How we craft each pantry cabinet
Like each and every piece in our collection, our pantry cabinets are constructed entirely from solid reclaimed Elm and Gingko wood.
The beams are obtained from ancient farmhouses in rural Korea. Each piece is salvaged from structures doomed to demolition in the rapidly urbanizing world within the booming economies there. This ensures that no trees are felled, and that the wood is well seasoned. Aged wood is both beautiful and strong, ask any wood worker. It's patina is unique and soulful, and it can take on changes in temperature, humidity, and pressure without cracking or warping.
All our pantry furniture is then hand crafted by skilled artisans. They combine each module using the finest Japanese joinery techniques, making each cabinet strong and stable. The hardware is forged by hand by metal workers in the area, and the stain is rubbed in by the same person that constructed each piece.
History of Pantries and Pantry Furniture
The pantry has for a long time been a standard feature of larger homes and manors. Smaller homes now often have a small room or walk in cupboard that serves as a pantry.
In medieval times the pantry was one of a number of rooms used for the storage and preparation of food off of a main hall. A larder was where meat was stored, a buttery where alcohol was stored, a pantry for food and a kitchen for the actual cooking. Later a butler's pantry became common and was used as a utility room much like a kitchen without the usual appliances. It was used more for menial tasks and storage.
In Asia more open concept kitchens were the norm. Smaller homes traditionally would have the cooking done around a central fire pit, while larger ones would have a kitchen with storage provided by cabinetry. These cabinets could be designed to serve as surfaces for the preparation of food, or be stacked higher to increase the amount of storage available. In Japan the kitchen cabinets were called "Mizuya Tansu" and were known for their distinct style geared towards the storage needs of a kitchen.
In North America the concept of a pantry cabinet became popular in the early 1900's with the Hoosier cabinet, not to mention all the imitations to come after. Fitted cabinets would become popular in the mid-1900's since they could be tailored to maximize space, especially where space was at a premium: small inner city apartments, and later condos.
The modular design approach has been returning, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this revolution. Kitchen and pantry furniture that is stylish, made of solid wood, accommodates concerns for space, but can later be altered in purpose or moved to a new location allows for a more original and personal design. The beautiful solid wood construction throughout is much sought after as an alternative to the now cookie cutter look of most fitted cabinets made of composite wood with artificial facing.
Stand alone pantry cabinets have been making a great comeback. They are well suited to classic town houses and row houses that are getting bought up and remodeled by the young and affluent who no longer bow to the siren call of suburbia. The same crowd is fueling the boom in downtown condominiums and lofts where Asian inspired decor fits in so well. The minimalistic aesthetic, utility and durability oriented designs coupled with the wide variety of customizations available address all the concerns plaguing those entrusted with furnishing one of these new style dwellings.
Take a look at the Wikipedia page about Pantries to learn more.