Hello everyone. I’m sorry for the last couple weeks of radio silence, I had been working on something on my end that I will be able to tell you all about very soon! Today I wanted to talk about china storage. You have listened to me talk about china in the post China Tales, see here, but I haven’t discussed where to keep it. This weekend I went on a re-organization binge to determine the best way to store my china, linens, and silver. Let’s just say the project is not finished, and I may have to add some shelves inside my sideboard. While in the midst of this project all I could think about was how lovely it would be to have a large butlers pantry or china room that could store everything in an organized fashion – like Martha Stewart’s butler’s pantry above. A girl can dream, right?
This is a picture of Bunny Williams china room in her house in the Dominican Republic. Now let’s be honest, the amount of china, silver, and linens that I have would not even fill a single cabinet in this room, but what a dream to walk in and have everything on display providing instant table setting inspiration. And finally, this is the butler’s pantry at The Breakers, in Newport Rhode Island. Completed in 1895 for Cornelius Vanderbilt II and designed by Richard Morris Hunt, The Breakers is one of the more famous Newport mansions where entertaining was part of everyday life. This butlers pantry has a mezzanine, meaning it offers two stories of storage for china. Note the single pane glass fronted cabinets that would allow staff to locate china quickly and easily. It is also interesting to recognize that the cabinetry in the butler’s pantry goes all the way to the floor, which was very common at the turn of the century. Today, most kitchen cabinetry has a recessed kick plate at its base. We don’t have a need for a china room such as this one anymore, as we no longer have the number of staff to manage storage such as this. However, these rooms still exist in historic homes throughout the world, and offer a glimpse into another time. All I need is a couple extra shelves.
Photos courtesy of House Beautiful, Martha Stewart, and Historic Structures.