Some small apartments don't have separate kitchens, but rather small kitchenettes in the corner of the living or dining room. Your typical upper cabinets in this situation can sometimes be an eyesore. So how to store your dishes and pantry items? You might consider turning a coat closet into a pantry...
Most coat closets are pretty well suited to a pantry conversion (and reversion if you're renting): simply remove the hanger bar and hang wall-mount shelving (Elfa, for instance). Now, your kitchen storage is hidden away from your living room and the wall in your kitchenette can be given over to curated open shelving or even artwork!
"Hey, what about my coat closet!?", you ask? Your own coats can be hung on hooks at the door or in your bedroom closet. And when entertaining, guests' coats are often laid out on the bed in the bedroom, anyway. In the case of my own apartment, there are two closets near the entry and kitchenette, so it was a no-brainer to convert one to a pantry. Electricity was added for the microwave and an overhead light, food storage and dishes are all in there on shelves. The only things out in the open are items I don't mind seeing from the living room.
So, think it over: if your closet is located properly and you can give up coat storage, the closet-turned pantry just might be a solution for you.
Image: Jeff McNamara / Real Simple