The Timeless Charm of a Butler’s Pantry

How charming is a butler’s pantry? This extra storage room is something that isn’t commonly added to new homes these days, but it should be! Take a look at how pretty (and practical) this space can be!

I don’t live in a very large house, and I definitely don’t have a large kitchen, so one of the things I’m most drawn to is larger kitchens that have a ton of storage space.

And in my opinion, one of the most charming ways to have extra storage in a kitchen is with a butler’s pantry! 


gorgeous butler's pantry with beadboard and ladder

Seriously?! I’m in love! Design by Hayburn & Co.


What is a Butler’s Pantry?

Historically, the butler’s pantry was a small room between the kitchen and dining room. The purpose of a butler’s pantry was primarily for the storing of the family china, as well as a staging area for serving meals.

Like many things used in the past and then discarded, butler’s pantries are no longer commonly included in today’s homes. But sometimes (and I would argue that this is one of those times), the things from the past are actually better than those found now!

For instance, the first house we owned had an ironing board built into the wall in our laundry room – best idea ever! Every time I have to drag out my ironing board I remember how wonderful it was to just open a door and pull it down!


stunning white butler's pantry with cement patterned tile gorgeous lantern

From blogger Rach Parcell. How gorgeous is this??!


modern transitional design archway to dining room

I love when they have beautiful doors or arches leading to them! Via Kate Marker Interiors.


white french farmhouse kitchen with pale green tile

You can see a peek of a pretty butler’s pantry through the arched door. Gorgeous! Via Better Homes and Gardens.


So, though many people are no longer eating formal meals in a dining room, I personally still love the idea of adding some type of butler’s pantry. Not only is it pretty, but it’s actually incredibly practical!


Why Add a Butler’s Pantry?

For one thing, it provides much needed extra storage. Many people have extra sets of dishes, serving pieces that they may not use but would love to display, and many more collect silver or china. What better way to display them than in a space as pretty as a butler’s pantry?!


butler's pantry with charming wood and white cabinets french country farmhouse

The cabinet doors here are amazing! Designed by Elevation Homes.


And as I said earlier, it works as a wonderful staging area for meals. You can leave extra serving dishes that don’t fit on a table in there, allowing them to be easily accessed for second helpings without guests going back into the kitchen. Or you could have the coffee and dessert portion of the meal served from there. It also provides a place to keep extra water, wine or other beverages during meals. 


They Add Beauty

gorgeous doors leading to butler's pantry french farmhouse country style

This is stunning – those doors!! Via Coats Homes.



They Provide Storage

In addition to the added display storage, there are also added cupboards and drawers for hidden storage! And since we all own way more appliances than our ancestors did, a butler’s pantry provides a great place to store those appliances you don’t use every day or every week.

Think big bread maker, crock pot or slow cooker, waffle maker, extra coffee pots you use when entertaining, etc. All of these I’m forced to crowd into my already small pantry, but they could easily be stored out of sight in the closed cabinets of a butler’s pantry!


butler's pantry with appliances dishes great shelf storage

A classic! Via Zillow.


butler's pantry with blue and white wallpaper

Via Bria Hammel Interiors.


You Can Use Those Dream Finishes

And another benefit to having a butler’s pantry is, unlike a kitchen, they are not used as intensely. And that means you can use gorgeous finishes like marble or unpolished brass without worry.

If you’re designing one, use that marble or natural stone that you’re too nervous to use in your kitchen!


gorgeous white built ins holding dishes and china white kitchen

Love this white kitchen so much! Carolyne Roehm. If you want to see more like this one, you can check out my post on white kitchens.


brass-faucet-white-subway tile marble counter kitchen details

Loving the brass! Via Anna Braund Design.


Create One from a Small Unused Space

And if you don’t have enough space for a full, walk-in type butler’s pantry, you can often utilize a closet or small snippet of space to create a cute built-in that will stand in as a butler’s pantry. 

This one below is a gorgeous example of that!

butler's pantry from closet with glass cabinets and marble backsplash

This was formerly a closet! Via Designthusiasm.


French farmhouse kitchen with wicker chairs and small butler's pantry

Another favorite small butler’s pantry is this one from Brooke Giannetti. Even a small one adds so much character to a space!


gorgeous archway and marble walls create butler's pantry space

And one of my favorites is this amazing little nook by one of my favorite design groups, Old Sea Grove Homes.


No matter how you look at it, a butler’s pantry is a win/win in any home. It adds character and charm, as well as practical solutions for storage or display. And how often can you say that about a room in your home?

I’m crossing my fingers that we get a butler’s pantry in our next house, or that I can reconfigure the layout and add one! 😉


Happy Friday!



Timeless Charm of a Butler's pantry graphic


And if you love kitchens as much as I do, be sure to check out more inspiration in the posts below:

The Timeless Beauty of White Kitchens

 The Brass Hardware Trend in Kitchens

Kitchen Trend: Grey & Gold


Similar Posts

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  1. Hi Sheila. I love your butler pantry ideas!! I am wanting to turn a closet off the laundry room, which you come into from the garage, into a mudroom. I would love a place for my husband to store his shoes, jackets, etc. in a more organized way. Do you have any design ideas or resources you might share?

    Gratefully yours!

  2. What beautiful pantries! Would absolutely love a Butler’s pantry as the one depicted with the library ladder & the french doors. Thanks for posting.

  3. Denise M. Hendricks says:

    Thank you for this article Shelia! My husband and I are thinking of building and I’ll only look for houseplans with a butler’s pantry. And I only want a one-story house. Not too many plans out there with those requirements! But I would love to be able to get to my Christmas china without having to stand on my head in my little closet under the stairs in the front hallway!!!


    1. You’re so welcome Denise! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and I don’t blame you for wanting a butler’s pantry! I dream of one in my next home too, where all my china can reside together! 😉


  4. Jill Schenck says:

    We are going to try to recreate the butlers pantry with the half lite door with side lite … can you possibly tell me where you can find that door?

  5. I love Butlers Pantries and walk in regular pantries too!

    1. Aren’t they just beautiful? And yes – I’d take a regular pantry (which I don’t even really have!)

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for taking the time to comment, I so appreciate it!


  6. kddomingue says:

    I love a butler’s/walk-in pantry. We’re planning on remodeling our ill laid out kitchen and I’m designing it with a walk-in pantry. It won’t be a fancy one…..more along the lines of a working farmhouse style pantry. An extra deep sink, a freezer, storage for oversized pots and occasional use appliances, dry goods and canned goods storage, a counter for the bread machine while it’s baking, ect.

    1. Oh gosh, that sounds divine! Not only do I not have a butler’s pantry, I don’t even have a walk-in one! Either would be an improvement over the cabinet I have now. I think it’s so wonderful that you’re getting a chance to remodel, and to make your home what you want it to be.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share. Congrats to you and good luck!


      1. kddomingue says:

        I’m just hoping the aforementioned remodel happens before I’m too old and decrepit to enjoy it, lol! Seems like every time we’re ready to think about getting started, some catastrophe pops up that wipes out our remodeling fund. That wouldn’t be so bad except that the kitchen was half way torn apart in anticipation of getting started a few years ago! On the bright side, having to get creative about storage in a half torn apart kitchen has definitely helped me pare down the kitchen clutter and make more informed choices about what I need and want in a butler’s/walk-in pantry!

        Sending wishes your way that your next house has the kitchen and pantry of your dreams!

        1. It’s so hard, isn’t it? I’m constantly battling with the priorities, while also having a child starting college in the fall! It’s a bummer that you’ve had to live in half a kitchen for so long, but you’re right, it’s probably really helped you know exactly what you want! I’m glad that you’re able to look at it positively:)

          I wish you all the best with your remodel (whenever you’re able to do it!) I know it will be wonderful when you do!

          And thank you! I hope I have a bigger kitchen before I”m too old to really enjoy it!!


          1. Jinn Esse says:

            Jinn Esse
            A former Navy Wave had her daughter in law design her house. It had a kitchen to die for room to serve a large group and a sweet butlers pantry.