Reconsidering the Butler’s Pantry

August 11, 2017

New homes are being planned today with a return to a feature that was mainly found in homes at the turn of the last century. In the past, unlike a food pantry, a butler’s pantry was used for cleaning and storing silver and other utensils when they weren’t being used.

Today, with a renewed emphasis on making homes more organized and self-contained, butler’s pantries are making a huge comeback. Many homeowners have fallen in love with the idea of having custom floor-to-ceiling cabinet arrayed with tons of shelf and drawer space. Today, due to celebrity cooking shows and the emphasis on custom chef-style kitchen spaces, butler’s pantries have become a popular feature in new homes and the remodeling plans for existing ones.

An Additional Staging and Preparation Area for Your Home

Of course, you don’t need to live in some version of Downton Abbey or even have a butler in order to appreciate a butler’s pantry. A butler’s pantry can be ideal in today’s home when it’s located just off the kitchen or dining area. Not only does this space provide extra storage space for unused china, silver, and linens but it can also serve as a staging area when cooking or entertaining.

In today’s new homes and remodels, butler’s pantries not only provide extra cabinet space, but can have other built-in features like ice makers, refrigerators, freezers, microwaves, dishwashers, or coffee and espresso machines. It can provide an area between the kitchen and areas where you entertain so that your guests don’t have to see the aftermath from the preparation that took place in the kitchen.

So Much Storage

For those who love the idea of large amounts of storage, there are few things more awe-inspiring than a butler’s pantry. Imagine having an entire bank of kitchen cabinets that cover a wall or two, or even three. A butler’s pantry promises the kind of storage space that can fuel the imagination. It’s a room of its own and one that is likely to be both seen and admired by visitors.  A butler’s pantry also adds value to a home. So if you are considering having one, take time to consider the kinds of amenities you want to have in it.  Affordable luxuries may include slide out shelving, soft-closing drawers, or even adding marble or quartz countertops.  These amenities can pay off with huge dividends in terms of personal enjoyment and resale value.   

Creating the Butler’s Pantry At Home

It is possible to create a butler’s pantry in your own home today without having to knock out walls, build out a home addition, or even moving to another home. If you have a laundry room that is adjacent to the kitchen, why not turn it into your butler’s pantry and relegate the laundry tasks to the basement? A breakfast nook, closet, alcove or hallway could be transformed by adding cabinets, extra shelving or even a sliding door. Any cabinets that you install could either be painted or stained a uniform color and new hardware added to complete the space. The only limitation is budget. You may not be able to afford marble countertops, however, don’t be tempted to skimp on things that count. If you want your butler’s pantry to include things such as extra electrical outlets, sinks and such, you may have to go beyond the realm of do-it-yourself and hire a contractor to ensure that these important elements are all done according to building codes.

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