In case you've never heard the term or you're not sure what it means, a butler's pantry is just like a walk-in pantry but instead of being just shelves, it has a benchtop and appliances so that it becomes an extension of your kitchen. Because you need a fairly large kitchen to create a butler's pantry, it's often not possible to add one in smaller homes. However, you may be able to have a laundry off a kitchen that doubles as a butler's pantry or have a smaller 'step-in' pantry instead. Butler's pantries are fantastic for entertaining as you can keep all the food prep and clean up away from your main kitchen where your guests are. They're also great as a way to keep your kitchen benches clear and free of clutter. You can keep all your small appliances and all your breakfast items in there so they're not in the way when not in use.
If you're renovating or building and need some inspiration for your butler's pantry, here are my top 5 must haves:
1 | Sink
If you're planning on doing food prep or clean up in your butler's pantry, a sink is going to be a must. To maximise bench space, we usually recommend a smaller sink. However, if space allows, a large sink is perfect for larger items like oven trays that may not fit into your kitchen sink. If you entertain often, a second dishwasher in here also comes in very handy for a quicker clean up!
2 | Open Shelves
The point of having a butler's pantry over an extra large kitchen is that it's hidden away. There's no need to keep all your items behind doors, especially when open shelves make it so much easier to grab what you need when you're in a rush. We also recommend to keep the shelves shallow (max. 300-400mm deep) so that it fits larger items like plates but you're not losing smaller things at the back, and everything you need is easy to see and reach.
3 | Open Drawers
Similar to the point above, drawers with open/glass fronts make a great addition to a butler's pantry. Where possible, I always prefer drawers over cupboards to the base cabinetry as it makes it so much easier to reach the back and allows you to use the full depth without losing anything. To make the best use of the space, we recommend to have some different drawer heights to suit the different types of items you need to store.
4 | Pull Out Bin
If space allows, having an additional pull out bin in the pantry is a great idea. This way, you won't need to walk dirty plates and food scraps out to the kitchen if you're doing food prep or clean up in the pantry. If a pull out bin doesn't fit, it's important to consider the location of your bin in your kitchen so that it's easy to reach from the pantry.
5 | Power Points
If the main purpose of your butler's pantry is to store and use all your small appliances, then you're going to need a lot of power points! The last thing you want is to be awkwardly reaching over your kitchen aid or microwave to plug something else in. We therefore recommend to have evenly spaced power points all along your butler's pantry splashback.
I hope my ideas and tips have been helpful! If you want to find out more about how to make your home work for you and your family, you can get in contact with us using the link below.
Have a wonderful week!