Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dish Pantry Makeover

I am recovering from a bout of food poisoning (pizza) and couldn't crawl down to the basement to take in-progress photos of the dish room, so I hope you won't mind if I show a couple of reruns. Two and one half years ago, when we moved to the farm, I filled the kitchen pantry bookcases with cookbooks and pottery.

My friend Allison helped me tweak--usually she'd say, "Take off one more thing!" And she was always right. I loved the bookcases. But then I got a wild hair. I decided to put the cookbooks in the bedroom (for night time reading and dreaming) so I could make a little dish pantry for the Ironstone. How lovely to just reach for plates! My former kitchen had open shelving, and I loved it.

Halfway through the project, I'd made the biggest mess, and I wished I'd never started. Dr. Gollum was starting to freak out.

Bit by bit, I moved the Ironstone. I needed two more shelves, but this is it. I had to make it work.

Here are the chargers on the bottom shelf.

And serving pieces...all white...well, some of them...and a dear egg cup that Susan gave me.

Stacked plates and an "Antiqua" pottery bowl.

Two shelves...I'm still trying to decide if I want to hang the cups from little hooks.

I couldn't resist this little vignette.

Hand me an apple, babe.

Little pitchers hold old spoons.

This is just one reason I love Ironstone--the details on this covered dish.

The upper shelf with vases and the bird tureen. The cookie jar will be moved (and used with a future tablescape); but I was too pooped to fuss with it. :-)

Three jugs

A new "wee" egg that Dr. Gollum brought me last week.

The soup bowls and salad plates, with the "Black Toast & Marmalade" plates in the background.

A bunny and platters--can't have too many white platters, I keep telling Dr. G.

A mix of old and new...and the kitty creamer.

Finished...for now. :-) Open shelves are always evolving, and that makes them delicious fun.

I found vintage draperies at the antique mall and knew they'd be perfect for this room. I couldn't wait to hang them...but I'm pretty terrible at this stuff. I'm waiting for Dr. Gollum to hang the REAL drapery rod (I've just got 2 big nails up there), but I couldn't wait for the next Metamorphosis Monday to show the "finished" project. Here it is, almost finished.

Now, let's go back in time....
This is a before picture (before I put the Ironstone in here, even). The window is off center, making it difficult to place a curtain rod. Also, the cabinet doors would knock into a rod. After we moved in, I decided I'd be better off without draperies. The Yorkies wouldn't feel compelled to "water" them, and it would be one less thing to vacuum.

Yesterday, I found vintage draperies at the antique mall--just one pair, about 90" long, $24 for two (narrow) panels.The toile pattern was so pretty. It had taupey-brown-grays and orange, and these are colors in adjacent rooms.

I bought the rods at K-Mart (and could have kicked myself later when I saw the same rods for a whole lot less at Big Lots).
Dr. Gollum wasn't thrilled with the "side sweep" until I explained that the draperies just weren't long enough. He's still standing in the door to the pantry, eyeing those off-center draperies. :-)
I bought the tieback at Big Lots.
It's drop dead gorgeous--and was $4.99.
I love the intricate details in the toile.
Up close, whoa, the orange is, well, orange...Go Vols!
From the doorway, it's all muted. Honest it is, Dr. Gollum. :-)
The painting was already here--so was the orange rabbit lamp. This was MEANT TO BE. :-)
I went back and bought vintage draperies for the basement plant room. They're not long enough, but that's how it is with vintage things.
I have rods, nails, and Dr. Gollum. Hopefully we'll have them ready for the next Met Monday. Please visit Susan's lovely blog, Between Naps on the Porch, for more Met Monday projects.

P.S. Here are the darling curtain rods at Big Lots...$8. I'm going back!

For more "Before and After" projects, please visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis Monday.


  1. Oooh la la! I love all the changes you made and your ironstone looks superb...You have such a fantastic collection I am so envious of you!!!

    Is there any way you could put a mini light on one or two shelves to accent them. Like a baby candlelamp with shade?
    Or maybe a bookcase light from Ikea to go above the bookshelves to highlight everything.

    If not, it is still scrumptious!

    Great Job!



  2. Superb!
    But alas, i expect no less:)

    More importantly...PLEASE...get poisoning is so must be completely exhausted!

  3. All white ironstone on the shelves, a girl after my own heart!

    Well done!

  4. You already know I covet your pantry- I just stopped to say feel better! Bad pizza?? Oh, my!
    xoxo Pattie

  5. Oh, poor Gollum Michael Lee! I'm so sorry to hear you got food poisoning! I've had that and it's not pleasant! Rest and don't let your electrolytes get low on you!
    Now, I must tell you - I loved this post before and I love it now!
    Feel better.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  6. This little room is so nice and is so full of function. I love it and I like you little bookcase too. Love the drapes, both print and colors...Christine

  7. This little room is so nice and is so full of function. I love it and I like you little bookcase too. Love the drapes, both print and colors...Christine

  8. I remember this post and enjoyed revisiting. The shelves look great with the ironstone and I'm loving the pattern on the curtain.

  9. Hi Michael Lee ~
    I have visited this from your side bar a few times... it's such a great makeover and I do admire the clean white look to everything. I'm sure I'll peruse it again ~ simply to enjoy such a lovely space.
    I don't think I notice the curtains before, but they are exquisite.

    Do feel better soon ♥

  10. How gorgeous. I love the look of the all white ironstone. This is just such a beautiful butlers pantry. The curtains are wonderful. What a great find. Hugs, Marty

  11. Oh my I hope you are feeling better. I love all the looks so fresh and what a lovely space to store your dishes. Simply lovely!

  12. Hi Michael Lee,
    I love the vintage drapery and the entire new look of the pantry! Tell Dr. G that the drape must stay exactly as it is-it softens up the space perfectly! Hope you feel better soon. I know food p. is awful.

  13. What a wonderful metamorphosis! I love your collection and that dish pantry is to die for! Love it to pieces!

    Miss Bloomers/Sonia

  14. LOVE the vintage drapes and the room is so much nicer now - LOVE it.

  15. your beautiful dishes...take care of yourself....Pat H

  16. Oh my! I am so sorry - Food poisoning can really be bad. Hope you feel better real soon. Enjoyed the rerun of this post.

  17. Oh poisoning? That is terrible and I hope you feel better SOON. The ironstone looks beautiful all displayed together! Isn't it nice to have everything right there at your fingertips!!?? Love the curtains too! XO, Pinky

  18. Feel better!

    Yes, I would definitely hang the cups from little hooks...of course I have very fond memories of my great-grandma's cups hanging in her kitchen in the Azores when I was little so I'm a bit biased :)


  19. Poor thing! I hope you're feeling better soon!

  20. I am loving your whites ! So pretty and nicely done !

  21. I'm swooning as I type....big smile....I love this all of it. But first of all I'm so sorry you got food poisoning...that is horrible. I hope you feel better soon.
    You did a great post in spite of your sickness. Wow.
    I love all the how you placed it on the I could look at those pictures and not get tired. Hahahaha...I'm a dish addict what can I say.
    Get better...please!

  22. Oh, dear Gollum! I'm sorry to hear that you're under the weather. Hope you feel better soon. I loved seeing your beautiful ironstone pantry again.

  23. So sorry you are not feeling well! So cruel that food poisoning-and pizza, no less!
    As for your pantry- I could look at that white ironstone again and again!

  24. just gorgeous! that tiny cat creamer is just lovely!

  25. I love every detail. The toile and tiny bunny dish are my favorites though.. Sorry to hear you've been ill and I hopr you are on the mend.

  26. I love all the photos!! Just a gorgeous space!! Get better!

  27. I think I had the same pizza this weekend..... not quite as bad as food poisoning, maybe just a light case of stomach virus. Hope you're on the mend!
    Always love seeing your dishes and attention to every detail. Had to laugh at the yorkies wanting to "water" the draperies!

  28. I love white. I love vintage fabric. Beautiful!

  29. Great repost - I remember drooling over all your ironstone the first time. Nice to see it all again.

    Hope you're on the mend!


  30. Beautiful new drapes love the pattern. I like the above idea of a light somewhere on the shelves. Nice touch. Got to mention the copper pan again.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  31. Michael,
    Love love love your dish pantry,
    as a woman who loves white dinnerware that made my heart sing.
    Loved your lil vignette with the hands and the apple, how cute!
    I think the off center drapery is perfect, because it brings balance
    to that lil nook area. Outstanding job as always.
    Hope you are having a great day.
    Blessings, Nellie

  32. Very beautiful. Love the draperies... they really bring out the orange in the painting. You have lots of beautiful dishes as well

  33. Your display looks so lovely, worth all the effort. The colours in the fabric and the painting blend seamlessly. There are some truly stunning pieces :o)

    Hope you are soon fully recovered.

    With very best wishes from across the pond.
    Rose H

  34. What an eyeful of vintage goodness this post was!The pantry was redone with an artists eye...just lovely and the drapes are fantastic.
    ♥, Susan

  35. Hi - your white ironstone looks beautiful - I cracked up when I heard that you moved your cookbooks to your bedroom, I thought I was the only person with ideas like that!! The vintage curtains look great, what fun finding things like that!

  36. Hi Michael!

    Hope you eel better soon. What a yucky surprise to get after eating pizza!

    The butler pantry is beautiful! The white ironstone looks so wonderful and fresh all set up. And those curtains, well, some things you just HAVE to get and make them work and these linens are just one of those things! They are beautiful.

    I totally agree about Big Lots and window hardware! The best prices around! Last summer a friend of mine moved into a new house and he had 9 bare windows and little to no money at that point. He asked for my help to figure out what to do to cover the windows until he had enough money to deal with them properly. I asked how much he had to spare right now and he handed me $85.00. I took that $85.00, went to Big Lots, got all 9 windows blinds, curtain rods and valances! So, it's the first place I check for window needs!

  37. I do SO love this, with all the lovelies and the closeups, and then the completion with the draperies!

    You have an amazing collection, and I'll look forward to more glimpses and peeks at all your wonderful things.

    rachel, dish-junkie nonpareil

  38. Just beautiful. Functional and gorgeous to look at.

  39. Everything is lovely, I adore everything white. I wanted to drop in and tell you I received my dessert plates today and I just love them! I'm taking a break as the move gets closer and I feel so disorganized. I need a little inspiration and always find it here. I'm living with boxes and bubble wrap for now, so I'm going to save the dishes for my first Foodie Friday post in my new home. I know I'll be ready for something chocolately and very gooey. I will be back as soon as I get settled and can turn on the stove! Thanks again for the cute, cute dishes~


  40. This is wonderful. You have such and elegant space for your dishes. My post today is my dish storage on a budget...mine is function without beauty! Either way I'd say we both love our dishes.


  41. I am SO sorry you're sick, Gollum. I hope you're feeling better when you read this.

    I love your ironstone and the curtain both! Wonderful! And I hope that you were able to get those other dishes you mentioned. I missed the auction on eBay. Long story, but it's okay because I'm going to use the Tracey Porter dishes. They're cute. I think they'll work. Hope so at any rate.

    Feel much better. Tomorrow I'm going to be char woman. It's my other persona. That and garden hoe. ;-)



  42. I remember well, the transformation of your open shelves with the ironstone. Still love looking at it!

    The drapes. Errrr... not my cup of tea, but I do love the look of them from afar, swagged to the side like that.

    You poor thing. How did you get food poisoning from pizza? I hope you're feeling much better by now, as I'm a day late in reading.

    Treble Clef. Copper pans!

    Justine :o )

  43. Everything is lovely. I just love they display of your ironstone collection...which I'm beginning to think I need some of...hmmm...can I fit any more dishes? Of course! I have the same book trough in my kitchen too! I have some of my cookbooks there, but I must admit I like your idea of having them in the bedroom for nighttime reading. The drape is just gorgeous as well!

  44. I'm baaack...I meant to comment (in the first place) on the hands dishes! They are my absolute favorite! If you've seen my header on my blog you'll know I like hand shaped pieces! Just love these!

  45. What wonderful storage, but it doesn't look like storage. Even your storage looks pretty! I LOVE the curtain, and I think in such a narrow space, it should only be on one side. I remember loving those curtains when you bought them. laurie

  46. I'm drooling over here, and loving your transformation. I love your sense of style too. The ironstone looks so beautiful in that bookcase. The hand pieces with the apples are just the right touch. Dr. Gollum sounds like Mr. NaM- but those curtains were meant to be. They are just too perfect with that painting and everything else you already had in there.