Nancy Bischoff / Julie Bruns

Byron Cade / Relative Design

At the turn of the century, a butler’s pantry was commonplace, especially in affluent, well-run homes. These long, narrow pass- through spaces between the dining room and kitchen offered convenient storage for dinnerware, glassware and serving pieces. They also served as small, discreet rooms where meals, both familial and formal, could be prepped and staged out of sight.

For the Show House, the butler’s pantry was refreshed and re-dressed to suit the everyday needs and casual entertaining requirements of a modern-day family. To that end, interior designer Julie Bruns and gift retailer Nancy Bischoff furnished a charming little room that is the perfect place for a bar and intimate gathering place.

“People tend to congregate in the kitchen nowadays; so chances are, they would be congregating in the butler’s pantry” Bischoff explains. “We changed it out a bit with that in mind.”

A custom window treatment was installed and the modest ‘80s-era cabinetry was painted celery green with a custom tea-stained finish to match the toile-patterned wallpaper. But the real appeal of the butler’s pantry circa 2013 can be found within the glass-door cabinets, which are now a treasure trove of new and vintage silverplate, pewter, crystal and china with a rustic fall theme. Key pieces include an antler-handled silverplate ice bucket, Spoede Woodland china, Reed and Barton silverplate bowls and trays, Waterford decanters, Saint Louis stemless martini glasses, William Yeoward martini pitcher and the vintage Lynn Chase Winter Game Birds china in chestnut brown.

“We tried to strike just the right balance,” Bischoff says. “A fall theme seemed like a natural, since people are starting to think about Thanksgiving and the entertaining season.”