Butler's pantry make-over using Ikea cabinets and accessories

Butler’s pantry make-over using Ikea cabinets

Dear Diary,

I want to share a fun project I completed last week that involved lots of tinkering, thinking, plan drawings and manoeuvering.   This pantry was not as functional as it could be, wasting a lot of space and frankly not the prettiest space!   Since the client’s tiny cottage kitchen has very little bench space, it was vital to incorporate that into this plan.  Let me show you how I did a Butler’s pantry make-over using Ikea cabinets and accessories for under $2500!  This is a fantastic DIY project any one can accomplish.

(the door in the photo below leads to the kitchen)

As you can see, very little workable space.  (I have already removed another shelf like this when I took the before pic).  The door in the photo below leads outside,  but is never used so we decided to treat it as a window and place cabinets in front of it. 

Planning is essential in such a project.  I use a drafting program called Chief Architect but for this simple project the android application worked wonders.  It lets you see and feel the space before you spend one cent.  Planning on paper is just as good but for me, I prefer to see it 3 dimensional, it just helps clients visualise the space better.  I provided them with a few options. The first one, using corner upper cabinets and leaving the door to the outside open.

The next one was the one they loved and settled for.  I placed flat wall cabinets in this plan as I felt the corner uppers made the space feel to cramped. The next photo shows the door cornered off by free-standing cabinets.  They can always take them out so no structural changes were made, keeping the costs under control.


Walking into the pantry from the kitchen, a plate rack on the right wall displays all her favourite plates and mugs, and is extra storage that doesn’t have to take more space in the small kitchen.  Hooks on the side holds her aprons. Under counter lighting help illuminate the bench tops and is used at night without their upper light to add ambience to the kitchen.

On the left wall in the entry way, hangs a few frames with her beloved rooster pics.. I assume by now you have figured this was the theme for the pantry? ;-).  I used fabric panels from fabric.com, cut them and placed them in these frames from Kmart.  (There are 6 pictures per panel).  The big frame on the rear wall was an old mirror that broke and I could re-use for this area.  I love how it fits perfectly with the light coloured features of the cabinets.

Around the corner on the left hangs all her utensils on these handy Ikea rails and is also the home of the kettle, toaster and microwave. Notice the cute artificial plant and container from Ikea also hanging on the rail, just for a little flair and fun!

First the before…..

And now…

Opposite from this, is the wall you have seen already when you walked in, but now only viewed from the front.  (a wide-angle lens does distort the image a little, so I apologise for that!)  Under the wall cabinets a little decorative shelf holds her recipe box, tea towels, rolling-pin and some trinkets.  I HATE cables and wires, so I camouflaged this one in the corner with a gorgeous plant in a complimentary red container.

Just  a quick reminder of the before 😉 no work space, very little storage and generally not a very functional space.

“Sigh”  and here’s the AFTER!  What a difference, don’t you agree?!  All that storage!

I used the off-cuts from the bench top to make additional shelves  placed on wrought iron brackets to compliment her shelf, serviette dispenser and paper towel dispenser.  A great way to add extra storage and be decorative at the same time.  These stunning ceramic pumpkins were sourced from a local shop called Maison on Promenade and was perfect to hide the door handle.

I made the curtain in a matching Rooster fabric from fabric.com, including the chicken wire fabric and pompoms.  I fashioned a cover for her roaster/steamer with the leftover fabric, it protects from dust but is still easily accessible and ready to be used right there.

All the cabinets are from the Hitarp range, (I only used wall cabinets for top and bottom due to my space constraints).   The bench top is the Karlby oak and I used a local joinery company called Ausdens to cut the bench top to the template I provided them.  This is just one of those things especially with angles like these to NOT DIY if you don’t have the knowledge or tools.   The little gap left over from between the cabinets, I decided it be best utilised as a shelf.  All the client’s baking pans sits neatly inside a pull out basket and the top shelf would be fantastic to store cooking books.

A few more little details….

Well, it’s the end of the tour.  I hope you enjoyed this Butler’s pantry makeover with Ikea cabinets and accessories and that it inspires you to design your own pantry and get on the DIY wagon!

Next time I’ll show you how I made that little curtain. 😉




Article by Teresa

Australian Interior Designer / Decorator & Photographer. I share my style, my creativity and love for all things decor.

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