Once a staple in high-end Victorian homes, butler pantries — serving and storage rooms — are returning to all types of homes via kitchen remodels.
“We have more people asking for butler pantries than we did in the past,” says Michael Klein, president of Airoom Architects & Builders, a remodeling company in Lincoln-wood, Ill. He attributes this trend to the increasing popularity of entertaining at home.
“It serves as that functional area between the kitchen and dining room,” says Karen King, director of marketing for design/build firm Home Rebuilders in Atlanta. “For people who entertain a lot, it sets up a buffer [between the two rooms].”
The trick to adding a butler pantry is carving out enough room, says Klein, who has “robbed” space from laundry rooms, garages and closets. Whether located in a hallway between the kitchen and dining room or built as an actual room closed off by doors, a modern butler pantry can include sinks, dishwashers, warming drawers and wine storage units.
These amenities sound luxurious, but Klein says adding a butler pantry to a kitchen remodel can save clients money. For example, instead of installing high-end kitchen cabinetry for storage, a remodeler can use open shelving in the pantry. And a refrigerator that normally would require a custom-made panel to blend with the kitchen cabinetry could be moved into the pantry.
“It’s an easy use of space, and it’s affordable,” says Klein.