Larders of love and pantries of plenty

Storage ideas

Nothing makes a kitchen feel full of potential and culinary excitement quite like a plentiful pantry. Whether you use a compact cupboard for food storage or the luxury of a walk-in wonder, there are ways to bring your larder to life and pack your pantry full of products that really add an air of abundance to your home.

We've taken a look at the different ways to add a larder to your kitchen before, but in this guide we will address the question of what to put in it to make it really pop. Not that we're going to tell you how to shop of course, but we have pulled together ideas from some of the most stylish pantries to offer you advice on how to turn functional food storage into a fabulous focal point that will warm your heart and wow your guests.

Product placement

Product placement

We all have supplies of food in our houses that really don't need to be on display. Bags of lentils, couscous and potatoes are all well and good but they're not likely to fill our hearts with joy when we see them!

If you really want to make your kitchen pantry pop, try to think of it as your favourite deli counter or wholefoods store and bring the products you love to buy and consume to the front.

Good choices for creating an iconic look include:

  • Teas: even the more affordable teas come in attractive packaging, and you can easily colour match them with the rest of your pantry.
  • Coffee: Lif you're in the habit of buying ground or wholebean bags of coffee, give them a prominent place in your pantry. Some supermarkets and coffee merchants sell their beans in brown paper bags that look fabulous alongside fruit and veg in your pantry.
  • Oil and balsamic vinegar: the cornerstones of any fine deli counter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar tend to be sold in wonderfully evocative packaging that captures the spirit of Mediterranean cooking. Once you find bottles or tins that you are particularly fond of, you can refill them and keep them on show at the front of your shelves.
  • Pasta: Buying pasta in bulk makes economical sense for most of us, but if you can afford to treat yourself to a bag or two of fancy fettuccine or squid ink linguini can really enhance the look and feel of your larder.
  • Sweet treats: Keeping sweets and treats in your pantry is a great way to add vibrant colour and a sense of fun. You can find classic candies in attractive tins at supermarkets and specialist sweet shops, but buying glass jars and filling them with jelly beans, popcorn or bonbons is a brilliant way to brighten up your kitchen.
Storage tubs

Storage tubs

Once you've picked out the products that will take pride of place in your pantry, consider stashing the less slightly items in attractive kitchen storage tubs.

Transparent containers with attractive lids can make your cereals, rice, grains and pasta supplies look far more enticing than they would in plastic bags, and you can co-ordinate your containers with the rest of your pantry in terms of colour and style. Other dried products like beans, pulses, chickpeas, herbs, and porcini mushrooms look great in big jars or tubs, and the sight of them will help your pantry to feel like a plentiful storehouse!

Also, it's worth checking second-hand shops and bric-a-brac sales for vintage tins and reclaimed fruit and vegetable crates. Carefully chosen old tins and crates can create a wonderfully rustic feel in your pantry, turning bulk storage of all types of food into an eye-catching feature.

Spice it up

One of the most enticing, vibrant, functional features you can add to your pantry design is a scintillating spice rack, and there are endless ways to present your prized herbs and spices that will wow visitors to your kitchen.

If your larder cupboard doors open beyond 90 degrees, the inside of a cupboard door makes for an ideal spot to display your spice rack with some simple wire shelves. Alternatively, pick up a drop-down under-cabinet spice rack that will display your jars at a 45-degree angle, or grab yourself a rotating rack with multiple layers of circular shelves on which to spin your spices.

Save your worktops

As well as storing food in your pantry, you can save space around your kitchen work surfaces by using it as a place to keep pots, pans, appliances and more.

If you've got a collection of coloured crockery you might be able to use it to complement the theme of your pantry, and if you're lucky enough to have classic items like Le Creuset pans, or retro appliances like the Kitchenaid food processor, make sure these are proudly on show rather than hidden away deep in a cupboard.

Should you have any spare shelf space in your pantry, recipe books are a great space-filling option, especially if you can colour-order them and create a flowing look.

For a finishing touch that adds a little extra life to your pantry, try adding houseplants. If your shelves benefit from natural light then spider plants (chlorophytum comosum) or a string of hearts (ceropegia woodii) can thrive there, and even if the light levels are a little lower you can add some small succulents or aloes to bring some extra greenery to your groceries.