Traditionally, larders were the only practical storage solution for meat. Larders were cool areas where meat could be stored and covered in lard to help preserve it – this is where the name larder originated from. With time, the functions of the larder expanded to include the storage of milk, bread and other items and today the term larder represents a versatile custom storage solution for any kitchen size or design style. In this article, we explore the benefits of incorporating a larder into your kitchen design and how to customise a larder to suit your needs to help you decide whether a larder is right for your project.
Kitchen Larders Created In Your Style
Larders are most commonly associated with traditional kitchens; however, you can still have a larder in a contemporary style kitchen. If you choose a bespoke, handcrafted kitchen the larder can be created in a modern style with flat panel doors and more linear design details, so you are free to create it to your preference. To give your larder a more contemporary feel, opt for minimal, modern handles and swap ornate detailing and carving for a simpler aesthetic.
Pantry Style Larders
Today, larders come in a variety of designs and styles. One option is to have a larder integrated as a pantry within your kitchen design alongside your other cabinets. This style of larder would usually be accessed by two tall doors that stretch the full height of your kitchen cabinets and these could be solid doors or glazed to showcase the items within. Glazed doors look beautiful, particularly as the interior of your larder will often be finished in a striking natural timber, however getting the most visual impact would require the larder to be kept tidy. Glazed doors can create a beautiful focal feature within your kitchen and can be finished in a variety of materials such as clear glass, crittall style panels, or semi-translucent mirror. On the other hand, a solid door conceals the contents of the larder so this can be a good choice if you are conscious of your kitchen looking cluttered and you could choose to incorporate hanging spice racks on the reverse of each door, providing even more storage space.
Whether you opt for a solid door or a glazed door, you can choose between a standard hinge or a pocket door system. A pocket door system will enable you to push your doors back into the cabinetry, hiding the doors out of sight when open. This creates the functionality of an open larder which can be particularly beneficial when cooking as you can leave the doors open without them obstructing the walkways and it also gives you quick access to the contents within.
Designing the Interior of your Larder
In the most traditional sense, a larder offers additional space to store dried goods such as cans, pasta, rice, flour and cereal. Larders can also store root vegetables, freeing up space within your fridge. Therefore, the interior of a pantry style larder would usually consist of a worktop area with open shelving above and drawers or baskets below. If you choose a bespoke kitchen, there are limitless possibilities when it comes to planning the interior of your larder. You can choose the number of drawers and even the size of the drawers to suit your individual storage needs. Alongside solid drawers, you could opt for some handcrafted baskets to store root vegetables which have open fronts and sides or a mesh base to encourage ventilation.
Aside from their traditional use for storing dried goods, the larder can be the perfect solution for storing anything you would prefer to keep out of sight. The larder can become the hidden practical storage space for appliances such as toasters, blenders and juicers. When designing your larder, it is beneficial to consider whether you will require power points inside as these will need to be detailed on your kitchen plan and given to your trades prior to your kitchen installation beginning.
Bespoke Storage Options
There are other storage options that you could incorporate within your larder design beyond drawers, shelves and baskets. For instance, you could use some drawer space to incorporate bespoke tea trays. These tea trays would be bespoke and handmade for your project to match the interior finishes of your larder and would slot neatly into the larder when not in use. As well as tea trays, you could integrate bespoke chopping boards. These would also be created to match the finishes in the rest of the larder and could be neatly engraved to label each chopping board for its appropriate use such as meat, vegetables and fish.
A larder can become a dark space, particularly a deep larder such as one located at the corner of a kitchen, so it’s important to consider lighting. LED strips can be discreetly integrated into the sides of your larder or within each shelf, helping to illuminate the interior so that you can easily see the contents within. Adding a mirrored back panel to your larder can also prevent your larder from feeling too dark by reflecting the light from the room.
Walk In Larders
If you have the luxury of space, you could choose a walk-in larder which would be a small room separate from the kitchen accessed by a standard internal door or you could hide the entry to the larder by using the same door as the rest of the kitchen, creating a ‘secret door’ which looks as though it is could be a tall cabinet. Walk-in larders have floor to ceiling open shelving or a combination of base cabinet drawers with open shelving above.
Ultimately, designing the right larder is all about your design style and how you use your kitchen. A bespoke design offers the greatest flexibility to design your larder to your exact requirements, however you don’t have to choose a bespoke kitchen to achieve a beautiful and effective larder. Consider how you will use your kitchen and discuss your needs with your designer during the design journey. Spend some time thinking about what you will store in your larder to ensure that the design suits your individual needs.
To speak with one of our friendly designers about your project and to learn more about the variety of larder options available, contact your local studio here.