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October 3rd, 2020 in


Butler’s pantry: Why and what to add for the best use of the space

While homeowners are moving towards open plan kitchen design, butler’s pantry also is considered by many. But not all have the same taste and space to have it. So, this article is all about what and why’s of a butler pantry and should you have one.

Butler’s pantry is gaining popularity after decades not without a reason. It has many reasons other than serving as a butler’s food prepping area which we will see in detail.

We know most of our homes do not have butlers and the kitchen is your personal space. Still, a butler’s pantry could make a lot of sense in this age and time both functionally and aesthetically.


What is a butler’s pantry?

Butler’s pantry traditionally is a transition space between the kitchen and the dining area. It houses cabinets and shelves for storage and countertops to lay out food and decorate.

The butler’s pantry is usually a narrow walk-in space with shelves and counters on two sides, located as part of or adjacent to the kitchen. It is one of the recent trends that is retrieved from the pasta and modernised for the present.

Back in those days when butlers where common and kitchens were a separate room hidden from the vicinity, butler’s pantry was a very essential space in most houses. The current housing scenario has taken a fresh approach to the design and functionality of the Butler’s pantry.

So, what all functions can it take? Come let’s discuss


Why do you need a butler’s pantry?

After all, the kitchen is the most custom-made space in any home. It is catered to the needs and convenience of the homemaker from start to finish. Same goes with the Butler’s pantry. It is customizable to a good extent.

Below are some of the noticeable reasons homeowners tend to include a butler’s pantry in their home.

Hide the mess of the kitchen

One of the motives of moving towards open kitchens is showing of the kitchen. But you don’t want to show everything to your guests, particularly the mess that is created during bulk cooking. Some even set up a stove in the butler’s pantry making it their second kitchen.


Storage is the biggest issue of open kitchens. Adding a wall of storage is a nice way to keep everything in one place, well organized and easy to reach. You can store all of your exquisite china, silver and cutlery in the butler’s pantry.

Preparatory space

When you are hosting guests, it is nice to surprise them with a variety of dishes. But the open kitchen easily gives away on it. Having a backup kitchen allows for suspense and hype up until the big reveal.

An additional place to stock food and drinks

While the party is on, you can set up a drinks counter in the butler’s space. You can also place extra dishes for a refill or a dessert counter there. Not just that, the kitchen pantry is an apt place for the excess groceries too.

Additional cooking appliances

Sometimes you have a lot of cooking appliances like a slow cooker, toaster, air fryer which are not used regularly. It might make a clutter in the main kitchen. You can have it in the butler pantry countertop plugged and ready to go without bothering about the mess.


Types of butler pantry implementation

Butler pantry can be a walk-in cabinet, a single wall shelf or a complete expanse of space to store all your fancy dinner sets. Let’s see some of the common implementations of the butler pantry and their functionalities.

The extravagant pantry

Your ultimate pantry requirement with all the storage space and working area. Usually requires a lot of space so not ideal to add during a renovation.

The partitioned pantry space

The wall containing the kitchen cooking counter hides the pantry space from the vicinity. You either get storage space on both walls or just one depending on the availability of space. Most often void of doors, it is like walk-in storage with a countertop and a sink in it.


The hidden pantry

This implementation takes the aesthetic aspect to a whole new level. The doors to the butler’s pantry are fitted flush like a cabinet in the kitchen. Your guests won’t notice there is storage space inside until you open it. Though it might be difficult or unusable if you have sink and kitchen equipment in it.


The simple kitchen pantry

A modest pantry with minimal open shelves and a basic counter.

The wall-mounted butler’s pantry

A simple wall shelf near the dining area to help with serving and storage. It is more like a side table but also doubles as a butler pantry during house parties.


Butler’s Pantry Combo

Not all of us have the requirement to have a full-fledged pantry. Likely, not all have space to add a butler’s pantry into our house plan. So then is when laundry can double as a pantry for you. It has some difficulties like being distant from the kitchen. However, it is a good alternate storage space to have the rarely used.

Ideas for an ideal butler’s pantry

Let me say it again, all of us won’t like the same kitchen design. Same goes for the butler’s pantry too. Instead of giving you images of completed pantry spaces let’s take a different approach.

We will be covering aspects of a butler pantry that will make it more functional. You can choose what you want and forward it to your designer for a very functional and personalized butler’s pantry of yours.


Well, it doesn’t make a butler’s pantry if it doesn’t have shelves. But how do you have them is the topic of discussion for now. Open shelves are the most sought after as butler’s pantry is more about convenience and less about flaunting the finishes. You can go a step ahead and include modular shelves so that you can change the space between shelves to fit all of your kitchen needs. Include draws for cutlery and other smaller objects.


The sink is an essential part of any countertop. You will need a sink for cleaning when using it as preparatory space.

Choice of finishes

Butler’s pantry is a hidden space where most of your guests won’t make it. So you are well off choosing a less priced and more durable material.


Your countertop should be spacious enough to place all the plates, decorate them and also house the occasionally used kitchen appliances like an Air fryer, Food steamer, etc.

Power Sockets

You can’t miss on power sockets. It is very essential for kitchen appliances. You don’t wanna change plugs when you are serving a large group of audience. Make sure there are enough wall sockets in the right places.

Other ideas

Some even have a proper cooking setup for the maids to work when the guests are around. In that case, you will need to have a chimney. It is common to have storage until the top row. So, having a ladder is advisable.

Check out Pinterest for more Butler’s Pantry Ideas.


Should you build a butler’s pantry?

Now getting to the most crucial part – do you need it? It’s time to find yay or nay. I have seen people setting up a full-fledged kitchen pantry area and later regretting not having proper use to it. On the contrary, many of us would are in need of some extra space to store and prep the party dinners.

So what type are you? Most of us are somewhere between the extremes. To understand yourself better find the answer to the following questions.

  • Do you engage a lot of guests? If you are frequently hosting house parties you will have many china and silverware and you could make use of the additional space too.
  • Do you have a lot of kitchenware and appliances to store? You always have additional kitchenware for the special occasion. Having it in a butler’s pantry is easy for access and use.
  • Do you have the space for a butler’s pantry?  The main deciding factor is the availability of space. If you have enough space for hidden pantry space, that’s well and good. or go with a wall-mounted minimal pantry.

You can even add a butler’s pantry when you are renovating. Enrol with me for a free live session to explore the possibilities of placing a butler’s pantry in your home.


Signing off:

Butler’s pantry is a conventional form of adding space for storage, meal preparation and decoration. The above-mentioned types and ideas are just the most popular ones.

Like any other kitchen design, the possibilities are endless. You can add anything that will make your workflow easier. And do not forget to keep in mind the practicality of the place.




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