When it comes to kitchen storage solutions and added conveniences, a butler’s pantry is like a godsend for many homeowners. But not everyone is set on the idea. So, should you dedicate the space for a butler’s pantry in your home or would the area be used more effectively elsewhere? Find the answers you need right here.
No matter what side of the fence you sit on, there is no denying that butler’s pantries are a very good solution for kitchen storage. Generally brimming from floor to ceiling with cupboards, drawers and open shelving, a butler’s pantry can provide much-needed space for homeowners and occupants.
This said, our design experts at Harrington Kitchens have often quizzed whether butler’s pantries are as great as they are made out to be. What benefits do they offer other than extra storage? Are they really worth the extra time, effort and cost?
To answer this properly, it is important to delve a little further into the wants and needs of a homeowner. Just like home designs, every butler’s pantry is unique in the way it is designed and styled. Lifestyle options and home entertaining are major players when it comes to designing a butler’s pantry. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
What is a butler’s pantry?
A butler’s pantry is an area typically located within or adjacent to the kitchen. The pantry is usually concealed by a door or located out of direct eyesight from the main kitchen area.
The idea of a butler’s pantry is to provide storage and preparation fundamentals that take the pressure off the main kitchen. The design of each pantry is as individual the homeowners themselves. But, there are some common fundamentals included in most designs and these include;
- a workbench
- in-built cabinetry
- open shelving
To help decide whether a butler’s pantry would be a great fit for your home, below we run through some basic pros and cons.
Negatives of a butler’s pantry
Looking for a reason not to include a butler’s pantry in your kitchen? Check out some of the opinions from ‘team no butler’s pantry’.
#1. Wasted space
Many people against a butler’s pantry put their first argument down as a general waste of space. If you have a kitchen with plenty of storage solutions that already work for you, you can see how this argument is their main focus. The question here is could you capitalise on the space taken by a butler’s pantry for other functions that you can’t necessarily do inside the area, such as cooking?
* Tip: could you do with some storage solution hacks for your kitchen? Check out one of our recent articles here.
#2. Too easy to blow-out your budget
Be very conscience of your budget when designing a new butler’s pantry. With the addition of custom-built cabinetry, extra plumbing, and appliances, these guys do have a tendency to add up very quickly if you get too swept up at the moment.
Be critical of every decision when planning your butler’s pantry, especially if you need to cut back on some of the expense for the build and fit-out.
#3. Overall aesthetics
Some people consider a butler’s pantry as a second kitchen area. So, some would argue, why would you close off a kitchen within a kitchen and jeopardise the open plan design you so desired?
Positives of a butler’s pantry
To counter those few negatives above, below we have listed all there is to love about a butler’s pantry.
#1. Storage king
We keep referring to storage and that’s because a butler’s pantry is the storage king! Tucked neatly out of sight, your space can be decked with so many different storage areas; from floor to ceiling and back to the floor if needed. And let’s face it, you can never have too much storage within a home.
Large appliances such as thermomixers, food processors, coffee machines, slow cookers, and deep fryers can also be stored in a butler’s pantry freeing up precious space on the main kitchen bench.
Some of butler’s pantry storage ideas that you might like to consider are:
- vertical slots for trays and over-sized platters
- deep drawers for larger appliances
- wide drawers for linen so it doesn’t crease up when squeezed into smaller draws and spaces
- open shelving
- stemware racks for wine glasses
- a wine fridge or rack
#2. Multiple uses
Pending what is important to you, design your butler’s pantry with multiple uses in mind. Following are a few ideas that might take your fancy:
- a personal café area finished with coffee machine, herbal teas, ground coffee, and tea/coffee sets
- a cocktail station with under counter bar fridge and shelves to home cocktail mixes
- a warming caterer’s drawer to keep snacks at the perfect temperature for those nights that you are playing host
- a sink and area to use as a second wash-up spot to keep dirty dishes off the kitchen bench. Even better, locate your dishwasher in the butler’s pantry An integrated dishwasher drawer is perfect for smaller or more frequent loads
- extra bench space to use as food preparation when your kitchen is taken over by party guests
If you are not so set on the idea of a standalone butler’s pantry perhaps you could share the design with another element of the home. A door off your kitchen into the laundry with some dedicated cabinetry could provide twin uses for when you need to make use of the extra space.
The secret to designing the perfect butler’s pantry is to consider what it is that you primarily need basing on your lifestyle habits. Whether you are an entertainer, a culinary king or queen, a master mixologist or tea and coffee connoisseur. Weigh up the functions you will use the most and build on the design from there.
Designed and fitted-out properly, we think there is much to love about a butler’s pantry. But we also completely understand that they are not for everyone and every home. To discuss your vision for the ultimate butler’s pantry or for countless options on maximising your kitchen space without the inclusion of a butler’s pantry, contact the team of professional kitchen designers at Harrington Kitchens on 1300 662 112, submit an online enquiry or visit us at our Narellan or Bowral showrooms.