Daring the Butler’s Panty

Chinese blue cabinets in a butler's pantry and bar designed by Miles ReddEight lively looks for classic kitchen storage spaces.

Whether it’s used to store foodstuffs, small appliances, cookware, china and crystal, wine, silver, serveware or collectibles, the butler’s pantry may be the place to take a chance on color.  I’m going to make an educated guess and say that designer Miles Redd had the whimsical pantry with a paint-decorated ceiling [top] done in full-gloss Farrow & Ball Chinese Blue. I know this color – it’s on my front door — and it’s impossible to explain the charm and appeal of a hue used in homes since Colonial times. It speaks for itself.

Going bold in the butler’s is a way to add personality to the heart of the house.  I’ve been agitating for ramped up color in kitchen areas for several years now but it takes courage – something that’s in short supply when so many magazines and blogs keep fueling the all-white-kitchen juggernaut, a trend that prompted Toronto blogger, Jen Selk, to lash out: “I’m sick to death of all-white kitchens,” Selk declared in a quote on Pinterest.  “You know the ones I mean — vast expanse of white marble, tiled backsplash, bowl of citrus on the counter. It’s boring…” I didn’t phrase it quite that way when I wrote my All White Kitchens — Trend Over back in 2010, but Selk’s call for something fresher makes a valid point.

Lime green Georgian style butler's pantry cabinetsLime green looks scary-assertive on a paint swatch but how great are these very traditional Georgian cabinets done in a food color? That’s because yellow-greens are naturally edgy, with a visual acidity that never fails to modernize.

Glossy black butler's pantry with white marble counters and gray inside glass-front upper cabinetsBlack and white, with a gray-painted beadboard inside, might not technically be called color. But glossy black cabinets are holding firm. Let’s face it: this is tuxedo style – a high contrast combo that can’t go wrong, especially for someone who collects ironstone, which displays beautifully.

Large Hague Blue full-gloss butler's pantry designed by Miles ReddYes, you guessed it. Miles Redd strikes again, this time with Farrow & Ball’s full-gloss Hague Blue for a butler’s pantry that’s as rich as its hue. Perhaps most interesting is that the pantry’s adjacent to an “all-white.” Pulling things together are the 19th century dining chairs upholstered in Bennison’s wheat flower linen blend – a print with a blue that ties into the pantry.

charcoal gray-painted butler's pantry with copper bar sink and counters Charcoal gray walls paired with a copper bar sink and counters has a subtle metallic theme that blends well with a travertine backsplash. Such soothing darkness is offset by a window that reveals just how narrow a butler’s pantry can be.

blue butler's pantry with library ladder - AtticmagI’ve often seen rooms and houses painted blue-violet in tropical climates where the intensity is blunted a bit. In this Wayzata, Minnesota family pantry it looks just the opposite — cozy and country, warmed by terra cotta stone flooring, rustic patterned tile (far left) and a handy library ladder that permits no-fuss access to objects stored those heavenly top shelves.

Orange butler's pantry cupboard painted in Benjamin Moore's Dark SalmonWhat was designer Lucy Penfield thinking when she specified Benjamin Moore’s Dark Salmon 2009-30 in high gloss for this cabinet then added vintage Anthropologie hardware? Stunningly girly thoughts that makes the piece so bright and original it’s truly unforgettable.

chocolate colored butler's pantry in a Southhampton house by Steven GambrelWhen in the mood for chocolate, look no further. The great Steven Gambrel channeled 17th century Dutch interiors for the butler’s pantry in this Long Island manse, added Gothic revival oak furniture that almost no one is using these days, and managed to make a service area positively yummy.

(Source:  Miles Redd, house and home, donaldlococoarchitects, twentyonetwo, murphycodesign, lucyinteriordesign, srgambrel)

 

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2 Responses to “Daring the Butler’s Panty”

  1. Carlton Hobbs February 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    Stephen Gambrell’s chocolate colored scheme combined with that interesting pair of neo-gothic chairs is definitely my favorite!

  2. cat_mom February 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    When I win the lottery, my next house is going to have a butler’s pantry!!!! :)

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