butler’s pantry building blocks

By KaboodleStraight LineGalley

The butler’s pantry ticks all the boxes when it comes to extra storage and workspace – if you have the room for one of your own, we’ve rounded up the essentials so you can consider the ins and outs.

As a natural extension of the kitchen, the butler’s pantry gives you extra space for storing everyday items, an extra area for food prep and cleaning, and a place to hide those bigger appliances while keeping them within easy reach for everyday use.  While functionality is key, it’s important to design for the space you have to work with.  If you’re planning a butler’s pantry at home, here are some thought starters to kickstart your design.

Concealed storage…and plenty of it!

Conceal or not to conceal?

Focus on the design features of your butler’s pantry and consider what would work best in the space you have to work with. Do you want the whole room to comprise of closed cabinets? Do you want to include drawer cabinets for easy access and concealed storage?  If you have the luxury of a bigger space, make the most of this with a clever run of cabinets to maximise your storage.   

Open shelving is better for tighter spaces

Shelf Life

If you’re designing in a tighter space, try using open shelves instead of concealed cabinets – this will open up the space visually!  Just think about whether you’ll be able to see your butler’s pantry from outside. Your shelves will be on display, so keep them organised with jars and canisters so you can keep things in order, and find what you need with a glance!

Colour Match

Keep elements and the colour scheme consistent with your kitchen to ensure a seamless look and feel. After all, the butler’s pantry is an extension of the kitchen - a natural flow can be easily achieved if you carry the colour scheme through. If budget is tight, consider using more budget-friendly materials for this space (tip: laminate instead of stone) – as long as the palette is consistent, you can’t go wrong. 

Extra Service

Consider including a sink in your butler’s pantry – having a smaller, secondary sink in this space (and even a dishwasher if space permits) is a convenient addition for out of sight extra service, especially when you’re entertaining, so you can keep the kitchen free of mess!

Bench Space

Try to create as much bench space as possible so you have plenty of space for food prep, and to store everyday appliances.  If space is tight, consider adjusting the depth of your benchtop to allow for more floor space so you can move around with ease (tip: your walkway should be kept to a minimum of 1000mm).

Task Lighting

Light it up! Especially if you’ll be using the space as a prep area – keep this room well-lit and even incorporate under cabinet lighting into your design for that added convenience.

Size doesn’t really matter when it comes to creating a butler’s pantry that’s perfect for you – just be smart with your design and maximise the space you have to work with! 


What is in a butler's pantry?

A butler’s pantry is an extension of your kitchen where you’ll find a countertop and pantry cabinets that are used for storing food, large cooking appliances, serving pieces, tableware, table linens, wine glasses and other items that are used regularly but don’t need to be out on display. For added luxury and if space permits, you can even include a sink, small refrigerator or dishwasher for added functionality 

Is a butler's pantry worth it?

If you want to increase storage space in your kitchen, then a butler’s pantry is a great idea. Not only do they allow you to conveniently keep things out of the way, but they also add a high-end element to your kitchen. A butler’s pantry is also great as they can double up as a second kitchen, acting as a space you can use to prepare food and also use for storing dirty dishes when entertaining. 

What is the difference between a pantry and a butler's pantry?

Usually, a pantry is simply a cupboard used to store dry-goods. On the other hand, a butler’s pantry is used to store everything from a coffee machine to a microwave and even an additional sink or dishwasher. In other words, you can do a lot more with a butler’s pantry than a standard pantry.

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