The Walk-In vs. Butler’s Pantry Debate

stone-like staggered tiling in grey dark cabinetry with lighting placed beneath the shelving to brighten up the pantry at armidale 34

In the world of home building and renovation, few topics cause as much of a stir as the walk-in vs. butler’s pantry debate. So, which camp do you fall into? Let’s find out below!

Choosing the perfect pantry for you

When it comes to building a new home, you’ll be faced with making one big decision after another. You’ll personalise your floor plan, all of your internal and external colour selections, as well as make big decisions, like whether to raise your home’s ceilings or build an entertainer’s alfresco.

While overwhelming at times, these big decisions are all part of the fun of building a new home, as you get to design a space that’s unique to you and the way that you like to live, work and entertain.

If you’re at the start of these important decisions, one question you’ve probably been toying with is whether you should include a walk-in or butler’s pantry to your new kitchen space.

But what’s the difference between the two and how do you know what the right choice is?

Flowing directly from the main kitchen, a butler’s pantry is seen more or less as a ‘mini kitchen’. Depending on its size and your needs, you can include space for meal preparation, appliances and storage. On the other hand, a walk-in pantry tends to just be used for storing all of your everyday pantry items. Larger than a regular, built-in cupboard, a walk-in can provide you with fuss-free and spacious storage.

To help you with the big decision, we thought we’d take you through the pros of each option, because there aren't really any cons. Both a walk-in and a butler’s pantry are functional additions to your new kitchen, and ultimately, the correct choice for you will come down to your lifestyle and needs.

So, let’s get to it!

coastal themed butler's pantry with stoned tiling and timber shelving at riverway 26 whiterock

The Pros of a Walk-In Pantry

If you know that you won’t be the next Masterchef, or you’re not one to host big parties with friends and family, a walk-in pantry might just be the right fit for you.

Spacious, with plenty of different shelving and storage options, having a walk-in pantry means you’ll never have to look at an overcrowded cupboard again.

If you think that a butler’s would come in handy, but only 2 or 3 times a year, start exploring some of our floor plans where the kitchen has direct access to the laundry. That way, you’re able to easily use the extra space to store platters of food and drinks when you’re hosting friends and family.

grey vertical stacked tiling in butler's pantry with timber shelving and flooring at hampstead 32 roseworthy

When personalising your perfect home, you can find yourself juggling different priorities. Many of our home designs already include a walk-in pantry, which means you’re able to put those extra savings from a butler’s towards what’s important to you - whether that’s decking out a home theatre or creating the ultimate working from home set-up.

Ultimately, the right decision will come down to your specific needs, the size of your household, as well as the time of your life that you find yourself in. For example, is this your first home, or are you setting down roots in your forever home? Asking yourself these big questions will help you make the right choice for you.

butler's pantry with light grey staggered tiling chrome faucet and timber shelving

Going Big with a Butler’s Pantry

While the name might suggest a space that’s a tad old-fashioned or only reserved for luxury mansions, the butler’s pantries of modern homes today are anything but.

As we’ve embraced open plan living, we’ve also had to be careful of clutter and mess spilling out into our free-flowing, family and entertaining spaces.

This is where a butler’s pantry lends a helping hand. Socialising in your kitchen becomes fuss-free, with guests able to perch themselves on the island bench or pour drinks, without having to dodge stacks of dirty dishes and food preparation.

light grey vertical stacked tiling with dark wood cabinets in a walk-in pantry at silverton 45

All of the extra storage in a butler’s pantry is a life-saver, especially for bulky items like entertaining platters and glassware. And if you’re a lover of kitchen gadgets, like thermomixes, food processors, air fryers, sandwich presses and at-home espresso machines, you’ll know the hassle of the constant plugging, unplugging and stowing away of bulky appliances each time you use them. Not to mention, the valuable bench space that they take up in the main kitchen.

A butler’s pantry means that all of these high-rotation appliances have a permanent home and are always easy to access, with plenty of bench space and strategically placed powerpoints to match.

Beyond the obvious storage benefits, a butler’s can also be a positive addition to your back pocket and the environment. Having an extra space that’s separated from the main area can encourage new habits, like collecting food scraps for composting or putting in place a fool-proof recycling system. While the extra shelf space comes in handy for buying food in bulk.

coastal style butler's pantry with mosaic tiling and timber shelving at tallowood 52

If you think a butler’s pantry will be the perfect addition to your new home, here’s our top 3 tips for getting the space right:

1. A second sink in your butler’s pantry is a must-have addition for meal preparation and cleaning appliances, but don’t forget about a second rubbish bin! It saves you from constantly going back and forth between your two spaces.

2. Remember lighting! If you’re not able to include a window in your butler’s due to your floor plan, focus on ample task lighting to help you with meal preparation.

3. Keep the interiors consistent. Continuing the same look from the main kitchen helps to give the illusion of a larger space.

Most of all, it’s important to consider the layout and flow of your space. A poorly planned butler’s pantry can quickly become the go-to dumping ground in your home.

But that’s where our New Home Specialists and Gallery Consultants come in. They’ll work with you to design a pantry that’s as functional as it is stylish, so that you'll have the ultimate space, suited to your specific needs and lifestyle.

white square stacked tiling in walk in pantry with wooden features to balance the space up