Designing & Inspiration

Benefits of Adding a Butlers Pantry to your Kitchen Design

The kitchen is the heart of your home, and with the rise of open plan living, the heart is more exposed than ever before. Whilst giving our homes a central living hub, it also allows you to consider your kitchen differently. Kitchens now are expected to be aesthetically cohesive with the look of your living space and the home beyond.

So, if the kitchen is a thing of beauty, what about the dishes? Lunchboxes? Toasted sandwich maker? Pantry goods and storage?

Functional storage space can serve to elevate the functionality of your kitchen whilst keeping up appearances. This recent modernisation of kitchen spaces has seen the resurgence of a centuries-old tradition—the butler’s pantry.

The history of the butler’s pantry

Butler’s pantries became popular from the 1850s onwards, found commonly in affluent households as a designated space for a butler and wait staff. In addition to a range of household duties, the butler was often responsible for managing the pantry items and serving food. ‘Plating up’ happened in the butler’s pantry, and then meals were served in the dining room.

In the years to follow, families without butlers or waitstaff began to include a butler’s pantry in their kitchen design, giving families a space for storage and food preparation. However, from the 1940s, storing and preparing food became easier as fridges and freezers became the norm. This saw the decline of butler’s pantries as kitchens became more functional and designated. 

This feature has laid dormant in a home designer’s toolbox for more than 50 years, until now.

Functional kitchen design

In recent years, butler’s pantries have exploded in popularity. These days, a butler’s pantry is no longer about accommodating wait staff and is more about fostering a functional kitchen design. 

There are a few styles of butler pantries to consider, depending on the style of home and space available. A butler’s pantry layout can be as simple as some shelves and cupboards tucked behind a door to a large room complete with a second sink, dishwasher and walls of storage. 

No matter the style, a butler’s pantry will help you in three key areas: storage, preparation and clean-up. This additional space makes everything from everyday meal prep to extravagant entertaining a breeze.


The butler’s pantry is the perfect place to store and use big, bulky appliances. Things like stand mixers, coffee machines and juicers all belong in a butler’s pantry. They can also be designed with ease so they can store infrequently used dining sets that deserve to be kept separate from your everyday items. A butler’s pantry helps keep your bench space clean and tidy.


A butler’s pantry is the perfect place to do messy meal prep before moving your ingredients into the kitchen to cook. Peeling and chopping vegetables, making sauces and assembling salads are all great butler’s pantry activities.


A butler’s pantry is also the perfect place to go from dirty to clean. If you choose to add a sink and dishwasher to your butler’s pantry, you can do your day-to-day cleaning out of sight.

The saviour of entertaining, a butler’s pantry also allows you to hide all your cooking mess until after the night is done. After all, the last thing you want to see when you’re relaxing with an after-dinner drink is a pile of dirty dishes.