HIDDEN: In Plain Sight … Solution to the Dish Storage Challenge

This is an especially fun week in Blogland because The Tablescaper is celebrating her Second Blog-aversary — and hosting a party!

If you’ve already met The Tablescaper, you know that she’s in the process of turning her tablescaping passion into a business … and I’m thinking “passion” is a huge understatement! She has so many dishes that for her First Blog-aversary she answered people’s “Where do you keep it all?” question with this amazing array of pictures.

This week she’s invited us all to show where we keep what we collect … dishes, linens, craft supplies, recipes, you name it. Quite simply — where do we stash our stash?

If you’ve been a reader of My Place to Yours for very long, you may have already seen the few peeks I’ve given you of my linen storage (HERE and HERE), so today I’m going to focus on the dishes. I’ll warn you… there are lots of pics today because, um, there are lots of dishes! But lest you forget, many of them are (or will be) for sale in my Etsy shop, so if you see something you like, you can always ask me if it’s available.


I have a basement in my old house, but it’s a VERY “old house” basement: steep, narrow stairs leading down to an unfinished space; not an option for dish storage.  That means that, for the most part, all of my dishes have to be “hidden” in plain sight. But a house only has so many “usual” places for storing dishes, so sometimes we have to get creative, don’t we?
I showed you HERE how Renaissance Man helped me claim one half of a guest bedroom closet for some of my to-be-sold dishes.


They’re hidden behind a vintage tablecloth.


Mostly, though, my dishes are stored in pieces of furniture.  There’s a large armoire in the guest room … the center section houses glassware to be sold.


Downstairs in the living room where you saw part of my snowman collection at Christmas is this very large stepback cabinet.


It’s my latest acquisition, and (did you notice?) there’s still a little empty space.  Hmmm… what could I put in there?


In the same room is an English curio cabinet that holds more to-be-sold glassware in the enclosed center section … and (if you look closely on the left side) part of my crystal collection on the two glass-enclosed end sections.


Now on to a more traditional venue for dish storage:  the dining room

Sometimes in my tablescape pics you get a glimpse of a large cabinet…

Click to see entire tablescape


Its drawers are full of flatware…


The top section houses the rest of my crystal collection … and the side and bottom sections (which I failed to show you in pics) hold chargers, silver candlesticks, silver and glass trays, pitchers, and more glassware).


Across the dining room is one of the things that I love most about my old house … the built-in china cabinet.


I store my Mikasa Italian Countryside dishes in the glass-enclosed top section…



… and a couple of Lenox sets plus some miscellaneous plates in the enclosed bottom section.


On the back side of the dining room china cabinet is this built-in kitchen cabinet. The bottom is full of baking pans, but the top …


… is full of dishes.


Christmas dishes on the top few shelves…


… and less seasonal dishes on the bottom.

If you look closely, you may be able to see that the very bottom “shelf” is actually a pass-through to the dining room. It’s another favorite feature of my old house — and obviously I need to find another storage place for a few things so I can reclaim it! (That’s one of my Summer projects…)


The top of a kitchen cabinet holds a few vases…


Finally, since you’ve stuck with me this long, you get to see my absolute favorite dish storage:  the Dish Pantry

It was one of the things that drew me to our old house … and one of the things I looked forward to having renovated. Notice I didn’t say that I looked forward to renovating it — because I didn’t. In fact, I did NOT. And in truth, we renovated our house for an entire month before I could even bring myself to step across the threshold into the space. That’s what scraping wallpaper every day for a month will do to you! I woke up one Saturday morning and decided “Today’s the day to tackle the pantry!” It was filthy … with exploded canned goods leaving their marks everywhere … and years of filth stuck to the cabinets. (Sorry about that, but you really do need to get the full picture to appreciate from whence this baby has come!)

In this picture, you can see that I’d started cleaning the top section … but the bottom is still a mess. (Don’t you just love the color?!!!  Ahem…)


The window is on the back wall of the house … and far too high on the wall to see out of it — but the light was nice!  The crowded second-sink counter below it, however, was not — and had to go!


The large bins go at the very bottom of the cabinet and the local “old timers” tell me that they would have once stored flour and meal.  We use them as recycling bins.


The cleaning was such an almost impossible chore that eventually Renaissance Man just pulled out his sander and went to work. That”s one way to cut through the yuck!

Finally we were able to lay a tile countertop … and finish bringing the old gal back to life.


Here she is today …







Remember this back-wall-of-the-house-window?


It was replaced with a door. One day I’ll show you where it leads…


I’m joining these fun parties…
Where Do You Keep It All? Part 2  at The Tablescaper
Congratulations on 2 years of blogging!
Metamorphosis Monday  at Between Naps on the Porch<

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love for you to leave a comment and tell me where you store YOUR dishes — or favorite collections.



  1. What I’d give for a dish pantry! You did an amazing job redoing that space. It’s fun to see all the dishes on the open shelves. ~ Sarah

  2. Wow! Very impressive!

  3. What a beautiful dish pantry! I love that you showed the before picture, makes you appreciate the after so much more. I love how beautiful your storage looks. many blessings, marlis

  4. You did a great job. It looks great. So much better to have them stored on the main floor. Basement storage is a pain! I loved seeing your collection!

  5. OMYGOODNESS…this is all amazing. I would give anything to have a dish pantry. The olden houses were built with US in mind. The new one..pssst…they don’t care where we store dishes. Most of us don’t even have room for all the clothes and shoes, much less special closets for dishes. 🙂
    You have an amazing collection of dishes. We just never have entertained that much…
    Thanks so much for sharing all this…
    xo bj

  6. Your dish pantry is such an awesome space. It’s convenient and full of terrific space. I’m with you, storing dishes in plain sight is my favorite place to store them.

    Thanks so much for coming to the party and sharing!

    – The Tablescaper

  7. WOW…I’m speechless… 😀 have a great Sunday in your wonderful House! Hugs, Flavia

  8. Susan, YOu dish closet is an amazing transformation…. and so worth it! WOW! What a collection or should I say collections you have. I love the cabinet your Mikasa Italian Countryside is in! Just beautiful!
    Such a fun visit! Thanks for the tour!
    I am a new follower!

  9. Oh Susan, you have so many goodies too. I did not know about the Tablescaper starting a business. What is that? hmm??? Anywho, I loved seeing all your goodies. I love (covet) your silverware drawer in your your hutch. It’s fantastic and sooo big! Mostly, I just adore the way you and your husband renovated the old dish pantry. It is so great that you kept it and updated it. I would have wanted to do the same. It’s totally awesome and beautiful!

  10. What great storage places you have. Your pantry reno is absolutely fabulous! I love that you put a door in there. That is such a great idea. My sister has a door out of her pantry room onto their back patio, and I know she loves it!

  11. Susan, I am coveting your dish pantry. What an amazing space and equally amazing transformation from before to after. Dianne

  12. Hi lovely lady.
    I love your pantry for your dishs are Beautiful !!! Great job sweet lady.

  13. What a great job you did on the butler’s pantry/dish pantry! My grandparent’s farmhouse had one that looked very similar; and I mean similar in that it looked about as gross! LOL! It was in a part of the farmhouse that was closed off. I so wish our house had built-ins too! They do come in handy!

  14. Oh,I am so in love with your dish pantry! You did a fantastic job on this redo! All your dishes look just beautiful. And your hutches are gorgeous too! Thank you for letting us come in for this fun tour today!

  15. Oh, and I just became your newest follower! 🙂

  16. You certainly have alot of dishes!
    You do a great job storing them in an older home. Your redo pantry reminds me of my first house built in 1923. The pantry was the same as yours when I moved in…You did a great job! Thank you for sharing!
    Blessings My Friend,

  17. I was very impressed with all your storage ideas and then came the china closet. WOW! (after cleaning anyway, a completely different sort of “wow” before). I’m trying to find a way to build one into our modern ranch style house. Thank you for the tour and your kind comments on my blog.

  18. Love your pantry! You certainly did a wonderful job in making it into a beautiful and useful area. All of your storage areas are great. I’m heading over to read your post about turning a bedroom closet into a dish storage area.

  19. Hi Susan! I have loved seeing your lovely places that you store your dishes! Now your pantry is gorgeous! No one would believe it looked like the before! Now is looks like a beautiful new pantry. Great job and you have some pretty dishes too.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  20. Your accomplishment with the dish closet is spectacular! I completely enjoyed the tour. Who made the gorgeous goblets with the wide gold rim? Beautiful! Cherry Kay

  21. What beautiful and functional dish pantry. I wish I had built ins like that. You are very organized…Christine

  22. Very terrific! I love the built in pantry! You’re quite organized with your lovelies and you have tons of it! Thanks for sharing, I really enoyed watching these! Thank you for coming and for the lovely comment! Hugs. FABBY

  23. Such wonderful storage ideas.. and I love how you keep things in plain sight so that you can enjoy them as well… The dish pantry renovation is simply amazing! You have a gorgeous collection. I loved this tour, thanks for sharing with us. I really appreciate your sweet comment on my treasure chest. Have a lovely week!~Poppy


  24. Great storage ideas – and such wonderful dishes. I too have to keep them in plain site and having just “ahem” acquired a lovely white set I am stumped as to where to put it as we have such small space here. Your article has given me some idea too. guess the worst case would be to leave it all looking pretty on the table.

  25. Wow! That pantry is fabulous! And so many pretty dishes! sigh…

  26. Susan, I’m sooo glad you found my blog because in turn, it enabled me to find your lovely blog! I’m your newest follower and am sure to be spending lots of time here in the near future! Thanks for adding my Wedding Blog Party button to your sidebar ~ you are a sweetheart to help spread the word! So glad you will be joining us Friday ~ I’ve just added your name to my sidebar participant’s list! Can’t wait to see what you share!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Angelic Accents

  27. Wow! What a job you all did.. your cabinet is amazing! Your dishes are out of this world. Couldn’t get over those you had titled to be sold….ahhhh….looking forward to seeing more.hugs ~lynne~

  28. Wow! What a job you all did.. your cabinet is amazing! Your dishes are out of this world. Couldn’t get over those you had titled to be sold….ahhhh….looking forward to seeing more.hugs ~lynne~

  29. Hi Susan…

    I am a new follower and have just been meandering though a few of your past posts! I am sooo enjoying your delightful blog!

    I had to leave you a note on this awesome post, my friend! What a beautiful home you have…I just love older homes and all the character they possess! Love, love, LOVE all of the gorgeous “build-ins” at your place and it was so much fun looking though all of your pretty dishes! Hmmm…I was thinking…I would love to just go shopping at your place! Hehe! Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous home and all of your gorgeous dishes with us! This was sooo much fun!

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  30. Oh you lucky lady!!

  31. You are soooo lucky to have all that wonderful storage!!! I am just getting started with this addiction and everytime a say I am out of room…. I buy another set of dishes and I start all over finding more space!! There is only a slight problem…..My home is only 1000 square feet…..We may have to move out and let the dishes HAVE IT!!!

    I am your newest follower and have been enjoying my visit very much…love the tips you have written, so I have to go back and read some more!


  32. Hi there, Susan! So……..I’m sitting here waiting for my husband to get off work in this awful little town where he’s filling in for a doctor today, and I start cleaning out my email Inbox. I get just about all the way to the end, and what do I see but an email alert from Creative Journeys re: her blog post that I just so happened to save. It was from June 4, 2011 which was the day after all that horrible stuff happened in Savannah. I was out of pocket for a month or more after that, still reeling and trying to make sense of things. But, geez…now I find out that YOU had a party on that day entitled “Where do you keep it all?” I go over to The Tablscaper’s blog, look at HER 6-4-11 post, then swing by YOURS to peek in. THEN I go back to my post from last week to see your comment on MY post. Bottom line: NO YOU DIDN’T!!!! 🙂 Yeah, you DO have about as much stuff as I do! It is beautifully displayed and I am so impressed with the work you and your husband did to remodel your house!!! That was a LOT of work!!! I am super impressed! Just wanted to pop in and give you the business! 😉 Hope you’re having a good weekend!

  33. This is my first visit to this post. I so wished I lived closeer and could have attended your “porch sale” or whatever you want to call it. I hated to see all those vintage linens lying there with MY NAME all over them!! Oh and the tablecloths were screaming to come home to Alabama with me!!! You have such lovely things and I would have a very difficult time giving them away but I suppose having a good reason helps. I have a difficult things letting things go…it is the thorn in my flesh as Paul often spoke about. My inner need to KEEP stuff for sentimental reasons is making my closets overflow!!
    As for your house…it is beautiful. I grew up in WV and lived in an old Victorian style home complete with a turret. I loved all the nooks and crannies in that house and wish I had it today!! Nothing can compare to an old home. MY home was built around the late 1800’s -1900 because we moved in the house in 1962 and it was told that the house was around 68 yrs. old at that time.
    I enjoy your blog!!
    Gmama Jane