kitchen shelves & the butler’s pantry

Marian ParsonsKitchen, My House55 Comments

Now that the cabinets are painted, I’m hoping to finish some other parts of the kitchen over the next few weeks.  The freshly painted cabinets and walls are a great backdrop, but the kitchen needs some more texture and warmth.

I am on the hunt for fabric to make curtains for the eating area, family room, and a valance for the kitchen.  I need a lot of fabric for all of that, so the trick is finding something I like that isn’t too expensive.  I’ve ordered samples and I’ll keep you posted on that.

I also need to paint the open shelving and finish styling it.  Ideally, I would’ve painted the walls and the shelves prior to hanging them, but sometimes the cart goes before the horse when DIYing.  I have to take all of the shelves down to paint them, so I’ve been dragging my feet!

The laundry room door will be painted in Stonington Gray, the same color as the kitchen island.  I’m also thinking about putting lettering in the transom window.  Maybe frosted film with cutout letters that say “Laundry”.

Around the corner is where it really gets fun.  The butler’s pantry!  I don’t want to paint it to match the kitchen cabinets, because I really like the idea of this piece looking unique and more like a piece of furniture.

I imagine modifying the upper cabinets, maybe to look similar to this cabinet…

At least, I plan to add bead board to the back, use corbels underneath, and paint it.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I always picture it painted in Boxwood MMS Milk Paint.  It’s such a rich color that would compliment the blues and pop against the whites.  I might test it out on a door and see how I feel about it.

The hardware will be the same as the pulls used in the kitchen, which will help tie the two together, even if they are painted in different colors.

This week, though, I have some other photo shoots to work on and a daybed that is in need of new paint and upholstery…

kitchen shelves & the butler’s pantry

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55 Comments on “kitchen shelves & the butler’s pantry”

  1. I like the idea of the green, but think different pulls would help the cabinet to seem like a more unique piece. Love the idea of corbels. Your home is looking beautiful. We moved to Florida from Pa. A year ago and I am not nearly as far along with our home. Where do you get the energy?

  2. Your new home is coming together beautifully! Love your ideas for the butlers pantry. In the kitchen, you might consider NOT painting the open shelves since they already add the warmth and texture you’re after! It’s fun watching it all come together.

  3. Agree with the reader above — you need different pulls and knobs on this piece, not the same ones from the kitchen! Look for an antique metal style with some patina! Make it unique as possible! It will tie in no matter what because the cabinets are actually the same and that will come through.

  4. Sooo excited to see this piece. I have to agree with the others, different handles and leavings the shelves natural. But I will love it no matter what.

  5. It’s looking very nice, Marian! The boxwood green is a great choice. But then again, I love all your colors in your milk paint line. It would be very difficult to decide. You are giving me so much inspiration!! Blessings!

  6. I LOVE the boxwood color for the butler’s pantry! Gorgeous color! And I”m like you, if something is still for more than 5 minutes, it’s getting painted. I would definately paint the shelves. Natural just look undecided and unfinished.

  7. The Boxwood is a beautiful shade of green. Great job! It will look beautiful in the butlers pantry with the glass pulls.

  8. I love dark green, but what about navy or black? If you use green, even tho Boxwood is beautiful, I’d use a dark dark green – or whatever color you choose. Your house is so light and bright it could really support something very dark. I agree about the knobs. Make it look like an antique piece with vintage metal and the corbels. I don’t know if this would work or not, but what about painting the shelves the same color that you paint the pantry piece?

  9. The first time I saw that butler’s pantry I pictured it in one of your gorgeous blue colors. But your green pick is growing on me. Listen to me… as if I’m the one living there! Whatever you do will be as gorgeous as all the other things you do. Can hardly wait every day to see your vision and energy continue making this house a home.

  10. Rather than stenciling the window or changing it out, try using the “etching” I have seen that can be used on glass….you could do a reverse…cut the letters out for the word, then place the lettering and etch the glass around it. I have never used it before, but have seen it…I think they have the stuff at Hobby Lobby…it just “etches” the glass. Something to research and maybe try. Also, I still think you should consider putting glass in the existing laundry door…I did it and LOVE it. Can’t link it but if you go to my site and search “”glass door” it pops right up! Not a totally simple project but one I know you could handle!

  11. Love the green. I agree with the others, metal pulls with patina would look rich with the green. I don’t think the glass handles would have the visual weight needed. And it doesn’t matter to me if it ties in with the kitchen. It will work because of how you style it, and because you’ve put your MMS stamp on it.

    You are showing us how to pivot and change with grace rather than fear (regarding your other post about changes) and it’s giving me hope that I can do it too. Thanks for being an inspiration.

  12. I’ve loved everything you’ve done to your home already so I know the butler’s pantry is going to look fabulous because you have such an eye for color! I’m partial to green colors so I think it will fabulous. I love the etching on the glass idea for your laundry room door!

  13. What about putting some great graphic wallpaper behind the shelves…maybe in a blue pathway…kind of like the wonderful fabric you hung in your master bedroom in the PA house? It would give some interest, some “texture” to a small space, not look too overpowering since there will be items on the shelves, and won’t cost much at all because the space is small….really manageable spot for a wallpaper project 🙂 House is looking really cozy!

  14. Hi Marian, I have a design piece, pic and plans from a book, you may be interested in for your kit island. When I saw the inspiration pic for your butlers pantry, I thought you may be interested in making this piece for your kit island, as it could marry your kitchen and butlers pantry even more. And you have a young, busy family and family life, it could be handy. I will email you the pic and plans as soon as I get over the flu. I couldn’t believe I was DX’ed with the flu ystrdy. Good grief!! So early in the Fall too!

  15. Love the idea of the green with beadboard on the back wall. Instead of typing it together, I like the idea of it looking more like a stand alone piece, not looking like “matching cabinets” in the other area. With that in mind, I would use the metal bin pulls to add more interest and distinction from the kitchen cabinets.

  16. Sounds like a plan! Where will you find the corbels? I am in need of some that are thick like the ones you show.

  17. Boxwood! I love that color! I agree with the others…use different hardware on the butler’s pantry. You want it to look like furniture, so treat it differently. I thought the suggestion of thinking of wallpaper or fabric instead of beadboard deserves a second thought as well. It is so nice to have input from readers. I would love to have that on my home projects that I am working on. Great job, Marian!

  18. I love your ideas! and also the comments. I’m with the others who say no to the glass handles, love your plan for the laundry room transom and think the idea of wall paper or perhaps vintage sheet music behind the shelves(painted, not natural) would be sharp. Since you referenced KariAnne in a recent post, no doubt you know she’s moving too. I was going to ask you to move again since this string of posts about your move has been such fun, but with any luck, when you’re done (as if any of us are ever done) she’ll be ready to make her new house her own too. Keep up the good work; I look forward to your posts like I look forward to my sister’s emails every day, and that’s a lot!

  19. I’ve always thought that natural looked unfinished too… you couldn’t decide whether to paint or stain and then forgot about it and moved into the next project, lol! My apologies to everyone who likes natural…..different strokes and all that! I think the headboard would add that farmhouse charm and the green is a lovely color. Have to say that I think the hardware should be different….something more…..substantial?

  20. Mary Ann, you took the words right out of my mouth. Marian, dear, whatever you do with the butler’s Pantry will be beautiful, but I hope you’ll consider using vintage pulls like you’d find on an antique cabinet-with-hutch. They would help sell the illusion that it’s a separate piece of furniture (that just happens to fit the space perfectly—ha ha). IMHO, the style of the doors ties it in nicely with the kitchen.

  21. I think I would leave the shelves as they are. They add the warmth you’re looking for and tie in to the floor. Love the green for the pantry.
    Your home is looking great!

  22. My hutch painted in boxwood, is one of my favorite things in my house! It’s such a perfect color. I whole-heartedly support the idea of painting your butlers pantry in boxwood!

  23. I’m not a person that like green so if it were me I would paint it in the same white as the kitchen cabinets and put a top in the same marble that you put in the kitchen.
    The corbels and pulls will different from the other cabinets. The marble will give change the look. It this this in my pantry and it looks great.

  24. Boxwood has always been one of my favorite of your colors, but I also love Artissimo which we don’t get to see often. I think that would also be a striking color to paint the butler’s pantry. My grandmother’s home had real transom windows that always seemed to be leaning open just a little. It evokes such homey feelings in me. I had a love of farmhouse style decorating from her home long before it was popular, but I used to call it “grandma style” because it was really genuine farmhouse style (except for the floral burnt orange faux mohair couch we all hated). Anyway your blog keeps inspiring me and I have watched you evolve over many years through several different chapters and each is interesting, so I am eager to continue following along.

  25. If you’re looking for fabric of any kind, there’s the marvelous SR Harris fabric outlet just north of Minneapolis. Huge warehouse full of wonderful fabrics at great prices.

  26. Love this green and can’t wait to see it done. I hope to paint a piece green and this looks perfect.

  27. I’m curious how you’re storing your cookbooks now that they aren’t on the island shelving? I had mine in a cabinet for years, but the shelf just collapsed recently. I culled my collection, but I’m not sure where in the kitchen is sturdy enough to hold the remaining books. Thanks!

  28. Love the green! I have a shelf space similar but smaller. I am thinking of putting some of that removable wall paper behind the shelves to give some pops of color and tie everything together. Kinda nervous about how it will look but going to give it a try.

  29. I love everything you do! I hope you still love blue and white because it is timeless! The green will be gorgeous, especially with the blue. And I like that shade of green. Would sure love to pick your brain for my kitchen ideas. Will be watching for the finished results.

  30. Hi Marian,
    Your style is amazing and fun to see how you make color choices, I like all of them!
    I have a transom to a room, also, but I like it plain as more of an architectural statement.
    I know words are popular in home design, perhaps trendy, but I think it is something you should live with for awhile before adding to the transom? It is easily removed so maybe it will be fine. Just my unsolicited opinion.

  31. You have some great plans. Can hardly wait to see the outcome of all your hard work. Just remember to take a little time for yourself and enjoy the glorous Fall that God has given us.

  32. Blue with green is my favoritee color combination, it’s timeless! I think your green is gorgeous. I also love the bright green on that tray in your inspiration photo.
    In my opinion, glass door cabinets are a treasure, it’s wonderful to display your treasures behind them without ever worrying about dusting them.
    I had a cabinet maker build me some in my sunroom and in my kitchen.

  33. I love what you’ve done! That boxwood color is GORGEOUS! I cut vinyl decals and would love to send you a Laundry decal when you’re ready! I made a “Pantry” one for a friend and it turned out gorgeous!

  34. Guess I am the only one who thinks that pantry should not be painted…new antique pulls would be great tho. Instead of beadboard between the top and bottom how about ship lap? IDK, just a thought. I do like the green a lot but just think the wood gives warmth to the room. And those shelves look so nice left just like they are…wood not white.

  35. Love the idea of the bear board and paint. I would leave the glass door or reuse them in the kitchen. I am not a fan of valances, it seems very 1980 early 90’s. I would use a interesting shade on that window. I tend to over decorate, but I would add either interesting baskets (lunch style) to the shelves above for texture or wooden bowls. I dislike empty upper shelving. Too bad you can’t add small glass cabinet doors.

  36. I had a plate rack and had to sell it because I didn’t have the wall space. I really like your ideas.

  37. Have you ever looked at the Christopher Peacock kitchens?
    You can google it, I see your kitchen possibly looking like that. His use of ccolor is
    Very limited. A little black with all the white is s beautiful.
    The latches he uses would be awesome on your cabinet. I don’t know who it is
    But there is a company that makes those fabulous latches. The hardware is the
    Jewelry of the kitchen.
    Love your home!

  38. Hi Marian,
    Your plans sound lovely. Have you thought about adding furniture feet to the kickplate along with your corbels? That would be the icing on the cake to give it a freestanding hutch vibe. And maybe glass knobs instead of handles to tie it into your kitchen without matching?
    I think wooden shelves would warm up the kitchen, or painted shelves with maybe a background behind them. Whatever you do, I’m sure I’ll love it. I can’t wait to see what you do next!

  39. Even before I got to the part where you write you are considering Boxwood for the butlers pantry, I was thinking in my head “The butlers pantry would look amazing in green!” And making it look like a stand-alone piece is genius! All of sudden it stands out and looks unique. It’s just so much fun to watch all this!

  40. I am a huge fan of the boxwood green since I love English gardens and they utilize a lot of boxwood bushes. I really like your using the same beautiful glass hardware as you used in the kitchen. It will be beautiful, I look forward to the finished results. Way to go.

  41. Furniture style feet at the toe kick would help to sell the stand alone look too. I added feet to my kitchen island and it really helped it to look like a furniture piece rather than a builder grade maple cabinet. Wrapping it in bead board and painting it Boxwood helped too!

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