Design Your Perfect Butler’s Pantry



For some homeowners, there’s nothing better than a clean, pristine kitchen, but as you well know, it doesn’t last forever.

The solution is easy. More and more homeowners are adding butler’s pantries to their kitchen designs. Long ago, meals were prepared in these pantries, and the dishes and pots were cleaned there afterwards. This option allowed for more space for cooking and keeps your kitchen looking clean all the time.

Check out our awesome tips for designing your perfect butler’s pantry.

Create a plan of attack

Before beginning any renovation project, it’s important to sit down with your contractor and discuss what you need from your butler’s or walk-in pantry. This will ensure you don’t waste time creating something you don’t need or want.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Larger families will need more shelf space to keep everyone’s favourite snacks.
  • If you entertain regularly or host holidays, a butler’s pantry would suit your preparation needs.
  • Homeowners with lots of dishes, both plain and fancy, can install additional cabinets in this area so the everyday plates and cups will have a spot and the nicer dishes can go on display.
  • If you find yourself too busy to clean up after making a meal, your butler’s pantry will conceal your mess until you have time to clean it up.
  • Kids will be able to make messier foods, like toast, without leaving crumbs all over your nice clean benchtop.

Of course, you must also consider how much room you have to devote to your perfect butler’s pantry. The walkway going through the pantry should be about 100cm wide, and the benchtops should be another 60cm. These measurements will give you enough space to work comfortably. More inclusive pantries with sinks and appliances will need about 2.4m x 2.8m of space so consider all options before building.

Balance your budget


As none of these benchtops or cabinets will be on display, there’s no need to have granite benchtops in the butler’s pantry. Save the granite and other expensive materials for your actual kitchen.

Opt for laminate benchtops rather than granite. They come in almost any colour to match the benchtops in the actual kitchen and they are incredibly durable. As you’ll be doing much of your food preparation back here, you’ll need a benchtop that can withstand a lot of cooking.

Rather than installing cabinets, choose shelves instead. These are less expensive, and as this is the pantry, you don’t really need cabinets. If you decide to go with cabinets anyway, select melamine door fronts. They’re a much cheaper option, but again, no one is really going to see this room.

Organise your food


Perhaps the more difficult part of designing the perfect butler’s pantry is organising all of your food and cooking items to ensure that everyone in your family can go back into the pantry, find what they need and move on as quickly as possible. After all, the purpose of having this pantry is to make life easier, right?

Try to think of your food and dishware in terms of use. What are you and your kids reaching for the most when you want a snack? For more common items like pastas and cereals, use glass jars or plastic stackable containers. These come with locking lids so if they’re dropped, you won’t spill anything. Wire baskets will also hold your cooking utensils, like spatulas and tongs.

To stop yourself from losing things in the back of the pantry, create a U-shape with open shelves. You’ll be able to see everything at once. Keep the shelves shallow to stop bigger things from hiding smaller items. You can also install a lower shelf for all of your spices and herbs. That way, you can easily grab and add them while cooking.

Major appliances


Depending on the space of your perfect butler’s pantry, you might be able to fit some of your appliances in there to free up room in your kitchen.

A sink and dishwasher make meal cleanup a breeze. If you have space, a sink can do wonders for your post-meal cleanup. Bigger, messier dishes like pots and pans can sit and soak while you enjoy your meal. Adding a dishwasher also streamlines the process. A double sink and dishwasher will make for a killer combination in your butler’s pantry.

If you want to keep your small appliances, like toasters and coffee machines, back here, make sure you have room for them on your benchtop or on your shelves. As you’ll probably use them a lot and need to take them out and put them away often, it’s best to put them in an easily accessible spot.

Finishing touches


You’re almost done designing the perfect butler’s pantry, and there are just a few more things to consider.

Keep out all noise by adding a door. If you’re holding a dinner party and are preparing the wine, no one will hear you if you accidentally break a glass or two. A door also keeps your pantry off-limits to any wandering guests or curious children.

Some people like to prepare parts of their meals in their butler’s pantries, and if you choose to do so, then you’ll need excellent lighting. The most convenient option is to install a micro switch. This light turns on when the door opens and off when it closes. Keep a good, strong light so you’ll be able to see your work.

Finally, don’t forget to hang hooks and rails to the walls of your butler’s pantry. You can hang ladles and other kitchen utensils from hooks and tea towels from racks. Everything will be right where it needs to be when you want it.


In short, the perfect butler’s pantry is a viable option for a home that needs just a little more room for cooking. With added storage space, you’ll have more room for entertaining and working at your kitchen counter. Consider building a butler’s pantry and see the difference.