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Your Guide to Butler’s Pantries

Just like ensuites took a while to catch on in the 20th century, the butler’s pantry – or second kitchen space – is slowly becoming a popular addition in modern kitchen designs.

Part preparation space, part hidden room to whip away dirty dishes, part storage solution – it’s not hard to see why the butler’s pantry is an appealing option.

With more of our designs featuring butler’s pantries, we’ve put together some of our top tips to help you decide whether you should have a butler’s pantry in your kitchen.

1. Get it right from the entry

A good butler’s pantry is easily concealed when you need it to be – and a good door is key for this.

Consider whether a sliding door or traditional door would work better in your space – if you go for the latter option, opt for a door that opens into the pantry rather than into the kitchen to preserve your workflow and precious space.

The entry to this butler’s pantry is concealed through continuing the style of the adjacent cabinetry.

2. Apply design principles

We’ve written before about how principles like the golden triangle can help improve functionality in your kitchen – and a butler’s pantry works much the same.

Of the elements you’re going to place in this space, imagine how you’ll be using them – this will impact the placement of these items.

For example, if you have a second sink in your pantry, you’ll want the dishwasher close by to stack those dishes after entertaining and keep them out of your guests’ view.

If putting one of your main work triangle elements in the butler’s pantry – like the fridge, for example – ensure it’s still within reasonable walking distance from the other two elements.


3. Maximise space

It’s a no-brainer, but when it comes to a butler’s pantry, every inch of space is crucial.

Swapping out cupboard doors and pull-out drawers for open shelving can help reclaim some extra room, as you’ll no longer have to account for swing-out room.

Open shelving in this pantry ensures the space doesn’t feel cramped.

4. Make it practical

Your butler’s pantry looks great – except it’s such a nightmare to use that you’ve all but given up on it. That’s the outcome we want to avoid!

Install a window to help keep the space ventilated, particularly if you’ll be doing any food prep in your butler’s pantry. Motion sensor lighting could also be a handy addition, particularly if your hands will usually be full when going in or out.


5. Remember – it’s a pantry

At the end of the day, a butler’s pantry is an – while very practical and very nice to have – optional kitchen storage solution. If you’re compromising on too many elements, or on the size of your kitchen itself in order to work it in, consider whether that space may be better used as part of your main kitchen area or for a generous walk-in pantry.

If you’re thinking about incorporating a butler’s pantry as part of your kitchen renovation or new home, our award-winning designers will be able to help you determine the right kitchen design solution for you.

The Apollo Kitchens 2020 Design Trends eBook has everything you need to know for your upcoming renovation. Download now to learn more. 

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