Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

Courtney Weston

Article Posted By: Courtney Weston

of Always Rooney

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

After realizing the potential of the water heater closet in her home, Courtney Weston, of Always Rooney, decided to turn it into a functional space. Read on to see how Courtney turned it into an open shelved pantry!

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

In an 1100 sq. ft. home, my husband and I are always looking to maximize the use of space we have. We recently relocated our hot water heater to the exterior of our home to free up space in our small kitchen. By removing a door that always hit the refrigerator, cleaning up the closet, adding tile and a beadboard finish to the walls we were left with a clean palette to work with.

I made a list of needs for the pantry and drew several mock-ups of what the pantry could eventually become. The top priority was food organization and a small space for cleaning supplies. At the end of the day, we decided simple was best since the pantry will now be left open.

Here’s how we built the open shelved pantry.

Materials

Tools

You can rent these tools from The Home Depot.

The Old Water Heater Closet

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

This is what we were working with after the water heater was relocated. Dingy walls, unfinished floors and a gas pipe to work around, but keep open in case we need to access it.

Installing the Beadboad and Shelf Braces

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

First, we took measurements of the three closet walls and cut beadboard accordingly on a table saw.

Next, we found the studs and used a nail gun to attach the boards.

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

After the boards were up, I cut 1 in. x 2 in. furring boards to the length of the shelves to be the braces.

Making sure each brace was level, I screwed them into the walls. I spaced each brace apart according to what I wanted to fit on the shelf.

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

After each brace was in place, I painted them white and caulked where the beadboard joined together.

Before moving on to installing the shelves, I added two hooks on the left wall for brooms and other kitchen accessories to hang.

Installing the Open Shelves

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

I cut the bottom shelf to span the width of the closet. It has a notch cut in for the gas pipe to run through.

Then, I cut a middle board to create a nook for brooms on the left side that measured 52 in. high.

I cut three shelves for food organization that measured 14 x 20 in.

Finally, I cut a board for the top of the pantry that measured 20½ x 20 in. with a notch cut out for the gas pipe. I sanded and painted each shelf before installing them.

Water Heater Closet Turned Into Open Shelved Pantry

To install each shelf, I attached them to the braces with wood glue and screws. I used an L-bracket to attach the shelves to the middle board that created the nook.

Now, we have a clean, open pantry that gives us more room to store food and kitchen necessities!

Find more DIY projects here on The Home Depot Blog.