What is a Butler’s Pantry?

You’ve probably heard the term before and possibly thought I don’t need one of those or nobody has those anymore. The original butler’s pantries of the 19th Century were primarily used for food prep and to store food and dishes. They also housed the family’s silver and china. The location was typically found between the kitchen and the dining area which made it a handy area to have when entertaining. In high dollar homes the butler’s pantry was where the family’s butler, cooks, and other staff spent time preparing for meals, hence the name.

Butler’s pantries went away in home designs for many years but reemerged as a smaller space with the size being closer to a closet and with shelves for food.  As Asheville custom home builders, we started to see requests for larger walk-in pantries in the late 2000’s. Today, many of our clients still request large walk-in pantries (usually accessible in the kitchen), and we’re seeing an increasing number of requests for butler’s pantries.

Benefits of a butler’s pantry:

  • Great additional space when entertaining a large group
  • Hides dishes when you aren’t ready for cleanup
  • Prepare dinnerware and platters in advance
  • Often they are closer to the dining space than a walk-in pantry
  • Additional storage space
  • Can store small kitchen appliances so they don’t clutter kitchen countertops
  • Extras like a dishwasher, sink, icemaker, refrigerator, wine fridge, or sink can be handy to have
  • It’s another area of a home where you can pull in your design style through custom cabinets, tile, countertops, hardware, etc.
  • The space can help pull together designs styles in adjacent rooms and areas
  • Can give a high-end, luxury home feel

How much does a butler’s pantry cost?

Most of the costs are dependent on the size of your butler’s pantry. Take into consideration the following costs when budgeting:

-Cabinetry and hardware $5,000-$15,000

-Countertops $2,000-$8,000

-Flooring (it will be easiest and most likely more cost-effective to carry through the flooring in adjacent rooms so there aren’t weird transitions) $2,000-$8,000

-Backsplash $1,000-$3,500

-Appliances $1,500-$8,000

-You’ll most likely want a sink and faucet, so you’ll need a waterline $1,500-$3,000

-Electric outlets will be wanted (and required) $250-$800

-Lighting $250+