Creating a new larder under the stairs
The Victorians took their food seriously – so much so that in larger houses there could be several rooms, each dedicated to a distinct stage of food storage, preparation and clean-up: a kitchen for cooking, storeroom for storing, larder for preparation, and scullery or pantry for dishwashing.
In modern times, the invention of dishwashers and refrigerators has reduced the need for such elaborate systems. However, five minutes on home interest sites like Pinterest and Houzz confirms that food storage is as much an obsession now as it was then, we love our larders! And so it was that the first thing we did in our new home was create a great big space to store food.
In the six months we waited to complete our house purchase, I obsessed about this job – looking at all the sleek designed, well ordered, and never-that-tidy-in-real-life examples online. Hell I even created a larder ‘mood board’ on Pinterest (click here).
The space we had to play with was the cupboard under our stairs, leading into the dining room. It had previously been used as, well, your classic cupboard under the stairs – mops, paint tins, tumble dryer etc. We cleared it out, built new shelves from plywood and standard shelf brackets, and gave everything a once-over with white paint.
We then reversed the entrance door to open outwards – this freed up space inside to place our fridge-freezer. Reversing doors can, on occasion, be a neat little space-creating trick; we also did it in our kitchen to free up a space to hang pots and pans.
To finish things off, we had bought lots of cheap Kilner Jars to use as flower vases at our wedding (see picture below) and we always planned to ‘recycle’ them to store food (my parents did a similar thing with old sweet jars from the local newsagent).
Final note– the DIY job that was not to be…I had realised that directly above our larder is the walk-in cupboard in our bedroom. I floated the idea of adding a bat-cave style fireman’s pole to connect the two and give direct access to midnight snacks. Sadly this was vetoed on clothes storage and child safety grounds. Shame.
Here is a before/ after shot of the new larder
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