DIY Walk In Pantry Build Perfect for a Small Kitchen

A walk in pantry is an excellent addition to any home, particularly for those with small kitchens. This guide will briefly show you how we built our walk-in pantry by providing additional storage space for kitchen essentials and freeing up valuable counter and cabinet space.

Small, narrow pantry with open wooden shelving and glass jar storage."
Minimalist pantry with glass jars and wooden shelving.

Why a Walk In Pantry?

Walk-in pantries are useful for several reasons. First, they provide extra storage areas for food items, kitchen supplies, and appliances, which can help keep the kitchen itself more organized and less cluttered.

Having a designated area for these items can make it easier to find what you need and keep track of what you have.

Second, walk-in pantries often feature a range of organization tools, such as shelves, bins, and baskets, that make it easy to keep items sorted and accessible.

This can save time when preparing meals and help prevent food waste by ensuring that items are used before they expire.

Finally, a walk-in pantry can also serve as a workspace for food prep, such as chopping vegetables or assembling meals. A countertop or work surface can be a convenient and efficient place to get things done.

mall, narrow pantry with open wooden shelving and glass jar storage.

Building Our DIY Pantry

Upon buying our double-wide mobile home, the pantry area was limited and furnished with wire shelves. It was in the center of the kitchen and dining area and shared a wall with the living room.

Since we had plans to modify the floor plan, we decided to replace the original pantry. As a result, we removed the pantry and created an open floor plan that seamlessly connected the kitchen and dining area.

Planning for a Walk In Pantry Build

Before tackling a walk in pantry build, several important considerations should be considered. One of the most critical factors to consider is the available space.

In our kitchen, we added a walk-in pantry by removing the cabinets along the back wall where the refrigerator was. We then relocated the refrigerator to the wall where the pantry had previously been situated.

This freed us up the necessary space to create the walk-in pantry. The cabinets were in poor condition and easily removed, providing a blank slate for the new pantry design.

Since building this pantry, we have made significant changes to our kitchen, and I encourage you to view our updated posts on the subject.

Small pantry with clear glass jar storage and labeled contents.

Designing the Walk In Pantry

One of the first considerations when designing a walk-in pantry is the available space. The dimensions of the pantry will depend on the size of the kitchen and the household’s storage needs.

The available space dictated that our walk-in pantry would be 4 feet wide and 9 feet long. While this may be considered small walk in pantry dimensions, it was the perfect size for our home.

When deciding on the size of the pantry, it is important to consider the household’s needs. This includes the types of items that will be stored in the pantry and how frequently they will be accessed.

For example, a larger pantry may be necessary if the pantry is primarily used for storing bulk items or small appliances. On the other hand, if the pantry is only used for storing non-perishable items, a smaller pantry may suffice.

Building a Walk In Kitchen Pantry

Building a walk-in pantry requires proper planning and execution. The first step is preparing the space by removing any existing cabinetry, fixtures, or shelving.

The first step in building our walk-in pantry was to remove the sheetrock from the back wall. This allowed us to frame out the area for the pantry using 2×4 boards. The pantry area was framed using 2×4 boards, with one board screwed into the ceiling and another screwed into the floor for added stability.

Since the rest of our home features shiplap walls, we decided to continue that aesthetic by using shiplap for the exterior walls of the pantry. Using a nail gun, we attached the shiplap to the studs to create a rustic and cohesive look throughout the space.

To finish the interior walls of the pantry, we opted for sheetrock and painted them with Snowbound from Sherwin Williams. White walls provide a clean and bright backdrop for our food items and kitchen supplies.

As for the flooring, we used the same hardwood floors we installed in our dining room and living room. This allowed for a seamless look from one space to the next, creating a cohesive and uniform look throughout the main living areas of our home.

Walk In Pantry Shelving

When constructing shelves for a walk-in pantry, it’s important to consider the size and shape of the items stored on them. Doing so can maximize valuable space and make the pantry more organized.

The shelving can be customized to accommodate various sizes of items, such as cereal boxes, can goods, and small appliances.

Deep shelves can be a great addition to a pantry, as they allow for more storage space and accommodate larger items such as bigger appliances, like blenders or mixers.

If you have a coffee machine or slow cookers that you like to keep in your pantry, deep shelves can provide the height needed to store them. They can also be useful for storing appliances you don’t use as often, such as a bread maker or food dehydrator.

Narrow pantry featuring open wooden shelves and glass jar storage for dry goods.

Small Walk-In Pantry Shelving

For the shelving in our walk-in pantry, we used boards from our local hardware store to create the frame for the open shelves. We built two shelving units to hold all our pantry items.

The first set is in the front of the pantry and holds all our glass storage jars. The height of these shelves was customized to fit the jars perfectly.

We left a space to install hooks for hanging our cast iron skillets to the left of the jars. The space for the skillets was designed to be wide enough to accommodate their size.

The second set of storage shelves is located to the left of the skillets, where we store all of our small appliances. These shelves were also customized to fit the height and width of each appliance.

We built a frame using the boards to construct the shelves and installed them in the pantry. Then, we ensured the shelving was sturdy enough to hold the weight of the items we planned to store.

We used a level to ensure that the shelves were installed evenly, and we secured them to the wall studs for extra support.

Once the shelving was installed, we organized our pantry items according to their size and shape, making it easier to find what we needed.

Walk In Pantry Features

A walk-in pantry can be a valuable addition to any home, providing a range of features that enhance organization and convenience.

Although our small pantry didn’t allow for the incorporation of many features, there are a few things I would love to include in a large butler pantry in the future. Some key walk-in pantry features to consider when designing a pantry are:

Small pantry with open wooden shelves and labeled glass jar storage.

Sliding Barn Doors

Sliding barn doors can add a touch of rustic charm to your walk-in pantry, making it a stylish and functional addition to your kitchen. If you are wondering whether a double wide manufactured home can support the weight of sliding barn doors, rest assured that it can!

To install sliding barn doors in your pantry, you will need hardware such as a track, rollers, and a stopper. The track should be long enough to accommodate the width of the door, and the rollers should be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the door.

We sourced our sliding barn door and hardware from Rustica Hardware, a reputable supplier of high-quality barn doors and accessories. They offer a range of door styles, finishes, and hardware options to suit your decor preferences.

Not only do sliding barn doors add aesthetic value, but they also provide functional benefits such as space-saving and easy access to your pantry.

Smart pantry storage with clear glass jars and wooden shelves.


Good lighting makes finding what you need easier. A combination of overhead and under-cabinet lighting can help illuminate the space and highlight the items on the pantry shelves.

Overhead lighting is essential to ensure that the pantry is well-lit. This type of lighting can come in recessed, pendant, gooseneck, or even a chandelier. Depending on the size of the pantry, multiple fixtures may be necessary to provide adequate lighting.

In addition to overhead lighting, under-cabinet lighting can provide extra illumination for the shelves. This type of lighting is often LED and can be easily installed underneath the shelves to provide a soft glow highlighting the items on the shelf.

When selecting the lighting for a walk-in pantry, choosing functional and aesthetically pleasing fixtures is important. The fixtures should complement the overall design of the pantry and the kitchen while providing the necessary light to make the space functional.

Electrical Outlets

Adding electrical outlets to a walk-in pantry can be useful for storing small appliances. Consider installing multiple outlets throughout the pantry to accommodate different needs and ensure that cords can be easily managed.


Effective organization is essential for maximizing the functionality of a walk-in pantry. Various organization tools can be used to help keep the pantry tidy and ensure that items are easily accessible when needed.

One useful tool is the basket, which can store loose items like snacks, spices, or smaller kitchen utensils. Baskets, such as wire or wicker, come in different sizes and materials and can be labeled for even greater organization.

Bins are another great option for organizing pantry items. They can group canned goods, baking supplies, or snacks. Clear bins can make it easy to see what’s inside and prevent items from getting lost at the back of the pantry.

Adding a spice rack to your walk-in pantry is a great way to maximize the available space. A spice rack can be mounted on the wall or installed on a cabinet door to hold spice jars and other small containers.

A lazy Susan is another useful tool for organizing smaller items in your pantry. It can be placed on a shelf and spun around, making it easy to access items that might otherwise be hard to reach. You can use it to store canned goods, snacks, or other small items.

Labels are another helpful tool for organization. They can indicate the contents of each glass jar, bin, or basket, expiration dates, or cooking instructions. Labels can be handmade or purchased and come in various styles to match the decor of the pantry.

Using a combination of baskets, bins, jars, and labels, the items in a walk-in pantry can be organized to make it easy to find what you need when needed.

A cast iron hook installed on the wall with a cast iron skillet hanging from the hook

Food Storage

Food storage options are a key feature of a walk-in pantry. While we did not have enough space to add drawers or cabinets, other storage solutions are available.

These may include various types of shelving for dry and canned goods and specialized storage for items such as potatoes and onions.

It’s important to consider including a mix of open shelving and closed pantry cabinets or drawers to accommodate different food items and storage needs. This can help create a well-organized and functional space for storing food items.

Neat and tidy pantry using glass jars and wooden shelving.

Food Storage Containers

Food storage containers are a great way to keep your pantry organized and tidy. Many types of containers are available, including plastic, glass, and metal options, each with its own benefits.

Plastic containers are lightweight and affordable, making them a popular choice. They come in different sizes and shapes, and many have airtight lids that help to keep food fresh.

Glass airtight containers are a more eco-friendly option, as they are reusable and don’t contain any harmful chemicals. They are also great for storing items like flour, sugar, and spices, as they don’t absorb any odors or flavors.

Metal containers, such as those made from stainless steel, are durable and long-lasting. They are also great for storing items like coffee beans, as they keep out light and air to preserve freshness.

When choosing food storage containers for your pantry, look for airtight, stackable, and easy-to-label containers. This will help you to make the most of your pantry space and keep your food organized and fresh.

Counter Space

When designing a walk-in pantry, it’s important to consider not just the storage options but also the functionality of the space.

Counter space and a work surface can provide a place to prep food, package snacks, or sort groceries. Additionally, having a designated spot for appliances such as a coffee pot or a slow cooker can make accessing and using these items easier.

Well-organized pantry with labeled glass jars and open wooden shelving.

Does a Walk In Pantry Add Value?

Yes, a walk-in pantry can add value to a home. Many homebuyers consider it a desirable feature as it offers additional storage space and can make it easier to keep the kitchen clutter-free and organized.

What Should Be in a Walk In Pantry?

A walk-in pantry can be stocked with various items depending on your household’s needs and preferences. Here are some commonly stored items in a walk-in pantry:

  1. Dry goods such as pasta, rice, flour, and cereal
  2. Canned goods such as beans, soups, vegetables, and fruits
  3. Baking supplies such as sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and yeast
  4. Spices and herbs
  5. Snacks such as crackers, chips, and cookies
  6. Condiments such as ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise
  7. Oils and vinegars
  8. Nuts and seeds
  9. Coffee and tea
  10. Paper products such as paper towels, napkins, and plates
  11. Cleaning supplies
  12. Specialized storage for items such as potatoes, onions, and garlic

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Walk In Pantry?

On average, installing a walk-in pantry can range from $500 to $5,000 or more. The cost of installing a walk-in pantry can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the pantry, the materials used, and any additional features or customization.

Should a Walk In Pantry Have a Window?

Having a window in a walk-in pantry can have both advantages and disadvantages. A window can provide natural light, which can be helpful when finding items in the pantry. However, a window can take up valuable wall space that could be used for shelving or cabinets.

Should You Have a Door on a Walk In Pantry?

It depends on personal preference and the layout of your home. A door on a walk-in pantry can provide privacy and help keep the space separate from the rest of the kitchen.

Small, narrow pantry with open wooden shelving and glass jar storage." Minimalist pantry with glass jars and wooden shelving.

Even if your pantry is smaller, there are many ways to maximize available space. You can create an efficient and functional pantry that meets your needs with the right organization tools, shelving, and storage containers.

While getting everything right may take some time and effort, the result will be worth it.

And as for our small pantry, while it may have that small space feel, it has become the perfect space to store food, making meal prep and cooking easier and more enjoyable.

Thank you for sharing!

5 thoughts on “DIY Walk In Pantry Build Perfect for a Small Kitchen”

  1. I can’t help but notice your a/c unit there. We have the same beastly thing in our MH. Since this post that opening is covered up. How do you access it? Is it behind the shelf unit in the newer pics? Just curious. Our unit gave up the ghost three summers ago. We have been using a window unit since then. Not the best thing, but makes these southern summers more tolerable! We plan on removing the outdated a/c unit and converting that space into a small pantry. I’ll update when that finally happens 😉 Your Home is becoming your haven! I love it!! And the fact that your just as fickle with paint as I am. ❤️

  2. So very very beautiful! It’s exactly what I’ve been hoping to do in our mobile home, but also incorporate a coffee station as well.
    How deep is the new pantry? And how do you access the a/c unit now? Thanks in advance!

  3. Hey I just found your blog and love it! My husband and I own a 2006 double wide and the floor plan is almost the exact same. It’s so inspiring to see all the work y’all have done and gives us hope it’s possible!
    I’m so curious as to where your pantry is in the house. I keep looking at updated pictures and can not figure out where y’all fit it in at! I’m trying to figure out how to do that for our kitchen as well because we were thinking of making our laundry room the pantry .. thank you!


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