The Return of the Butler Pantry
Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Greenbrook Design, managing day to day operations, marketing, sourcing product and keeping the showroom beautifully designed. Stacey also does interior design & home styling for a select number of clients. Find out more about Stacey here.
Kitchen storage is a critical part of the design phase whether it is for a large or small layout because it not only allows you to have the essentials within reach but in an orderly way. A kitchen pantry is one of the storage elements that comes with multiple benefits for the homeowners as it can be used for several things besides food. As the kitchen is one of the most used areas in the home it can quickly become cluttered and cramped hindering it from fulfilling one of its many purposes, being a place of welcome and warmth. This is where a second kitchen, often known as the butler pantry, comes into play. More designers and contractors are incorporating this secondary space into the kitchen to gain square footage and have an area that works as an extension of the kitchen. Let’s dive deeper into what a butler pantry is and what the benefits are for you.
What is a butler pantry?
Also known as a scullery kitchen, a back kitchen, or even a dirty kitchen, the butler pantry functions as a secondary kitchen or as a transition between the kitchen and the dining areas. Though it has a primary purpose of storage and serving the overflow needs of the kitchen it also fulfills a variety of tasks that means less mess in the main kitchen. It is also considered a pantry on steroids because of all the things it can do in addition to keeping groceries including food prep and minor cooking abilities. It has evolved over the years to take on a whole new role as it does the heavy duty kitchen work leaving your main kitchen as the central hub for the family to gather and mingle. Think of the butler pantry as your own personalized “Downton Abbey” area minus Mrs. Patmore and Daisy of course. This space gives you the freedom to have a few extras that might not have fit into your main kitchen area but is within easy reach and connection.
The benefits of a butler pantry
There are multiple benefits that a butler pantry gives to the home which we have already touched on but let’s dig a little deeper. The kitchen is one of the most lived in areas of the home since meals are prepared there along with many of our favorite beverages. This can mean that keeping it clean and presentable is a challenge. A butler pantry provides a secondary place for homeowners to do their cooking which makes it easier to keep the main area looking tidier at all times which will leave your guests wondering how you do it. This feature also adds value to the home especially as it is on more people’s wish list than ever before. Storage is another great bonus with a butler pantry, not just extra food items but supplies like paper products, tupperware, and cleaning products can be kept in there. These storage options can also be customized to suit your particular habits and needs such as a wine glass cabinet, extra beverage refrigerator, or deep drawers for larger items such as crock pots and mixers. Counter space is a benefit because this equals more prep area as well as a place to spread out when doing any number of things. A butler pantry brings a host of benefits to the home especially to those who love to cook and entertain. It gives you the expansion needed to store those extras, have a little more room for food prep, and a place to hide those dirty dishes until after the party. If you are considering a kitchen renovation or have a need for more space, a butler pantry could be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Designing a butler pantry
How do you design a butler pantry that is perfect for your home and a compliment to your lifestyle? What are the essentials or things that should be avoided? Start with what you want to accomplish. Ask yourself if you want it to be a space where you can actually do a little cooking? How many people will use it? Do you need it to store other items beside food items? Will it be used as a main prep area and clean up station? These initial questions can help your designer formulate the best layout and use of your space. Using a butler pantry as a cooking station can help keep your main kitchen clean which is a big plus on days when you host parties. You can cook and bake away without worrying about cleaning up every crumb since no one will see this area. It also frees up space in your kitchen for other things that you may use every day plus you can customize your butler pantry to specific things like a baking station where all of your mixing bowls and measuring cups are stored for easy reach. It is recommended that when designing your butler pantry you keep it out of the sight lines. Some designs have it more as a pass through without doors which allow traffic to flow in and out with ease but it also means that if there is a mess or clutter it can be seen easier. Consider adding a pocket door that can be pushed out of the way when needed but closed to hide any mess while company is present. A butler pantry can be located near the kitchen as well where it functions as its own room which may offer a larger layout option and you can install a traditional door or one that is a frosted glass for some visual interest. If you are wanting to add a butler pantry to your current space or into your new construction, a designer can be a great help as they bring a wealth of experience which ultimately will save you time and money.
The return of the butler pantry
As more and more homeowners look for ways to personalize their space to their specific needs and lifestyle, a butler pantry checks all the boxes. It is the perfect place to have an extra oven or dishwasher, keep those party supplies nearby yet out of the way, and store the overflow dishes and glassware. With the potential to increase the value of your home, a butler pantry can also be seen as a good investment move for those looking to sell in the near future. Browse places like Pinterest and Houzz to see a variety of styles available that can provide inspiration for you and then talk to a designer who can help you bring it all together.
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