I am excited to bring you FOUR corner pantry layout plans today! If you are thinking there are no options for kitchen corners, you're in for a big surprise. Read on to find out about kitchen corner pantry size, shelving, counters, and door options.
Planning a corner pantry
When planning a built-in corner pantry, there are a few details to consider. Besides figuring out the size, thought should be given to the door, shelving, and counter.
Corner pantry door
There is no law that says a corner pantry door has to be at a 45° angle. A corner pantry is defined by the corner space it occupies. However, the layout of the corner pantry can limit the allowable space for a pantry door.
There is also no hard rule that a corner pantry even has to have a door. This is often the case when the pantry is so shallow that adding a door doesn't make sense.
The example to the right shows a generously, sized corner, open pantry. The owners could have easily opted for a door, there was certainly enough space for one.
Most people lean toward putting a door on the pantry to hide the mess - I would fall into that category!
As far as choosing a pantry door for a corner, have fun picking one out, just like any other pantry. Choose a unique pantry door that fits your style and personal tastes.
Corner pantry shelving ideas
Corner pantry layouts lend themselves to L-shape shelving. Sometimes shelf space can be expanded with additional side shelving to the left and right of the door. In most of the illustrations in this article, shelving is shown as 12" deep, the most standard size for pantry shelf depths.
Standard shelving sizes are only a suggestion, each homeowner can decide what depth fits their needs the best. In the larger corner pantry variations, deeper pantry shelves are a possibility, or a mix of standard and deeper shelving.
I hope you noticed the featured image in this article. It shows cubbies and L-shaped shelving, a unique approach to corner pantry shelving.
If you want to peek inside a pantry with wire-shelving, visit the "Three Pantries in One House" tour.
Corner pantries with counter
Is it even possible to squeeze in a counter into a corner pantry? Looking at the Pinterest image to the right, it is!
The benefit to this is hiding your "stuff." Homeowners also cite the dislike of kitchen corners with cabinets. For many people, these are compelling enough reasons to build in a tiny corner closet.
Illustrations below are for demonstration purposes only and should not be used for accurate measurements. Consult your carpenter or installer for more accurate measurements for your situation.
How small can a corner pantry be?
A corner pantry can be as small as walls positioned 48" from each corner, with an interior wall space of 42"-43". The walls that extend out perpendicular from the kitchen wall measure at 27" leaving 24" of interior pantry space to the left and right inside the pantry relative to the door. The arrangement results in approximately a 24" door opening at a 45° angle.
One note: the reason for the 27" depth is to clear the 24" of kitchen base cabinet/counter space that is often located on either side of kitchen corner pantry layouts.
When a corner pantry is too small
There is a point that a corner pantry can be too small. I came across a forum article where someone was considering a 37" length for each back wall, but retaining the 24" depth of each side wall. That amounts to a opening for access that is barely over 12".
There are corner kitchen cabinets that are designed to optimize kitchen corner space and do it miraculously well. Through the use of cabinet accessories, hidden items can be rotated easily within reach. Homeowners should seriously consider those solutions first instead of opting for an overly-small closet solution.
When small corner pantries makes sense
I can offer an example where a closet is the only choice. In a past remodel, more space was needed, but I could no longer buy more cabinets to match my existing ones. I was able to build a very, very narrow pantry closet into a corner, with an also, very narrow door. This closet effectively covered up ductwork running up the full corner, so it had a two-fold purpose.
It gave me space, but not much. It wasn't enough space for the typical 45° angle entrance. There was only enough frame space to fit the door, and hardly any left/right side space. My husband was able to fit 4" skinny shelves on the left side that butted up against the ductwork, and 12" deep shelves in the back of the closet.
Ultimately, it provided a little more storage space in the kitchen and covered up an ugly corner. Want to see how that remodel turned out and my replacement for my tiny closet? Visit "A Small Kitchen Gets a Mega Island" and "Tame Your Deep Roll-out Pantry Shelves."
Small corner pantry dimensions
Below are two illustrations of small corner pantry layouts. Included are additional thoughts for each solution.
A shallower version of a small pantry is achieved by extending the walls out only 13" - this leaves space for approximately a 24" door at a 45° angle. Craft Your Happiness did an amazing job documenting their adventure in making a shallow pantry complete with illustrations and dimensions. If this looks like something that would work for your situation, head over to their website.
The illustration below is what most people think of as a corner pantry, both in layout and size. The typical 48" out from each corner is a layout that has been duplicated across thousands of homes. So much so, that many people ask, are corner pantries outdated?
If you are considering any corner pantry, read the pros and cons of building one in the link provided above. Although I cite experts in the article that do not advise corner pantries, we all know that anyone with any type of pantry space is grateful to have it. Everyone's situation and design challenges are different, too.
Large corner pantry dimensions
Although a corner pantry has size limitations, there is some opportunity for larger sizes. In the illustrations below, corner pantry size is increased the more the wall space is expanded.
The first example shows an interior size of 55" x 55" x 24" and the second shows a corner pantry interior size of 48" x 68". Both are designed to blend in with the 24" deep kitchen cabinets that are adjacent to them.
Both of the plans could expand each back wall further. In the first example, the more back wall length is increased, the more wall space would increase to the left and side of the pantry door itself (currently there is just enough wall space to hinge the door). By increasing back walls up to 67" - additional 12" shelves to the left and right inside of the door could be added (expand the wall space if you want a deeper shelf).
The other benefit of expanding each back wall is increased room for a bigger pantry door. Some corner pantries only allow for the narrowest door - 24". That's fine if you are only reaching in with your arm, but stepping in with arms full would be awkward. Twenty-four inches is almost the exact width of an average size woman with arms out carrying items.
Corner pantries that disguise bigger rooms
If your floor allows for a creative corner pantry solution, your pantry can be as big as a walk-in room. Sounds incredible, doesn't it? The entrance would still be the corner of the kitchen layout, but the footprint expands past the boundaries of the kitchen corner walls.
A perfect example of this are hidden pantries. Hidden pantries often surprisingly push past the "expected" boundaries of a room. Their space can extend behind entire kitchen walls, such as an L-shape room or opening up into full rooms. This arrangement can happen in any kitchen floor plan, not only with the hidden pantry approach.
Consider breaking past traditional kitchen walls to fit a very unique pantry into your kitchen!
In this large corner pantry example below, the layout also has opportunity for expansion. In this case, the more the length of the left wall is expanded, the more wall space to the left and right of the door is added. Again, in this example, the layout is such that there is only enough space to hinge the door.
If the length of the right wall is increased, the door placement and angle essentially stays the same; the entrance is pushed further away from where it was in the example. It would also be possible to move the angle entrance to a side entrance if enough wall space allowed, but the angle proves useful in making a smoother transition to side cabinets.
In conclusion (and revisiting a retro design)
I hope you found new ways of thinking about corner pantry space. I sure had fun making these new illustrations. If you are ever out on the open range of the Internet, you will surely trip across my old drawings from the early days of the Everything Pantry website.
Here's one of those retro pantry plans that was happily linked across the World Wide Web (I don't think there were good sources for pantry design years ago, so any ideas were welcome!).