Kitchen Design

Real Solutions: the Beekman Boys' Library Cupboards

May 28, 2015

Admit it: There's something invariably exciting about seeing what's behind a normally closed door, whether stealing a glance inside the kitchen cupboard of a cook you admire or poking around the bathroom cabinet at a dinner party. We're here to open more of those doors and share the secrets that lie behind them.

Today: Brent Ridge, one half of the Beekman Boys and co-author of the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook, shares a look inside two book storage solutions that think outside the open shelf.

Because we live out in the middle of nowhere in upstate NY, a lot of the things my partner Josh and I design are inspired directly by what we use or what we need at Beekman Farm, the 60-acre historic property where we live and work that's also the inspiration for our lifestyle brand, Beekman 1802. There’s a certain practicality behind everything, whether it’s a product for the home, the body, or the palate. 

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Beekman Brothers Pantry of Books Beekman Brothers Closet of Books

The Beekman Farm was built over the course of 2 years (between 1802 and 1804), before the Louisiana Purchase and way before closets were a normal part of domestic life. Anything that wasn’t used on a regular basis (and there weren’t many of those frivolous things back then) were kept out of the way in cupboards or large wardrobes.

Needless to say, storage in our home is a scarcity.

A small set of shelves in one of the bedrooms (turned into a closed cupboard during a later renovation) became the perfect place to keep all of our books—both new and old—on gardening. This little library is a delightful surprise for guests who happen to be sleeping in (and snooping around) the room.

Beekman Brothers Pantry of Books  Beekman Brothers Pantry of Books

When our cookbook archives started consuming more shelf space in our tiny pantry than actual things to eat, we designed an upright chest for our dining room in which to house them. That chest later became the inspiration for the Brimstonia Armoire that is part of the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Furniture Collection.

Sometimes what people keep behind closed doors explains a lot about them. What other closed doors would you like us to open? 

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Beekman 1802 is based in Sharon Springs, NY, and focuses on seasonal living and producing artisanal goods inspired by the 60 acre farm Brent and Josh call home.