If you want a really spacious pantry even in a small kitchen, I’ll show you step by step how we got the largest pantry we have ever had with IKEA furniture – The PAX Wardrobe.
When we were renovating our house, I knew I wanted two things. A utility room and a large pantry.
Due to space limitations, we could only get one of them as a room so I chose a room for the utility. Our designer came up with a clever hack to extend a wall in the kitchen and make use of kitchen cabinets. That way we could achieve a ‘hidden’ pantry and get a walk-in utility. Clever!
Even though we got our kitchen units from a different brand, we eventually chose IKEA. I’ll tell you in a minute why this was the absolute best decision so that you can take inspiration from this to build the kitchen pantry of your dreams.
When we were planning out this pantry we came up with so many ideas. We thought of using IKEA pantry cabinets, and IKEA billy bookcases. We also considered an open pantry system, and even reeded glass cabinets made the list. The first idea we crossed off the list was the Billy bookcase. They are excellent to hack but just didn’t offer us the depth we needed for all our foodstuff. (I’m Nigerian)
We eventually settled for IKEA wardrobes because they offered us the most spacious cabinets as well as the height we needed to make it look like the wall.
The part of the kitchen we chose for the pantry is adjacent to the kitchen door, so you see it on the right-hand side when you walk in. The trick to fully hacking these wardrobes was to make them look just like a wall.
That means we couldn’t have handles and we would have as few doors as possible.
We didn’t build this ourselves as this hack required really skilled tasks like plasterboarding and plastering but here is a list of everything you’ll need if you decide to build this yourself.
- 2×4 timber
- 3 IKEA wardrobes
- Cabinet doors 50cm and 75cm
- Push to close latches
- Melamine primer
The IKEA Hack – Building It
Determine how many cabinets or wardrobes you need to give you enough space to build a wall. Ours was three.
Build the cabinets and move them up against one wall leaving no gap and secure the cabinets to the wall
Install the shelving and drawers. Don’t worry about being too precise at this point, you can change it later.
Build the wall. Start by measuring two long pieces of timber till it reaches the ceiling and screwing the plasterboard to the timber. Remember to set the screws back a little bit so that you can fill them later.
Make the edges flush with the ceiling and new wall by screwing the MDF into the timber and the sides and top of the cabinet units. Bear in mind that most ceilings, especially in old houses are not straight so you have to measure the entire length of the ceiling so that you can cut accordingly.
Tape off the MDF on all sides and plaster the wall.
Fill the screw holes with Polyfilla and sand till it’s flush. If you find that it’s not flush, fill again and sand down. You want it to be perfect because any mistake with this will show up when it comes time to paint.
Paint. You can paint it the same colour as the wall for the most seamless look. Also, paint the cabinet doors but be sure to use a melamine primer before you paint the cabinet doors else it will just peel right off in a short while.
I am still yet to paint mine because I haven’t found the time yet but here’s the finished pantry. This pantry hack is genius because it offers us great storage space to store our food items and it is just by our dining room.
It is perfect for any size kitchen and even small kitchens can totally pull off this great IKEA hack. I’ll update this post as soon as I paint mine.
IKEA Kitchen Hacks for Inspiration
I totally understand if this IKEA pantry hack is not for you maybe due to space, or you just want a different type of kitchen storage. Here are some great options that might be the perfect fit for your home.
Billy Bookcase Hack
This has to be by far the most popular IKEA pantry hack, especially for small spaces. It is (in my opinion) one of the best IKEA hacks and props to the first person who came up with it.
You can decide to put doors on to store away some kitchen appliances or go without doors like the image below. If I were ever to do this again in another home, I would more than likely do a Billy bookcase hack (if I can get enough to house my many food ingredients).
IKEA Havsta Hack
When I saw this hack, my mind was completely blown. The level of skill and talent that went into creating this is simply on another level. Annie of Champagne Chaos not only created extra storage, but she also hacked a breakfast bar.
This is overall a great way to use the Havsta unit and you can use it to store up some dry goods and possibly display small appliances on the breakfast bar.
IKEA Pantry From GRIMO doors
This was the most shocking IKEA hack. I think it will be particularly useful for those who are short on floor space. Shannon of The Daily DIYer made this pantry out of just IKEA GRIMO doors with hinges. I was so shocked when I saw it.
She used the wall as the back of the shelf and the result looked completely intentional and built-in. It is such a great idea and the perfect solution for those who are short on space.
IKEA OMAR Shelving Unit
If you are into the industrial look and want easy access to your pantry goods from all sides, certainly consider using the OMAR galvanised shelves.
IKEA Regissor Pottery Barn Dupe
This IKEA hack is a small makeover and isn’t quite as dramatic and the others. It nonetheless is the perfect way to get this Pottery Barn look for less. Based on the style of my home, I doubt that this would fit anywhere but it’s most definitely one to consider if you love simple DIY projects that make a dramatic difference in your home.
IKEA PAX to BookShelf
Last but not the least, these PAX wardrobes were transformed into bookshelves but can work really well for a pantry design. What I love most about them are the half open, half-closed storage units.
This allows you to have aesthetic open shelving for easy-reach glass jars and closed drawers to store away less aesthetic kitchen essentials.