by Cindi 

Corner walk-in pantry, no corner cabinet!


This is one of those ideas where you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of this before?” I’m still struggling with my kitchen design. Working with a designer did not work out for me. I don’t want a row of cabinets slapped up on a wall. I want a thoughtful, workable design and I cannot afford the type of designer who could design my kitchen. So like most things I cannot afford outright, I’ll figure out a way to do it myself. This kitchen has been difficult to design because I am starting with nothing. I’ve never lived in this house so I have no basis of what works and what doesn’t, but I know with patience and consistent hard work, I can figure it out. I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit on, but it is helping.

I know I want the front of the refrigerator to be flush with the surrounding cabinets. The average refrigerator is 10″ deeper than base cabinets. Counter depth refrigerators are crazy expensive. I don’t have a lot of wall space on the north wall and I want to put the refrigerator there so it does not overwhelm the kitchen. You will have to walk into the kitchen and then turn around to see the refrigerator. I can move the corner cabinet forward so it will be flush with the front of the refrigerator but I would need to add the expensive spinner thingy so I can reach everything inside. Even at Ikea prices that would amount to over $300 for just the base cabinet and I would end up with an awkward tiny counter and wall cabinets that are unusable because they are hard to reach.

Refrigerator is just too close to the corner to make the counter space useable.  This is a screen shot from the IKEA kitchen planner website.
Refrigerator is just too close to the corner to make the counter space useable. This is a screen shot from the IKEA kitchen planner website.

I’ve been stumped on the kitchen design for months. I decided to give up and look at ideas for the under the stairs pantry/closet instead. Why do I always find the answer just when I am about to give up? A corner pantry! I (or my guys) can probably build this for less than the $300 I would have spent on just the base cabinet and I’ll have usable storage from floor to ceiling. I’ll have a place to put brooms and mops as well as other kitchen items. Once I noticed the first corner pantry, I saw it everywhere.

Imagine this photo flipped with the refrigerator on the right.

The corner pantry can be worked into any kitchen style. I can use cupboard doors or even a standard door, which will probably be much cheaper and will give me a place to put a pop of color. The photos above are from Fair warning – this site is addictive. I’ve spent hours, but I’ve enjoyed every minute. I have many ideabooks jammed packed with ideas.

I’ll need at least 48″ along each wall to allow enough room for a door large enough to enter, at least 24.” I can size it to perfectly align the kitchen sink under the window. I’ll put the pull out trash can between the pantry and the sink. The dishwasher will be on the other side of the sink making for simple after meal cleanup.

kitchen design with corner pantry
The red area is the built in corner closet/pantry.

I’m really excited about this idea. It is now 3am and I need to get to sleep.

  • Love the corner cabinet! So very practical and what fun you could have with a door. When our house flooded our kitchen had to be redone and I was able to make my long, skinny kitchen have more counter space. Sadly I did have to give up my gas stove, but I gained storage and counter space. Over my fridge is a cabinet where my cookie sheets slip in to stand on their side. Love that. I have one set of cabinets that I left the doors off of so I would have bookshelves for all my cookbooks. Wish I had had a corner to make a corner cabinet.

  • This is the first I have checked your site in awhile. Sorry about the knee and love your pantry and other kitchen ideas. Can’t wait to see all your pictures too.

  • Hi, did you ever finish your kitchen with a corner pantry next to the refrigerator? If so, I would love to see some pics of the finished project. We have the same dilemma in our kitchen (refrigerator will be too close to corner) and we thought of putting in a corner pantry, but I’m a little nervous about how it will look right next to the refrigerator surround. Please let us know how yours came out! Thanks for the idea!

  • I’ve seen tons of pictures of corner pantry’s and have looked high and low for actual instructions on how to build one. We are trying to put one together and we are failing miserably. Are there any videos or written instructions on the miter cuts that have to be made and how to figure in different door sizes? Thanks

    • No special instructions. The walls are ordinary wall construction. We had more space along one wall than the other to fill. A competent carpenter should have no problem with this. If you are going it alone, use graph paper and make test cuts. Our house is old. No angle is the same.

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