Under Stair Closet Turned Butler’s Pantry

Under Stair Closet Turned Butler's Pantry from www.atthepicketfence.com

This is a project close to 5 years in the making. It has nagged me and taunted me for all of those years.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw this door. We were touring the house and I walked past it and did a double take. It didn’t even have my cute little Corn Husk Wreath on it and I still knew that there was something special about it! Where did this door lead?

Upon opening it, I discovered a wonderful set of corner shelves and further in, a strange little closet that was obviously built under the stairs.

Shelves in under stair closet

Here’s how it looked before.

4.5 years later I’m ready to reveal it under it’s new name. “The Butler’s Pantry” I can call it that right? I was kind of jealous of the one my friend Karianne has.

And since I seem to be the maid around here, I thought I could at least pretend that there is a Butler somewhere too, right?Here is how it looks now!

closet shelves, under stair closet

The walls were painted using the leftover paint from the Mudroom Makeover.

In the photo below, can you see the little doorway there on the left? That leads to another “room” where it is obvious that you are underneath the staircase.

You almost feel like you are going through the wardrobe in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. If that wardrobe had paper towels on a shelf inside of it.

stair closet

We ripped up the old carpet and put down peel and stick laminate wood which is really close to the color of my real wood floors in the kitchen. It totally opens up the space now!

wood floor, peel and stick, laminate floor

Looking straight ahead, you used to be greeted by a blank wall. But not anymore! Sigh…don’t you just love vintage silver trays?

I think I love them even more when they are hung on a wall in a grouping!

silver trays, vintage silver trays on wall

Once inside, it is easier to see how awkward this little space really is. My goal was to see how I could make the most of the strange angles of the walls and the obvious “tiered” effect of the ceiling.

Adding metal shelving gave me the storage space I needed and I made a little “skirt” for the middle rack out of a drop cloth and attached it using velcro.

wine rack, wine glasses, wine storage

I really wanted to do something fun with those “tiers” in the ceiling so I made a hanging wine rack using an old cabinet door.

On the bottom shelf we placed our wine fridge. Awww yeah!

Hmmmm….I see two bottles in there. Anyone wanna come over and help me celebrate this project being done?

By putting a tray on the top shelf I was able to add some decorative interest and also help disguise what is on the middle shelf.

Gotta keep it real here folks!


And did you see my little chalkboard there?

Would you believe it used to be this? This TV tray has been in our lives since we were first married and had no furniture and my parent’s took pity on us and gave us one from there set so that we had something on which to put our tiny TV.
So, it literally was a TV tray. I can feel you rolling your eyes at my weak joke. But, yuck. Look how gnarly that thing looked. It was begging to be transformed!

I took the legs off, gave it a couple of coats of chalkboard paint and then painted the edges white.

This is one of our most favorite wines so I’m guessing that it might be the “wine of the day” every day!

Up above, we are rocking it old school style with a basic light bulb fixture and pull string. We didn’t want to pay to have an electrician change it out so I simply turned a cute little lampshade upside down to disguise the light bulb. And now I could insert all sorts of “yanking your chain” jokes…but I won’t!

On the other side of the closet (oops…I mean Butler’s Pantry!) we have these wonderful built-in shelves.

Baskets hold cleaning supplies and I created another little curtain on one shelf using more drop cloth and a tension rod. It disguises some of my items that aren’t quite “display worthy”.

Well, there you have it.  My Under Stair Closet/Butler’s Pantry! I love it so.Even if my husband said very sarcastically (but with a wink in his eye), “Good thing this room is so beautiful now since so many people go in there all the time.”

The Butler and I were very insulted!

Thanks so much for joining us at the Fence today!



  1. says

    Oh please pour me a glass of white! That is the cutest little surprise that I have seen in a while! You did so many wonderful things in that pantry that you will HAVE to share! Fabulous!

  2. says

    This may be the inspiration I needed to convince my husband that we need to explore the wasted space under our stairs. It looks fantastic, and I am sure you love all the storage.

  3. says

    This is such a beautiful space! I love you took a hidden closet and turned into a functional (and gorgeous!) little room. I wouldn’t want to keep the door closed if I were you :-)

  4. says


    Can my butler’s pantry and your butler’s pantry be best friends? :) You did such a wonderful job! Seriously. The vintage trays….the light….the wall color…..you are amazing!

    Have a great day rock star!

  5. says

    That is too doggone clever, Vanessa! Most people would have just shoved a bunch of storage boxes into that space, but not Little Ms. Clever Vanessa! Smart thinking!


  6. says

    Very nice job Vanessa – you do such a beautiful job on your house – I had one of those “rooms” once – and yes, it was where I stored all my seasonal decorations. Who knew you could turn it into such a cute little “room”.
    Hugs –

  7. Courtney ~ French Country Cottage says

    Super cute Vanessa! I remember when you shared that little closet before – love it’s new look! Yep, I’m coming over for wine. Haven’t tried that one- I’ll bring one of our favorites to share too! :)

  8. says

    wow! ah-may-zing! its just amazing – this has got me thinking about mine – altho its just the normal deep long slanted ceiling closet under that stairs but you’ve given me some great ideas!

  9. says

    I love it, so jealous. Tell your husband that the person who matters will go in there and enjoy the pretty space. Also I do have a butler, his name is Jeeves and even though he is only three feet tall and never says or does anything we all love him. He stands next to my husband’s chair and very patiently holds his cup or book or whatever. I also put bunny ears on him at Easter and a Santa Hat at Christmas and even a witches hat at Halloween. He is so patient, never complains about it. I know he would love your butler’s pantry!

  10. Anonymous says

    I love how you transformed that space, Vanessa! I forgot about giving you that lovely TV tray. It definitely looks better now than it did before.

    Good job!


  11. says

    What a great use of an awkward space. Your husband sounds like my husband. I love all of the little touches and I love that you are calling it a Butler’s Pantry.

  12. says

    GENIOUS, Vanessa … your butler’s pantry rocks! And, your vision for this space is amazing! I love every.single.thing about it … the shelves … the “bar” area … the dropcloth “curtain.” I’m surprised that you didn’t take the door off so that it can be enjoyed all the time!

  13. says

    Really like the way you maximized the space. There is so much space available in our homes that we can make into cool, useful living area. And when you take on the project yourself, you get an amazing deal. Especially the way you did it. Great job.

  14. says

    Oh Vanessa. I am in love with this. :o) What a great space and I think all your little touches are perfect. The curtains are my favorite. How did you hang the silver trays on the wall? You should be so proud of this transformation!

  15. says

    Fabulous! Every woman should have a beautiful little butler’s pantry to call her own. I’m wondering now if I can justify turning one of our closets into my own little pantry. The problem is, it wouldn’t be nearly as classy as yours. (I’m envisioning shelves for paper plates and a Diet Dr. Pepper fridge . . .)

  16. says

    Well that was a great idea! If it were my “Butler’s Pantry” (and I wish it was) you would have it so stacked with stuff you couldn’t get in there and when you open the door it falls out! Hubs just loves my organizing skills! not! Thank you for linking it to HSH! You did a great job!

  17. Anonymous says

    This turned out beautifully. You wouldn’t think you could have so much storage in that small space. You ARE the most important person so it should be beautiful, if for no one else but you. Tina

  18. says

    Very clever and pretty use of a tiny space. I just love your special touches, like your silver trays hanging ,the repurposed chalkboard, very cute lampshade. I’m gonna make a wine glass rack like you did, hang like a small room divider. I wish I had under-stairs space. Thanks for the inspiration! You have such wonderful ideas!
    Be blessed!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge