Posted 1st June

Store & Order: the return of the larder

1st June 2019 - 11:00am

Featured in ek&bbusiness magazine; Issue 160 (Subscribe)
Words Emma Hedges

The larder cupboard is back, but the contemporary take on it allows for all sorts of interpretations, from breakfast cupboards to flexible storage systems

The traditional larder was a small room with stone floors and surfaces, situated in the coldest part of the house. It belonged to a bygone era where nothing was wasted and everything was made from scratch, and once the age of refrigeration arrived, there no longer seemed to be any need for it.

But with the advent of open-plan living came the call for a clutter-free environment – and demand for a place to store bottles, jars, tins and packets of dry foods returned.

“Larders are an old favourite, but in recent years they have become one of the most sought-after fixtures in the kitchen,” says Vittorio Naldi, branch manager of Scavolini UK. “It’s easy to understand why – the idea of being able to stash everything, from cereal to spices, in one place is very appealing to the average consumer.”

What’s even more attractive is that these days the larder has scope to be whatever the consumer wants it to be. “While a traditional pantry is popular, so too are twists on the classic,” says Richard Davonport, founder and MD of Davonport. “Some clients like the idea and aesthetic of a pantry but want it tailored to a more specific use – a breakfast cupboard or drinks cabinet, for example.”

Convenience is key – while a walk-in larder with low lighting and cold marble or granite shelving may be the ideal, space constraints often dictate a less conventional approach. “In this day of ever-decreasing space for housing, designers are having to find more innovative ways of providing sufficient storage space in the kitchen,” says Lisa Robinson, marketing manager for Blum UK.

“Our larder storage SpaceTower is proving extremely popular. Even the smallest kitchen can fit a 300mm-width unit, although the size can vary from 300mm to 1200mm,” she adds.

If lack of space is not an issue, then the possibilities are endless, and there are numerous design flourishes that can add practical touches and enable retailers to cater to their customers’ specific requirements. Pocket or bifold doors for a sleek look, lighting that will go on and off when the doors are opened or closed, and convenient electrical sockets for small appliances all combine to create a hard-working space that offers maximum functionality.

“Our most popular additions are racks on the back of the main doors, and these are generally configured in terms of what the client wants to use them for. We have even designed one recently that had a sink and coffee machine fitted into it,” says Andy Barette, creative services director of McCarron & Co.

But the larder is continuing to evolve. “This style of storage solution has become a great way to keep the modern kitchen as organised, clean and clutter-free as possible,” says Simon Bodsworth, MD of Daval.

“As homeowners focus more on functionality, arrangement and changes in lifestyle and family set-up, I believe new concepts will continue to change our definition of modern-day larder storage for the better.”

Images (from top to bottom): Bespoke larder by Mowlem & Co; Harptree Pantry by Caple; Appliance Cupboard by Martin Moore

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