Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Butler's Pantry

This is a topic that drives us wild. In today's mutlipurpose "dream" kitchens there is no provision for storing and displaying china, silver, serving pieces, trays. One reason is no matter the income or status of today's homeowners, they simply don't care about and don't own a variety of china and table linens and don't entertain on any scale other than the most casual. That's not us, I'm afraid. My partner is a self-proclaimed "china whore" and has a vast collection amassed over time. Along with this are new and vintage sets of china we have purchased. Add to the mix a huge amount of table linens both inherited and collected over the years, silver services, sterling flatware, and various kitsch tableware, holiday tablesettings for thanksgiving, christmas, even Halloween and we have a serious space shortage for convenient use of all these treasures. At our current home, we had a large cupboard in the basement and bought a huge breakfront also, alas, in our basement because we had little space left upstairs to put it. These are filled with china and glassware, drawers stuffed with table linens and lace overlays. In the new house we are as concerned with having room to house these more conveniently for constant use. If there is no butler's pantry on the main floor near our dining room we are going to build one if we have to knock out a wall or divide a large kitchen area to serve as a butler's pantry.
This is an interesting example from House Beautiful, architect Joan Moore. It's a mixture of traditional painted wood and glass cupboards with stainless appliances (a SubZero fridge) and stock medical cabinets for china and glassware storage.
Here's an elegant treatment with chandelier, subway tile backsplash, Corian countertops. Smart.
Elegant Look
Next up, here's what we had planned to have done in our basement store cupboard but other projects took precedence. This is a great example of what we'd like to have for surplus storage in our new basement. No matter how great the proportions of our main floor pantry we won't be able to devote enough upstairs space for everything we have. Only the most-used and prized tableware will be housed near the dining room and kitchen. 
Sturdy open shelving with usable corner storage

Next is a great design with space for hanging linens, shallow drawers for flatware, napkins, etc.
I'll keep adding to the pantry post as this one never goes off our home agenda.

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