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22 Perfectly Pinterestable Pantry Organizing Ideas – ELLE Decor

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If it isn’t in a labeled, coordinating container, is it even edible?
When it comes to beautiful spaces, a well-composed design scheme is only half the equation. The second component—organization that is equal parts pretty and practical—has become its own zeitgeist in the world of home decor, especially when it comes to the pantry. In fact, an impeccable scullery has become its own status symbol of sorts (just ask Khloe Kardashian, whose ROYGBP-themed pantry is the stuff of food-sorting legends). Cue the neatly lined baskets and individually labeled acrylic containers holding everything from strategically stacked cookies to artisan pasta (it’s too beautiful to eat) to color-coded snack packs—all aligned to issue a promise: that order can be restored in the home, if not beyond.
“An organized pantry that’s arranged in a way where each category has an assigned home allows you to see all that you have and limits anyone from saying ‘I didn’t know where to put it,’” says Done Neatly’s Ashley Coleman. “We love decorative baskets, pantry bins, and turntables, but don’t stress if they don’t suit you. Make it work for you.” If you’re ready to give your pantry space an organizational lift, get inspired by these impeccable pantries and get decluttering!
First things first: Procure a pantry. If you’re anything like designer Sarah Sherman Samuel, the convenience of a generous pantry space supersedes the luxury of an additional bathroom. In her latest home renovation, she called on California Closets to transform an adjoining guest bathroom into a glamorous pantry. “With so much square footage in the home it felt out of place to have a bathroom front and center in the kitchen,” she says. “The kitchen now is open and really feels like part of the house and the pantry is the workhorse, housing food, dishes, small appliances and even the refrigerator.” Our favorite detail? The identical natural wood storage bins that hide all the essentials that have busy branding.
Fancy a rustic-themed kitchen? We’re obsessed with this assortment of lock lid jars in this English Georgian House’s hand-finished oak-encased pantry, designed by the Artichoke team. The colorful grain-filled vessels stand at various heights, pairing well with bags of pasta and flour that need no decanting to fit in. “Pantries can provide an invaluable second space for food storage, food preparation, and a ‘shut-off’ room to hide used crockery and dishes when entertaining at scale,” says Artichoke’s Marina Jones.
If your space didn’t come with a separate pantry room, take notes from designer Natalie Walton and build your own open-shelf wall pantry. Pare your cooking essentials with some elegant decorative items for a look that you won’t want to hide behind closed cabinets.
“Nothing gives me quite so much pleasure as the sight of a well-stocked pantry,” says the Venetian Pantry’s Martina Casonato. “I love the fact that everything is in sight, and our guests can help themselves to things and feel more at home.” For example, Casonato has a whole section of herbal teas and infusions. “Whenever we have friends over, I encourage them to go and explore and pick their own tea.” Bonus points if you favor tea flavors purely for their packaging color.
No mass-produced acrylic containers for this soft modern house in Georgia. Wooden bowls and glass jars stand out on these refreshingly unique shelves, designed by Smith Hanes with Studio Smith Hanes and styled by Thom Driver. “Don’t you just love steel and glass windows and doors inside homes?” Hanes says. “They allow us to separate spaces without impeding the view. At a glance you can tell how much wine is on hand for your party.”
Bold colors are trending this season and it’s easy to see why. Take a cue from this zesty pantry moment and release your inner color freak. “We wanted to make this pantry a kitchen feature that grabs attention, as the hero and heart of the kitchen, a pantry should be celebrated in all its glory,” says Melissa Klink, creative director at Harvey Jones. “The charm of the orange is that it is unexpected. It feels like no bad meal could come from the ingredients stored here.” The swipe of color across the large pantry adds personality to the room and brings visual warmth. Plus, using a color like orange, which isn’t hooked to any major trends, is unlikely to fall out of fashion (but of course, the beauty of paint is that it’s easily changed).
For extra pizzazz, trick out your space with a chic wallpaper or tile like this geometric pattern DIYer Ashley Basnight added to her renovated pantry. “Ultimately, I’m a designer who always likes to push the envelope, so I knew I wanted to create a pantry that was both functional and easy, but also fun,” she says. “I knew adding tile in the middle would bring a fun element to the design.”
This tasteful moody walk-in pantry, by Humphrey Munson director Peter Humphrey, exhibits each jar and decorative accent with museum-worthy quality. “Much overlooked but an unequivocal game changer, lighting is the essential fourth layer of design after layout, materials, colors/finishes,” Humphrey tells ELLE DECOR. “To really bring a space to life I recommend integrating discreet lighting into the shelving for an all-encompassing and perfectly even illumination.” He recommends choosing a dimmer switch for maximum flexibility.
We all have a Monica closet, that common area that’s a catch-all for everything from outdoor equipment to gift wrap to party decor. Move those items to the downstairs storage bin they belong in and convert the space into something truly useful. Here, Houston-based designer Marie Flanigan created a mini bar out of a guest house closet. “I wanted to make the studio-style space functional for visitors, so I included a washer, dryer, hanging space, general storage, pantry, and of course, a coffee bar for added hospitality,” she says. Bonus: These amenities are cleverly concealed behind doors to keep the space sleek.
Ashley Poskin’s vibrant pantry, a project commissioned to her for a fun article, is both satisfyingly beautiful and budget-friendly. “Because there were so many boxes in all different shapes, sizes, and colors on the top shelf, they just looked messy,” Poskin says. “Lining them up in the ROYGBIV color scheme ended up being a really great, cost-effective way to organize without purchasing any more boxes or bins.” I Spy challenge: Can you spot the word “happy”?
“Nothing makes me happier than an organized pantry,” says food blogger Jamielyn Nye, whose wall-installed can organizer is satisfyingly flush with the surrounding shelves. “Using bins and a can organizer helps me to find what I’m looking for and rotate what comes in and out,” Nye says.
Low on shelf space? Install a rail and hooks across the top for hanging storage options. “The idea of the brass pole came about because we had to box in the load-bearing steel beam, so it was the perfect opportunity to make use of that surface” says the Venetian Pantry’s Martina Casonato. “It reminded me of old Italian grocery shops, where it is quite common to find hanging tomatoes, chilis. or salami left to cure and dehydrate.”
Who says you have to sacrifice form over function? Rocky Hedge Farm’s Sarah Blankenship’s walk-in pantry is a masterclass in achieving both. “I take pleasure in cooking homemade meals for my family, and my beloved collection of cast-iron skillets is a prized part of that,” she says. “With the narrow pantry we built, I wanted to make sure I could display these skillets and keep them easily accessible.” The result is nothing short of Marie Kondo–approved.
Forgoing color for a restrained palette is a practice in finding balance. Whether you’re going for a variation between pure white and jet black or choosing just one, the possibilities and styles in this framework are limitless. “There’s something timeless about a monochromatic, black-and-white look in kitchen and pantry spaces,” says Julie Dykema, director of in-home organizing at the Container Store. “While we love using colorful solutions, the contrasting tones and materials give it a classic feel that will outlast any trends that may come and go.”
Whether you’re using a label maker, a Cricut machine, removable chalkboard labels, or a special marker, making labels is a foolproof way to keep track of all those items you’ve removed from their informative packaging. “I chose to label everything in the pantry for a few reasons,” says the Identité Collective’s Anastasia Casey, whose pantry storage is the stuff of our organization-obsessed dreams. “Firstly, it makes it really easy to see what items need to be replenished when creating our grocery list…[it] also helps us stick to healthy snacking.”
Who knew food prep could be this much fun? For the ultimate convenience, put your cereal (or grains or candy) in a dispenser for easy access like this perfect alignment created by the Collected Interiors team. Your kids will never nag you for their favorite Cheerios snack again.
The most artful design come from nature, and produce makes for the best of styling props. Take a cue from this Madrid apartment pantry (home of screen legend Ava Gardner) and display your beautiful food with open front bins. Whether you’re adding fruit, vegetables, or curious-looking fare like wild mushrooms or misshapen potatoes, it would be a waste if they weren’t enjoyed visually before delightfully cooked up.
Clutter can be an ever constant eyesore, but this lovely pantry, designed by Studio Hus’s Tatum Kendrick, promises to keep those bulky items out of sight and out of mind. “Our client loves to entertain throughout the year and needed a room to keep all of her various dishware, vases, and overflow pantry items,” Kendrick says. “We wanted an old-world feel and therefore designed the double bead shaker cabinets to maximize her storage.” The cabinets were painted in a Farrow & Ball Cromarty with Van Cronenberg unlacquered brass hardware.
Rule number one in the official organization manual: Every container has its own separate-but-equal function. In this vibrant candy shop-esque pantry, Little Label Co.’s Natalie Manoushian used different types of containers for appealing variation of materials, height, and display utility. “Labeling and storing your products in the correct container has become paramount to the organizing process,” she says. “Not only does it add an element of design and style to your kitchen but once you label something and store it in you have created a permanent home for your goods.” Plus, it’s oh-so-pretty.
For designer Ashley Montgomery, layering and texture needn’t come at the cost of functionality. “I am a big believer that everything should have a purpose or multifunction,” she says. “Incorporate vintage or rustic pieces in with your day to day items… and actually use them.” Hot tip: incorporate your electrical decisions into your pantry design so you can plug appliances in for minimal transitions.
Don’t have a dedicated pantry area? This 1870s carriage house in Bedford, New York, has charming open shelving made of reclaimed wood that is perfectly suitable for a few jars of baking essentials. We love how these rustic glazed pots can double up as secret food storage.
This butler’s pantry in a sprawling Connecticut farmhouse could make any city dweller second-guess their life choices—especially when it comes to food storage space. This vestibule, which connects the side entrance to the original foyer, offers enough storage to free up the countertops for freshly cut blooms. Nevermind us, we’ll be in the butler’s pantry instead of the kitchen all morning!

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