Sarah Blank Design Studio
Classically inspired design for today's interiors

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








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Sarah A. Blank

Sarah was introduced to architecture and design as a young girl. Growing up in a modest Georgian home nestled alongside the 7th fairway of the Waterbury Country Club, her father had a passion for furniture making, American History, and formal rose garden landscapes. Watching her mother’s grand-kitchen dream become a reality further inspired Sarah to pursue her own design dreams.

Sarah earned a BA in Interior Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She began her career, in 1980, for a European kitchen design firm in the Architects and Designers building in mid-town Manhattan, NY. Later, Sarah worked for Kitchens by Deane in Darien, CT for seventeen years. In 1999, Sarah opened her own firm. It was then that she began to move from kitchen design to interior design, actively pursuing her classical architecture education and joining the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.

Since 2000, Sarah has been fortunate to work with noted specialists such as Fairfax & Sammons Architects, Ferguson Shamamian Architects, LLP, Bunny Williams, Inc. Decorator, Jayne Design Studio, and Associates of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP. Sarah continues to further her studies of Classicism through inspiration from Richard Sammons and The Institute for Classical Architecture & Classical America. Several of Sarah’s projects have won design awards.


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.