Sarah Blank Design Studio

The Farmhouse Pantry


(pic from Farmhouse Pantry Flickr)

(pic from Farmhouse Pantry Flickr)


The Farmhouse Pantry:

The farmhouse pantry evolved from butteries, larders, and cold rooms, to a space of task-specific rooms and storage areas such as cellars, dairies, washrooms, springhouses, and summer kitchens. Lasting well into the twentieth century, the farmhouse pantry was a staple part of most American homes.


Task Specific Rooms that Made Up a Farmhouse Pantry

  • The Buttery or Butt’ry :

A New England term taken from the Medieval English usage of the word: a cool, dry place for foodstuffs – often an overflow of the kitchen pantry.

  • Cellar or Root Cellar :

A room for additional food storage. The cellar kept preserves, canned goods, pickle vats, salt pork, and preserved meats cool, dry, and temperate throughout the year.

  • Milk House or Milk Room :

The dairy room where cheese and butter were prepared, was often incorporated into the farm kitchen for ease of access and sanitary reasons. Eventually the milk room became either a separate farm structure or part of the barn.

  • Springhouse :

The springhouse was built over a cold, flowing spring, often channeled into a sluiceway or flanked by flat rocks on which to place foodstuffs. The room was cold and the perfect place to store dairy goods and other perishable items.

  • Scullery :

A room traditionally used for washing dishes and laundering clothes. Also used as an overflow kitchen, when the main kitchen becomes filled to capacity. Tasks in the scullery in addition to washing dishes and clothes include ironing, boiling water for cooking, bathing, and soaking.

  • Summer Beam :

Also known as a Bressummer, a Summer Beam is a  Heavy main horizontal beam, anchored in gable foundation walls, that supports forebay beams and barn frames from above. In old American homes, It was not uncommon to see a summer beam running through a kitchen and or pantry room.

  • Summer Kitchen :

Summer Kitchens, particularly in New England but often in other parts of the country, were usually attached to the north of the main house or in an ell between the shed and main barn. Here food was prepared in summer in an area where heat and smells could be kept away from the main house. In the south, kitchens were built in separate buildings for this purpose.


How to Get the Look

(From The Pantry, its History and Modern Uses, by Catherine Sieberling Pond)


Farmhouse Pantry Style:

  • Combine open wood shelving with decorative brackets and cabinets with authentic – or reproduction – hardware or wooden knobs
  • Wood counters work well, but also consider making one of marble or granite for rolling out pie crusts and cookies
  • “Matchboard” wainscoting is a popular choice for walls and can be carried into the kitchen as well
  • An old enamel or soapstone sink  - perhaps from an old farmhouse – adds character and practical use
  • Hang old linen towels on a vintage towel rack or roller and aprons from hooks
  • Stack colorful tablecloths and other linens in an unused corner or basket
  • Arrange dishes and bowls in random piles
  • Display old cookie cutters in wooden bowls and antique kitchen items in clusters




Sarah A. Blank



Sarah Blank Design Studio is a high-end architectural design firm that specializes in high-end kitchens, butler’s pantries, libraries, and master bedrooms, bath suites.  The firm works predominantly in Fairfield County and Westchester County. Our award winning firm, with 33 years of experience, often works beyond the kitchens and baths of a clients home, and designs the architectural interiors for many of the projects that have been commissioned.







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Sarah A. Blank

During my nearly 35 years as a kitchen designer I have worked on a multitude of projects of many different sizes and budgets, preexisting and from the ground up. From Connecticut, to New York, to Palm Beach, to Pennsylvania, to Houston Texas, to Los Angeles California, I have embraced challenges under conditions that were simple or complex.

Richard Sammons of Fairfax & Sammons introduced me to classicism, a language that I have embraced since 1994. My close analysis of his work, and time spent studying at the Institute of Classical Architecture while learning with Richard, helped me to understand that a beautiful kitchen is not one that simply fits into a room. Instead a beautiful and functional kitchen is one that is an integral part of the architecture.

My knowledge of workings in a kitchen and my ability to incorporate the important and necessary functions of the homeowner’s lifestyle, allow me to successfully design kitchens, baths, Butler’s pantries, and more. My team and I approach a project with a strong technical background that allows us to work beyond the kitchen and into other rooms of the home. Our strong referral base and repeat business comes from successfully designing spaces that even after 20 years, function and look as well today as they did when they were created.

As my career grew, I began to be commissioned by many to oversee the workings and flow of a new house or an existing home. My extensive study of the classical language has brought me to realize that what we do today is not new. The great architects of the past created beautiful, functional, and timeless designs- all I need to do is make sure that the fast pace computerized family can function without a hitch. The rooms need to harmonize and flow with each other. A flow between the kitchen, closets, master bath, laundry room and transitional space is critical for success.

I am proud to be a member of the Decorator’s Club of New York, which for over one hundred years has continued to evoke a spirit of excellence that symbolizes the best our industry has to offer.

Since 1994 I have embraced the Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America. I don’t feel I can ever give back in return for what the Institute has done for my knowledge and career.

In quiet time there is nothing more important to me than the You Are Never Alone Foundation, where a simple act of caring can mean so much. The foundation is one in which we share a message of caring to individuals all over the world.

I thank you and look forward to working with you,

Best regards,

Sarah A. Blank

Sarah earned a BA in Interior Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

A lover of education and the arts, Sarah sponsors the Darien Arts Center and the educational lecture series at the Darien Center for the Arts. Furthermore, Sarah often lectures on the classical language in architecture. Sarah taught a course at the Institute of Architecture and has lectured for the Traditional Home Building show.

Sarah lives in Connecticut with her Husband Charles, son David, and four dogs, Isaac, Ollie, Maggie, and Beau.


Charles E. Karas

Charles is a second-generation contractor and builder. Growing up in and around his father’s cabinetry business gave Charles a unique appreciation for detailed, thorough design. This appreciation deepened as he honed his skills in kitchen and interior design, home construction and renovation over a career that has spanned decades. The result is a keen eye and deep understanding of how architectural restoration should be done to be successful.

He holds a BS degree in marketing from Rochester Institute of Technology and is an active member in the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.

Coupled with his years of experience and knowledge of the manufacturing process, Charles’ can-do attitude makes him an asset on any project.