Our new home was laid out perfectly for entertaining. In the kitchen, we had a table that could sit seven comfortably, and our dinning table could seat 12. We also had a space where, if we needed to, we could add another table and seat 30 people at once for dinner. It came in handy for holiday seasons, and we actually maxed it out a few times. I have been collecting dishes for years, some store bought, some thrifted. I really enjoy hosting, and have learned that using real plates verses paper plates actually helps people to feel that much more cared for. And, for me, it's just not that much more work. Before I started designing, I was hosting themed and formal parties with specific "tablescapes" before that was an actual term. It's just design on a small scale.
So when we moved in, I realized pretty fast that our kitchen was too small for all of our "party stuff" that we used at least twelve times a year. Enter our Party Pantry. We had an unusually deep closet under the stairs that wrapped around the back. The builders put a bar across the front and called it a day, totally wasting all of the rest of the space. Going into the closet was narrow, but the back of the closet was perfect for what we needed. So we put some Flor carpet tiles down (left over from Trey's closet), put some shelves up, and made it work for what we had. If you want to know more about how I plan closet spaces, you can read about it here.
This started as our temporary mudroom before we finished that space. We needed a place to dump back packs, charge devices and hang keys. Once we finished the mudroom we were able to make this work better for how we live.
We added adjustable shelves to the back and side, and added a pegboard to hold things like tissue paper, ribbon and flat but light weight platters. It's a party pantry, so it all goes in here. Not for nothing, but IKEA has a fantastic pegboard product that is super versatile to use, but the SKÅDIS wasn't out yet. I much prefer those boards now for craft stuff, jewelry and general organization.
Now I was ready to install my dishes.
This is a little messy. The dishes on the right had a pretty solid home. On this back wall, I had all of the seasonal stuff that came out a couple of times a year. So I took some time to tidy this up.
We used stuff on the first two shelves the most, so everything is pretty easy to get to. My husband likes Pellegrino Water, and we found that having it on the table elevates the simplest of meals. So I get a case every month or so and just keep it on hand.
Platters, dishes and old wine bottles that we use for water when we entertain all organized here. The white containers make it easier for me to get dishes in and out of the closet.
The dishes I use the most are easiest to get to. I have been known to have chili or soup for dinner just so we can use these beautiful bowls from Anthropologie. I had eyed these for a while, there was a big sale before Thanksgiving, and by Christmas, they were gone. I really thought this would be a staple, but it was just a seasonal add in.
This ledge was handy for charging devices as we didn't let our girls keep any of them in their rooms at night. You can see the tissue, bakers twine (in different colors), and ribbon that we used for table decor.
We still hung some bags in here, but they were computer bags, our camera, and Trey's satchel. All of the girls' bags transitioned to the mudroom that you could see in the background (where the shoes are).
That's our Party Pantry. This got a lot of use and love in the five years we lived here.