Pantries help keep our kitchens clutter-free and provide a pleasing sense of order by consolidating food items, appliances and even cookware in one accessible location. With thoughtfully integrated architectural elements, a well-designed pantry is the ideal combination of style and functionality.
Originally, a home’s storage pantry was a utilitarian workhorse that often went undecorated – and unheated. In the second half of the 18th century, when large dinner parties became popular, the pantry (or butler’s pantry) evolved as a place between the kitchen and dining room where food could be organized before serving, and tableware could be washed and stored. It was considered a “buffer area” between public and private viewing space.
Today, pantries are increasingly popular with our clients, and we design them as integral transition spaces between adjacent rooms. Once referred to a “domestic service area,” they no longer reside behind-the-scenes: pantries are now often seen – and used – by homeowners and guests alike.
To create a cohesive flow, we design our pantries to progress naturally from surrounding rooms. By incorporating cabinetry, shelving, and architectural finishes from the kitchen and dining areas, the pantry becomes a seamless, integrated space, rather than a hidden or closed-off room.
While storage is the centerpiece for all pantries, many serve double duty as a bar or additional prep space. To enhance flexibility and functionality, we design our pantries with ample counter space for kitchen prep and often include a wet bar (farmer’s sink) and wine cooler for easy socializing.
Whether strategically positioned between the kitchen and dining room, or designed as an elegant side nook, a pantry provides valuable ancillary storage space for homeowners. By integrating architecture elements, finishes and flooring from adjoining rooms, the pantry becomes an integral part of its surroundings while maintaining its essential organizational role.
September signals the end to summer and a time when many of us transition back to our indoor living spaces. Whether that means streamlining back-to-school living or simply refocusing on the home, many people are thinking of ways to help improve household organization. One solution is a well-designed mudroom which offers an organizational passage space between the outdoors and indoors and can help solve clutter problems for any size household.
Mudrooms have become increasingly popular in recent decades, and while some still serve as small, “unofficial” entryways, others are now large, carefully choreographed storage rooms with added space for a washer and dryer and an adjacent powder room.
Efficient mudrooms have one thing in common: smart storage. For our clients with children, that means having accessible hooks to hang jackets, cubbies with storage bins, and lockers for sports gear and backpacks. We often design mudrooms with multiple entries – including the garage, back yard, and the street – creating convenient access for kids to enter and remove wet clothes and shoes no matter what direction they’re coming in from.
As the “drop spot” to store anything that might otherwise add clutter in the house, the mudroom serves a key organizational role. However, that does not mean smaller mudrooms are less functional. For some clients with grown children, a transitional entry with a classic bench to remove shoes along with some handy storage hooks is the perfect solution.
Well-designed mudrooms provide an essential transition area to expand our clients’ storage options and make life bit more organized. Whether storing general outwear, cold weather accessories, or a stash of summer beach towels, this is the mighty space many of us can’t live without.