January 16, 2013

Loving the Larder

Isn't that a great word: Larder.  It conjures up images of old English country manors....stone houses with a small back room off the kitchen filled with root vegetables, mason jars and rounds of cheese.

via Pinterest

Winter has returned to the Northeast today, and in my neck of the woods a couple of inches of fresh snow covers the ground.  I'm thinking of making a nice stew today, which is what brought me around to pantries.  I do believe that a good pantry is one of the most under-rated things in today's homes.  No, I'm not advocating doing all your own canning and hanging salted hunks of meat from the ceiling -- unless you're really into that sort of thing.  But as a dedicated space to hold extra food items, dishes, cookware, linens, etc, it really is indispensable.

I've always loved the idea of a butler's pantry, but I didn't fully realize the value of a pantry until I actually got one when we moved into this house.  Mine is a walk-in, about 6x10', located directly across a small service hall from my kitchen.  It was originally part of the kitchen of the house, but was turned into two small rooms (a laundry room and a storage closet) during a renovation in the 80's.  When we moved in, I turned the storage closet into a pantry, and it might have been fine like that, except for two things.  One, that you had to walk through the laundry to get to the food, and two, the laundry room was so small you couldn't work in there -- if you wanted to iron something you had to open the ironing board in the hallway.  So when we renovated the kitchen, we had the contractor take down the separating wall and make it one big laundry room and pantry.  This gave us enough open space to include a small refrigerator and an upright freezer, and a shelf to hold the microwave.  And sort laundry.  And iron.

My pantry, shortly after renovation.  The laundry side...

...and the food side.  Fridge and freezer are behind the door.
  Disclaimer:   it is waaaay more  full and messy  today !

I had a little sliver of space left over when we moved the walls around, so I did include a tiny butler's pantry type cabinet, where we store wine glasses and liquor.

Wine cabinet

Wintertime is the best time to observe the full pantry, in all it's glory.  A symbol of nesting, a sign that it's time to settle in, hunker down....indulge in comfort foods, sit by the fire, and be warmed by the love of family and friends.

from my Pinterest board "Pantries, Laundries & Mudrooms", via BHG

from my Pinterest board "Pantries, Laundries & Mudrooms"

from my Pinterest board "Pantries, Laundries & Mudrooms" via Witt Costruction

If you'd like to see a few more inspiring pantries, check out my Tumblr blog, Arc of a Rainbow.   Or my Pinterest board.  Or my Houzz ideabook "Pantries & Laundries".

~ Leigh

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