Give Your Pantry Some Decorating Love


There is a special group of pantry enthusiasts that live to take their pantry to the next level. I'm talking decorating the pantry, and I'm right there with you. Who doesn't get a special little endorphin rush when opening their pantry door and seeing a big 'ol charm factor inside?

Whether you have a generous walk-in pantry or a tiny one, there is a pantry budget for everyone. For smaller pantries, you can get your hands on discounted scraps and project leftovers to have fun with. Be daring and put a little bling in your pantry!

How to decorate a pantry

Decorate a pantry uses the same finishes you would in the rest of the home. Try out wall paper, bright paint, special flooring, anything to transform a little room. A pantry is a place where you can splurge when your normal budget says "I just can't."  

Decorating a pantry is a great opportunity to make mistakes, try out new styles, and learn a new DIY skill. It's time to show your pantry some love!

Foundational: Doors,  Shelves, and Trim Enhance Pantry Beauty

Any good pantry starts with a good foundation. Notice in the photo below, that there is corner molding up near the ceiling. Take special note of the carpentry work on the left side, how it is stepped to fit the size of the contents. The space is painted a pleasant color and the floor is a neutral finish. Obviously, there was great care in the planning of this pantry. The photographer said that they worked with a carpenter on the project. This thoughtfully designed pantry would be in anyone's budget.

Finished pantry with simple details of trim and carpentry work.

Finished pantry with simple details of trim and carpentry work.

Baseboard trim

When you look at pantries that really "sing," take notice of the trim around the base of the room, if it has it.  It's a thing in the background that people don't notice, but gives a sense of "finished" to the room. Things like humble baseboard trim make you feel as if you are in a room, not a closet.  Sure, you can have fancy, ornamental trims that are eye-catching and hard to ignore, but it really is the simple stuff that can pull a design together.

A distinctive pantry door and door trim

I admit it, I have a Pinterest board on just doors.  Carved doors, whimsical doors, antique vintage doors.  So many missed opportunities, I wish I had more door openings in my house.  I think it is universally accepted that a pantry door doesn't have to match any other door (I love breaking the design rules!).  If you're reading this you understand that pantries are magical places and deserve a distinctive framed portal to enter within.  Don't let the opportunity pass you by.

Flooring and countertops

Imagine your vision of a pantry and looking down to see the perfect pantry floor. This design element can be the one thing that pulls together your pantry look. Break away from convention and install a custom mosaic pattern, or a fun checkered floor. Pantry floors are your chance to try something out that may be too trendy for the rest of the home. Go for it!

Glass finishes

Add another texture into the room simply by adding a cabinet or cupboard with glass door inserts. Try opaque, frosted, or textured glass for a special look. Glass gives an airy feel to a pantry and adds another texture to the room, but in a subtle way.

Pantry paint

This might come as a surprise. but many people don't finish their pantry closets (as in never finishing the drywall). It's a room that just doesn't get love. Certainly, an opportunity to do better. Typically, light colors are used in a pantry to allow for better visibility. That won't stop a few daring souls who want to try a dark hue. Paint could even take an artistic form, with a mural that catches the eye.

Special lighting

Imaginative light fixtures can be the crowning glory to your pantry. We've all seen the Pinterest pictures of gorgeous chandeliers in surprisingly tiny spaces. This is your chance to add a one-of-a-kind light fixture with some bling power (on deep discount, you know the one you want to buy but you can't think of a good reason!) and pop it in your pantry for some ooh-la-la!  

Or add strip lights to add drama to the pantry. Motion-trigger lights can be a real game changer in deep pantries.

True story:  there is a campground in Valentine, Nebraska that has a chandelier in the women's bathroom and fresh-cut flowers on the wall.  This is a campground.  It is hands-down, the coolest, attention-grabbing decor move I have ever seen.  Don't you think your pantry deserves better?

Wall decor, artwork

Yes, put artwork inside of the pantry.  Consider it a gift to yourself every time you open the door. Artwork makes the pantry feel like a hidden, secret gem.  It can be a miniature piece of art, or a framed, inspirational quote that only you can see. If you're afraid framed art will get knocked off the wall, try out a fun or inspirational wall decal.  Pantry signs (that usually say the words "pantry") are not hard to find, especially with the popular farmhouse style of decorating.

Wall treatments

Some people buy shoes, I'm a sucker for wallpaper. Yes, the wallpaper trend might have gotten a little carried away in the 80s, but secretly, don't we all wish we could sneak it in somewhere? That "somewhere" is the pantry! Wall paper designs are endless, you can even get retro prints!

A window

I'm not talking just any window, this is a "SURPRISE" window.  My favorite architect of all time, Sarah Susanka, talks about "surprise" windows.  These are often pantry windows of unusual size and shape, tucked away in a corner, unexpected. Surprise windows are a neat little design feature that adds a pinch of character to a room.

Over to you!

What is your favorite way to decorate a pantry? Share a picture with us and we would be happy to use it on Everything Pantry!

FEATURE PHOTO CREDIT: GPA Photo Archive, White House Christmas, 2020. The China Room of the White House, with its vintage stove and refrigerator, is seen decorated for the Christmas season Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks).

About the author 

Renee Matt

Renee is a former kitchen designer, home remodeling enthusiast (having lived through several DIY projects), and an Iowa farmwife. Renee is passionate about preparedness, garden skills, and knowing where her food comes from. She uses her technical background and expertise to bring the Everything Pantry website to life.

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Pantry Talk for Pantry Enthusiasts!

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