A door that opens inward can work, but be aware that it might make an already small space smaller. It can also compromise the space behind the door of your pantry, limiting the amount of stuff you can store there.
If your pantry is small, store a step ladder in a handy spot for easy access. Inexpensive plastic single steps also can be folded flat and hung on a hook.
Solid polished wood shelves or powder-coated metal racks are attractive options. A cheaper alternative is engineered wood. Plywood is strong and looks contemporary, especially when left in its raw state or given a light stain.
Also consider the process of stocking your pantry and where it will be in relation to counters and tables. A kitchen countertop that is just outside a pantry will prove convenient for setting down groceries. Its close proximity also makes using it as a sorting station from which to fill pantry shelves extremely handy.
By Susan Redman, HOUZZ editorial staff