Designing & Inspiration

Butler’s Pantry vs. Walk-In Pantry

Pantry designs have soared in popularity over the last few years as home wellness trends thrive post-pandemic. G.J Gardner Homes has embraced this movement of home wellness as we continue to design homes which are not just a joy to look at, but a joy to live in. In a utility space like the kitchen, we know firsthand that considered and ingenious design choices at every turn will boost your daily life. And a feature like the pantry is no exception.  

With homes opting for generously sized dual kitchen and living areas, a luxury pantry guarantees a more functional and refined space. Butler’s pantries and walk-in pantries currently lead as the most common styles Australians tend to incorporate into their kitchen design. Whilst both offer ample storage and their own dedicated space, it can be hard to find which one will be right for your kitchen and lifestyle.  

We’ve broken down these two approaches to pantry design to help you decide the right path for you when it comes to designing your kitchen. This once humble kitchen cupboard can be modernised and reimagined to transform how you cook, store food and entertain guests. Discover these pantry designs which will help you achieve a high-performing kitchen now.  

Finding your right pantry design  

Most prospective home buyers have a clear vision of their dream home, but the utility spaces don’t tend to receive as much thought. The pantry may seem like an unexciting home feature, but our premier designs can make it into one of your home’s most efficient spaces.  

What is a kitchen pantry 

As a refresh, the kitchen pantry is an additional and designated space for non-perishable food items. This tends to include canned goods, dry goods, spices, condiments, and snacks. By keeping these items in a pantry, you provide the right environment to keep your food from expiring, take stock of your food and avoid kitchen clutter.   

In its essence, your kitchen pantry serves two main functions. It gives you the space you need to store food in your kitchen, and a space with controlled temperature and light to keep that food from spoiling. Without a designated pantry space, your kitchen can easily become disorganised and it can be difficult to keep track of your food stock. 

Whether you’re a veteran home cook or dabble as you need, Australians spend, on average, an hour cooking in our kitchens every day. This means how your kitchen functions and is organised can determine a major portion of your daily life.  So, whilst pantry design may not be the most exciting feature of home planning, this space directly affects this core part of our daily routines. Both the butler’s pantry and the walk-in pantry are pantry efficacy at its best; widely loved for their effect on kitchen liveability.  

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The butler’s pantry 

As the name hints, this pantry style was originally invented for a different era. When it was first introduced, the butler’s pantry was a designated space off the kitchen, usually connected to the dining room, where butlers and household help would store and prepare food before serving it in the dining room. Whilst the tradition of in-house help has definitely declined, this design feature has stayed.  

What is a butler’s pantry 

Today and in the context of the current open plan design trend, a butler’s pantry offers a multi-use, out of sight space that can hide excess clutter, dirty plates and appliances. Although we don’t tend to have separate kitchens and dining rooms anymore, a butler’s pantry will still just extend off from your kitchen as either its own room, or just a designated space that’s hidden behind cabinetry.  

What are the benefits of a butler’s pantry 

A butler’s pantry is a luxury amenity, that offers plenty of great benefits that are bound to enhance your kitchen’s functionality, space and feel. A few include: 

  • Additional storage: A butler’s pantry provides additional storage space for dishes, glassware, and other serving pieces, as well as non-perishable foods. This frees up space in the kitchen for a better flow and feel.  
  • Meal preparation: This extra space offers a separate area for meal preparation for overspill from nightly family dinners and prep space for dinner parties. This helps clean your kitchen to reduce the mess, create more order and makes mealtime a breeze. 
  • Privacy: With this pantry style, homeowners can experience extra kitchen space that’s designed to be concealed behind doors or hidden from view. Due to open-plan living being so common in today’s homes, a butler’s pantry helps to reduce visual clutter in this central hub of the home. 
  • Luxury feature: Add value to the property with this spacious and convenient pantry style. A butler’s pantry elevates your home’s experience for you and its future. It’s an investment that’ll pay off when it’s time to sell.  

The Walk-In Pantry 

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This style offers the perfect middle ground between your typical pantry cabinet and a butler’s pantry. When walk-in pantries first entered the modern home, they were actually a signifier of wealth as homeowners could display their food stock and almost recreate a grocery aisle in their very own home. For today’s busier pace of life, a walk-in pantry is an amenity to keep your food organised and lets you have the space to conveniently stock up on the food you need.  

Our home buyers are afforded plenty of customisation possibilities with this style as you decide its size and layout. 

What is a walk-in pantry 

Walk-in pantries operate as names would suggest, it’s a pantry unit space that you can walk into. They can range from a generously sized cupboard to a small room.  

Our walk-in pantry designs feature storage features such as pull-out drawers, wire baskets, and adjustable shelving to maximize space and keep the pantry ordered. By being about to walk-into the space, you have better visibility of your food supply and the space to create your own organisational systems.  

What are the benefits of a walk-in pantry 

Walk-in pantries are definitely the more popular pantry style as they offer great advantages, without the investment and overhead of a butler’s pantry. Some of these great benefits include: 

  • Bulk storage: The larger size of a walk-in pantry makes it ideal for storing bulk items, such as canned goods, paper products, and cleaning supplies. This can help to reduce the need for frequent trips to the grocery store and save money on groceries. 
  • Convenience: A walk-in pantry provides a convenient space for storing and organising food items, making it easy to find what you need when you need it. You also have the space to stock up on your favourite non-perishables to minimise grocery runs.  
  • Customisable: The size of your walk-in pantry can be customised for the room your have available to work in. A walk-in pantry can vary from just a more sizable cupboard space to its own room, letting you find the right size for your kitchen.  
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What’s the difference between a butler’s pantry and walk-in pantry 

Both of these design styles afford a luxury kitchen experience, elevating a typically boring utility feature to amenity status. Ultimately, a walk-in pantry’s features can be found in a butler’s pantry but that doesn’t mean each style is interchangeable.  

Here are the main points of difference between a butler’s pantry and a walk-in pantry. 

  1. Butler’s Pantry is multi-use: Location: A butler’s pantry is usually located between the kitchen and the dining room, whereas a walk-in pantry is located within or adjacent to the kitchen. A butler’s pantry typically includes a sink, counter space, and sometimes a refrigerator or wine cooler, while a walk-in pantry typically has shelves, cabinets, and drawers for storage, as well as space for larger items like appliances and bulk food storage. 
  1. Costs involved: due to this wide array of features, butler’s pantries tend to cost more than your walk-in pantry. Most butler’s pantries include worktops, additional appliances, and even wet areas. The installation of these elements makes the butler’s pantry a greater investment.  
  1. Location: A butler’s pantry is usually located between the kitchen and the dining room, whereas a walk-in pantry is located within or adjacent to the kitchen.