Why a Stand-Alone Pantry is a Great Alternative

I mentioned in a previous post that Brian and I modified the plans for our new home in order to omit the awkwardly placed pantry. 

At the time, I remember being nervous that I might regret that decision. But, no risk, no reward, right?

I’m happy to say after living here for a year that I am SO happy we got rid of that pantry. The added counter space absolutely makes this space so dreamy. I have plenty of room to do prep, and when we have parties, we have more than enough room to put out food and drinks.   

It was Brian's brilliant idea to purchase a closet unit (yes, intended for your bedroom) from Ikea to serve as our pantry. Yep, ladies, all of that outside-of-the-box genius is MINE. He's a keeper!

Here are the reasons why I LOVE my closet pantry:

1. It was CHEAP! Seriously, who doesn't love saving a buck? We purchased the unit in a grey-blue finish to add a subtle pop of color, and installed hardware that matched the rest of our kitchen. We've had several people ask us if it was custom-made (and, oh, that makes my heart do a happy dance....it's kind of like the running-man meets the cabbage-patch in fast forward with a lot of random high-fives and fist pumps).

2. The inside is completely CUSTOMIZABLE! My close circle of friends know that I attacked most of my kitchen with a label maker. What can I say? I love organization. While I haven't yet labeled the pantry, I do love the fact that Ikea offers a variety of inexpensive storage solutions for this closet unit. We installed three pull-out drawers (ladies, am I right in saying that pull-out pantry drawers are the BEST?) and two shelves.

3. Did I mention it's CUSTOMIZABLE? We recently added a fourth pull-out drawer with tiny compartments for organizing smaller items. Ikea has amazing storage options for this closet unit -- the only limit is your imagination (cue cheesy music).

4. The pantry is DEEP! Seriously, we can fit a lot of crap in here. Those vertical dividers are from Ikea too ($5.99 for a 2-pack) and you better believe they will be making repeat appearances throughout my home.

Are you using any furniture in a non-conventional way in your home or thinking about using it? I'd love to hear about it!



  1. Hi! I LOVE this idea of using a piece of bedroom furniture in the kitchen! We just bought an old fixer-upper with no pantry and I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out what to use that will function well and look nice, too. Could you give me the specifics of the closet unit you bought? I see an Ikea trip in my near future... Thanks!

    1. Hi Cindi! We absolutely love our closet pantry. It's so functional! We bought the Pax Birkeland in grey-blue, measuring in at 39 1/4" wide, 23 5/8" deep and 93 1/8" tall. From there, you can add as many pull-out drawers, shelves, basket drawers, etc as you want! I couldn't find the color we purchased on their website, but here's a link to the same model in white:


      Happy shopping!!

  2. I love this! What a great idea!

  3. So glad to find this! Yours looks awesome! Is it still working nicely for you? (found you via a google search for this exact thing!)

    I just discovered the sliding door PAX system to use in my kitchen reno. I have 14" depth space for the kitchen pantry and PAX comes in different depth. (I had a quote from another store for approx. 6000 dollars to make a pantry is this spot!!!).

    I'm wondering, is weight of your stored items an issue or has the Pax withstood it all? And the drawers and accessories! Perfect.

    The colour you chose is really nice!

    1. Thanks Sara!! Yes, it's still working great and we love it! The weight hasn't been an issue and we haven't been shy about packing a ton of stuff in it. The drawers are solid and sturdy, so even when they are pulled all of the way out, it's not flimsy. I highly recommend it! It's been such a great solution for us.

    2. Thanks for the reply! Im so excited to have found yours and see it in action!

  4. We are currently using Ikea's EFFECTIV system for our pantry in our apartment. Since we were already using it for our office prior to moving back to CA we knew we liked it and could re-use it with the rest of what we have in our someday office when we are back in a house. The way our kitchen opens up to the dining area we were able to keep it waist high and back it up to the counter - it's about an inch taller - but hey it's temporary and reusable.


  5. This is EXACTLY what I am looking for for my dining room!! Well, 2 of these, lol. Before making a trip to my local Ikea, did you find all of the drawers and shelves there also? And were they located near this item? I feel like an idiot, been looking EVERYWHERE and had almost settled on some "pantry-like items" at Lowes because I did an inadequate search at Ikea.com.

    Thanks in advance for any and all help you can give!

    1. Yup, all of the drawers and shelves are from Ikea too and are in the same section of the store (bedroom / closet storage). It's been almost two years since we bought it and I still love it!

  6. There's some really good ideas here...thanks for sharing these


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