Ask yourself: do I really need a second, much smaller kitchen, aka a Butler’s Pantry? The answer is: yes!
When building a new home, the kitchen can be the most important design consideration you’ll face. The heart of the home, it’s one of the most highly trafficked areas for every member of the family. From routine fridge-checks in the early afternoon when you’re bored, to teenagers raiding the cupboard for an after school snack; there’s usually someone in the kitchen looking (or loitering) for something to do. So it’s no surprise that the Butler’s Pantry is making a huge comeback in new builds.
What is a Butler’s Pantry?
A Butler’s Pantry is basically a smaller kitchen, or walk-in pantry, within your actual kitchen. It’s large enough to house an optional second sink (perfect for hiding dirty dishes during a dinner party!) or dishwasher, and includes plenty of storage for kitchenware and appliances, plus additional bench space for prep work.
Think of it as the room-equivalent of that space underneath the bed that keeps your bedroom looking tidy. It’s essentially the gift of a cleaner kitchen.
Butler’s Pantry v Spice Kitchen?
A spice kitchen differs from a Butler's Pantry. Often they are smaller and feature a cooktop and a high volume rangehood vented to the atmosphere. The usually don't include a sink but one can be added to suit your needs.
More on Spice Kitchens.
What makes for a great Butler’s Pantry?
The options are endless, but it really comes down to the space you have available and the benefits you need. Many Butler’s Pantries include:
- A second sink: Let the dishes pile up during a dinner party behind closed doors. That’s tomorrow’s problem.
- Dishwasher: While they make life easier, they can be noisy and/or unsightly, which is why they’re perfect tucked away in your mini kitchen.
- Shelving: Cabinet doors are for hiding stuff in the main kitchen. But your walk-in pantry is usually smaller (and out of view), so there’s no reason to hide. Plus, it gives you easy access to everything you need, so you can get back to cooking or entertaining sooner.
- Bench space for prep work: Cutting onions? Hiding from your kids? Find a quiet spot in the pantry to cry (or watch Netflix on your phone) in peace.
- Easy-clean flooring: Spills happen, so you’ll want to extend your kitchen flooring to make clean up a breeze.
- Space for appliances: Blenders, toasters and slow cookers are great, but they’re not too easy on the eyes and can really clutter up a bench space. Give them the home they deserve in the walk-in pantry.
- Power points: If you’re cooking something that might smell or want to set-it-and-forget-it, you’ll need somewhere to plug in the electric frypan or slow cooker.
You can select from a wide range of features in our inspiration studio.
Make your Butler’s Pantry that little bit extra
If you’ve got some room to spare, and you’d like to create something truly special, consider adding in a few luxe items that will make your life a little easier.
Using appliances regularly or cooking in the Butler’s Pantry can introduce heat and moisture, which is why including a rangehood may be a good option. LED strip lighting underneath cabinets makes prep work a breeze, and budding sommeliers may enjoy the ease of adding a wine fridge.
Although it’s tucked away, you still want your walk-in pantry to look the part. Keep your benchtops, cabinetry and flooring consistent with the kitchen for a seamless and stylish flow from one to the other. And for when all else fails, include a door to hide the mess!