No pantry? No problem! This viral hack shows you how to make one using a display cabinet

A walk-in pantry may be the dream, but this furniture hack is the next best thing for small spaces

Glass jars containing dry food on a shelf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nearly every home enthusiast dreams of a walk-in pantry. Like a large kitchen island, a pool house, or a sweeping driveway, they've become one of those markers of success in a home, so much so that we're led to think a beautifully organized, designated space for your food storage means you've made it in life. 

The problem is that a pantry of any kind, let alone a walk-in one, is a distant reality for most of us. A small kitchen just doesn't permit the space for one, and even those with a larger floor plan might be shocked at the cost of one of these food storage spaces. If this sounds familiar but you'd still like a designated spot to store your food that isn't a cupboard, we have the solution - and it comes in the form of a display cabinet. 

This genius hack comes courtesy of home renovator Medina Grillo (@grillodesigns) who shares her beautiful home updates on her Instagram account. Faced with a small kitchen that doesn't allow for its own walk-in pantry, she decided to get creative with this clever upcycling project. 

A fan of thrifting and adding her own touch to vintage finds, Medina was inspired to transform an old display cabinet she found into a beautiful mini pantry. The large free-standing cabinet not only makes an aesthetically pleasing food storage idea, but it's a really simple solution for anyone with a galley kitchen or a limited space who wants their own pantry but doesn't have the space. 

We love the charm of the vintage cabinet, but if you want to recreate this idea you could always buy a new display cabinet and just repurpose it as a pantry. The beauty of them is that they look great in any space so if there isn't space in your kitchen, it won't look out of place in your living room or dining room. If you don't have the floor space available for a freestanding one, keep your eye out for a wall-mounted glass-fronted cabinet, instead. 

For those new to furniture hacking, the great news is that this idea is super easy to do and there are limitless opportunities to customize it to your own taste. To get started on her DIY project, Medina sanded her display cabinet with low-grit paper before prepping the glass panels with tape ready for painting. Before going in with her color she primed with an undercoat (opting for the trusty Zinsser B-I-N shellac primer, of course) and then applied her navy shade with a roller. We think Lick's shade Blue 06 is a pretty accurate color match.

For the finishing touches to her mini pantry, Medina then wallpapered the backing with a simple leaf design to add some depth and applied sheer linen curtains for a cleaner look when not in use. Decanting her dry foods into uniform glass containers gives it that oh-so-satisfying level of pantry organization that we all crave. 

This makeshift pantry idea is so easy to do and it proves that anyone can create beautiful food storage no matter how much space they have available. It certainly has the Livingetc seal of approval. 

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.