Quick question, reader: What do you think of when you think of a butler’s pantry? Let us guess — was it something to do with Downton Abbey, or Gone With The Wind? Most people assume butler’s pantries are a thing of the past. There’s a reason for that. For a long time, they were — homeowners would tear them down to give themselves larger kitchens or dining areas.

But what is a butler’s pantry? Basically, it’s a small service and storage room between a kitchen and a dining room. Historically, it was a place to house the nice dishes — formal china and family silver — as well as a staging area for serving large meals, like dinner parties. Today, even though most people don’t have servants or domestic help, butler’s pantries are seeing a resurgence. This is due in part to the rise in “foodie” culture; if you’re an aspiring chef, a butler’s pantry is a must-have. If you’re still uncertain about what makes a butler’s pantry what it is, have no fear. We’re here to help.

5 Must-Have Butler’s Pantry Design Features

  • Open storage and sophisticated cabinetry: Because the butler’s job was to serve the family and maintain the pristine appearance of the home, butler’s pantry cabinets need to be both functional and aesthetic. A combination of open storage and stylish cabinetry allows you to display your best and most often used items, while giving you plenty of space to store less aesthetically pleasing items out of sight.
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  • Adjustable height shelving: Let’s face it—not all kitchen utensils are created equally. And neither are all chefs! With adjustable height shelving, you can make sure that your butler’s pantry works for your needs, no matter what those needs are or how they change. (Every aspiring chef dreams of the day they get a fancy new appliance that helps them refine their skills!)
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  • Stowaway drawers and wire baskets: Stowaway drawers are perfect for large, unwieldy appliances that don’t see regular use. They’re easy to pull out when needed, but don’t draw attention to themselves otherwise. Wire baskets, on the other hand, allow you to show off your fresh produce to your guests—while at the same time, reminding you to use it before it goes bad. (Can you say, win-win?)
  • stow away drawers for your butler's pantrywire basket drawers
  • Wine and stemware racks: One thing a butler’s pantry design can’t exist without: wine racks and stemware holders. The butler was traditionally in charge of serving all beverages, from tea and water to cocktails and wine. With an upscale wine rack and stemware display, you won’t have any qualms about inviting your guests to join you in the butler’s pantry while you prepare their drinks.
  • wine and stemware racks

  • Bar area: You may have wine and stemware racks—but does your butler’s pantry design incorporate a designated bar space? It should! After all, where else will you prepare exquisite pre-meal cocktails for your dinner party guests?
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If you’re ready to take your foodie hobby to the next level, stop by one of our design centers! Our experts will be happy to help you turn your dream butler’s pantry into a reality.