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The Pantry is making a comeback

We all know that if we are selling a home, it should be clean, bright and vanilla.  Even Laurence Llewelyn Bowen (http://www.llb.co.uk/) renowned for his bright and bold patterns and colours, had to paint his glamorous country house vanilla in order to sell it. We also know that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes or reduce their value.  Real wood floors and beautifully fitted plantation or solid window shutters feature highly on the list of fixtures and fittings which add not only value but that extra wow factor.

Thanks to Sex and the City, the walk-in wardrobe became a highly desirable item on the wish list of house hunters during the late 90s and early 00s. To be fair, it is still an attractive proposition now, and when house hunting with friends, although it was often on the wish list it was bumped down the priority order for something far more mundane and practical.

Now it seems the latest craze is to have a pantry. The pantry has emerged as the “must have” accessory in all good kitchens.  We want kitchens we can party in, a vast range cooker or Aga and a Pantry! The Pantry went out of fashion in the late 60s with, believe it or not, the arrival of the domestic fridge. It is almost shocking to think that our parents didn’t have a fridge to raid growing up, but they didn’t. They had a pantry.  To keep their milk, meat or cheese cool, they had a slab of marble and a metal dish filled with water, into which they put other dishes, and covered the whole lot with muslin. The idea being that evaporation causes cooling.

Now I am not suggesting for a millisecond that people are going to do away with their fridge.  But along with the arrival of supermarkets the size of football pitches, fridges and freezers which you can fit an elephant in and the fact that we cannot turn on the television without seeing a cookery programme, our household shopping has become excessive. We buy things we will use once or maybe twice only for them to live at the back of the cupboard taking up space. It is not just me, I assure you. We all do it, even the Guardian has written an article about the pantry revival – https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/may/17/larder-back-from-the-cold

Unlike the walk-in wardrobe, the modern pantry is not a “glamourous” affair.  Yes it will have an attractive door, probably painted with blackboard paint so our budding artist can enjoy it. Yet they are really, very handy, offering not only additional space for food but also a great place to store all the kitchen equipment you may only use once a year and you will also even have space for the extra crockery you keep for those big family events.

So if you are thinking of upgrading your home, building an extension or doing a complete renovation, I would strongly recommend that you include room for a real, old school pantry into your plans. You will be so glad you did. Added to which, your friends will be green with envy!

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