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The butler’s pantry is back!

We all know the kitchen is a major focal point of any house design. It’s essentially the hub of the home and a gathering point for family and friends. Modern house designs often have the kitchen as an integral part of the general living areas which is the great appeal of open plan living: that spaces are continuous and flow on from one another.

What this means however is that the kitchen needs to look presentable almost all of the time – hence the growing popularity of the butler’s pantry. This however is not a new concept.

Scott Hill, Curator of Elizabeth Farm (Australia’s oldest home) says ”the butler’s pantry was a very significant room. It allowed the dining room to remain purely for dining. It traditionally was where cutlery, china, candles etc. were kept and the butler was in charge of its contents.”

The butler’s pantry is back!
Today’s butler’s pantry is more of a discreet extension of the kitchen (and alas it doesn’t come with a butler).

The team from Kitchen Culture offer some helpful hints on how to ensure your butler’s pantry is a functional, highly usable space but with great aesthetic appeal. For example, they suggest giving some thought to exactly how you want to use this room. Will it be for storing food as well as linen, cutlery, appliances? Will you require extra power points? Do you want additional services like sinks, an extra refrigerator, wine compartment ...the options are endless. Just make sure the butler’s pantry works for your household.

They also suggest making the most of the space by adding shelving or open cabinets and ensure you have adequate lighting. To keep expenses down, save your stone and gloss finishes for your kitchen which is on show and use more low key options but similar colour palette for the butler’s pantry. Make sure you have easy access to everything, especially items you use on a regular basis. Don’t think of this room as a space to “keep hidden” but more of as a support to your kitchen and a space to be proud of.

The butler’s pantry is very suitable for modern living and it’s wonderful to see this old concept make a return with modern application. Kitchen design is always evolving and in this case revolving. The butler’s pantry has a new contemporary make over and is a suitable today as it was hundreds of years ago.