Adolphus Ludwig. Pantry Cabinets. April 26th , 2020.
This utilitarian pantry was sited in the center of the home, reserving view-facing walls for the main living areas. The architect included a leaded glass window in one of the pantry’s interior walls, connecting the space to the home’s light and views. “Even if you are in the pantry opening a bottle of wine surrounded by interior walls, you can peer out the window and see through the home toward the lake,” explains Laskoske.
Glassware is stored in the upper cabinet, where two glass-fronted doors have eight individual panes of glass each. Below, an attractive counter of quarter-sawn white oak tops a base of drawers, which organizes silverware and placemats. Crown Point’s Newport doors, marked by a quarter-round bead that frames flat panels, grace a pair of side cabinets: one is customized with individual dowels for linen storage, and the other contains shelves.
One major benefit of a butler’s pantry, says designer Jim Balcom of Crown Point Cabinetry, is that drinks can be served outside the realm of a cook’s busy workspace. For a traditional butler’s pantry in a New Jersey home, Balcom designed custom cabinets, finished in creamy white milk paint. Visible from the kitchen via an arched opening, the pantry’s craftsmanship is very much on display.
Baskets are useful for storing some items, but for frequently accessed goods and tools, investing in a few proper drawers will give better functionality.
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.
Assessing cooking and entertaining habits, collections, and bulk storage needs is a vital step toward achieving a pantry that harmonizes with the hum of a household. Whether it functions in full view or obscurity, attention to detail can affect not only its appearance, but also its practicality. A pantry that keeps foodstuffs safe, collections secure, and users well fed successfully fulfills its historic legacy.
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.
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