Butler’s Pantry? or Bigger Fridge?


One of the ‘Design Trends’ that I have seen over the last two or three years  is the ‘Butlers Pantry’.

But how many of us have a Butler?

In my opinion its just another marketing idea to make you pay more for your new house.

What Does a Butlers Pantry Mean?

Well the original meaning was a storage place for the best silverware and china, and the butlers office . . . not a food preparation area.

In some European Grand Houses the butler even had a bed in the pantry to provide extra security overnight.

These days it seems to mean a second kitchen, that could add $20,000-  $30,000 to the cost of your new house.


The reasons I hear are:

  • Extra room for storage.
  • Extra room for food preparation
  • You can hide away the mess that you make when you are preparing a big meal.
  • Somewhere to hide away all the dirty dishes.

Why Not?

Apart from the cost, the reasons why not are:

  • Most of the Houses that have butlers pantries have kitchens with lots of storage anyway. so the extra storage will probably fill with stuff you are never going to use again.
  • Do you really want to do your food preparation in a poky butlers pantry when you have a large, well lit, kitchen bench.
  • Entertaining shouldn’t be like an episode of ‘My Kitchen Rules’ or ‘Masterchef’ so do the preparation, and clean up, before the guest arrive! What the working chefs call ‘Mise En Place’.
  • If you have done the preparation early then you can have the dishwasher empty and the dishes go straight in.

What’s The Alternative?

Well I work in a production kitchen and every day I see lots of preparation going on at least 24 hours in advance of the time that the food is going to be served.

Rather than spend the many thousands on the butlers pantry it might be best spending around $1,000 on a bit bigger fridge to store your prepared ingredients.


If you really must have a pantry why not check out these Hints On Organising.