A House to Love – Renovating Boxwood Hill

August 08, 2017 by

What is French for “dish room?”

One of the things we have always wanted in our home is a dish room. Now, I use the term dish room, but it’s really a party supply room. Is there a French term for this? If there is, let me know. You guys know how I like to create names for rooms, so dish room is the only term to closely describe the party supply room.

The previous owners of Boxwood Hill had a mudroom off the kitchen. These are great for large families, but we don’t have a large family. And, really, I personally hate mudrooms because they always look terrible. Most people take the term “mudroom” to mean: messy closet with no door.  In my opinion, all your coats and bags belong behind closed doors. For our family of 3, an extra large, walk-in style hall closet accommodates all of our dog supplies, coats, bags, slip on shoes, etc.

Mudroom,Coats, backpacks, pantry storage

Pantry storage














OK, so back to dish room. During our renovation, we gutted all the built in shelves meant for food. We also closed off one door (there were two). This allowed us to accommodate more cabinetry for dishes and supplies. While renovating we reversed the swing of the main door so it swings into the dish room. We had just enough room to put a large, floor-to-ceiling dish rack on the facing wall as you walked in. I considered putting a glass door, but wanted the flexibility to close the door and room completely when entertaining.

Renovating, Renovation Renovating, Renovation

Space planning, builtin shelving

Also, I like the element of surprise when you open the door. No one anticipates opening a closet and seeing our display of blue and white platters, dishes, goblets and entertaining books. Surprise is an often overlooked design element!

Dishes, platters, serving pieces, design, books, goblets


Ruthann played an integral part in laying out the functionality of the dish room. She really is a master at organization, so I asked her to layout the functionality, while I focused on the look of it. For our renovating inspiration, she used a much-pinned image of Bunny Williams party supply pantry.


Bunny Williams from Pinterest

In a perfect world, doors are best on such cabinetry so you don’t have to dust your dishes. But, we did have a budget constraint here, so there are open shelves. On one side I had the lower shelves skirted with the same Tilton Fenwick fabric we covered the walls in. This really ties the look together and does provide a bit of dust cover for items here.


Dishes, Platters, Linens, Serving pieces, Entertaining

One stroke I love is the corner. We were able to use this space for a dowel to hold pressed table cloths. This was a great solution because corners can often be wasted space in cabinetry. Here the dowel rod can extend all the way into the corner for useful storage. Brilliant!

Dishes, Fabric upholstered walls, kitchen, Tilton Fenwick


We love our dish room. Now we have a room that has all of our sets of dishes, glassware, servers and linens in one place so they are easy to use at a moments notice. If you have the ability to squeeze such a room into your house, it will be organizational heaven.