Why the butler’s pantry is back—even if you don’t have a butler

Plus four great greens to liven up any room

An all-green butler's pantry
A butler’s pantry is a handy holdout from older homes. (Trivia: Long ago, butlers would sleep in the pantries of grand European houses to guard the silver.) This Candler Park beauty upgraded glass-front upper cabinets with new X-mullions. Sandberg “Raphael” wallpaper appeals to the homeowner’s love of the outdoors.

Photograph by Rustic White

As the nerve center for entertaining, a versatile butler’s pantry is invaluable—whether or not you have a butler. In this Candler Park house, the multipurpose transitional area between the kitchen and dining room is where homeowners Ashley and Jack Reed mix drinks, put out a buffet, and store things for parties, like fine silver, crystal, and china.

Interior designer Virginia Cheek planned the Reeds’ existing butler’s pantry to excel in both looks and function. “We designed the adjoining dining room first and chose Farrow & Ball ‘Castle Gray’ for the walls and trim,” says Virginia. “We loved the result because it created an intimate, warm setting for entertaining, sort of an Old-World mood.” She carried the look into the butler’s pantry, using the same rich, green paint on cabinetry and trim, with botanical wallpaper in coordinating colors.

Unlacquered brass hardware from Matthew Quinn Collection brings in warm tones. A Roman shade made with Schumacher fabric doesn’t compete with the wallpaper but adds softness. An existing built-in wine fridge keeps cool beverages close by.

Photograph by Rustic White

Virginia also switched countertops from the previous gray granite to a classic white Quartzite. “Ashley wanted something that had the feel of a natural material but was more durable for things like cocktail making,” says the designer. “We actually did some sample testing, which included squeezing lemon juice on a marble we liked—and it did not go well. So, we settled on the Quartzite.” New X-motif mullions on upper cabinets and unlacquered brass hardware feels up-to-date but timeless.

Virginia praises the layout, even planning to copy some of the storage and prep-space ideas in her own house. “We live a more casual lifestyle today than we did 50 or so years ago,” she notes. “Having enough space for guests to serve themselves is key.”

4 Great Greens
From springy to moody

Four shades of green paint dripping down sticks

Photograph by Jason Lagi

From left:

Benjamin Moore “Lime Rickey,” benjaminmoore.com
Sherwin-Williams “Peppermint Leaf,” sherwin-williams.com
Farrow & Ball “Calke Green,” farrow-ball.com
PPG “Night Watch,” ppgpaints.com

This article appears in our Fall 2019 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.