Friday, February 18, 2011

Butler's Pantry

Kevin here; I'm Fran's husband.  Fran is still feeling poorly; and you know it's bad when I'm the one updating her on the goings-on in the interior design blog-o-sphere.  Anyway, I developed todays post.  

As many of you know, we live in a small Cape Cod house that I purchased several years before I even met Fran.  At the time, it was more than enough house for me - and a bigger house would only have meant more cleaning.  Not to mention, I was oblivious to the benefits of more storage space.  Anyway, in our first year of marriage we re-did the kitchen.  It was a complete gut job: new hardwood floors, new ceiling, new wiring, etc.  At the time, I thought, "Wow, look at all this new storage."  But those spaces quickly filled up.  And I've grown tired of having to trek down the basement to get the waffle iron on "waffle Saturdays".  And, rest assured, the waffle iron isn't the only item stored down there (have I mentioned that our house is small?).

So with the prospect of moving someday, Fran and I have discussed our "wish lists" for the next home.  Are we the only ones that do this?  Anyway, first on my list is a giant basement workroom - off limits to everyone.  But after that might be a butlers pantry.  I know, I know ... it probably seems odd for a guy to appreciate a butlers pantry.  But I actually would, simply because it would help the clean-up/storage process (wouldn't have to run downstairs to re-store certain pots and pans after dinner).

My first thoughts of the ideal butlers pantry took me back to a tour Fran and I took of The Breakers, Cornelius Vanderbilt's 130,000 square foot summer home in Newport, RI.  That pantry has a walk-in safe for the silver, a second level catwalk, and a dumbwaiter.  But maybe that was aiming just a little too high.  So here are a few more modest pantry's.

This first one is a traditional "walk through", connecting the kitchen and dining room.  It's clean, well organized and practical.  But there's no counter space.

This one also appears to be a walk-through and is way bigger with tons of counter space.  But it feels a little institutional and cold.

This one appeals to the Maxwell Smart in me.  I really like the secret passage feel to this one (pantry door is disguised as more cupboards).  From a practical perspective, I would prefer a pass-through.  But this was too cool not to include.  I like the pewter plates too.  But they seem too congested.  And is it me or are they mounted on a mirror?  I don't really like that.

Lastly, here's the mac-daddy.  Holy cow.  This is way nicer and larger than our entire kitchen.  Look at those windows.  It's almost a shame.  I don't want to store stuff in this room ... I want to live here.  This one is very white as well but the floors (pine?) warm it up as does the outdoor greenery.  I like the lights too.  Not so excited about the topiaries, but that's just me.

And now that we've settled on the pantry, we can just build the rest of the house around it.  After we win the power-ball, that is.

Have a great weekend.  And get better Frannie!!!  This blog stuff is way harder than it looks.


  1. This post was quite a treat despite the fact that Fran is remains under the weather. Feel better Fran and your husband's perspective was delightful.


  2. Great post, Kevin! And no, you and Fran aren't the only couple to have a "home wish list"--my fiance and I rent so our list is very, very long! Now, go take care of that great wife of yours...we miss her here in the blog world!

  3. I'd love a butler pantry in my next home too. I have plenty of storage in my kitchen, but the idea of having a place to keep the mess out of the vision of guests appeals to me greatly. Thanks for pinch hitting for Fran Kevin. Give her my best and tell her I hope she feels better.

  4. Great Post Kevin! I love a butler's pantry and I agree with you on the pass through aspect. Hope Fran gets better but anytime you would like to post your perspective again I am sure we wouldn't mind.

  5. Wow, Kev! Great job! A couple of things though. First, I'm shocked that there weren't more remote controls and trap doors included in your post. And B, you may be forced to turn in your "Man Card" if anyone finds out that you know what a topiary is. I'm just sayin'!
    Seriously, well done!
    (When are you doing a guest post on my blog?)

  6. Great post Kevin. I've lived in my house for 23 years, the kids are gone, we've remodeled several times and I still have a wish list!!! Hope your wife gets better soon!

  7. Great job Kevin! I love the post. I have a butler's pantry that is under construction. I love all the inspiration pics and maybe I can use them to help figure out my own:) Please send well wishes to dear Fran.

  8. So nice to hear from you, Kevin! Great post. I have always loved a butler's pantry--a sign of real gracious living. If you can find a house with one, snag it. I love that last image. Get better, Fran. We miss you! xo

  9. Kevin, what a hoot. You did better than I could have done. I have trouble posting pictures of my grand-kids. My only experience with a butler's pantry is Julie breaking a waterford crystal high ball glass that cost me to replace, but I do think they are cool for storage and display. Tell Frannie howdy and will see you guys soon. Love

  10. Love the intimate cozy space of a well done butlers pantry. That charcoal one has been a long time favorite of mine and is the inspriation behind my own that we are creating as we speak! Beautiful images!!