By Naomi Findlay
Traditionally, butler’s pantries were a whole and complete kitchen, where the butlers and staff of the house would prepare meals for the household as well as hiding any mess from dinner parties. Downton Abbey fans will be all over this, I’m sure!
But far from an outmoded concept, I believe in using elements and ideas from a traditional butler’s pantry but putting my own contemporary spin on it to create a modern, hybrid take on the concept.
Use your space wisely. Depending on the amount of space you have to design your butler’s pantry, you will need to cater for a range of elements personalised to your needs. For example, do you want to have your butler’s pantry completely separate to the kitchen or would you like to open it up to your main kitchen when needed?
Remember, it’s all about your lifestyle – what exactly do you do in your kitchen and do you like to cook often? Also, who lives in your home and who uses the kitchen? Do you have little ones that need to use the kitchen space to do their homework while you are cooking dinner, or is your kitchen more of an entertaining zone?
And if you like to entertain guests, how often do you do so and which kitchen elements do you wish you could hide? The microwave, coffee machine, slow cooker, dishwasher or all the above? Also, how much storage do you have in your kitchen and do you need more?
By considering the above points you are already defining the design of your hybrid butler’s pantry in a functional way that will complement your lifestyle.
Some popular components of butler’s pantries include the following:
- Extra food storage.
- Storage options for large, bulky kitchen dishes or appliances.
- A place to store the microwave.
- A hiding place for your main or second fridge.
- A one-bowl sink to wash larger items.
- Lots of bench space for food preparation and to hide dirty dishes from sight.
- A place for the dishwasher.
Modern day hybrid butler’s pantries have a lot to recommend them. Not only are they a great functional element of a kitchen, due to their closeness and proximity to the main kitchen, but if designed thoughtfully they will complement your kitchen when needed, or be completely hidden when entertaining. They’re also a great way to hide the mess!
–Australia’s rapid renovation expert, Naomi Findlay is an internationally renowned renovator, award-winning property stylist and adult educator. She owns established staging and styling business Silk Home, in Newcastle and the Hunter Region, NSW, and also teaches others how to start their own staging businesses or stage their own homes, through the International Institute of Home Staging. Naomi is a resident expert on our sister site Reno Addict.