custom ikea pax kitchen pantry

Kitchen Chronicles: Ikea Pax Pantry Reveal!

Ladies and gents, I present to you our finished Ikea Pax Pantry:


Let’s first back up to where we left off in my last post

The pantry was up, but with no hardware, crown molding, or insides.

First thing to do was crown molding. I had my dad come over to help, which was a good idea because this project came with more challenges than anticipated.

Obstacle #1:  Cutting a special shape out of the molding where it met up with the cabinets above the door. My dad knocked this one out of the park—a perfect fit.

Obstacle #2: Getting the crown to squeeze in above and be level with both cabinets. The crown height and gap between the cabinets was the same, so we had to sand down part of the crown where the fitment was a bit too tight. Then, we discovered the left wall stuck just a tad more than the cabinets so we were left with this gap:

Not only that, but the gap was quite a bit worse on the right side (walls, ceilings and floors are rarely ever perfectly square, so this was bound to happen….)

To help close the gap, we nailed up a small piece of wood (just on the right side where it was really bad:

I was able to caulk everything in to completely hide the gaps. What would we do without caulk?!

Obstacle #3: There was still a visible gap above the makeshift door on the right:

To fix this, I cut a scrap piece of wood and glued it on to the back of the crown.

There wouldn’t be any pressure on it (the door magnet was keeping the door from swinging back), so the glue will hold just fine. I caulked & painted and now it looks like part of the crown.

Just in time, our knobs arrived in the mail and we got those on last night (these are the same ones on our cabinet to tie them all in):

And now our pantry is finally complete and ready to enjoy!

I’m loving how built in and coordinated it looks next to the rest of the cabinets:

Ready to see the insides?

We went with affordable Pax shelves and Komplement wire baskets for organization:

The arrangement may change as time goes on, but for now there’s more than enough storage.

Let’s see what’s behind door #1, shall we?

The top shelves house our less frequently used dishware, baking supplies and canned foods.


To free up counter space, we decided to store our toaster here. Before putting the pantry up, Brad drilled a hole through the back and connected an extension cord to the outlet so it’s plugged in and fully functional:

We very rarely use it so this was the perfect place for us to keep it.

These pull out baskets are my favorite. So convenient, and just $15/ea! We use them to keep our vitamins/medications within easy reach, along with dry goods we use on a daily basis.

I arranged our small appliances on the bottom so they are within easy reach.

Let’s see what’s behind door #2…

Here we have more rarely used entertaining items, pasta/oats/starches, then cereal/condiments. We keep larger dry food storage and chips/snacks in the baskets, then our glass jars with miscellaneous goods/spices and paper towel storage on the bottom.

And of course, our mop and broom storage behind the door on the far right:

I just love walking into the kitchen every day now with this view greeting me…

Quite an improvement from a few months ago, right?

It’s the one completely finished little section of the kitchen. Speaking of “finished”… now that we’re definitely past the half way point, I owe you guys an updated “what’s left to-do list”! Here it is (not necessarily in this order):

1. Build the bar
This includes building a base for and installing our cabinets, installing a wine fridge, and DIYing a wood plank counter top. This should be completed this weekend.


2. Assemble & build the bench seat under the window
We hope to at least get started this weekend.

3. Assemble & build the bench seat on the back of the island
Same process as the window bench seat—plan to finish by the end of next week!

4. DIY bench seat cushions
I’ll be using plywood/foam/fabric, similar to how I made our headboard.

5. Buy & install backsplash
It’s already chosen (I think), and we’re hiring out the labor.

6. Buy & install stacked stone on bar wall
Hiring this one out too.

7. DIY floating shelves over the main counter and bar
Two shelves for each area—I found plans from Ana White and am anxious to give them a try.

8. Simplify the railing
We’re going to cut out the decorative spindles to keep it simple and less 70’s.

9. Buy & install window shades
Going with a simple bamboo style shade for both large windows.

10. Build a farmhouse dining table
My dad and I will tackle this project using Ana White’s plans.

11. Hang pendant lights over the dining table.
I bought two of these:

12. Accessorize
I’ll be adding a large jute rug, pillows, a DIY chalkboard, artwork, herbs/plants, and stocking the open shelves—this part is my favorite!

I’ve set a goal to finish everything by my birthday—April 25th (less than 7 weeks away, eek!). We have some friends coming from Florida to stay with us that weekend and it would be so nice to have everything done and be able to relax and enjoy it—without boxes and paint and dust in the way.

Better get started… be back in a few days with our new bar!

26 thoughts on “Kitchen Chronicles: Ikea Pax Pantry Reveal!

  1. Jenna, I can't get enough of your new kitchen. Your pantry is awesome, I'm in LOVE with the ceiling/beams, your cabinets make me drool, and I can't wait to see the finished result!! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. I officially have kitchen (and studio for that matter) ENVY! 🙂 Happy Weekend!

  2. Beautiful Kitchen and future plans!!! Love it!
    Just an FYI .. before you cut out decorative spindles in railing check code in area for distance between railing spindles. In some places it can be 3″ others 3.5 and others 4″. this will matter when/if you have a child to visit or your own or if you sell house.

  3. It looks so built in now! I really love it! Howeverrrrr….I'm still confused by your choice with the hinges on the broom door.Obviously it's not my kitchen but I just wondered why you guys chose to put them on the outside? Were you unable to hinge it from the inside? If the hinges weren't there that door would practically disappear!

  4. Never heard of that stuff, what great idea! I'll definitely look into it. It looks like they only have three color options, none of which were exactly what I had in mind so I'll have to compare costs to see if it's worth it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thank you! I know the gaps would be larger than code if we removed them. We plan on replacing all of the railing eventually, it's just not in the budget right now. We understand our house won't be toddler friendly but we don't ever have toddlers over so I think we'll be okay for a bit 🙂

  6. Thanks Nicole! We had trouble getting our small cordless screwdriver in between the cabinet and wall so we just decided to mount them outside. I agree it probably would look cleaner if they were hidden but I don't really mind them since we have so many other black pieces of hardware/accents in the room. I might revisit it down the road but for now we have so many other things to work on, so I'm just trying to focus on those!

  7. Jenna- love following along on your blog. I am a Florida girl , so I have been following along since your Florida home. This house just takes the cake though. You have such vision, and you are able to successfully fulfill that vision. Everything is coming together so well. I am hearting that wood tray behind door #1 in the pantry. Is it vintage? I think I would be tempted to let it shine somewhere on the outside where all could see its beauty! Btw,are you renting your FL home?

  8. Thank you Sherri! I'm fairly certain it is vintage—it was in an abandoned garage. I'm trying to figure out somewhere I can display it because I love it too!

    And yes, are renting out our FL house to a sweet couple 🙂

  9. Hi! I just want to tell you that you have fans in Norway (me!). I follow your blog and I love it. You inspire me so much. So I hope you keep up the blogging! 🙂

  10. It all looks amazing I am trying to convince the hubs to put planking on our main wall in the kitchen I keep showing him pictures of your's and saying how easy it would be lol Can't wait to see it all finished oh and how are the cat's getting a long now hope they are both settled with eachother Sian xx

  11. I actually just realized/remembered something else… the door won't open if you install the hinges on the inside. It will close but it won't swing out, you need a special cabinet hinge for that. I think we tried that first and then realized we had to mount them on the outside 🙂

  12. I hope he agrees to it! The cat situation is improving… Biscuit is totally fine with Susie now but Susie is still defensive. Susie will get right up in Biscuits face and they'll touch noses, but as soon as Biscuit makes an advance Susie freaks out/hisses. We're still working on it!

  13. Well, if you turn them 180° and put them on the side of the door, not the back (just like regular doors)…
    But if it doesn't bother you, who cares 😉

  14. Just came across you blog and ell instantly in love. I admire all your DIY projects and intend to tackle the headboard project soon. I also have the perfectionist bug but like you mentioned in a post I'm also learning to letting thing ride instead of letting all hell lose because it's not. SO yeah I really commend all your work, and I hope to be able to boast of quite a number of DIYs and a lot more hands-on projects. Anyway my question for ya lol, how and what did you use to label your glass jars/mason jars on the bottom shelf of the pax-pantry? I saw the blue circle thingies and figured they were labeld. I would like to create sth like this so if you can send a link my way that would be great. Thanks so much and more power to ya lol. Can't wait to see what more is in store for your house 3 🙂

  15. Hello:
    Your Pax Panty is awesome! I have been contemplating a similar undertaking but have been worried about the weight tolerances of the Pax shelves/drawers/baskets. Now that your panty has been in use for a few months, have you had any issues with the load bearing capacities of the Pax interior pieces? I have been trying to think of ways to fortify them. Any suggestions would be extremely appreciated.

  16. No problems for us but we don't have a huge amount of weight on them. A couple of the shelves do have quite a bit of weight but they aren't filled with rows of heavy plates or anything. The Ikea website probably has weight limits for the shelves on their product page—I would check that first! Worst case scenario you could always replace it with more substantial pieces of wood and secure it through the sides (or studs in the wall).

  17. Loved what you did for your Pantry project and appreciated the sources provided. (ie: Pax frames with Bergsbo doors.) Your kitchen also appears to be coming together beautifully! -Brenda-
    P.S: Re using the 'shellac' Zinsser primer on the doors; personally I think 'the all purpose type' (blue and white can) would have sufficed as I have used it on every type of surface imaginable and have always had excellent results whereas the 'shellac' type have applied it only to new wood to prevent the bleeding of knots.

  18. Hi, Jenna Sue. So thrilled to find this post! I am planning to install two pantries on either side of a big window in my dining room. How wide and deep are the PAX frames you used? I'm finding the Ikea options a little confusing: some models come in certain depths and widths, but no doors, or only sliding doors, sliding baskets only work with certain dimensions. Thanks for any help you can offer!

  19. Love,love, love the pantry! So much so I’m ready to do it to my kitchen. One question I have is how is it standing up to use after a year? Anything you would do differently? So excited to have found your blog. Can’t wait to implement some of your ideas into my house.?❤️

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