Do you need a place to stash your dish addiction? Today I’m sharing an easy butlers pantry I created because I needed a consolidated place to gather my plates and dishes and other dishware I love! And you can have a butlers pantry too! Come on and see how easy it was to make…
If you have been a part of the StoneGable family of readers for any time then you know love dishes to the point of obsession. I really love all styles and kinds but I have a special affinity for white dishes.
Recently, I cleaned out and gave away hundreds and hundreds of dishes! It was hard to let them go but I really needed to cull down my stash to just the things I love the most and use.
I can’t say there wasn’t a few tears shed and a bit of tugging at my heart strings when I let go my grandmother’s peach luster Fire King.
So where do I keep the “chosen few (many) still part of my collection? Recently I received this email about where I keep my dishes…
I love your tablescapes. Simply beautiful. I am wondering where and how you store all these beautiful dishes. Do you have a system? Also, do you purchase enough dishes to set a full (8-10) table? I can’t imagine where I could store so many pretty things. Love your blog! Debbie
Great question, Debby! I get questions so often about where I store my dishware.
So today I’m sharing my butlers pantry and how to make one yourself!
For years I kept my dishes crammed in my kitchen cabinets and on shelves down in my basement. Believe me, a basement is not a very practical place to keep heavy dishes, right?
So I converted one of the closets in our foyer into a simple butlers pantry now lovingly known as THE DISH CLOSET!
HOW WE MADE OUR BUTLERS PANTRY
We (and when I say “we” I mean Bobby) converted the closet into a great dish closet for storing most of my beloved dishes in just a couple hours.
Here’s how we did it…
We fitted a foyer coat closet with shelves 15 inches high by screwing 1 x 2-inch pine boards into the sides and back of the closet, along the studs, making a little shelf for a 12 x 2-inch board to sit on.
So easy to make and very functional!
We also made the same kind of shelves in a small closet in a guest bedroom for my pillow stash.
WHAT I KEPT
Winnowing out the decades of plates, cups, saucers, mugs, bowls, soup tureens, cake plates, flatware, napkin rings, napkins and more was a horrendous task! My mantra in this huge purge was…
Which happens to be my mantra whenever I do a big clean-up of just about anything! I only wanted what I could not live without and truly used and loved.
So I decide my butlers pantry would only hold dishes of certain colors (for the most part)! And of those colors, I would only keep dishware I used over the last 18 months.
With the exception of my wedding china!
Anyone who loves dishes knows the angst I felt parting with so many really beautiful things!
But the freedom of letting go was also exhilarating!
CHOOSING A DISH COLOR PALETTE
I kept most of my white dishes. That was a no-brainer. I most often use them when I set a table no matter the occasion or season.
Some of my white dishes are kept in glass front cabinets in my kitchen and a built-in in my dining room.
The rest of my white collection went into the dish closet.
Blue and white were my next colors of choice. However, I really weeded out a lot of blue and white dishes, keeping ones that I could dress up and down on a table.
I also chose to keep some red dishes because they work with blue and white for summer and are a pretty addition at Christmastime.
I let go of a few sets of china only keeping my wedding china.
Do you have wedding china? I still LOVE my WHITE NILE by Noritake! Right now it has not made its way to the butlers pantry. But I have all good intentions of getting it out of the basement and on the empty shelf soon.
BEST TIP FOR ADDING COLOR TO YOUR COLLECTION
Collect small dessert/salad plates and small bowl in all sorts of colors and patterns. They don’t take up lots of room and when they are added to a white table they totally change its look!
This has become my signature look! Simple, right?
WHAT DISHES TO COLLECT
Okay, Debby! Let’s talk about how many dishes you should have of one kind. Believe me, I am not THE authority AT ALL! But I am a bit of an authority because of decades of loving dishes and setting tables!
So here’s my two cents…
- collect what you love
- keep what you love
- edit what is not in good repair
- if you haven’t used it in a couple years, think about letting it go
- buy or keep dinner plates 4 or more of the same pattern
- buy or keep accent dishes and bowls in quantities of 2 or more
- keep or buy cups and saucers, even if they don’t match (you can mix and match them beautifully)
For me, it’s more important to collect dishes in “color palettes” than a certain number of the same dishes.
Magic happens when a table is set with mismatched (but coordinated) dishes.
Every place setting does not need to be the same. Mix and match your tableware for a beautiful, interesting look!
Did you notice the white dinner plates above? They are different and so are the blue and white salad plates as well as the cups and saucers. Mix and matching the dinnerware makes this bright fall table extra pretty!
Debby, I hope I’ve answered your question and inspired you to keep collecting what you love!
I’m thinking about making a printable with what you should keep, throw away and give away when it comes to all dishes.
If you would use a printable like this leave a comment. If enough of you want a printable I’ll work on one this weekend.