Entertainer's delight: How to design a perfect butler's pantry

Over the years, we have seen a shift in the usage of the butler’s pantry aka scullery. Gone are the days of an actual butler using this space to store and clean silver wear and alike. Nowadays a butler’s pantry is a serious consideration in most large kitchen renovations, with two goals in mind: minimising unsightly clutter and maximising storage.

 Image: smarterBATHROOMS+

Image: smarterBATHROOMS+

The butler’s pantry gives contemporary kitchens the opportunity to take on a true design perspective, as the butler’s pantry can house items that you don’t want to be seen within the kitchen. Not to mention the ability to hide away any preparation mess that you don’t want your dinner guests to bear witness to.

There are a few things to take into consideration when planning your dream butler’s pantry. Here are four key areas worth thinking about.


Ensuring your items are easily accessible is very important within the butler’s pantry. This can be achieved by installing open shelving all the way to the ceiling to boost storage and wall hooks for implements you frequently need within easy reach.

Pull-out drawers and wire baskets are always a welcomed inclusion within the pantry as this means you can see every pantry item with nothing getting lost behind taller items or in the back of cupboards.

Hide the mess

Conceal your butler’s pantry from view from the kitchen with the addition of a sliding cavity door. Allowing you to easily close off your pantry from the kitchen if you haven’t yet finished the dishes or tidied up after meal prep.

Practical features

This takes us on to an additional sink and/or dishwasher in the pantry. These are both great inclusions to avoid wandering in and out of the pantry when preparing meals and washing up, should space and plumbing permit.

You also want to ensure you have plenty of bench space in your butler’s pantry to help with unpacking the groceries, preparing food and storing your small kitchen appliances (don’t forget to add plenty of power points too!).

Luxurious extras

For keen home chefs, aspiring baristas and bartenders, and regular entertainers consider incorporating a wine fridge, coffee machine, freezer, extra cooktop or a second oven into your butler’s pantry design. This way yourself or caterers can prepare food and drinks while your guests are enjoying themselves in your sparkling clean kitchen and living area.

A motion sensor lighting system or ‘micro switch’ is also a good idea, so you don’t have to switch on a light every time you duck in and out of the pantry.

A butler’s pantry will make a wonderfully practical and luxurious addition to your kitchen yet you don’t want it to chew up too much of your kitchen space. If you don’t have the room to install a separate butler’s pantry consider an extended pantry cupboard including internal pull out drawers and bench space.

For more kitchen design tips check out these lessons from a rookie kitchen renovator, our kitchen lighting guide and kitchen design trends.

Company bio:

smarterBATHROOMS+ is a Registered Domestic Builder based in Port Melbourne, Australia. We are a family owned and run business who have been offering full-service design, build and project management for over 14 years, giving you peace of mind with a turn-key solution to your renovation needs. We pride ourselves on the timely delivery of outstanding building works tailored to your style and your budget. Book a free in-home consultation here.

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