If you’re lucky enough to have a walk-in pantry, you’re aware of the benefits: extra storage for Costco-size snacks, entertaining necessities, and that bread machine you pull out twice a year. Then there are the downfalls: lots of room for cluttered chaos, stacks of dusty cookbooks, and “where did I put the food processor again?” To make the most of yours, we gathered eight spaces with admirable walk-in pantry organization ideas, often masquerading as simple design details. Steal them all, below.
Put Baskets and Bins to Work
“Things often get buried in pantries,” says designer Marie Flanigan, “so I wanted to keep this space light and bright, allowing our clients to quickly find what they are looking for.” To do that, she used every shelf organization trick in the book: risers so you can see each can label, lazy Susans for condiments, and baskets to store snacks. Shallow cubbies under the counter also ensure nothing, not even a single jar of tomato sauce, can get shoved to the back and lost forever.
Prepare for the Party (and the Dishes Afterward)
An associate designer at Maggie Griffin Design dreamed up this butler’s pantry for a family that loves to throw a good get-together. To accommodate parties of all sizes, she included a large farm sink and second dishwasher for the inevitable overflow of dirty dishes, as well as custom cabinetry to house serving platters, specialty glassware, and table linens.
Make Your Walk-In Pantry a Happy Zone
It’s simple: If you enjoy your walk-in pantry, you’re more likely to keep it organized. Take it from Tash Webb of The Colour Tribe, whose cheerful spot, outfitted in hunter green Kaboodle cabinets, is more like a mini art gallery. “I promise there are plates, glassware, and food in there somewhere,” she says, laughing.
Opt for Open Shelves
“Nothing is hiding,” says Interior Impressions’s Amy Leferink of open shelving in walk-in pantries, and that’s the point—you get function and a focal point in one go. The key to streamlined ledges lies within the items perched there. Leferink keeps it cohesive by displaying only glass and white ceramic dishware up top. Any not-so-pretty plates go in the closed cabinets underneath.
Don’t Forget the Doors
When you were a kid, did you ever dream of stumbling across a secret room tucked behind a bookcase? Meet the grown-up version. This walk-in pantry by Humphrey Munson is concealed behind what looks like tall cupboards. Open the doors, though, and you’ll find this storage-packed walk-in pantry, with spice racks built into the doors, shelves for decanted dry goods, and even a mini ladder so you can reach the tea at the very top.
Tailor Your Walk-In Pantry to Your Lifestyle
Carmel Phillips’s walk-in pantry is not only an extension of her kitchen but an extension of her day-to-day life. First, there’s the coffee station, where she fills up her mug each morning, which is next to the petite sink, where she arranges flowers and soaks vegetables. Within arm’s reach is a custom-built wine storage rack for when five o’clock rolls around.
Create an Optical Illusion
Just because you have a walk-in pantry doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cavernous—Studio Laloc founder Lauren Lothrop Caron’s space is a mere 50 square feet. To stash cleaning supplies, she created a hidden closet in the wall, barely distinguishable when covered in wood paneling.
Turn Your Walk-In Pantry Into a Baking Hub
This Jaimee Rose Interiors–designed walk-in pantry is a bakers’ paradise. Wall-to-wall (and in some areas, floor-to-ceiling!) cabinetry is home to bulky mixers and food processors, while the double ovens allow the homeowner to bake twice as many chocolate chip cookies at once. Even the marble countertops are intentional—they offer a cold base when rolling out temperature-sensitive pastry. Perhaps most important, though, a built-in SubZero fridge means there’s always chilled vino at the ready while you wait for your dough to rise.