Life and Soul of the Pantry


The history of English kitchen design gives a fascinating insight into how the needs of the people using the space has changed in what is – relatively speaking – a short space of time. Kitchens in the 19th century were strictly for cooking only as the washing up was done in a separate scullery.

Typically middle class homes in this era would have included a kitchen, larder and scullery and also a pantry. The word ‘pantry’ comes from the Latin ‘panna’ or ‘bread room’ which by the mid 19th century had come to represent a designated small designated room for general food storage. Larder on the other hand comes from the French ‘lardon’ and was traditionally a cold storage area for meat.

The Grange - Luxury Bespoke Kitchen - Ascot Berkshire - Humphrey Munson 3

This is the Humphrey Munson Cook’s Pantry in the Grange project in Ascot, Berkshire. It has masses of storage with deep shelves, a stone shelf with five drawers below.

The Grange - Luxury Bespoke Kitchen - Ascot Berkshire - Humphrey Munson 4

The doors open up to reveal spice and condiment racks which is the perfect place for storing ingredients all in one place.

Humphrey Munson - Kent Kitchen - Mini Pantry

If space is at a premium, you can opt for a Mini-Pantry which is a countertop cupboard designed like a pantry. A great space saver for compact kitchens, the Mini Pantry means dry goods can still be stored in one central place, as well as integrating appliances such as microwaves or food mixers. When you’re rushing to throw together a quick mid-week meal it’s really handy to have all the dry ingredients in one easy-to-reach place. 

Hand-painted tall walk-in larder with spice racks.

This hand-painted Nickleby walk-in larder has spice and condiment racks built in to the sides which allows for maximum storage.

Hand-painted kitchen cabinetry in Farrow & Ball "Elephant's Breath".

This bespoke larder was designed to fit the space perfectly as there is a large overhead beam running alongside it, but when the doors are closed it looks exactly like a tall Nickeby cupboard and you really wouldn’t imagine there was a walk-in larder behind the doors.

Barnes Townhouse | Monochrome colour palette, with freestanding natural oak breakfast pantry

 This is the Breakfast Pantry in the Barnes project – the central cabinetry is an integrated column fridge and freezer with pantry cupboards either end. Incorporating a pantry or larder into a kitchen design really suits modern family living because it means you can keep pretty much all your dry ingredients in one place and stops you from rummaging through countless cupboards trying to find that one key ingredient.

Drinks Pantry in the Old Rectory Project - Humphrey Munson

Designating specific purposes to pantries is a really excellent idea if you want to be able to close the doors on visual clutter and maintain a calm and relaxed feeling in your kitchen. The drinks pantry in the Old Rectory project, pictured above, us used predominantly for preparing hot drinks with drawers below for biscuits and treats as well as cold drinks. The shelf in this Drinks Pantry has the same worktop as the rest of the kitchen ensuring continuity but also provides a durable surface on which to prepare hot drinks.

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