02 September 2012
Step into the Butler's Pantry as we continue the tour of the miniature masterpiece that is Featherstone Hall Hotel by Julie Jackson...
Not being totally familiar with the downstairs workings of an Edwardian country house, Julie had to do some research into what would be needed to keep the upstairs running smoothly. In a very short time, Julie realised that she simply didn't have the space to show everything that went on downstairs – she therefore decided with the two spaces on either side of the central hallway, one would be the kitchen and the other the butler's domain.
Traditionally the butler's pantry was used for storage, cleaning the silver, wine log, and merchants account books. The space was divided into two rooms – one for an office/sitting room, and a second as a scullery used for washing, cleaning and polishing.
The butler's pantry
The pantry is the first of the two rooms accessed from the central hallway. Opposite this door is another in the partition to provide access to the scullery beyond.
The floor was already tiled when Julie started the basement. A hole was cut in the back wall of the house and a hole was drilled through the partition wall between the pantry and scullery. This enabled Julie to pass the electric cables through to the transformer which sits behind the scullery back wall.
The side of the walls were papered with a simple print of green oak leaves over a darker green texture paper with a green painted dado rail to cover the join. The doorway to the scullery was then papered over then cut through with a scalpel afterwards.
The cosy fireplace with stove is in the centre of the back wall. Julie started by deconstructing an inexpensive fireplace with a resin fire. It was repainted sooty grey stone with blackened brickwork and stone hearth. Julie then reassembled it to include an electric fire. To complete the look, Julie made a 'U' shaped false chimney from Plastruct sheeting and papered it to match the walls.
The back wall
Before inserting the back wall, Julie pre-drilled the holes for the wall lights on either side of the chimney breast, and one in the bottom left hand corner for the table lamp cable. To install the back wall, a ribbon was tied around the panel from the top to the bottom (ribbon is important, as string is too round), then glued to the floor and ceiling and stood up in position using the ribbon to pull it forwards into place. The ribbon was cut and slipped out easily. When the wall was in position, Julie noticed that the vertical cuts were not great, so she covered some Plastruct batons with the wallpaper scheme and stuck them in the corners to cover the gaps.
The fireplace was added with a false chimney above, and the decoration finished with dark green dado and skirting. The lights were installed both on the back wall and the ceiling.
Finishing the room
- A pair of small tables were dressed with chaotic piles of newspapers and magazines
- A small green and mahogany rug visually pulls the snug area together
- The butler, Ronson Senior is sitting in his favourite armchair
- The chair opposite is threadbare but provides a comfy spot for Ginger the cat to snooze
- Rex the dog is bothering Ginger the cat and an old newspaper is glued over one arm
- On the opposite wall is a small rack with some of the Ronson's personal belongings
- The mantle has a framed print above and various belongings including a clock, pipe rack, some postcards and letters
The office area is filled with two bookcase desks, one is open to show ledgers and paperwork. The swivel chair at the desk has the seat re-covered in green leather to match the room. On the second bookcase, there is a lamp sitting on the base. There's also a visitor's chair matching those in the hallway outside. In the foreground, there's a rush mat covering the floor between the hallway and scullery. Above the door to the scullery is a bank of bells, which in real life would have been linked to the guest rooms above. Due to it being a working room, Julie has installed a wall mounted telephone.
Now that you've explored the butler's pantry, continue the Featherstone Hall journey by exploring how Julie designs the butler's scullery. If you missed how Julie decorated the hallways or wish to revisit it, click here.