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Butlers may exist only in fiction these days, but butler’s pantries—designed for simple food and drink prep and for storing tableware and linens—are more popular than ever. Vintage houses often have them tucked between the kitchen and the dining room; new and renovated homes include them wherever they make sense. The best of them perform their duties while holding to the same high design standards as the rest of the house.
1. Bentwood of Chicago refinished existing cabinetry and created new pieces for storing trays and silver in the pantry
of the 2011 Lake Forest Show–house in a Howard Van Doren Shaw residence. Soapstone counters and Phillip Jeffries
grass-cloth wallpaper finish the look.
2. For a Gold Coast home, Christopher Peacock designed a walk-in pantry
with refrigerated drawers and plentiful shelving behind natural-finish wood
doors from Peacock’s Refectory line.
3. Bold cobalt-blue cabinets by Wood-Mode and Brookhaven
add some pow to a pantry connecting the dining room to the
galley kitchen (below).
Brushed nickel hardware and antique glass blend with the decor of the living and dining rooms of this 1920s condo
on the North Side.
4. Mick De Giulio and Susan Skilton designed a new butler’s pantry for a vintage house in Lincoln Park using
De Giulio Collection cabinetry in ebonized walnut, polished Calacatta gold marble countertops, antique mirror inserts,
and motorized backsplash panels that roll up to reveal storage.
Photography: (1&3) Tony Soluri (2) Bob Coscarelli, Styling by Cynthia McCullough (4) Dave Burk