Four Reasons to Include a Butler’s Kitchen in Your Renovation Plans

What Is a Butler’s Kitchen?

Traditionally, a butler’s kitchen was designed for ‘help staff’ to conduct their tasks in a discrete way separate from the main dining area.  Generally it contained additional appliances such as an oven and serving items rather than food.  The likelihood that the modern Australian family needs such a room is remote.  But wait!  There’s a new take on the butler’s kitchen that makes it functional, practical and is fast becoming the ‘must have’ in kitchen renovations.

The New-Look Butler’s Kitchen

Whether you like to call it a walk-in pantry, butler’s kitchen or butler’s pantry – in today’s new kitchen the base role of this added room is the same.  It’s to provide ample food storage, surfaces for basic food preparation and kitchen serving items not requiring day-to-day access.

The idea is to remove the ‘grunt work’ and ‘mess’ from the kitchen which has become a central point for entertaining.  It allows the kitchen area to remain free from clutter and hide the view of unnecessary food preparation from an open plan home.

What Should You Put in Your Butler’s Kitchen?

When you are ready to renovate your kitchen and want to add a butler’s pantry, the top things to consider are:

1. Size
How much space can you allocate to your butler’s pantry?  How much space do you need for the butler’s kitchen to perform the role you want it to?

This walk-in pantry has plenty of space to allow for storage as well as basic food preparation.

2. Location
It needs to be next to your kitchen with easy access.  Often you can find the butlers kitchen stemming off the garage so that you can load heavy groceries easy from the car.

3. Configuration
It is up to you what you put in your butler’s kitchen, but consider what type of functions you would like it to facilitate.  Some ideas to get you started include:
  • Microwave
  • Coffee machine or kettle
  • Bulk food items like oil tins and flour bags
  • Breakfast making facilities such as a toaster, cereal and bread
  • Cups, saucers, bowls, plates
  • Chest freezer
  • Food processor, bread maker, juicer
  • Special occasion cutlery, china and crystal
  • Table linen
  • Wine chiller
  • Dual purpose bin

  • 4. Design
    The beauty of the butler’s pantry is that it is hidden from view so you are more open to curb the cost of the design with materials that are a little less luxe.  You don’t have to use stone bench tops or wrapped vinyl or two-pack cupboards.  But do keep in mind its purpose.  If it needs to allow hot items to be placed on surfaces – make sure your kitchen pantry can handle it.
    However, if the design bug has got you, feel free to tie in your kitchen pantry renovation with the rest of your house. After all it doesn’t have to blow out the budget.

    Here the design of the butler’s kitchen has been tied to the cottage theme used in the rest of the home.

    5. Kitchen pantry fittings
    Incredibly important for your butler’s kitchen.  The space is often limited and yet as a room it has a lot to do!  As with any small renovated area – the key is to go vertical and cover off fundamentals like:
    • Making use of storage options from the floor to the ceiling
    • Utilising corners with clever pull-out cupboards and sturdy hinges
    • Installing food storage baskets for easy access and open view
    • Ensuring the floor can handle wear and tear
    • Taking advantage of natural light if possible, even if you use a skylight
    • Avoiding too many colours if the space is confined

    In this pantry we see a clever use of colours that does not emphasise the small space. It also uses vertical storage options and the wire food basket draws makes it easy to find what you need.

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