Cabinetmaker and remodeler Byron Clinkingbeard of Custom Woodworks in Baton Rouge, La., says that although this hidden pantry was not originally his idea, he liked it so much that he now offers this option to clients who prefer not to have a standard interior door in the middle of a line of cabinets. “It's a novel idea that is not difficult to execute,” he says.
To create the hidden entry to the pantry, Clinkingbeard starts by fitting a box between the cabinetry. He builds each pantry door by attaching two cabinet doors, one above the other, to a 2-inch–wide wood stiffener. “You could use a single tall cabinet door, but then it's more obvious that it's a door,” he says. Using two cabinet doors also eliminates the concern of warping on tall doors. Clinkingbeard puts a knob on each of the cabinet doors to further mask the fact that it's a full-size door.
This drawing shows how the cabinet-maker creates the hidden door in a wall of cabinets. The arched nook above the pantry doors provides a place for displaying collectibles. Clinkingbeard says adding a light in the nook would also be a nice touch. He has also installed this hidden door where the entry to the pantry was in a corner. “The wall was 6 inches wide on both sides. I wrapped the cabinets around and it looked seamless,” he says.
The toughest part of the installation is making sure the sides of the box are flush with the wall and look finished. “If the clients have a tiled backsplash, the tile covers the crack between the box and the wall; if they do not have a backsplash, it requires a tighter fit,” he says.
The cabinets on both sides of the hidden pantry door are 12 inches deep, but cabinet-maker Byron Clinkingbeard says this installation also works for 24-inch-deep cabinets. Visitors cannot tell that there is a walk-in pantry hidden behind the closed cabinet doors.