China Closet & Butler’s Pantry Inspirations

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Our new old house was built in the 60’s. Despite being an old structure, it’s spacious with a 25-foot ceiling and a grand staircase to boot. The rooms are also big and we have ample areas in the backyard, side yard and front yard. We love our new home however, the kitchen is small in proportion to the entire house. Sardinas levelz!


The old kitchen was dirty, ugly and everything was rotting. We gutted it and built new cabinets, counters and placed a new sink. It’s a small kitchen for such a big house. Life is not perfect.

We even had to open the wall dividing the kitchen to the dining room to create an open-floor plan. We didn’t really gain more space but at least we don’t feel cramped when cooking.


The best thing we did for the house was to open the one of the walls of our kitchen and take out the swing door. Our kitchen now feels airy and spacious.

What we lack in kitchen space though we gain in storage space. There’s a big pantry and a small room behind the kitchen that used to be the maids’ quarters but, since we built a detached home for our helpers, we are converting it into a walk-in china closet or butler’s pantry.


We also updated the existing pantry and added more shelves.

As you know, I collect tableware and it only makes sense that I house my collection in our spare room. I’m in the process of designing it so that I can maximize the space and make an organized and stylish room for my “plato-platuhan”. I’m so excited!

Here are some inspirations:

The Butler’s Pantry 1800-1900 or The Golden Age of the Pantry

Colonists in New England incorporate small northern rooms off of kitchens for food storage called the buttery (often shortened to “butt’ry”).

The era of the “butler’s pantry” begins in England and America: a small pantry between kitchen and dining room where china, silver and napkins were stored and meals were plated and served (often by a butler or household staff). First essentials of great estate homes, later they could also be found in moderate middle class homes.


Vintage butler’s pantry

This butler’s pantry was designed by McKim, Mead and White in 1896 for Staatsburgh House in New York.

Since we technically don’t have a butler, I’m officially calling the new room as the walk-in china closet.

I’ve been dreaming of the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory’s china closet for as long as I can remember!

Janet de Botton’s dish wall featured on the cover of Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People coffee table book. Ang gandaaaa!

Bunny William’s walk-in china closet is envied by many including me! Check out her tureen and table cloth collection!

Bunny Williams has another fabulous china closet in her house in the Dominican Republic.

Carolyne Roehm’s butler’s pantry has a beautiful garden view.

Kate Spade has a butler’s pantry that leads to the kitchen.

The butler’s pantry at Skylands, Martha Stewart’s house in Maine came with the previous owners china and they happened to be Mr. and Mrs. Edsel Ford so it was pretty snazzy.

Martha Stewart also built a small dish closet in Skylands.

Kelly Wearstler’s dramatic kitchen and china cabinets. I read in one of her books that when she bought their mansion, she wanted the china collection of the previous homeowner to be part of the deal. I don’t blame her.

Silver vault at Vizcaya at the Copshaholm estate in South Bend, Indiana.

I’m drawing up the floor plan of our walk-in china closet in Maison Epperson and analyzing the storage space I need for my growing tableware collection. I don’t want to just build random closets and cram my stuff. Everything needs to be in its place and allot shelves for future “plato-platuhan”! LOL

“Let there be a place for every article, and when not in use let every article be in its place.” ~ Mrs. Elizabeth Ellet writes in The Practical Housekeeper, 1857

I’m meeting my carpenter today. I’ll update you on our walk-in china closet progress!

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