Design · Inspiration · Interiors

A Design Favorite: The Butler’s Pantry

A butler’s pantry is simply a small room between a kitchen and dining room where china, silver, and other entertaining essentials can be stored and where plates can be assembled for serving. Butler’s pantries are common in larger, historic homes. The units in our 1920s high-rise building originally included butler’s pantries which I found to be a charming feature when we were house hunting–if only they came with an actual butler! Our butler’s pantry had been opened up to the kitchen by the previous owner and is now just an extension of the kitchen. It provides ample amounts of storage, which is a bonus in an apartment.

Butler’s pantries present wonderful design opportunities. They can be decorated in a way that is more daring and elegant than the more functional neighboring kitchen. They often are full of surprises and can impart a wow-factor to a home.

Here are some butler’s pantries that are design stand-outs.

Often they are painted a bolder color than the kitchen.  This butler’s pantry’s bright blue cabinetry with gold accents provides a nice contrast to the white kitchen:

Gil Schafer via Traditional Home

Designer Lee Ann Thornton used a gorgeous blue lacquer paint to create a glamorous space:

House Beautiful

I adore this lacquered green paint, which is called Secret Garden by Sherwin-Williams:

High Street Market

Butler’s pantries are often used as bars. In this Miles Redd designed space, notice all the fun celestial elements that would surely entertain and dazzle guests:

Veranda via Pinterest

This sumptuous peacock blue is Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball:

Elle Decor

A small, but impressive teal butler’s pantry that serves as a bar:

A Mere Life

I love the high-gloss navy blue paint that Sue De Chiara used in her butler’s pantry:

The Zhush

Wallpaper and interesting light fixtures can have a dramatic impact on a small space like a butler’s pantry:

Ashley Whittaker Design
Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 8.53.24 AM.png
Kellie Griffin Interiors

Of course butler’s pantries aren’t always dramatic.  Sometimes they are simple and elegant:

one kings lane_carolyne roehm_BUTLERS PANTRY.jpeg
Carolyne Roehm via One Kings Lane
Crisp Architects
The Enchanted Home via Design Chic
Gil Schafer via Pinterest

Butler’s pantries provide extra storage, and they can be visually appealing, too. Which of these examples did you like best?

12 thoughts on “A Design Favorite: The Butler’s Pantry

  1. I like the espresso one second from the bottom! I’m afraid the days are numbered for my preference for dark wood everything 😉 I agree that a funky light fixture would help define and liven up a butler’s pantry. I love some of your examples!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a great post! I love them all. In fact, I would not require the butler if I could just have a pantry. I especially like those with a dramatic wallpaper and/or cabinet color as a counterpoint to a subtler kitchen or dining room. I think you and I must share a design aesthetic, because I also follow Joni Webb and loved her pieces on Carol Glasser. hank you for your thoughtful posts, here and on Instagram.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They are very useful for extra storage. Butler’s pantries aren’t so common any more because of the open-concept floor plans. It interesting how homes have changed over the years. Thanks so much for visiting today Danielle!


  3. I like so many… first Carolyne Roehm’s all white butler’s pantry is a dream! But I also love how Sue de Chiara used corals and a bold hue, another favorite. Crisp Architects and Gil Schafer’s navy blue are all equally stunning! Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth! Have a great day

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that one too Denise. The dark cabinets are a nice contrast with an adjoining white kitchen. It also made me think that I wouldn’t mind black cabinets in a kitchen–something I never thought I would like. Thanks so much for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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