Butler’s pantries, also known as sculleries, date back to the 19th century. They were special rooms found in large homes that employed a full wait staff. These rooms were where expensive china, silverware, and other valuable serving items were kept. The butler’s pantry was stationed between the kitchen and the dining area. The butler was in charge of ensuring all items were kept safe, and in some cases, he would even sleep in the pantry!

So why are we discussing a type of pantry from the Victorian era? In recent years, butler’s pantries have gained popularity as convenient storage and prep areas that take hosting to a whole new level. Some common features in a butler’s pantry include:

  • Countertops
  • Cabinets and shelves
  • Tableware
  • wine glasses
  • Tablecloths and other serving items

Butler pantries can be equipped with appliances like a dishwasher and/or refrigerator for added functionality.

Benefits Of Building Butler’s Pantry

You may be wondering what all the fuss is about ancient pantries and why you would want one in a modern home. Well, there are many advantages to building a butler’s pantry in your home:

  • Great for hosting – Countertop space is great for plating food and using it as a serving station when you’re hosting parties. This keeps the table free of serving dishes and is a more convenient way for guests to access food, and eliminates the need to ask someone to “pass the potatoes, please.”
  • Additional storage – A butler’s pantry provides additional cabinets and shelving to store tableware and serving dishes. This allows you to have an alternative area to store items you use less frequently, reserving storage in your kitchen for everyday items.
  • Increases home value – A well-designed Butler’s kitchen is a great asset to any home. Aside from its functionality, many potential buyers are impressed with this feature because it carries an element of luxury and prestige that can increase your home’s value. This can give your home a greater competitive edge on the real estate market.
  • Maximize space—Adding a Butler’s pantry to your home allows you to capitalize on unused space. You can even convert a closet near the dining room area into a Butler’s pantry.

What Can I Use A Butler’s Pantry For?

  • Mini kitchen – This is a great space to use as extra kitchen space, particularly when preparing to host a meal. The additional space allows you to do some of the prep in a separate area to avoid crowding the kitchen. This is perfect for the holidays or other family/friend gatherings.
  • Serving station – Use your butler’s pantry to plate your food and serve it to your guests. Transition seamlessly between one course to the next without skipping a beat. You can also use a butler’s pantry to make and serve drinks.
  • Dirty dish station – Hosting a dinner typically means an insane pile of dirty dishes afterward, especially if you are serving multiple courses. A butler’s pantry can be the perfect area to put the dirty dishes. Keep your kitchen looking neat and your dishes out of sight until the party’s over.
  • Entertaining – A butler’s pantry can be used to create a private space in your home for hosting dinner parties. Install an island, seating, mini refrigerator, wine cooler, sink, or dishwasher for a more functional space that allows you to use your butler’s pantry for hosting. Designing a butler’s pantry for comfort and style can turn it into a cozy spot for you and your guests.

Related Article: Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes To Avoid

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Butler’s Pantry?

The cost of building a butler’s pantry varies but typically begins at about $2,000 and increases. On average, the cost is closer to $10,000 but can climb to $25,000.

The cost is largely influenced by the size of the pantry, the complexity of the layout of your choice, the materials you choose, and customization. Another factor that affects the cost of your butler’s pantry is the appliances and features you incorporate. A butler’s pantry with a sink, refrigerator, wine cooler, or other specialized equipment will increase the cost.

How Much Value Does A Butler’s Pantry Add?

There’s no doubt that adding a butler’s pantry to your home can add value to your lifestyle. The question many people have is how much value it adds to their home.

Well, we can safely say that building this type of pantry is an investment that will pay off well – with an average ROI of 50-70%. What this means is that if you spend $10,000 building your butler’s pantry, it would add a minimum of $15,000 to the value of your home. This gives you a profit of $5,000.

Related Article: Kitchen Remodel Cost Bay Area

What To Consider When Planning A Butler’s Pantry

Thinking about adding a butler’s pantry to your home? Anytime you are planning a home renovation, how well you handle the planning aspect often determines how well the project turns out. The goal is a seamless upgrade that is successfully completed on time and on budget.  Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan for your new butler’s pantry.

  • Size—Determine how much space you have available to dedicate to a butcher’s pantry. The size will help you determine how best to utilize the space, inform your choices about what features you can incorporate into the pantry, and influence the cost of your project.
  • Cost—Your budget is always an important part of planning and should be established early on. Understanding the costs involved in adding a butler’s pantry will help you determine what design options and features are realistic for your budget. Keep in mind that there may be unforeseen costs that come up during renovations. We recommend setting aside 10-20% of your budget for unexpected expenses.
  • Layout—Decide on a layout that will best serve your needs. How you plan to use your pantry will guide you in making a selection. Your butler’s pantry should be easy to navigate.
  • Appliances – If you plan on using your butler’s pantry as a mini kitchen, adding appliances like a fridge, sink, dishwasher, or microwave will improve its functionality. Identify which appliances you want in your pantry and factor them into your layout plan.
  • Design – There are many types of butler’s pantry design ideas for you to explore. Decide on a style and customize the space to your liking.

Butler’s Pantry vs Walk-in Pantry

If you have extra space and you need to decide on going with a pantry vs butler’s pantry, which one should you build?  

While both are valuable additions, there are some distinguishing features that may help you make your decision. Both walk-in pantries and butler’s pantries will give you additional storage solutions to help you keep your kitchen more organized. 
The difference between a pantry and a butler’s pantry is that butler’s pantries are more versatile and functional.

A butler’s pantry can be used as a serving station, a space for prep work, or a mini kitchen, making it a winning choice. In contrast, a walk-in pantry provides additional storage for cookware, appliances, and bulk food.

Build a Butler’s Pantry in Your Home

Adding a butler’s pantry to your home has many benefits. Use it to create additional storage space, serve your guests, and keep your kitchen area organized when hosting. Increase your home’s value with this prestigious and functional feature that offers a good ROI. Hire the pros at Top Home Builders to help you plan and build your butler’s pantry. Our stellar team has the experience to exceed your expectations with a well-designed butler’s pantry.

Get started on building your pantry by contacting us today!


A good butler’s pantry size is 6’x8’ feet. This gives you sufficient room to add shelving, countertop space, and one or two small appliances.

If space permits, adding a sink in your pantry creates a more functional and convenient space. You can easily wash your hands, clean countertops, and wash clean dishes from your pantry, which helps keep your kitchen clutter-free.

No. Your pantry’s design and materials can be unique and different from your kitchen’s design.

Yes. Adding a door to your butler’s pantry is great for practical and aesthetic reasons. Having a door allows the pantry to be closed off if needed.

Not typically. There is no need for the pantry to have dedicated ventilation. However, good air circulation is a must, especially if your pantry has appliances that produce heat or moisture like a dishwasher, refrigerator, or wine cooler.

If you will use your pantry to prepare or store drinks, having a fridge in your butler’s pantry serves a practical purpose. However, if you plan to use the space mainly to serve and for storage, a fridge may be unnecessary.