Butler’s Pantry Plans

by | Mar 15, 2018 | All Things Home, Decorating, decorating dilemmas, Kitchen, My House | 24 comments

Before I share about the butler’s pantry, I wanted to give everyone a head’s up that my latest round of paintings are for sale and the auctions end today.  You can view and bid on the paintings HERE.

There is still snow on the ground and it was in the 20’s today, but it still feels like spring is coming.  It will be here eventually, anyway!  I don’t feel antsy for spring, but I am starting to get the itch to work on more home projects again.  We’ve kept things moving along over the winter with painting, having the wood floors installed, working on organization, sewing curtains, etc. but I’m ready to dig into some bigger projects.

Once it’s warm enough, we really need to get our garage cleaned out and organized.  We have some boxes we still need to unpack, even!  It’s a bit of a mess and a frustration whenever I’m trying to find a specific tool or box of screws.  I’ll walk around in a huff, “We’ve got to get organized!”  It’ll happen soon, but right now Jeff is in the second half of his last semester of school and it’s just too cold.

The whole point is that once we get the garage cleaned out, we can set up a mobile wood shop, so we can work on some of the woodworking projects on my list.  I’d like to do some molding and trim, built-ins under the windows in my studio, and I want to customize the butler’s pantry…

(By the way, “butler’s pantry” sounds fancy, but this is just some extra cabinets between the kitchen and dining room.  It’s just easier to call it a “butler’s pantry” than “extra cabinets between the kitchen and dining room”, so we’ll go with that!)

I’ve struggled with this space a bit, because I didn’t want to paint it white, like the rest of the cabinets.  The glass shelves up top also feel too modern for me.  As I’ve shared before, I’d like to make this look more like a custom piece of furniture.  It’s perfectly nice as is, but I want it to have more personality and to really make a statement!

I’ve looked around for all sorts of ideas and I finally found one that, in my opinion, will bridge the gap between my love of antiques and this newer, more traditional home.  Best yet, it’ll be fairly simple to make and I can use the existing base cabinets. This is the picture I’m using as a jumping off point…

(I couldn’t find the source, unfortunately.)

We’ll put tongue and groove on the back and sides of the niche, I’ll design the cutouts to run along the sides and top, and we’ll add simple shelving and brackets.  My shelves will be deeper and probably won’t have the curvy edge like the ones above, but that’s the general idea.

And, it’s all going to get painted!  I keep picturing it in MMS Milk Paint Boxwood, so that’s probably what I’ll use, but a last minute change is possible!  It will be a color, though, not white.

I’m excited to see how all of my old things will look in the space once it’s reworked.  I feel like they are butting heads with the built-ins a bit now.

I mean, Civil War era flatware just doesn’t look at home in maple cabinetry built in 2005.

But, I will make them play nicely…


  1. Lee Ann

    I know what you mean about wanting it to be spring! We had a couple of 80 degree days, and today it started in the 20s again. I am itching to get out in the yard, and like you, to clean out the garage! We keep running out there long enough to throw something down, mutter about how dang cold it is, then back into the warm house!

  2. Marianne

    Hurry, hurry – I can’t wait to see it! Lol

  3. Teresa

    I like the idea of breaking up the cabinets in the butler pantry with a different color other than white.

    I don’t know how you folks in Minnesota do it when it comes to Winter. Its been on the cold, chilly side in Central VA for the past week but today we have a warm up and temps will be close to 60. The Bradford pears, forsythia and daffodils are blooming and my weeping cherry has some white buds starting to peak out. So I know Spring is on its way!

  4. Jacki

    I like the glass cabinets…just think, less dusting.

  5. Connie J in GA

    I think your plan for the butlers pantry is outstanding and the inspiration photo is so charming. Can’t wait to see it!

  6. Elizabeth

    We are in the midst of buying a home in PA after living in Seattle, WA. I’ve always loved a stone farmhouse with as many fireplaces as possible! The fact is those are usually all renovated and extremely pricey or in need of a lot of TLC & $$$$ in order to make them habitable. Your site and renovations of this newer home have given me hope that I can maybe purchase something in between new and 200 years old and make it all my own! Thank you!

  7. Teri

    I like the glass doors but your ideas sound great.

  8. Jenn

    I love how you are taking your modern home in an older direction. Your solution to “mustardizing” a traditional/new cabinet space is awesome! I can’t wait to see how you guys do it. Keep going and I love reading about how you are making your home suite your taste and the needs of your family!

  9. tracy forsythe

    Hope you keep adding artwork to the auction sight! Looking forward to seeing the new butler’s pantry!

  10. April

    Your paintings are gorgeous! <3

  11. Leslie

    Looking forward to seeing the reworked pantry. And happy to hear you are going with boxwood green, one of my favorite colors.

  12. Debbie

    I think the “MMS Boxwood” will be beautiful, and will really show off your white ironstone! Love the idea of shelves rather than the glass doors.

  13. JolieAnne

    I love that color and the style you are going for! I have an open hutch and I like it but it needs a paint job, antique maple is pretty but I am tired of brown! Can’t wait to see your finished piece!
    Your paintings are great!

  14. Krista

    I’m excited to see that project take shape.

  15. Rebecca

    Love the idea of shelves!! And isn’t it a luxury to have a space to call a “Butler’s Pantry?” I know it’s just a fancy word for extra kitchen storage, but I always dreamed of having a space for those special serving pieces and glassware that are used for special occasions! So happy for you and can’t wait to see it!!!!!❤️❤️

  16. t

    LoVe your inspiration photo! It will look great. Can’t wait to see it finished with all of your “pretties!”

  17. Jody K

    Love the plans! I pictured it painted in green the last time you mentioned it! Can’t wait to see the finished project.

  18. Jeannie

    Your butler’s pantry will be fantastic painted. The open top will be pretty.

    I HATE to dust & with a golden retriever who sheds a LOT, it’s easier to have glass doors to reduce dusting.

    Love what you’re doing with your home. It’s beautiful.

  19. Maaike

    Just wondering… do you use that Civil War era flatware?

  20. Sharon Rexroad

    Oh, I love you for being bold and painting “perfectly good” modern wood cabinets. I (fingers crossed) close on a house built in 2006 that has beautiful cherry cabinets in the kitchen. But I want to paint them a creamy yellow and my realtor looked at me as if I lost my mind.

    Your inspiration picture being a laundry room triggered an idea for me though. My soon-to-be laundry room is adjacent to the kitchen and has the same cherry cabinets. I could paint them first to see how I like them and to hone my craft before taking on the kitchen itself!

  21. MaryLisa Noyes

    Your artwork is awesome! Looking forward to seeing how the cabinets turn out.

  22. Tammie

    I sware we have simular taste. When I saw the pantry I saw boxwood right away! I can’t wait to see It! I used your mms boxwood on my dining chairs and I love it.

  23. Nan, Odessa, DE

    Now let me confuse you more!
    On the back side of the doors, can you get the glass out? I have what is called rat wire in my cabinet that was spray painted black first. We have thin, molding holding it in place. I could also add glass someday IF desired and use the moldings. This definitely gives an older look and you still have a closed cabinet. I am sure whatever YOU do will be grand!

    I can see such improvement in your art.

    Do you have any antique silver ware holder for sale like the one you show?
    Lov’n it!



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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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