The arrangement and extent of the fittings for this closet or room will, of course, depend greatly upon the plan and the character of the house.
A reasonably complete china closet should have a counter shelf about 28 inches wide and 2 feet 8 inches from the floor across two sides of the room. Below this shelf should be drawers to receive the table linen - one long one for table cloths and shorter ones for napkins, etc. One drawer should also be divided for knives, forks and spoons. If there is room one or two cupboards should also be provided beneath the counter shelf.
Above the wide shelf there should be a number of shelves 14 inches wide for china and glassware. These shelves should be enclosed with glass doors - sliding doors are generally considered the most convenient.
A well-equipped butler's pantry should also be provided, with a small sink for washing the china, glass and silver.
The kitchen pantry should be fitted with a counter shelf as long as the space will permit, with at least one case of drawers about 3 feet long and cupboards under and open shelves above. A strip for pot hooks is also often provided. Provision should also be made in the pantry for flour. Where flour is sold by the barrel, as is the case in the Eastern States, it is customary to arrange a cupboard under the counter shelf with a door large enough to admit the barrel and a lifting cover in the counter shelf for taking out the flour from the top.*
In many of the extreme Western States flour and meal are sold only in cotton bags containing either 25 or 50 pounds, and in those States it is customary to put flour bins under the counter shelf - one for flour and one for meal. These bins are tight boxes about 18 inches wide, 16 inches deep and 2 feet 3 inches high, which are pivoted at the bottom so that the top may be brought forward for taking out the meal or flour and then pushed back under the shelf. Such bins are very convenient, but mice sometimes find their way into them, and for this reason many housekeepers prefer to keep their flour in tin cans made especially for the purpose. If such cans are to be used, provision should be made for them in the pantry.
Kitchen Dresser. - In many small houses there is room only for one closet, which is made to serve for both china closet and pantry. With such a plan it is desirable to have a dresser in the kitchen in which the kitchen utensils may be kept, and many housekeepers prefer a good dresser to a kitchen pantry. The dresser is usually made about 8 feet high and from 5 to 10 feet long, according to the size of the kitchen. It should have a counter shelf at least 20 inches wide, dividing it into upper and lower sections. The section below the counter shelf should have a place for flour, two or three drawers and the remainder finished off for cupboards for pots and pans, with paneled doors. Above the counter shelf there should be about four shelves 12 or 14 inches wide. These shelves should always be enclosed with glazed doors, either arranged to slide by each other on brass tracks, or hung with hinges at the sides. The width of swing-ing doors should not exceed 18 inches, and a width of 15 inches is about the most convenient, the doors being arranged in pairs. Sliding doors may be from 18 inches to 2 feet wide. When the counter shelf is narrow it is a good idea to arrange for a drawer shelf immediately under the counter shelf, which may be drawn out when needed. As a dresser is really a piece of furniture, although generally fixed in place, it should be neatly made with paneled doors and ends, and finished on top with a simple cornice. The wood should be the same as the finish of the room.
* Pivoted clamps for flour barrels (Perfection barrel swings) have recently been placed on the market, by means of which the barrel can readily be swung out of the closet instead of reaching through a door in the shelf.
To insure the best arrangement of doors, cupboards, drawers, etc., for the pantry, china closet or dresser, the architect should make scale drawings showing the fittings at the different sides of the rooms, with full-size sections for any special mouldings or details.
Clothes Chute. - In many residences a clothes chute is provided, running from some place in the second story (from the bathroom when practicable) to the laundry. The chute is merely a vertical shaft or well about 16 inches by 2 feet inside, lined with matched ceiling and provided with doors in each story.
Dumb Waiter. - If a dumb waiter is required a shaft for it to operate in must be provided, with doors opening at the proper level in the different stories. The shaft should be ceiled inside and a pocket provided for the weights if one is necessary, with pocket pieces (to give access to the weights) secured with screws.
A description of dumb waiters, with the lifting apparatus, is given in the Appendix.