Put Your Butler's Pantry to Work
You may not have a butler in your home, but a separate prep and serving area will make hosting a breeze
These days, you might consider a butler's pantry to be more stylish than sensible, but you'd be wrong. If you entertain often, a butler's pantry can be almost as helpful as, well, having a butler. It's an ideal place to store the dishes you use when you host, and is a great place to stage meals before you serve them. Here are some tips for planning and equipping one in your home.
This classic butler's pantry shares its cabinetry finish with the adjacent kitchen, creating a desirable visual flow between the two rooms. This is a traditional location and design plan for a butler's pantry.
Some butlers' pantries -- typically in larger, more formal homes -- function as full-service caterers' kitchens. The sink, paneled dishwasher and full-sized refrigerator create an ideal space for your party team to prep and stage your event. The glass uppers make finding the right goblet or serving plate faster for the person working there.
This is a true butler's pantry. Open shelves like these make finding the right dish or bowl faster for the busy entertainer. The door can be closed, even locked, if you want to store sterling in that room.
Sometimes, you don't have a separate room available for a butler's pantry. But if you have an open wall in your kitchen, you can create a butler's pantry right there. How long that wall is will determine how many features you can accommodate in your butler's pantry. Consider your most important priorities if you're carving space out of an existing kitchen.
A microwave drawer for reheating food can be a vaulable addition to a smaller butler's pantry. A viable alternative is a warming drawer to keep dinner warm until guests arrive. The pass-through location makes serving more convenient.
A refrigerator of any respectable size can be a real asset to your butler's pantry. This CoolDrawer model by Fisher & Paykel packs a fridge, freezer and wine captain into one 36-inch power trio.
A dishwasher is an ideal appliance for a butler's pantry. Since these spaces tend to be smaller than a kitchen -- and often visible to the kitchen -- consider an 18-inch, panel-ready model like this one. It will blend with your design and add functionality to your butler's pantry.
If you're a coffee enthusiast, consider adding a built-in coffee system to your butler's pantry. There are two things to think about: First, will it be plumbed — i.e., hooked up to your home's water supply? Second, will it be capsule-based or whole bean? The latter depends entirely on your taste and preferences. You might choose the capsules for convenience or the whole bean for flexibility.
More: Browse photos of butler's pantries
Ideabook published on Dec. 15, 2011.
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