A butler's pantry is a jack-of-all-trades helper. Whether you use yours primarily for meal prep, cleanup, or caterers, make sure it is equipped to handle the load.

cabinetry with dark brick backsplash

The surge in popularity of butler's pantries is likely related to the desire to entertain at home. The room serves as a connection between the kitchen—where everyone hangs out—and the dining room. The trend allows for hosts or even caterers to keep serving supplies out of sight, and worry about cleanup later.

Simply for Storage

elegant butler's pantry

The butler's pantry serves a purpose beyond entertaining. Some use a butler's pantry for storing the goods that won't fit in your kitchen. Large mixers, slow cookers, and fine china can take up a ton of room, but it's very inconvenient to store these items in the basement. For goods that are used occasionally but often, a storage space off the kitchen is perfect. Use dividers for trays and platters, deep drawers for appliances, and display shelves for your favorite crystal, tea sets, and china. Have everything accessible while still making the room look beautiful.

Planning Your Pantry

Shapiro Residence/Beautiful Kitchens

Consider all of the functions you want your butler's pantry to perform. Base your layout, special features, and storage specs on those needs. Not everyone needs a wine cooler or an integrated dishwasher—customize to make your life easier.

Perfect for Prep

white marble butler's pantry

Storage is key to creating an efficient prep and staging area. Keep serving dishes, stemware, and other items organized beautifully using a variety of ideas. Glass doors or open shelves showcase china and crystal, while interior cabinet lights highlight their display. Wide drawers store linens with fewer folds, and deep drawers keep large serving dishes and platters organized. Use tall cubbies to accommodate vases and pitchers, and try fabric-lined drawers to protect flatware. Always consider undercabinet fixtures to provide light for tasks.

Entertaining Hub

elegant modern kitchen

Keep entertaining streamlined with a work space that doubles as a bar or a self-serve beverage station. Wine coolers and racks hold bottles, while tall cabinets house the stemware to drink from. Concealed warming drawers discreetly keep dinner on hold. Refrigerator drawers or undercounter units store prepared platters. Bar sinks add convenience without taking up much space. Built-in coffeemakers and icemakers allow you to prepare hot and cold beverages with ease. New designs elegantly integrate with cabinetry.

Cleanup Zone

stainless steel cabinets

A hardworking butler's pantry needs smart appliances and beautiful materials that can withstand wear and tear. Dishwasher drawers are ideal for small or more frequent loads. Choose special cycles for china and crystal. Full-size sinks allow you to soak dirty dishes and keep counters clear. Durable surfaces, like stone floors and low-maintenance stainless-steel countertops, are smart choices for cleanup zones. Integrated sinks are streamlined and sophisticated.

Choosing Materials

kitchen and butler's pantry

The go-to look for a butler's pantry is to use complementary variations of the materials found in the kitchen. Allow flooring to flow from the kitchen to your pantry, but change up the backsplash, countertops, or cabinetry so it's clear to guests they've entered a new room. Be sure to use durable, easy-to-clean materials. If you have marble, granite, or limestone in your kitchen, find a slab of quartz-surfacing with similar coloring—the quartz won't stain or scratch, and guests won't notice the difference.


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