Home Improvement and DIY, Interior Decor and Styling

Dreamy Kitchen Built-Ins: Butler’s Pantries, China Cabinets, and Hutches

Kitchen built-in cabinets, butler pantry, kitchen hutch ideas Built in kitchen hutch

Hello everyone! I hope you are doing well during quarantine time! Have you been doing any home improvements while staying home? My husband has been working on our kitchen renovation and it is coming along nicely.  At this point we are at a little stand still as we have to make some final decisions about the built-in that we plan to put in place of a window (it has an unscenic view of the side of the garage) and an oddly shaped short cabinet that we never use.


I will miss my retro “Rae Dunn” cabinet, but I really think the built-in will be a stunner in this spot. I will be moving the cabinet to my craft room and I will find some other spot for my Rae Dunn pottery. When we first moved in, I gave the dark 1980’s oak cabinets a “make-do” makeover with chalk paint. I loved the chippy-distressed look for a while, but the cabinets have been long overdue for for a real upgrade. In this photo you can see the difference between the old cabinets with the handles on the short cabinet that we will be removing, and the updated cabinets with new trim and fresh paint to the right.



In progress…

My husband recently finished the first step of our kitchen renovation, which included a complete cabinet makeover. He also filled in the useless space above the cabinets by extending them to the ceiling using beautiful trim.


Here’s just a sneak peek of the “after.” I am loving the new (old) look!



Our house is coming up on it’s 100th birthday in January! With every renovation or refresh we try to uncover a little more of its historic character, or add some more 1920’s period charm. One of my favorite projects so far was our 1920’s Tiny Powder Room Revival that we completed for the Fall 2019 One Room Challenge. I can’t wait to bring out the historic vibe in the kitchen too!



Laurelhurst Craftsman Bungalow: Period Kitchen Photographs

1920’s Kitchen with Butler Pantry~Laurel Hurst Craftsman

Our kitchen was obviously renovated several times over the years, so there was nothing original left in the kitchen when we purchased our home six years ago.  However, its long galley style is the one thing that does “scream 1920’s.” In researching and visting other historic homes, I found that built-in china cabinets, hutches, and “butler pantries” were commonplace in the kitchens of homes built during the late 1800’s-1930’s.


Upstairs Downstairs at The Mount - Linda Merrill Edith Wharton's butler's pantryLinda Merrill

With our vintage style cabinet ugrades including the built-in, and new period-style tile backsplash and brik flooring choices, I think it will be hard to tell what is original and what it not. 




In searching Pinterest, blogs, books, and magazines, I found several examples of different kinds of built-ins. Not all of them have that 1920’s look I am going for, but I have been using the photos for design inspiration as we try to figure out a configuration that will look best in the space we have to work with.





All-Kitchen Designs

Like the rest of our kitchen cabinets, our built-in will also extend all the way to the ceiling with beautiful crown molding and trim.



From the Nato's: Kiitchen:: DIY Stunning White Cottage Kitchen Remodel ! (Have to see all to Believe- it is Fabulous !)

The Natos



Replacing your typical solid panel fronts with glass is a great way to add personal style to your kitchen.

Blog Kitchen Magic


Light gray butler pantry features glass front cabinets with black hardware over Carrera marble mini brick tiles creating a stunning backsplash.

Laurel Bern Interiors

The nearly 6 foot long cabinet and drawer unit that is currently our kitchen island will become the base for the built-in, so we are mainly concerned with the upper cabinets and shelves. We are going to install a new 4 foot long island that is a better fit for our kitchen.


A first-class butler’s pantry boasts “leatherized” black-granite countertops, silvery grasscloth wallpaper, and a sparkling ceiling fixture. Wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries

Laurel Bern Interiors

Our built-in will mainly be used as a display cabinet for my ironstone and china collections, so we definitely want to incorporate glass cabinet doors.


I have some annie sloan paint and a dresser similar to this built in I dare paint it??



11 Gables


Since we are covering up the window, I want to incorporate some kind of lighting inside the cabinets to keep that area light and bright.



TRIM & CABINET COLOR: Kitchen-Cabinet-Painted-in-Benjamin-Moore-OC-17-White-Dove-and-Lincoln-Gold-Vein-marble-countertop-Martha-OHara-Interiors

Laurel Bern Interiors

I love the look of taller glass cabinet doors. These might be nice on each side of the built-in, with smaller open shelves in the middle.


IKEA AXSTAD Glass door


I would love to find vintage cabinet doors, but it might be easier and less expensive to just purchase two of these glass cabinet doors from Ikea. 




Got plates?! Yes, we all do!  And hopefully, you’ve got some pretty ones that you’d like to showcase.  Here I have picked some favorite plate storage ideas.  My favorite is the first…

Well Appointed House

I really love the configuration of the cabinets in the photos above and below. I would like to have a plate rack as well as the little drawers at the bottom of each long side cabinet.


Sweet Something Designs: Mary Carol Garitty's Home Tour

Sweet Something Design

Beadboard is another must-have component for our 1920’s style built-in!


Paint Sets the Tone | Abundant windows, ample storage, and thoughtful decorative details combine in this dreamy South Carolina kitchen. Borrow the vintage elegance for your own kitchen.

Southen Living





Kitchen built-in cabinets, butler pantry, kitchen hutch ideas Built in kitchen hutch

I am getting so excited as things are moving right along! Well, sort of… it isn’t as easy to shop and get the supplies we need to zip right through a kitchen renovation during quarantine! Oh well, we have waited six years to for a new kitchen, so what’s a while longer? Hopefully lockdown will only last a few more weeks and things will get back to normal for us all.


Thanks for visiting today!



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  • Reply Marty

    Oh wow, how exciting. I can’t wait to see it all come together.

    May 4, 2020 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply Debra Oliver

    this is going to be gorgeous, Amber. I know you’re looking forward to bringing it all together. I’d love to see your progress pics!!

    May 4, 2020 at 1:36 pm
  • Reply Pamela @ DIY Vibes

    So many great ideas to choose ideas from for your kitchen. Can’t wait to see the end result!

    May 4, 2020 at 8:54 pm
  • Reply Linda Primmer

    Such an exciting transformation Amber. I would love to see the progress. Thank you for sharing at Love Your Creativity.

    May 5, 2020 at 9:35 am
  • Reply Katie Mansfield

    I hope things are getting back to normal where you are. I’m so excited for you. Your inspiration pictures are so fun. I can’t wait to see how your kitchen comes out.

    May 6, 2020 at 7:45 pm
  • Reply Ahna @ Hammers N Hugs

    So exciting Amber! Can’t wait to see it! Your husband did a great job on the cabinetry crown!

    May 7, 2020 at 6:06 am
  • Reply Barbara Chapman

    All of the kitchen built-ins you found, Amber, are beautiful and would look lovely in your home. I LOVE how your husband framed up the current cabinets!!! The trim is really pretty and doesn’t crown moulding make everything beautiful?!!

    I think I like the one with the center shelving/plate rack (might be better as a shelf, but that’s just me!) and the two side glass door units and the drawers underneath. Under all of that, if you are going for a Welsh cabinet look, you could always hang cuphooks for Christmas decorations to hang from/cups (of course). My SIL brought home a huge 8’x8′ Welsh cupboard that has a row of small drawers going across it. So useful for spice drawers, small odds and ends.

    Happy configuring!
    Barb 🙂

    p.s. All our projects have been out in the backyard. Except one in the attic – hanging up the a/c heating duct work. Now I can go clean up there, lay new insulation and lay plywood for storage/walking around! Project for next fall/winter. 🙂

    May 9, 2020 at 4:50 pm
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