If you’re building your dream home, a custom pantry is likely at the top of your kitchen wish list. Today’s homeowners are looking for ways to maximize their kitchen storage in a modern way that utilizes the most of their kitchen space. The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s the one spot of the house that you’ll spend a significant amount of time in multiple times a day. That’s part of the reason why open-concept homes are so popular. Modern kitchen designs are about cabinet space, sleek countertops and creative storage solutions.

Pantries in custom home designs are meant for kitchens that are lived in. They are meant for storage and snacks and are easy to organize. If you’re considering building a new home, Colby Construction can help you design a modern pantry that will work for you and your family.

From cabinets devoted to staples to walk-in storage, pantries aren’t just limited to larger homes – even smaller kitchens can usefully incorporate them into their floorplan.

Maximize The Storage In Your Custom Dream Pantry Design

picture of a pantry with a sliding wooden doorThe main part of a pantry’s job is to store food, supplies, and small appliances. Even if you’re going for minimalism in your floor plan, you’re still want extra essentials and will want a place to store them. Because of this, maximizing your pantry space is crucial.

One of the easiest ways to maximize your storage is to install a rolling element at the bottom of your pantry. If you’ve chosen cabinets, you can easily install a drawer. If you have open wire shelving, rolling shelves are a great option. A rolling element on the bottom shelf is more likely to be used for items at the bottom shelf if you can access them easily.

Another easy way to maximize storage is to ensure your shelves go up to the top. Depending on your ceiling height, there could be a lot of unused space in the top 1-3 feet of your pantry. This space may be a bit less accessible and is best for placing items that don’t get used in everyday cooking.

Varying Shelf Heights

An easy way to make the most of your storage in your pantry is to vary shelf heights. Nothing is worse than having to find alternative storage for unusually tall boxes. Having a pantry should mean you aren’t storing your cereal boxes above the refrigerator. When planning out your pantry, think about having shelves spaced out between 10” and 20”. The taller shelves should be toward the bottom, with the tallest in the middle at counter height. This will help with some of our other custom dream pantry ideas later on.

Depending on your pantry and ceiling height, you can fit between five and nine shelves. Some customers even put a sliding shelf or drawer at the bottom of their pantries for maximum storage potential. Colby Construction can help you with the latest trends in custom kitchen storage solutions.

Mixing and matching the space is also a great solution. If one wall has size shelves, it doesn’t mean it has to be the same throughout. Don’t be afraid to mix and match sizes on all available spaces.

picture of your dream pantry with white cupboards picture of a pantry with shelving and counters

Space for Small Appliances

If you don’t like the clutter of appliances out on the kitchen counters, then you will want to design your pantry with space to house them in there. Dedicate one of your shelves to your less-used small appliances to keep your counters clutter-free.

An alternative option is to plan for an extra countertop in your pantry with added electrical outlets. This way, you can leave the toaster in the pantry and have extra room to cook for when you’re entertaining. A great option in larger pantries is to even have the microwave, mixer and extra refrigeration in it.

If you don’t have room for counters but still plan on having multiple appliances in the pantry, like coffee makers, toasters and blenders, consider rolling shelves. This way, you can pull the shelf out to use in the pantry. Be sure to have electric outlets available for the appliances too.

white and cream kitchen pantry

Storage Containers

Make sure to utilize storage containers to help organize your pantry items. We’ve all seen the perfect Pinterest boards with perfectly organized storage containers lining the shelves. There are glass, plastic, wire, wicker and even more options. Finding the right choice for your pantry should be an easy task, but there are some aspects to consider.


First, consider the budget. Storage containers can range from a few dollars per piece to over $50. Pre-planning your pantry and what needs to go in a storage container versus what can stay in its original container will help you stay within the budget.


Second, think about the material you’d like your storage containers to be made out of, such as glass, plastic, etc. Many people prefer to store their food in glass containers, which, while more expensive, tends to last longer and have more benefits like resistance to absorbing odors and air-tight seals. There are lots of options within the glass family. Consider glass jars that come with labels to match modern kitchen designs. Another easy solution is going with the tried-and-true Mason jars.

Plastic options are more affordable and can be better for families with small children because they tend to be more durable. Typically, you can purchase these at retailers with many of the same labeling options to match our modern kitchen designs. Don’t be afraid to mix and match your options. Wicker baskets on the bottom shelf make great options to store bulk toilet paper and prepackaged snacks. Then on the eye-level shelves, you can use plastic or glass to keep things like sugar, flour and rice. Most importantly, when you’re picking out storage containers for your new pantry, make sure you’re choosing a system that you can keep up with. Unused storage systems are one of the leading causes of food waste, which can affect your daily budget.

Hidden Storage

If you love to cook, seasonings can be one of the hardest things to store and store neatly. When you do store them, they can look messy and you may forget what you have. If you’re looking to keep your kitchen tidy, consider some hidden storage options in your pantry, like under cabinet spice racks.

Another option is to use a combination of open storage and cabinets in your pantry. Countertop height cabinets in your pantry can help you keep some of the more unsightly items hidden away, like cleaners, paper products and those snack cakes we’re hiding from our children.

Tricky Corners

Any time you’re putting shelves in a square room, you will end up with some tricky corners that can be tough to keep organized. Tricky corners are great places to store things like brooms and mops. They keep them out of the way and contained to a defined space.

If your shelves create those tricky corners, there are still other options. The larger shelves are a great place to keep paper products. On the smaller shelves, consider purchasing a Lazy Susan so that all of the items stored in the corner are easily reached.

Another way to maximize storage in corners is by off-setting the shelving so that one shelf is vertical and the next shelf is perpendicular. Alternatively, if you’ve chosen to go with cabinets, corner-specific drawers are a more popular option.

kitchen shelving

Mix and Match Your Dream Pantry

A custom pantry design can be customized to fit you and your family’s needs. Your dream home should include storage and pantry options that are best for you.

One of our favorite design suggestions is to mix and match styles in your dream pantry. Not all pantries are built the same, and some deserve to be shown off. We can mix and match cabinets and open shelving on the building side, and when your home is complete, you can finish the mix-and-match with storage containers. You can mix and match everything from materials to textures to colors in our custom home designs.

Last, don’t forget about the storage opportunity the back of the pantry door provides. You can use a shoe rack and store tumblers or install an over-the-door rack for the most used items in your kitchen.

picture of a white kitchen storage space

Contact Colby Construction to Create Your Dream Pantry

When designing your custom home, don’t overlook the importance of the pantry. From stand-alone to walk-in to butler’s pantries, they are an integral part of the kitchen. The detail and design of this space is just as important as all of the other features in your home. Once you’re moved in, you will be happy you took the time to think it through!

Check out some fabulous dream pantry ideas on our Pinterest page!