The ultimate workhorse of any kitchen is the butler’s pantry. Space to hide all the mess of meal prep, appliances, and those dirty dishes from your dinner party.  To get the most out of your butler’s pantry, you need to consider your needs while factoring in traffic flow, storage, and aesthetics.

Things to consider when designing a butler’s pantry

Layout – At the planning stage, decide what you want to use the butler’s pantry for so that you can create a layout that works for your needs.  For example, will the space just be used for food storage, or will you be preparing meals in there as well?  Will you need a second dishwasher and a sink? Is there enough bench space and power points for appliances?

Functionality – Think about the practicality of what you want to use the butler’s pantry for.  Such as, does it make sense to store commonly used items such as oils and spices in here or are they best stored closer to the cooking zone of your kitchen? Do you want to prepare coffee and tea in the butler’s pantry, or would you prefer to do this in the kitchen when you have guests? It may be great to hide dirty dishes in the pantry; however, how far do you then need to walk to put them in the dishwasher and to put them away?

Materials – Practicality over looks is the rule for a butler’s pantry. However, this does not mean a butler’s pantry has to be unsightly. Laminate benches and open shelving are lovely, durable and won’t break the budget, plus you can match them to the colours of your kitchen. Speaking of kitchens, don’t forget the view from the kitchen of your butler’s pantry.

Entrance – Even if there is a door between the kitchen and butler’s pantry, it will probably be left open a lot of the time, so the butler’s pantry will be in full view from your kitchen. Because of this, you don’t want the pantry to be a cluttered mess. We suggest storing items in matching containers or baskets to keep it looking uniform and tidy.  If you have the space, use drawers of closed cabinets under the benches to conceal the clutter.  Alternatively, have closed cabinets near the door and open ones in the out-of-sight areas.

Shelving – Having several narrow adjustable shelves will make it easy to store numerous items in your pantry. Keeping them narrow will keep all your bits and pieces visible without things being hidden right at the back. Installing adjustable shelves means changing the height to store more oversized items like appliances or dinnerware when they aren’t used.

Finally, when designing your butler’s pantry, don’t forget the practical things like lighting, power points and typical bench and cabinet sizing.

Lighting – Properly placed lights mean meal prepping, finding a food item on the shelves or washing dishes isn’t done in the dark. If you are lucky enough to have a window in your butler’s pantry, have bench space under the window to maximise natural light. Alternatively, LED strip lighting under shelves or above cupboards helps light up the space. You can even add dimmer light to suit the mood.

Electricity – You will want lots of power points so that you can leave small appliances plugged in, ready to go to whip up gourmet desserts or froth milk for a guest’s coffee.

Bench/cabinet measurements – Often, we see clients aiming to maximise the space of their butler’s pantry but not considering how they will use this additional space. Typically, the depth of overhead cupboards should be 350 – 400mm for generous storage whilst still allowing a homeowner to reach right to the back. Between benches, you should allow 1000-1200mm to allow for two people to move around. Finally, the benchtop depth should be between 600 – 700mm to allow enough space for appliances and meal prep.

Engage an experienced tradesman to create or renovate your butler’s pantry

To maximise your space, get the suitable layout for your needs, and ensure the usability of your butler’s pantry, engage Geelong’s experienced handymen, MMD, to design and renovate your space. We will discuss, design and build you the butler’s pantry of your dreams, no matter the size of the space you have to work with.

Call the experienced craftsmen at MMD on 5222 6022 to bring your dream butler’s pantry to life.

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