A butler’s pantry seems to be the hottest kitchen accessory right now. Indulgent, yet oh-so-practical, they’re cropping up in many new homes, including our New Year Prize Home, at Birtinya.
It’s easy to see why.
These days, the kitchen is the heart of the home, the place where family and friends naturally gravitate to cook, eat, talk, relax and entertain.
But with the shift to open-plan living and the trend toward streamlined, minimal design, the kitchen and its contents are now all on show, whether you like it, or not.
For those blessed with tidy genes – i.e. the ones who rinse and stack or rack each dish as soon as they use it – it’s no big deal. But if you’re more the type who likes to spread their culinary creativity far and wide, your ‘show kitchen’ can sometimes ‘show’ far too much.
So, the million-dollar question is: “Where do you hide the mess?”
You guessed it. The butler’s pantry!
Now if you’re not au fait with the concept and you don’t even have a butler, allow us to explain.
A butler’s pantry is basically a kitchen within a kitchen. Usually located directly off the main kitchen, it’s a space where you can store food, extra serving ware, appliances and even linen. It’s also the place to do your messy food prep, and the place to dump all the dirty dishes that you’ll get to after your guests leave… or maybe the next morning.
Generally, the idea is that anything messy or remotely unattractive goes into the butler’s pantry, so you can keep your main kitchen looking more like a magazine feature and less like a war zone.
In the case of our New Year Prize Home, the galley-style butler’s pantry perfectly complements the streamlined, contemporary kitchen. With lots of shelving, neatly hidden behind white double-doors, loads of bench space, a double sink, and Bosch dishwasher, it’s got it all – the ultimate kitchen luxury.
To take a closer look, take a virtual tour or come and explore all the details in person.
If you’re planning to build a new home or about to embark on a kitchen renovation (good luck), let’s have a closer look at the pros and cons of including a butler’s pantry in your design:
Is it possible to have too much kitchen storage? No, we didn’t think so. A well-designed Butler’s pantry can add bags of hidden away, yet easy to access storage space to your kitchen, without making a feature of it. It can also allow places to store those large appliances that you just can’t wedge into a conventional kitchen cupboard, no matter how hard you try.
Much like storage space, you can’t really have too much bench space either. To keep your benches clear in the main kitchen, having some extra bench space for your food prep is a huge plus. It also offers more space to spread out if more than one person is working in the kitchen at a time.
It’s quite incredible how many dirty dishes can be generated when you’re entertaining, or even just over a normal day with kids. And let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t have the time or inclination to deal with them straight away. Rather than letting them pile up in plain sight, a butler’s pantry allows you the opportunity to stash the dishes away from the action.
With so many positives, it’s hard to image that there could be any negatives to having a butler’s pantry. But, there are a few things to consider:
Obviously adding a second, ‘mini kitchen’ to the plans is going to increase the cost of your kitchen. You just have to weigh up if the extra cost is justified by all the benefits.
If you’re renovating, incorporating a butler’s pantry into the plan could mean more significant changes to your home. Perhaps you’ll need to reconfigure walls or even make structural changes to make it happen. Consulting an architect or interior designer is a good idea to check if your ideas are achievable and to work out the best solution for the space you have available.
If you’re the sort of cook that likes to pivot from one task to the next rather than running from one end of the kitchen to the other, a butler’s pantry might not be for you.
Naturally, having a larger kitchen and the indulgence of a butler’s pantry does mean that you will take more steps than you would take doing the same tasks in a smaller kitchen. The upside, of course, is not tripping over each other in the process, but it is definitely still something to consider. How much you choose to hide away in your butler’s pantry and separate from your main kitchen will affect the number of steps you need to make to ‘get the job done’. The good news is, your pedometer will love you.
With some clever planning though, you can group common tasks into zones to maximise your efficiency and minimise the run-around.
If your pro list is longer than your con list, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to include. Here are a few of the most common inclusions:
Depending on what you want to store, you can either go for open shelving for appliances and jars of dry ingredients, or tuck everything away behind cupboard doors. Try to think about the specific things you need to store, like food processors or bread makers, so that you create the right sized nooks to accommodate them.
While having more bench space means more room for food prep and dirty dishes, it also means that you can leave your most used appliances out and ready to use without cluttering your main kitchen. Just make sure that you include extra powerpoints in this area, so your electrical appliances can stay plugged in and ready for action.
This is one optional and all depends on how you intend to use your butler’s pantry. If it’s more about storage and hiding a few things away then you won’t need one. But if you like the idea of prepping food in this space, or soaking the roast tray away from view, a sink could be a good idea. If you do include one, choose a deep one so that it can easily absorb all those dirty dishes.
Now there are a couple of options here. You can include your main dishwasher in the butler’s pantry space instead of the main kitchen if you like the idea of stacking your dirty dishes in there and then being able to quickly and easily load them into the dishwasher. Or, if you do a lot of entertaining you could consider including a dishwasher in your main kitchen and in your butler’s pantry. Now that’s luxury.
Keep in mind, if you do choose to include one, a sink then becomes a ‘must have’ inclusion rather than a ‘nice to have’ so you can rinse before you load.
With the trend towards eating whole foods, people are tending to do a lot more batch cooking or buying in bulk. If you need extra freezer space to store it all, why not consider allowing room for a second freezer in your butler’s pantry?
It’s a good idea to include a spot to tuck a stick vacuum or a broom so that doing a quick crumb clean-up is super quick and easy.
Unfortunately, the ‘butler’s pantry’ name is quite misleading. For most of us our butler’s pantry won’t come kitted out with our very own butler. As much as we’d like to believe in the ‘Field of Dreams’ philosophy of “Build it and they will come”, we’re not sure that it will actually work.
However, your dreams could still come true if you grab a couple of tickets in our New Year Prize Home. While it doesn’t come with a butler, it does come with a dream designer kitchen (and butler’s pantry, of course), perfect for entertaining family and friends in the spectacular waterside community of Birtinya.
The amazing kitchen and butler’s pantry in our luxurious Birtinya Prize Home could be yours, simply by purchasing a ticket in our New Year Lottery. You can read more about the home here or get in early and buy your tickets now.
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For many of our past clients, this began with equal access to education and learning life skills. Today we focus on ability – on dreams, goals and potential. We collaborate with our customers to imagine the possibilities and then work together to make them happen.