08 August 2013

The butler's pantry, finally getting some attention

When I showed you how I “styled” the inside of the china cabinet...

... a few of you may have noticed that I filled it with freshly polished silver (here’s how I do that). And even fewer of you may have thought to yourself, “Oh good, that means it’s no longer sitting out on the counter in the butler’s pantry. Where she put it when she moved in and left it for the last YEAR.”

In my (shoddy) defense, the plan was to hang shelves on our kitchen wall, like I did here, and display the silver there. But then I got scared of putting holes in the apartment walls, and then I found I have good reason to fear putting holes in our wall (plaster, it’s terrifying!). Without any way to reasonably anchor the shelves to the wall, I basically just used the butler’s pantry as a place to store the shelves and the silver. Yes, for a YEAR.

But moving the silver to the china cabinet meant I finally cleared off the counter as a consequence. And that motivated me to find another place to stash those shelves until we’re in a place without terrifying walls. Suddenly I realized... oh hey, I have a butler’s pantry! Maybe I should do something with it!

It’s not much, but here it is today:

Clearly, it’s impossible to photograph the little space (the vignetting is from my wide-angle lens adaptor). But hopefully you can see some of the changes – namely, those curtains!

For a while I’d been looking for some patterned material to fall in love with for this space, but I finally decided to just mirror the white curtains and oil-rubbed bronze curtain rods in the adjacent living room. And it helped that I had a scrap piece of white twill from an abandoned project:

The piece was 54” (the width of the bolt) and 36” long, and I figured I could transform that into decent panels by just cutting it in half and ironing the edges with my trusty-dusty hem tape. (As you might have gathered from the iron power cord in the floor of the last photo. I am so not a professional.)

However, there was a tiny flaw in my use-what-I’ve-got plan... I really needed the fabric to be 38” long, so I could hang the curtain rod high and wide without leaving a gap between the curtains and the counter (shorty curtains = one of my biggest decorating pet peeves). Since I couldn’t make a rod pocket without substantially shortening the curtains, I took the easy – and lengthy – way out by using curtain ring clips.

Honestly I’m usually not a huge fan of curtain ring clips (or as Mr. P calls them, “those shower curtain hooks”), but I’ll choose them over short curtains any day! And anyway, I can still get my favorite nice pleats with my little bobby-pin trick.

Yup, it looks totally ridiculous... for about twenty-four hours. Once the pins are off and the curtains are perfectly pleated, you’ll regret making fun of my bobby-pinning ways!

As for the other biggest update in the room, I finally replaced the monkey lamp and red lampshade with something a little more neutral and blingy.

I found the mercury-glass lamp at Target and I LOVE it. Although honestly, I also liked the monkey lamp and would have repurposed it. Unfortunately, the red lampshade got stuck on it, and I was just so over the red and really wanted to get that red lampshade outta there. And considering that Mr. P always thought the monkey lamp was super weird, I decided to just start fresh with something I liked even more. At least I already owned the white lampshade, so I got something out of storage!

There’s still several more things to do in here – hang some art on the walls, make the sink area a little more functional, and generally turn this room into a space I use rather than just pass through. But. Progress!

Let’s hope that I can ride the motivation wave to finish sprucing up this space... and not take another year to do it!


Tina said...

Pretty. And resourceful. Although I do really like the eclecticity (it is a word... or at least a store - http://www.eclec.com/ of that monkey lamp. Sorry that the red shade got stuck, but I really prefer it as well as is...esp. sitting for height on a stack of old books. Puh-leez don't send it to Goodwill. It will always have a home at my weird house. ;-)

Sarah said...

@Tina, no worries! The monkey lamp and its now-permanent red shade are in the basement... as part of a growing pile of things you'd like back in your house!