Before And After: My IKEA Basement Pantry

IKEA basement pantry, before and after.

Guys, we need to have a talk about IKEA.  I’ve discussed IKEA many, many times on Petit Elefant, because I’m obsessed. I love the aesthetic of IKEA like bonkers (yay for Scandinavian living!) and because it’s affordable.  Two of my favorite things in one place, plus: they have delicious meatballs.

pantry before picture

I’ve shown you all the projects I’ve done in my house using IKEA products over the years, including the beautiful home office my husband created out of an oddly shaped “craft room” in the basement.  Do you remember that?  There was this weird, unusable room in my basement my husband transformed into an office in a few days, using almost exclusively IKEA products.  I went away on a business trip and came home to a gorgeous, fully-functioning home office. I’m still in love with that room, five years later.

Then there was the remodel of my family room, which originally had wood paneled walls, pine cone wallpaper, and forest green carpet. After spending only $1,500 at IKEA, it’s a completely different space.

Our master bathroom remodel has a lot of IKEA elements as well, including a double vanity and a customized walk-in closet.

Basically, what I’m saying is that we’re huge IKEA fans over here.  Big time. So When IKEA contacted me and asked if I had a pantry that needed a little help from the IKEA Home Squad, my answer was a definite yes followed by “which one”?


IKEA has this amazing Home Tour Series where a trained, skilled, highly enjoyable squad of IKEA employees travels the country, making over one room at a time using only IKEA products.  It’s such a smart way to showcase all the different ways you can make IKEA work in your home, especially with tricky rooms that aren’t being utilized properly.


You should definitely check it out because I guarantee there’s a solution to an organizing or home decorating problem you have in one the renovations the squad has already done in homes across America. I mean, I’m a really organized person who already utilizes IKEA in my life, and the Home Squad blew my mind. They’re all IKEA employees who understand how the products work, so they come up with solutions you and I would never think of, like the re-design of my (former) disaster of a basement pantry.

Check it out.

basement storage pantry

We have this food storage room in my basement that’s been a problem since day one.  The shelves were thrown together with plywood and 2×4’s when the house was built (not by us) and it just never worked.  It’s a room we’ve talked about fixing for years, but haven’t gotten around to doing.  There was wasted space in-between shelves, not enough floor space to walk into the room, and a total disorganization of random nonsense, like my canning supplies mixed with my Ukrainian egg-dyeing stuff, and home cleaning supplies mixed with toiletries and travel gear.

In other words, a total mess.

ikea pantry remodel

We tore everything out and put up drywall on top of the concrete so we could start fresh.  The concrete walls were uneven and we needed a flat base to put up IKEA shelving, since it screws into the walls.  Added bonus: the white walls completely brightened up the space, especially considering the only light source is a bare light-bulb, because: basement pantry.

The IKEA Home Squad came in and got right to work. They used IVAR shelving, (which is customizable to your space and inexpensive) to maximize the space by running shelving all the way up to the ceiling. Not only did we add space there, by adding a corner shelving unit we added storage space in a previously underutilized dark corner of the pantry. To further organize, the squad used shelf dividers and bins to separate and organize the pantry into separate areas: toiletries, baking supplies, food, travel gear, cleaning supplies, canning, and, well, food.

basement pantry

In four hours the team completely transformed my dark dungeon of a food pantry into a bright, usable, organized space.

pantry remodel project

I’m not even kidding when I tell you I feel happy just walking in there now.

basement pantry

In fact, true story,  sometimes when I’m feeling stressed I escape to the basement and just stand in the middle of the pantry.  It makes feel me zen and peaceful, and like I’m equipped to organize the rest of my house to be this functional now that I’ve seen how to do it.

ikea organized pantry

And the greatest news is that even two months later, the organization is holding up.  Everything has a place to go and nothing gets out of place, even after giant trips to Costco. (Did you seeeeeee what they did with for my cardboard storage in the video?)

ikea home team

On top of being completely thrilled with my newly organized basement pantry, the Home Squad was genuinely the most delightful group of professionals I’ve ever worked with.  No kidding.  They were so smart and fun it didn’t feel like work for a minute, hip-hip-hooray! Thanks, guys.

Go check out all the other spaces the Home Squad has transformed in their IKEA Home Tour Series to get some inspiration for your own home; it’s brilliant stuff.

// Disclosure: IKEA provided all the materials to transform my basement pantry.  The dark dungeon of a basement and cluttered studio space? All mine.  Thank you IKEA! //

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

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  1. ellen patton :