Project Pantry

In our main floor hallway lives a strange small nook. He resides between the side of the refrigerator, and the powder room. He’s tall and skinny at 81″ high, 15″ wide and 18″ deep.

We have lived with this weird nook for four years, and during that time Mr. Nook has held the broom, dustbin, dog food, soda bottles, and a plethora of other things you had no idea where to put. At parties, I have come across one or more people just hanging out in the nook, having a jolly good time.

But seriously though, what the heck is Mr. Nooks purpose?! We live in a small 12′ wide house, and real estate is prime. Mr. Nook was taking up valuable space, and not being very helpful.

Here is a look at the nook in all its glory. Sorry for the closeups. Even with a wide angle lens, this nook is hard to photograph.


To the left of the nook is the cover panel covering the side of our refrigerator. To the right is the door to the powder room.


The nook is even trimmed out with baseboard! It’s like a tiny little room.



Here you can see that it is framed up to be the same height as a regular door (but only for really skinny people).

We were at Ikea the other day picking up the last of our glass doors for the coffee bar, as Ikea went and discontinued ALL their current kitchens. We were still missing a few glass doors, so we hustled there to grab them before they sold them off. As you know, I cannot go to Ikea without perusing the AS IS section for possible project supplies. I was sorting through loose cabinet doors when I struck upon these doors.


They are Adel brown high cabinet doors meant for Ikea’s pantry system. The door style is Adel (same as our Kitchen) but in brown. Armed with an Ikea paper measuring tape, I noticed that the doors were almost the same size as my nook. The total height of the two doors was 79″ (my opening is 81″) and the width is bang on at 15″.

The doors were the wrong color for my kitchen, but they were…wait for it…$23 total.

The doors promptly got tossed onto the cart, and brought home with us, while I was giving fist bumps to random strangers and congratulating myself on a badass score.

I know what you’re thinking:

A.) The doors don’t even match my kitchen

B.) The nook isn’t even IN my kitchen

C.) I didn’t buy a cabinet to go along with the doors

All true. BUT I have a PLAN!


Step One: Lengthen the door an extra two inches. Fill the current hardware holes on the door, lightly sand, prime and paint to match my kitchen cabinets. (no really, it will match, I promise. I already tested it out by making my own cabinet cover panels for the coffee bar.)

Step Two: Trim out the door opening, add reinforcement for the hinges, hang the doors and add hardware.

Step Three: Deck out the inside of Mr. Nook with some badass storage solutions.

What kind of storage you say? Drumroll please…..PANTRY!

Here is the pantry plan:

Drawers for spice, pasta & boxed good storage.

Shelves for tins, bottles, jars and canisters of dry goods.

Sheet pan vertical storage.

Counter to set things down on. (Inspired by Karen’s pantry)

I will get started as weather permits (it’s darn cold in our garage right now!)

In the interim, check out my Kitchen board for some of my pantry inspiration.

Follow Kristen – Storefront Life’s board Kitchen: Modern + Industrial + Traditional on Pinterest.

What are your must haves for a pantry?



Author: Kristen

Kristen & her husband El Granto & their Vizsla Odin live in a converted Storefront in downtown Toronto.

14 thoughts on “Project Pantry”

  1. Brilliant, entertaining post. I luckily found this as I was googling to see if IKEA made larger plastic plugs than the tiddly M5 Vareira ones, that fit the bigger holes in the base and top of PAX wardrobes (any tips?). Only thing missing is your after pictures! I’ve just done an IKEA hack and it’s strangely satisfying 🙂

  2. One thing you might want to consider (if you haven’t already filled the hinge holes on the door): I built-in a cupboard for my tv in a similar cubby with IKEA doors and I found it much easier to buy their side panels (with all the existing holes) and use their hinges because it made hanging the doors straight (and having something other than drywall to screw those hinges holding heavy doors up) MUCH easier. It also afforded me all the side-holes so I could move shelves around later if I wanted to, or to use other IKEA system products (dampeners, etc.). And yeah, time to run out there and buy 2 more doors so I can build the second cabinet before they are out of stock!

    1. Oh the Ikea Blum hinges are the BEST! For sure plan on using those. I wanted to grab a cabinet frame as well, but after careful consideration, it just wasnt the best move. The frame came in a 12″ depth, and our nook is 18″ deep, so we would need to jerry rig it. Also, our 100 year old house is not very square, and neither is the nook. It is a full 15″ wide at the top, but above the baseboard it juts in about a half inch. Rather than spend hours futzing with the frame, we opted to make our own.

  3. Wait, Ikea is dropping ALL their existing kitchen lines? WHY?! I thought it was bad when they all but dropped their butcher block counters, but to drop the Adel line?!?!?!?!?!??!!? I guess I should stop by and pick up a couple of doors for the one cabinet I’ve got without them…

    Oh, as far as a pantry, I look for one that isn’t in the basement. Like mine is…. At least we did a bit of winter cleaning this last week and got rid of 80% of the food that we kept upstairs, leading to very little being in the “pantry” anymore…

    1. YEAH! ALL their current kitchen systems. They are switching to a more modular system (similar to the system they have had in place in Europe for a few years.) It should be nice, BUT for us old kitchen owners, its not good news. Hurry up and get those missing doors! We found the odd sizes were already selling out when we went at Christmas.

  4. I am a huge fan of the as-is section at Ikea. I started talking to someone in the queue one time about all the awesome stuff I’d found when the Kev gave me the big-eye look that says, “You are more excited about this than that person is.”

    1. My husband regularly tells me that exact same thing! You should have seen me when I discovered Ikea cabinet hole covers a few years back. I was so excited in the store, I though the employees were going to call security on my crazy ass!

  5. Thats is one odd nook. But just think- they could have drywalled over it and you would have had no idea that foot of storage existed!

    I have a nook beside my fridge which is kind of triangular, but there are windows on one side and a fridge on the other so I dont think I could just stick a door on it

    1. BUT imagine they drywalled over it, but left a secret door. I’VE ALWAYS WANTED A HOUSE WITH SECRET ROOMS! Except for.. like… secret dungeons. That shit is creepy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *