Published at Wednesday, August 21st 2019, 15:41:05 PM. Pantry Cabinets. By Darek Seidel.
Like our Colonial predecessors, modern households maintain stockpiles of provisions, merging the store-bought with the homegrown and homemade. When kitchens and dining rooms can no longer cope, the pantry emerges as an accommodating storage collaborator.
For modest homes, pantries work well when they double as circulation space, says architect Sandra Vitzthum of Montpelier, Vermont. Her designs commonly line a short hallway with pantry-style storage cabinets, forming a dual-use area.
Rather than adding a full set of cabinets to a wall, consider using a single cabinet (either a built-in or a standalone unit safely anchored to the wall) to create a pantry without filling in a whole wall.
For a more traditional look, a relatively small bit of construction can convert a typical doored closet into a niche for a pantry cabinet — either a custom-sized unit or a few prefab cabinets with slim filler panels on the ends to give a seamless look.
Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania, crafts varying pantry styles, many of which assimilate into kitchen cabinetry without the need for a standalone room, says President George Achey. Options include a narrow slide-out drawer for spices, a wider drawer for cans and spices, and a walk-in corner pantry unit that extends 36 inches from the corner. If space allows, the company also crafts comprehensive butler’s pantries, typically with mullioned window cabinets above and drawer storage below.
Storage pantries are descended from the buttery (commonly known as butt’ry), named after the large barrels or “butts” of ale, wine, and liquors stored there. These rooms were housed in cool northern corners of Colonial homes. The butler’s pantry emerged in grand estates during the nineteenth century, particularly its latter half. Sited between the kitchen and dining room as a buffer between dinner guests and staff, it allowed servers to plate meals and also stored china and silver. This upper-class feature eventually spread to middle-class homes.
In place of a counter, Vitzthum often places a shallower upper cabinet on top of a slightly deeper, 30-inch base cabinet. “You don’t want to waste prime storage space, which typically ranges from two feet off the ground up to six feet, with unnecessary counter space,” she cautions.