What is a Butler’s Pantry & Why you Need One

Butler’s pantries are set to become the must-have feature of larger kitchens and modern homes. They satisfy both form and function, adding a high-end touch to your space and introducing several new storage options.

What is a butler’s pantry?

The butler’s pantry has always been used as a storage space, but was originally used to store, count and polish silver, china and other large serving dishes. It also acted as a staging area for food service – a place where all the plates could be arranged before entering the dining area. It was kept under lock and key by a butler – hence the name!

These days, the butler’s pantry is a larger version of a walk-in food pantry and often features cabinets, bench space and appliances. It is now the workhorse of any food preparation space, allowing the kitchen to be design-centric. However, those aren’t the only benefits!

Hide mess

While a butler’s pantry may sit in the kitchen area, it’s a completely different space and can be closed off when required. As such, when entertaining, it’s the ideal spot to hide dirty dishes, bins and anything else that might contribute to a ‘messy’ kitchen.

Storage heaven

The modern butler’s pantry hasn’t moved too far away from its original purpose – it offers a whole new storage area for pantry items and items you may not use every day, such as crockery, kitchen equipment and appliances. This could include slow cookers, juicers, waffle makers or extra pots and pans that you only use when hosting larger dinner parties.

Dedicated appliance zone

If you are after a clean-lined and contemporary kitchen aesthetic, the butler’s pantry is the perfect place to store all those appliances that might disrupt this. From your dishwasher to microwave, toaster to a secondary sink, it can hold the functional elements of your kitchen, leaving your main counter space for entertaining.

It also introduces the opportunity to include appliances that may have not have fit in your original kitchen design. This includes a second fridge or larger freezer, a wine fridge, a warming drawer or built-in coffee machine.

Entertaining needs

Hosting a dinner party? The butler’s pantry works wonderfully as a staging area for meals, making the experience seamless for both you and your guests. For example, you can open up space on the table by leaving extra dishes in the pantry area. If it’s a multi-course affair, you can prepare all your ingredients in the pantry so you’re not spending too much time away from the table.

The butler’s pantry is also a fantastic space to keep extra crockery, glassware or anything else you may need to host!

Endless design possibilities

The design of a butler’s pantry is almost like a blank canvas – with countless alternatives, you can create a space that suits your floor plan and personal preferences perfectly. If you’re looking to improve your kitchen’s overall storage space, consider adding elements like roll-out shelves, full extension or deep-set drawers and pre-installed organisers. Depending on your desired look, these can be exposed with open shelving or sit behind cabinetry of your choice.

If you think you’re going to use your butler’s pantry as a space to prepare food, there’s opportunity to include elements like built-in chopping boards, sinks and racks for serving crockery, such as salad bowls. Alternatively, if you have eye-catching china or serving utensils, you might want to incorporate glass-front cabinets so that you can show them off. 

While the design of your butler’s pantry should be based on how you’re going to use the space, it’s important that it complements your kitchen’s overall design. The two spaces should blend seamlessly in order to maintain visual consistency across the entire space.

Create a kitchen for the kids

Family-style kitchens require a specific interior design approach in order to prevent unintentional injury and harm. However, this doesn’t mean compromising on style and substance – in fact, a butler’s pantry delivers the best of both worlds!

Depending on the allocated space, you can create a kid-friendly part of your pantry, with separate sinks, (plastic) equipment and ingredients they can use. Store step-up stools nearby for easy access, and soon you may have a mini baker or chef on your hands!

Adds value to your home

Any design feature that makes everyday living easier is going to add value to your home, so it follows that a butler’s pantry is seen as a huge asset to any potential buyers. With some minor planning and investment early on in your kitchen renovation, you could add thousands onto your selling price, moving well beyond your initial outlay.

We can help you create your perfect kitchen

If you are looking to rejuvenate your kitchen with a butler’s pantry, our team of expert kitchen designers are happy to help. Get in touch today for a style consultation!