Hello amazing friends! Today, I’m sharing our IKEA Billy pantry makeover!! We expanded and completely redid our pantry using IKEA Billy bookcases to customize it.
We started this pantry makeover way back in February of 2020. The idea came to us when we replaced the stair treads while redoing our front stairs. We were able to see that there was quite a bit of space behind the pantry, under the stairs. As soon as the stairs were complete, my hubby busted through the wall at the back of our pantry!
I couldn’t find a true before photo, so this is the best one I have. It was taken right after he busted through the wall:
One of the things that sold me on this house, was this pantry. I mean, who wouldn’t love a walk-in pantry??
I thought it was huge and had plenty of room for everything we needed to store in there.
We quickly filled that space!
We also drink a lot of water in our house, and so we wanted a place to store the large 5 gallon bottles that we have delivered monthly. That was the biggest reason for pushing the pantry wall back.
The main obstacle we had to contend with was the HVAC in that space. Luckily, that is my husband’s business and he was able to take care of that.
He moved it back behind what would become the new back wall…
My hubby was in charge of the demo and let’s just say that he likes to take his sweet time when it comes to projects. It took a year to get to the point in the above photo. He had also removed the wall to the right of the opening and all the shelving on that right side. In. his defense, we did have a pandemic to contend with.
By the following month, he had removed the rest of that wall and all the shelving on the left, and added drywall to the new section:
And by April, the bead board was going up on the walls.
We decided to finish the walls in bead board since our walls have a texture to them that would be difficult for we non-professional dry wall installers to match:
New Tile Floor
The most exciting part was the new tile floor!
Our pantry was actually the reason why we decided to replace all the tile downstairs. We never really liked it, and we had a difficult time trying to match it to fill in the new part of the pantry floor. I considered replacing just the pantry with a coordinating tile, but when I saw this at the tile store, I knew I wanted to just replace it all.
We were smart and hired that part out. It was done in May, and they did an amazing job!
The photo above was taken the day our IKEA Billy bookcases arrived! We had to order them which took about five weeks.
We hadn’t finished off the interior completely because we weren’t exactly sure how we were going to work around the bookcases yet since the right side would have to be custom fit under the stairs. This is the point at which I took it over from my hubby.
And just for real life sakes, here is what it looked like before we emptied it out that day:
Can I tell you that I don’t miss digging through those bins one single bit? And how many boxes of Pop Tarts does one household need anyway??
Jack helped me assemble the new bookcases for the left side since they did not need to be cut in any way.
Modifying the IKEA Billy Bookcase to fit under the stairs
The following morning, I started assembling the bookcases on the right, cutting where needed to make them fit under the stairs…
My miter saw got an excellent workout during this project!
Then I continued with the bookcase to the left of it:
Believe it or not, that one was easier! This post is not a how-to because I was seriously just winging it, but I thought I would share some of the photos of the progress anyway.
Once I got the shelves figured out, I added bead board horizontally to the underside of the stairs:
My hubby had originally covered that area in luan, and I had then painted it white because we had a different plan in mind, but after covering the ceiling with the wider side of the bead board, I knew that was the solution for the underside of the stairs also!
The bead board that I used is narrow on one side like we used on the walls and wider on the backside like I used on the ceiling and the underside of the stairs.
Lots of trimming and caulking happened in here before it was ready for its final reveal!
The Reveal of our IKEA Billy Pantry
Here is how our pantry looks empty from head-on:
Busting out that back wall just that little bit made our pantry feel SO much bigger! It’s a shame we had to keep the post, but something has to hold up those stairs!
And to the left:
For reference, the post is where the pantry originally ended. These are the 31 1/2″ X 93 1/4″ Billy Bookcases. They come in a 79 1/2″ height also. By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post in any way!
At the start of this makeover, we had intentions of custom building the shelving in this pantry. However, with the cost of lumber at the moment, it would’ve been a very expensive project. After visiting IKEA, we decided their Billy bookcases might just do the trick!
On the left side, we were able to fit two of the 31 1/2′” Billys and one of the narrower 15 3/4″ width ones:
We found them very easy to assemble, and I love that the shelves are adjustable.
And here is the right side that I custom cut to fit under the stairs:
These were not as easy to assemble ha ha. You can see in that photo why we waited to trim out the underside of the stairs until the bookcase was installed. And I added a piece of lattice trim all the way around the perimeter of the bookcases to give it a more finished look.
This is such a tight space, so it was difficult to get wide angle photos, but here’s a close-up of one of the sides:
I attached it with Liquid Nails and my nail gun.
I also added lattice trim down the center where the bookcases met one another to cover the seam…
And because our HVAC intake is now in the pantry (weird, I know), we kept the original grill in place also so air could still be pulled from the dining room on the other side.
It looked so pretty empty, but we did have to eventually fill it.
Here it is filled!
We have 9 foot ceilings, so that is why I opted for the tallest Billy they have at 93 1/4″ tall. Those high shelves can hold items like extra paper towels or things we don’t use often.
It was raining when I took these photos, so I had to brighten them up in editing which whited out the outside of the pantry, but you can see the important part…the inside!
We had four of these plastic containers that we kept crackers in for years, and nothing beats them for keeping food from going stale, so I knew I wanted to buy a bunch when we redid our pantry!
We use them for just about everything that might go stale!
I found mine on Amazon, but you can also get them at Walmart. And the bin that my Built bars are in is a shoe storage container I found at Walmart.
It comes in two depths. They are awesome for coralling things! We each have one for our own use as we all have different tastes in snack foods.
This is Jack’s, and his is one of the deeper ones:
Everything is so easy to find!
Here’s a closer look at this angled area trimmed out and finished…
As for making room for the large water bottles? We solved that also!
Several fit nicely in this space at the end of the shelves:
And that is the long-awaited makeover and expansion of our pantry! I’m so thrilled with how well the IKEA Billy Bookcases worked out!
If you need me, that’s where I’ll be…the wifi works great in there!
I’ll be back on Tuesday with this girl:
Enjoy your weekend!!
Update! See how this funky little 80’s cabinet looks now here!
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