In this post: If you’re looking for butlers pantry ideas to decorate that curious little room, here are 10 ways to add French style to the butlers pantry.⇒
I’ve always loved little nooks and crannies in a home’s layout.
An alcove here, a passageway there, and little side rooms that seem almost hidden. Of course, this runs completely counter to the more modern trend of open concept space. Our home is on the newer side and has its share of open space. Yet at the same time, I’ve made some effort to add character in the form of little nooks where I could find them.
A perfect example is the butler’s pantry which we transformed from an unused storage closet into a beautiful, if tiny, serving space. You can read all about that renovation HERE.
But once any remodeling work is done, the best part is styling the new space to reflect your personal style.
Today I’m sharing the finished product, fully decorated with my favorite elements. Here are 10 butler’s pantry ideas for adding French style to a lovely serving area.
Butler’s Pantry Ideas
As with most of the design in my home, I approached the butler’s pantry with my signature enthusiasm for modern French Country style. Most of my vignettes include a balance of contrasts, from polished to patina, sleek to pastoral, light to colorful and hard-edged to softly draped.
The list that follows includes all of these characteristics comfortably mixed in the very small space.
1. Vintage silver – The glimmer of silver is always refreshing, adding a hint of bling to a home, but can be especially beloved when offset by the timeworn patina that a little tarnish can add in the crevices. Pieces with repoussé trim lend themselves particularly well to this look. In the butler’s pantry I love a decorative ice bucket or water pitcher, as well as this lovely wine caddy that I found at a street market in a small town in France.
2. Crystal wine goblets – One of the key elements used liberally in my home, crystal affords the opportunity to bounce light around a space. The glints are exceptionally lovely off the cut crystal pattern in these goblets. I’ve also tucked a decanter behind the stemware on the drink tray.
3. White linen – Another go-to element present in most of my rooms, white linen lends a softness and purity to any vignette or arrangement. Here I used a stamped french tea towel, but often it’s an embroidered napkin, a pillow or even a coaster. I love the balance a soft textile lends to the harder pieces around it.
4. White ironstone and fresh flowers – Florals are a great way to add touches of color and gentility and here I’ve incorporated both fresh roses in an antique blush and a vintage white pitcher embossed with lily-of-the-valley stems. Pieces from my ironstone collection pop up all over my home.
5. Kitchen utensil prints – The elements I’ve used in our butler’s pantry were selected not only for their look, but also for concept, taking into account the purpose of this space. In that spirit, I loved the idea of using artwork depicting pretty flatware pieces. I selected the matching pair (the other one is a spoon) which would also look fabulous in a kitchen or breakfast nook.
6. Elegant brass tray – A tray is a wonderful piece to use to corral like items when styling your spaces. It has a way of bringing smaller pieces together to create a cohesive statement. Thematically, in the butler’s pantry, a space made for serving drinks, an elegant brass tray can be just the thing to present your glassware and related items. This one is not vintage but has a charming antiqued finish that worked perfectly against the white backdrop.
7. Vintage brass candlesticks – I’ve always been comfortable mixing metals and you will very often see me use gold and silver together. Here the gilded look is attained with vintage brass candlesticks and pear shaped crystal drops. Metallic flecked candlesticks only enhance the look even further.
8. Antique chippy candlestick – I probably should have named my blog ‘bling and patina’ and right on cue, next to the blingy pair of candle holders is my chippy-paint altar candlestick (found in an antique shop in Florence). The notion of contrasts helps underscore the effect of one element when balanced against another.
9. French wine – and what would a French pantry be like without French wine? Not only is the wine fridge filled with our favorites, but I also display a preferred bottle or two on the counter among the serving pieces. In this vignette it is, of course, served up in the pretty silver wine caddy.
10. Teacup chandelier – In a teeny-tiny space, sometimes you need to think vertically when approaching your decor. Here is pays to look up to catch a glimpse of this very special chandelier. It was my grandmother’s classic crystal fixture, and I had the teacups and other trinkets added to give it personality and uniqueness. It was embellished years ago when I first got it, but when we moved into this house and added the butler’s pantry, I knew that was the perfect spot for it conceptually.
In addition to the decor items I added when styling, there are a few more permanent items worth mentioning that help give the room its distinctly French flavor.
Before we refinished our entry floor, which extends into this butler’s pantry, I had covered the hated ceramic tile with a beautiful needlepoint rug in an aubusson type pattern. It was perfectly sized for the space, played off the floral arrangement, and added just the right punctuation for this tiny space. But with the new white marble tiling, I’m happy to leave the floors bare to enjoy all that gorgeous stone.
Likewise the stunning embellished brass knobs we selected for the cabinets are like a very special icing on the cake. Their lovely curved shape and decorative flourishes are the epitome of the vintage look I love to play off the more sleek look of all that white marble.
These enchanting French elements are using sparingly here, as the space is rather tiny. Yet they show how easy it is to bring character to a room by selecting your decorative items carefully.
How fun it is to have a little serving nook in my home, even if it isn’t a hidden passageway!
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
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