butler’s pantry building blocks

The butler’s pantry ticks all the boxes when it comes to extra storage and workspace – if you have the room for one of your own, we’ve rounded up the essentials so you can consider the ins and outs.

As a natural extension of the kitchen, the butler’s pantry gives you extra space for storing everyday items, an extra area for food prep and cleaning, and a place to hide those bigger appliances while keeping them within easy reach for everyday use.  While functionality is key, it’s important to design for the space you have to work with.  If you’re planning a butler’s pantry at home, here are some thought starters to kickstart your design.

what makes a great butler's pantry? 

To create an exceptional Butler's Pantry, you need to consider the available space and your unique requirements. One of the key features to consider is a second sink, which can be a game-changer when hosting dinner parties. Instead of leaving your dishes on the sink as an eye sore, you can put them away until your guests have left to create a clean and inviting space. A dishwasher is also a great option instead of a sink for your butler's pantry if you want to create a hidden space for dirty clean-up areas.

 When it comes to storage, open shelving is an excellent choice for a walk-in pantry. Unlike in the main kitchen, there's no need to hide everything behind closed doors. Instead, open shelves give you quick and easy access to everything you need. The pantry is also a perfect spot for additional bench space, providing a peaceful and private area for food preparation.

When it comes to functionality and visual appeal, it's important to use the same flooring in your kitchen. This means you'll have a cohesive design that flows through your whole kitchen area. Kitchen floors will also be easier to clean, especially if there are any spills, which are inevitable. You should also utilise your butler's pantry for appliances, taking advantage of pantry cupboards created for specific items like your kettle and toaster and installing enough power sockets to simplify using everything. 

Conceal or not to conceal?

Focus on the design features of your butler’s pantry and consider what would work best in the space you have to work with. Do you want the whole room to comprise of closed cabinets? Do you want to include drawer cabinets for easy access and concealed storage?  If you have the luxury of a bigger space, make the most of this with a clever run of cabinets to maximise your storage.   

Shelf Life

If you’re designing in a tighter space, try using open shelves instead of concealed cabinets – this will open up the space visually!  Just think about whether you’ll be able to see your butler’s pantry from outside. Your shelves will be on display, so keep them organised with jars and canisters so you can keep things in order, and find what you need with a glance!

Colour Match

Keep elements and the colour scheme consistent with your kitchen to ensure a seamless look and feel. After all, the butler’s pantry is an extension of the kitchen - a natural flow can be easily achieved if you carry the colour scheme through. If budget is tight, consider using more budget-friendly materials for this space (tip: laminate instead of stone) – as long as the palette is consistent, you can’t go wrong. 

Extra Service

Consider including a sink in your butler’s pantry – having a smaller, secondary sink in this space (and even a dishwasher if space permits) is a convenient addition for out of sight extra service, especially when you’re entertaining, so you can keep the kitchen free of mess!

Bench Space

Try to create as much bench space as possible so you have plenty of space for food prep, and to store everyday appliances.  If space is tight, consider adjusting the depth of your benchtop to allow for more floor space so you can move around with ease (tip: your walkway should be kept to a minimum of 1000mm).

Task Lighting

Light it up! Especially if you’ll be using the space as a prep area – keep this room well-lit and even incorporate under cabinet lighting into your design for that added convenience.

Location and Layout

Location and layout are crucial considerations when designing a butler's pantry. Ideally, the pantry should be located directly off the kitchen and away from the living and dining areas. You can hide it behind a door or leave it open, but if you opt for a door, ensure it can be kept open when needed. A sliding door is a great option if your budget allows.

When it comes to the layout, it's essential to consider how you will use the space. For example, do you need a lot of bench space for cooking, or is it a space purely for storage? You should also consider the placement of lighting and power points, as these can significantly affect the practicality of the area. It's a good idea to lock down your layout before selecting fixtures and fittings to ensure your butler's pantry is functional and suits your needs.

Choosing the appliances for your butler's pantry

A Butler's Pantry is a great way to display your appliances without taking up valuable space in your central kitchen. By including appliances like mixers, blenders, and toasters in your pantry, you can keep them within easy reach and ensure they aren't stored away and forgotten.

A butler's pantry can create a more streamlined look for your kitchen, where you can choose to have your appliances on display on a customised open shelf or tucked away behind cabinet doors, depending on your preferences. With the right appliances and clever design, your Butler's Pantry can become a functional and stylish addition to your home. Consider incorporating appliances such as coffee machines, ovens, microwaves, fridges/freezers and mixers/blenders to make your pantry even more convenient and practical for your lifestyle.

Looking to extend a sense of functionality across the rest of your home? kaboodle has all the products and inspiration you need to redesign your laundry, kitchen and more.

Size doesn’t really matter when it comes to creating a butler’s pantry that’s perfect for you – just be smart with your design and maximise the space you have to work with! 


What is in a butler's pantry?

A butler’s pantry is an extension of your kitchen where you’ll find a countertop and pantry cabinets that are used for storing food, large cooking appliances, serving pieces, tableware, table linens, wine glasses and other items that are used regularly but don’t need to be out on display. For added luxury and if space permits, you can even include a sink, small refrigerator or dishwasher for added functionality 

Is a butler's pantry worth it?

If you want to increase storage space in your kitchen, then a butler’s pantry is a great idea. Not only do they allow you to conveniently keep things out of the way, but they also add a high-end element to your kitchen. A butler’s pantry is also great as they can double up as a second kitchen, acting as a space you can use to prepare food and also use for storing dirty dishes when entertaining. 

What is the difference between a pantry and a butler's pantry?

Usually, a pantry is simply a cupboard used to store dry-goods. On the other hand, a butler’s pantry is used to store everything from a coffee machine to a microwave and even an additional sink or dishwasher. In other words, you can do a lot more with a butler’s pantry than a standard pantry.