted a pantry for a freezer, food storage and cleaning supplies, right? Go with the sliding door for easy access and set it up with plenty of shelvies, cabinets and space for that freezer. (You will find that an upright freezer doesn’t have as much space as a chest freezer but it is easier to find the items you have stored in there.)

    My dream pantry would have the freezer in it also with walls for storage shelves and a special area for cleaning tools and supplies. Also would put in easy clean floor.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 11:16 am

    How about “French doors” like you made for your bathroom? They would add some prettiness to the wall? PS, I always lives the pantry idea. When I opened up your email, I was hoping that was your choice…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 11:21 am

    The pantry I built ended up being used for food stuff, appliances, pet food, kitchen sealed trash (I use a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables that overrun those small compost pails and are too smelly for the pullout trash in the kitchen), seldom used serving pieces and pitchers, and bulk purchases like toilet paper and paper towels that take up a lot of room. Downloading all of that stuff from the kitchen and bathrooms freed up tons of space. I guess my point is that it all is very individual. I didn’t expect to use my pantry for so much non food stuff.

    I would recommend narrow shelves so you aren’t rummaging around all of the time and designated sections–canned food, baking goods and spices, paper (waxed, freezer, parchment, etc.), freezer bags, snacks, cereal, etc. Around the freezer, you might want an area to “repackage”–knives, cutting boards, freezer paper, scale, etc.

    Great lighting is essential and that natural light will be dim at 9 o’clock at night so you’ll need good overall lighting even with a window but natural light means you save a bit of money because you don’t have to turn the lights on and off so much.

    Stained and poly’d wood shelves seem to hold up better for me–painted shelves, for some reason, I scar up almost immediately.

    I’m glad I didn’t fit my pantry with other than a countertop shelf and narrow shelves above. I ended up with roll around plastic cabinets below the countertop and that seems to serve me better.

    Just throwing out my pantry learning experiences for your use.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I vote for no window unless you have tons of space. I agree with Kim and Karen to put in transoms or solar light if you really want light. Having a counter to put heavy appliances on is so smart so you don’t have to lug them out of some lower, inconvenient space. It also allows for a small prep space, if you want that. The double saloon doors and open shelves is also a good idea. I love your new layout idea. It makes it more “yours” rather than following convention for convention’s sake.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Just had a thought and perhaps you don’t even have to consider this, but when you get your HVAC will the venting come down through your attic via the ceiling or under the foundation with a floor vent? As I was pondering this, I also thought about its placement in your new, soon to be finished bathroom.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 11:41 am

    I’d opt for the extra storage instead of a window. As someone pointed out, light isn’t recommended for some foodstuffs anyway. I’d prefer electric light rather than sunlight in a pantry.

    I saw a photo of a pantry whose multiple shelves all had lazy Susans in the corners. Wish I could find it to show you. They really seemed to increase the storage space, and I thought it was an excellent, practical design.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I would want the high shelves and high cabinets to be pull downs. That way there would be no need to climb a stool or ladder. Safer that way.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 11:56 am

    I would definitely have some kind of window. If the window is never opened, you can put shelves across it. Put pretty bottles on it. Oil, vinegar, things like that.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I would normally never opt to have zero windows, but the pantry is somewhere where I think that’s okay. If you have good lighting in general, I don’t think a pantry necessarily needs a window. I, personally, would MUCH rather have the wall area for storage. I LOVE the idea of a counter in there for appliances and I also love the idea of open shelving. So cool!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi C
    April 10, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    I’d just want lots of outlets at counter height to be able to keep some appliances plugged in that I don’t use that often and don’t want on the kitchen counter. Stuff like a flour mill, automatic can opener, maybe a toaster if you don’t use it often. You could use it right there and not lug it to the kitchen.

    Oh, and I didn’t have a chance to comment yesterday but I noticed popular opinion was in agreement with your design choices and I thought it really so clearly just felt like the right answer. I don’t know if you inspired me but I had a very similar a-ha moment last with a room my house that has never been useful as is. But when the right idea strikes, you just know it’s the right idea!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Yes you need a window in your pantry and this is why – HERB GARDEN!! My herbs are in my windowsill and they are so low maintenance, beautiful and delicious!! If you want to maximize the space build a shelf midway up the window and you’ll get twice the growing space. You won’t be sorry at all.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    You’ve gotten so many great ideas, not sure I have that much to add, but a few things occurred to me. Often we use a space differently once we live with it for a while. So more electrical outlets are better. One house I lived in had a pretty useless pantry because of the narrowness of the shelves. Guess it was built before the days of warehouse stores and buying a 12 pack of toilet paper and paper towels at a time. Open shelves to me are the most functional. Why search for anything? And space under the kitchen counter sized surface (yes!) for rolling bins and a garbage can is good. That narrow shelf pantry I once had? No window. Hated that eventually. It was depressing. But I love the brilliant idea to have the light go on and off with the opening/closing of the door. Very smart idea. Oh. and a space for a nicely framed cork or dry erase board. Good place to centralize shopping lists as items occur to you. Can you organize the space so anything hubby needs to access can be reachable from his wheelchair?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I have a Solatube in my upstairs hallway and I love it. Unfortunately I couldn’t go with the large one that I first wanted because of the spacing of the rafters; they had to use the smaller version. And they don’t really jut out of the roof very much they just look like a small bubble. I really really wish I had one over my tub because I don’t have natural light over it. Would you be able to put rectangular windows higher up? If the window faces north and doesn’t let a lot of sun heat the room up I would say keep one window but I don’t see why a windowless pantry would be a bad thing as long as you had good lighting. I think the single pocket door is the way to go if you don’t want one that swings.
    I think your ability to change things such as putting a doorway in your big tiled kitchen wall or redoing your floors more than twice or repainting the bathroom because oops not quite the right color, is amazing. You’re just not afraid to dive in again…Wow!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I hate the idea of ever removing windows but the tube light sounds perfect. However, you have no view to the back yard without it and that can become a bit of a pain. We have few windows on the front of our home and the ones we do have, are hard to get to easily to see what’s out there. Just being able to peek out to the back if needed would be wonderful. A simple set of blinds would filter the light enough to not become a problem for any food items.

    As far as the kitchen, I agree on the idea of a nice set of French doors like you did for the bathroom with maybe frosted or bubble glass on the top half to be able to close off the mess of a kitchen if you wanted to do that. I had one in my 40’s era bungalow that I rarely closed but when I need to do so, (ie sneaking raw cookie dough) I was so happy I left them up! They would also help with that direct-line-of-sight issue from the front window if you want to hang out without being seen.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jo Ann
    April 10, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    A single row of glass blocks up above the shelving for light.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kelly Palmer
    April 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I don’t have a window in my walk in pantry and a couple of reasons that I am glad I don’t is #1 oils that I keep in there will stay good longer and #2 we also keep our medications, vitamins and supplements in there instead of a bathroom to protect them from moisture. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I love my large pantry. The shelves are all open so I can see everything. I wouldn’t have a window in a pantry. Some food keeps better in a dark, cool place, and there could be more shelves. Put some hooks on the wall and make sure there are some plugs too. Lazy Susans work great in the deep corners. Plan your shelf supports so there is room to access them. I would not put a pocket door on a pantry. They are for low-use areas. I have one in my house and it usually remains open. Put on a regular door without glass. And, yes, I have a tall step stool so I can reach everything. Have fun designing your perfect pantry.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon C
    April 10, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I’ve read all the comments and there are of many great ideas. I always had a pantry and without repeating again all the pros for your pantry best storage features, Justin’s comments equal mine exactly. You have to think what items you are actually going to put in there. Food storage needs to be in a dark place, so I would personally not have a window as the light coming through the window will spoil food. Definitely have a countertop in there and bottom shelves that pull out, lots of electrical outlets and a light that goes on automatically when you open the door is so worth it. I can’t decide on the doors, pocket or like the ones you have just installed on your bathroom, but I know which ever style you choose, it will look amazing. So excited to see your progress on all this and can’t wait to see the rest of the bathroom finished and revealed now your car is fixed and you can get out to get supplies. I know I’ve said this before, but can’t help repeating it again, how much I love your blog, you’re such an inspiration to us all Kristi. I hope you have a productive and creative weekend.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marilyn Canaday
    April 10, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Someone mentioned putting lazy susans in the corners of your pantry. I just did a search on Pinterest “lazy susan pantry” and lots of good ideas came up. I wish I had room to do this.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Shallow shelves. That is all.

    Also, solar tubes are great (we have two) but be aware that they kind of pock-mark the roof. Those, plus chimney/vents/anything else on the roof tends toward visual chaos. I’d leave at least one window.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila E
    April 10, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    You’re torturing me and there’s drool everywhere! I love them all!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I am going to throw in my two cents worth too! My ideal pantry would have a deep counter with tons of plugs, a broom/vacuum closet, pull out baskets for onions/potatoes, wall mount dispensers for plastic wrap/tinfoil, a dry erase board for writing down shopping lists, and PULL DOWN shelves for the upper shelves- they pull out and down for us vertically challenged folk! If you want to keep natural light, how about a small, higher placed window frosted or textured to keep direct light to a minimum. I love the idea of the pocket door and also the automatic light! I am going to be so envious of your pantry and breakfast room!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Oh this is an easy one! My dream pantry would be no window, floor to ceiling shelving with the waist height shelf being counter depth, just like your example Victorian kitchen, No cupboard or drawers, just open or basket storage. An open area for the freezer and brooms and such. I would only have minimal power points to charge the vacuum etc , but wouldn’t bother with more as I would still prep in my kitchen. Simply storage, storage and more storage. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Patricia Smith
    April 10, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I just wish my pantry had electrical outlets!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    BOTTOM LINE, IMHO…..take out windows, have solartubes for daylight, pocket door is a must to save space. All else is just topping on the cake of whichever you decide for the inside! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    When I redid my last pantry I made my list of all the items I would need in there and then bought my jars. I built my shelves according to various height of my jars and only deep enough for one row so everything was easy to see. I did this on one wall and other wall was deeper for baskets of canned goods and boxed goods. I had a shelf for larger appliances and one for serving pieces. And pretty hooks for apron,colander etc.sounds crazy but it made cooking,cleaning up, and putting away groceries pleasurable. I miss it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Just a thought in relation to the automatic light.. would this work with a pocket door? You might need to take this into consideration. My walk in pantry is reasonably small and square in shape. It has no window, lots of open shelving on three sides (of different widths – narrower for canned items), countertops on two sides the same width as the kitchen, power outlets, and an area under the lower shelves for the vacuum cleaner. Brooms and mops hang on hooks on the wall. I liked Justin’s comments as they were very well thought out. I also have a two step stool for reaching items on the higher shelves which is dedicated to items that are used irregularly, such as serving platters, picnic basket, etc. Good luck with finalising your plans…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen H
    April 10, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    This may have already been mentioned in a previous comment, but I’ll let you know about it just in case it hasn’t.

    A relative of mine, who is pretty short, had thick acrylic sheets cut to size at Home Depot (or Lowes, can’t remember which) to use as the shelves for the ones higher up. She said she can see through the acrylic exactly what is on that shelf before she has to climb up and dig around. Hers wasn’t exactly a walk-in pantry. It was one of those deep cabinets that go from floor to ceiling in the kitchen, So even though your shelves probably wouldn’t be as deep as these were, it might be something to think about.

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Can’t stress enough, having the bottom shelving all “pull out shelves”. Nothing worse than being on your knees trying to find something at the back of lower shelves or wasting the space behind by only putting things in the front because it’s such a pain digging around the back.
    We’re actually converting all our kitchen lowers to pull out shelves behind the cabinet doors and oh what a difference in ease of finding things, organization and corralled storage.
    Don’t use wicker baskets on slides, pretty as they might look. Not strong and not easy to clean, which is important in a food area (stuff does spill itself, you know).
    We have heavy duty steel ones with high sides on the bottom shelves (great for beverages, bottles, heavy stuff, incl appliances) and wood ones suspended half way up (specific hardware for these) with about a 2 inch lip all round.
    If all uniform and the wood ones painted to match the shelf framing, they look kind of industrial cool with the steel ones on the bottom, especially if you add Drawer Door Tag Style Pull Handles to the edge of them

    I’d never go back to plain shelves in a pantry or kitchen cupboard unless they were only, like a foot deep like those white wire closet and pantry shelves, but then, I’d tear those out too 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 14, 2015 at 1:43 pm


      Do you have a picture or brand name of the wood and metal baskets you mention for an example?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 10, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    My fave features in my pantry are narrow open shelves (no low ones as bottom space is filled with wine racks), end wall with counter for toaster, kitchenaid mixer and sandwich press, below these are deep open shelves perfect for big items such as platters and baking trays, narrow wire shelving (one can deep) directly behind the swinging door, space for step stool, brooms, vacuum and most importantly keys! And all this in a small space, not an inch is wasted. I am about to add a shelf for a charging station as I am sick of the pile of cabling that is multiplying on the kitchen bench. Butler’s pantry = window, pantry = no pantry. Thanks for letting me share your adventure.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 11, 2015 at 12:00 am

    I haven’t read all the comments yet, so don’t know if this has been mentioned. Food doesn’t last as long when exposed to light, so no window.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ann Rourke
    April 11, 2015 at 1:58 am

    I had a solar tube put into a small “water closet” and although I love the natural light, when the door is closed, there is always a noticeable difference in temperature due to the solar tube heating up with beautiful sunshine! So if you’re considering 2 and the pantry and the doors are shut, the temp most likely will creep up a bit in that Southern summer heat.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 11, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Love your pantry solution. A window would be pretty, but I think this a place for pratical, some things-
    Spices, some fruits and veggies, home canned good will store better without light. My husband and I have lost a 170 pounds between the two of us- all by having healthy food in the house and watching portion sizes. We bought a upright freezer and it is in the kitchen; I just love it!

    I think you would love a counter with electrical outlets also a automatic ceiling light. Make sure you provide for good air circulation for the freezer it gives off lots of hot air. And have several differ end shelf depths.

    You are so real, I love following your blog.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 11, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I’d keep a window or find some way to have a source of non-artificial light in the pantry. Imagine a power outage that doesn’t get resolved for a few days* and you need to see what Is in there. Sure you could use a flashlight but windows might be better

    * I’m talking simple grid goes dark for a few days, not apocalypse type scenario. For that you would want no windows

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Thelma Hamilton
    April 11, 2015 at 11:08 am

    This is my dream pantry. I love it so much I have a pic of it on my cell, so every time I look at my phone it is there. http://ciaonewportbeach.blogspot.com/2015/01/a-pantry-made-in-heaven.html

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 11, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Having some shelves with cabinet doors is handy if you have things to store that you don’t use very often but still want to keep in the kitchen. The cabinet doors just help to keep the dust out.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 11, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Kristi,
    My thoughts and suggestions… 🙂
    My pantry is REALLY PLAIN – in a good way! Here are the things that I love the most…
    1. The light comes on whenever you open the door which is AWESOME! Every pantry should have that imho!
    2. The back wall has DEEP shelves – deep enough to hold an 8 pack of paper towels – so, 4 paper towel rolls deep. (I don’t keep toilet paper in there since that’s not where we need it. We keep toilet paper in the bathroom storage areas. But, a 24-pack of toilet paper COULD fit there.)
    3. The side walls have less deep shelves, but, still deeper than 2 cans – more like as deep as a package of spaghetti is long. IMHO they are the perfect depth for almost everything…cereal boxes, canned goods that go back “3 deep”, canisters, etc.
    4. You may hate this idea. I thought I would hate it. But, I love this. The shelves end about 2 feet above the floor. I have room for a pretty good sized kitchen trash can. And, big stuff fits down there beautifully.
    5. I have see through, acrylic baskets for smaller stuff – that way you can see everything easily.
    6. No window. You aren’t going to live in there. The more storage – the better!

    I like the idea of mimicking the sliding doors that are in your music room – or doing doors like in your hall bathroom.

    I don’t keep my mop, broom, etc. in the pantry. I keep all that stuff in my laundry room. Also, I don’t keep my tools in the pantry – I have a tool area/work room with counters, cupboards, shelves, etc. in the garage. So, all of my tools are there. My point in mentioning all of this is that you may not want/need room for all of that stuff since you are going to have a pretty big laundry room and a huge tool/work room in your garage.

    The idea of a solar tube…I LOVE solar tubes. However, I’ve never had one. If they really do make your room hotter…I probably wouldn’t do that.

    One more thing…one person suggested that you leave an entry way from the breakfast room into the family room – that way leaving one of the windows on the back wall. I loved that idea! Would that work for you?

    I’m excited to see what you are going to do!! This is so much fun to follow along and see your work and thought processes. You said, in another post, how you had to live in the house for quite a while before you knew what you wanted to do. Thank you for saying that! That is exactly how I am! I take a long time to figure it out – but, when I know…I know! You seem to be kind of like that!

    Sorry for the novel-length comment! I am just passionate about pantries, closets, laundry rooms, and mud rooms! Can’t help it!! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen W.
    April 11, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    I don’t have a pantry, so I’ll have to live vicariously through you. 🙂 As much as I love light and views, because you live in the south, heat would be an issue. My friends in England have larders, which are their equivalents of pantries. Always kept cool – no heating there. If a window would bring heat in, I’d avoid that – same with a skylight. You’ll just be ducking in and out of there, anyway. Love the first photo. I know you’ve mentioned that you’re short – you could do a library ladder in there, which would look cool (and be very practical).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 11, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    I’m just amazed at the things you can do; that it inspired me to update my kitchen and living room. I just love seeing what you do and learning from your posts. Thank you! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 12, 2015 at 12:09 am

    I have a walk in pantry and I love it. It doesn’t have a window and I don’t need one. I don’t spend time in there–just get what I need and go to the kitchen. Additionally foodstuffs last longer if not exposed to light so the room is dark unless I flip the switch and go in. What I do have that I like is a chalk board. Whenever I use the last of something I write it on the chalk board then when making up my shopping list I check the board.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 12, 2015 at 12:21 am

      Since I am short I have a folding step stool in the pantry with three steps. I use it when I access the high shelves where I store light weight things like paper towels and big baskets.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 12, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I once had an upright freezer in a room under my stairs. The room was on the main level of the home and had no windows nor a/c. I was shocked at how hot it made that room (it was about 15′ long and 4′ wide). The freezer was older and I struggled to keep it full so I know there are freezers out there using less energy, but still it was surprisingly hot in that room.

    Also I love your blog and I am constantly trying to find another like it but nothing compares. Nothing compares.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa E
    April 13, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Wow, you certainly have gotten some great input and some things I never thought of, such as how windows might affect certain foods. I don’t have anything else to suggest as so much has been covered, but thought I’d share these plans: http://ana-white.com/2013/12/plans/easy-vintage-step-stool or http://ana-white.com/2011/02/plans/vintage-step-stool. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ashley Bee
    April 14, 2015 at 9:36 am

    You may already have thought of this, but I would definitely add a lot of outlets, and designate a space for some of your more-frequently-used cleaning supplies like a mop or broom or stick vacuum. Having a cabinet “slot” for storing those taller items could be really helpful! We made sure to install an outlet at floor level in our walk in pantry for our stick vacuum’s charger for quick cleanups. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 16, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Late getting to this post! All of the examples are beautiful and functional. So my opinions are:

    1. Windows – Not needed in pantry and some foods better stored in dark. Or if you really want a window, only one
    OR put in a light tube!
    2. Love the open shelving on top, but use pull outs behind doors or drawers on the bottom.
    3. Appoint a space in pantry for cleaning items (mop, bucket, vacuum, cleaners, etc.)
    4. Auto ON lighting in pantry a must!
    5. Light Tubes – My cousin has one in her windowless bathroom and you’d never know there wasn’t a window!
    Great idea for breakfast room and pantry.

    I’m sure I haven’t presented anything new, but another vote for “Awesome”!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 16, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    The green is gorgeous…I mean who wouldn’t love it? But…it seems a little much for your average home. The last one you posted is exactly what I’d go for. Just enough counter space to work on to pour things or scoop or whatever and enough shelving and storage to take care of it all. Great ideas for sure!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 6, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    We’re in the process of building a house, and I’ve spent sooo much time planning the pantry. The big goal of the pantry is to provide function and storage so that my small kitchen can always be clutter-free. I can’t wait for it to be completed. My thoughts:

    – Absolutely no window. They shorten the life of your food, especially dry goods.
    – Plenty of good light … with motion sensors … I have this now in my laundry room, and it is wonderful to always come into a room with light.
    – A swinging door, which will always stay “closed” … my pantry door has a 2′ deep “entry” formed by an adjacent cabinet, so the door won’t block any cabinetry.
    – The transom will allow for ventilation — this is is a necessity.

    I think of the pantry in three sections:

    Section 1 is 5′ of white shelving … 24″ deep with Ikea butcher block countertop — do you know how cheap that stuff is?
    – Underneath will be a trash can, a kick-stool (type they have in libraries), and a dorm-sized freezer.
    – About 36″ of the countertop will be a workspace … a place to set down /sort groceries, to leave bread to rise, to let a crock pot run, to hide dessert ’til after dinner.
    – Above the workspace will be a shelf with measuring cups so I can measure out a cup of flour or dried beans … and bring out only the measuring cup.
    – Also above the workspace will be a magnetic knife rack for a single knife and scissors — for opening packages.
    – Above the workspace will be pretty boxes/baskets to contain things for various types of cooking: For example, the cookie baking box will contain cookie cutters and sprinkles … the cheese making box will contain molds … the canning box will contain new jar rings and my jar lifter … the idea, of course, is that when I want to bake cookies, everything’ll be in one box, which is easy to bring out.
    – Also above the workspace, on the highest, least accessible shelves, I’ll store big items that don’t see a whole lot of use: My large punchbowl, holiday cake stands, my wedding cake pans.
    – On one side of the workspace will be a set of 15″ deep shelves for small appliances. I can’t wait to have a good place to store them out of the way.
    – I’ll have a double electrical outlet above the workspace so I can use appliances in the pantry, if I need.

    Section 2 will also be white shelves, but they’ll be just for food storage:
    – Roll outs on the lower portion
    – Open shelves for the uppers
    – Large lazy susans (purchased from Bed, Bath & Beyond) in the corner where the two shelving runs meet.

    Section 3 will be metal red pegboard — lots of it.
    – My cast iron frying pans will hang here, as will my plethora of kitchen gadgets that I like … but don’t use every day; for example, my ricer, large soup ladle, my grandmother’s old water ladle that she used at the well (not useful, but I can’t get rid of it).
    – This pegboard will keep the kitchen drawers free of all the “occasional” stuff, leaving comfortable space for the everyday spatulas, etc.
    – Because this pegboard takes up less space than a shelf, I’ll have a nice wide aisle in the pantry, making it more pleasant.