Pantries & Larders
A pantry or larder is a fantastic addition to any new kitchen, as it massively increases storage space, it puts your most used ingredients and utensils in a single place, and it de-clutters your work surfaces. We love adding pantries and larders to our kitchen designs - sometimes it's a grand larder style double cupboard, other times it's a pull-out pantry that maximizes a narrow space between cabinets, and sometimes it's a walk-in room that could have been a 'studio apartment' if it were in Shoreditch.
What's the difference between a pantry and a larder?
Firstly definitions: a pantry is a store for foodstuffs that last - typically dried foods, pulses, beans, flour, pasta, rice, anything bottled or tinned, plus things you want out of the way or don’t use frequently like brooms, step ladder, boots, spare crockery, posh cutlery, Christmas linen, candles, recycling bins, etc.
A larder is a cold place for storing food that needs to be kept cool before using. They were common before refrigeration and often had a cold shelf about 3 inches thick for storing butter, cheese, meat, and storing food mid-prep that needed to be kept cool like pastry. They rely on thermal mass; walls and floors made of stone, brick or tile that absorb a lot of heat. Larders were often situated on a north-facing wall on the shady side of the house. Of course, there are lots of examples where people have the best of both worlds, with a cold-ish room used as both larder and pantry.
Our grandmother had a house built in the 1950s with a pantry that you could walk in to. Thinking of it, I can remember how it smelled of pastry she was resting. It was a proper room with a glass pantry door and it was like a Tardis, the sheer quantity of storage was incredible for a small room! It would have been especially good for anyone that buys in bulk or has online deliveries that take up a lot of space in one go. The bottom shelf was a thick concrete cold slab that was great for keeping things cool, like cheeses that loose a bit of taste if stored too cold. It came into its own at Christmas or parties when the fridge was full and it got filled up with cakes and leftovers. One of the best things about the storage was that it was in the form of shallow open pantry shelving attached to the wall so there wasn’t enough room to hide one thing behind another.
Storage is about quality over quantity
Modern kitchen cabinets are quite deep and it always seems that what you want is behind something else. For us, its quality over quantity when it comes to storage and the quality of storage depends on how easy it is to find and access what you are looking for. Storing things ‘one deep’ makes keeping track of what you have and finding things at a glance easy and it looks good too.
This is an approach we often take where there isn’t space for a dedicated room and a pantry cabinet, or grand larder, is the answer. Having racks or shelving built into the door means when you open a cabinet, the depth is halved and the useful display space at the front of the shelf doubled. We generally combine this with other pantry organization ideas like pull out drawers, baskets and spice racks. A heavy stone worktop can be added inside the cabinet - great for resting pastry, wine, or a cheese board.
Whatever you have in mind we can design something that's just right for you, from incorporating storage for your KichenAid, to a dedicated rack for wine bottles, to built-in knife blocks and chopping boards. We love detail, both in the deign, and when crafting in the workshop - it's all about creating high quality storage that is personal to you and a delight to use. Get in touch to arrange a free design session to discuss your kitchen plans. We'd love to hear from you.
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