Lately, when we’re discussing features with our clients, one item that keeps getting mentioned is butler’s pantries. This room went out of favor in home building once household servants were no longer popular but lately, it’s seen a resurgence, even without the return of Jeeves. Before adding one to your custom home, read here to learn all about them.


What is a Butler’s Pantry?

A butler’s pantry is exactly what it sounds like. Traditionally it was a utility room between the dining room and kitchen used to store serving items like silver. These rooms got their name from the butler’s who typically worked in there. Butlers would use these pantries to do the account books, the ordering, or polishing. Its location meant it created a flow between the kitchen where food was prepared and the dining room where food was served.


Food wasn’t stored in butler’s pantries but it might have rested there for a few minutes before being brought out to guests. If you’ve seen Downton Abbey before then you’ve seen how a butler’s pantry (called a servery on the show) operated back in the day.


What are the Benefits of a Butler’s Pantry?

Most households don’t have butlers anymore, so why are these rooms still popular. Butler’s pantries offer a number of benefits to an average home. The biggest benefit is the additional storage it provides. Most people have tons of plates, glassware, silver, or small appliances that they have no place to keep. A butler’s pantry is the ideal place to store all of those items.


These days’ people also use butler’s pantries for easy entertaining. Many people install wine fridges or prep sinks in the space. It makes these rooms an easy one-stop for guests to get drinks or appetizers without having to interrupt the host prepping food in the kitchen.


Why are they Popular Again?

It’s hard to say why butler’s pantries are becoming popular again, especially since household staff has not returned. When people build a custom home they’re looking for an efficient and personalized design. The great thing about a butler’s pantry is that it can be used however a person wants. It can be store serving dishes, wine fridges, extra dry foods. They can be used to display foods, serve foods, or even prep food.


Thinking of Adding One?

Before you add one to your custom home a few things need to be considered. First, make sure you place them in the right location. People often call additional pantries “butler’s pantries” but if they’re not placed between the kitchen and dining room then they don’t technically fit that classification. This means that these rooms often aren’t useful or accurate in open concept layouts.
Also, make sure you actually have a need for one. Butler’s pantries are about the size of a larger walk-in pantry, which means they may eat up precious square footage in Toronto homes. If you don’t have items to store in there it may not be worth the additional costs to put one in.