There is a great debate among pantry enthusiasts, "do you need a pantry window or do you want a pantry window?"
Pantry windows have a romantic feel about them, something simple and nostalgic. Pantry windows recall days without air conditioning, when open windows invited breezes in, gently fluttering the curtains. Our psyche craves the closeness to nature that a pantry window brings.
Do pantries need windows? No, not in this modern age with controlled inside environments. Some may even argue that you are taking wall storage space away and the pantry should be dark.
If I were asked from a design aesthetic, that would be a different story. I would demand a window. The cheerful rays of sunshine and the interest the opening brings are just as valuable as the pantry storage.
In modern architecture, the pantry room is determined by the leftover space in the floorplan. This can lead to oddly-shaped rooms buried in the middle of large homes. In contrast, every room in small Victorian homes and farmhouses were guaranteed an outside view. If a large window was not provided, a small window still offered a peek to the outside.
Vintage pantries were often appointed to the northern corners of the house, to encourage cooler temperatures for food storage. Sometimes windows were used as a passthrough for milk or cheese from the milkman.
Those days are gone, but including a pantry window in your design is a wonderful way to add charm and whimsy into your home. To view a pantry with a window focus, check out the tour "A Visit to a Modern, Old Fashioned Pantry."
I love the idea of a tiny window between the back stoop and the pantry, where the milkman would pass through the cheese. But of course, there is no milkman anymore. So somebody coming by the house and seeing the window would say, 'Oh, that must be original, because that's where the milkman passed the cheese through to the pantry.'