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Butler’s Pantry vs. Walk-In Pantry

See the differences between a butler’s pantry vs. walk-in pantry including their pros and cons, similarities, and how they differ from each other in the kitchen.
Long kitchen with brick tile backsplash open shelves wood floors and countertop white cabinets range and rectangular open storage Even the best kitchens don’t always have enough storage space for every ingredient, appliance, or dining room supply that you own. In these cases, a little extra storage can go a long way. One way to add more storage to your kitchen is by adding a pantry to your home for a little extra storage.

White walk-in pantry with wood floors paneled walls and window with plants and curtains Of course, there are plenty of options out there when you start to get into the specifics of what type of pantry you want in your home. Here, we’ll take a look at two options that both offer you plenty of extra storage room: a butler’s pantry vs. a walk-in pantry.

What’s A Butler’s Pantry?

Modern kitchen interior with white cabinets organised pantry items stainless steel counter top brick tile backsplash and kitchen hanging rods with hooks To compare a butler’s pantry and a walk-in pantry properly, it’s important to first understand what each term means. So, we’ll get started by defining exactly what a butler’s pantry is.

The first thing to note is that a butler’s pantry is a room of its own. Also sometimes referred to as a scullery, a butler’s pantry is found between a dining room and a kitchen, usually as a feature in a larger home. Historically, one with a butler working in it. Check out modern dining room ideas here.

A butler’s pantry usually holds more than the average pantry solely dedicated to food. The room typically houses items for the dining room as well as offering some space to add the final touches to meals before they go out to your guests in the dining room.

Before the meal, you can grab your glasses, silverware, serving dishes, tablecloths, and more from the butler’s pantry.

There are a lot of variations in individual butler’s pantry designs as well. This means you can design something for your needs and the space that you have. Plus, it offers plenty of additional storage space.

What’s A Walk-In Pantry?

Modern kitchen interior with white cabinets organised pantry items stainless steel counter top brick tile backsplash and kitchen hanging rods with hooks Walk-in pantry with built in empty pantry shelves and open wood shelves on top A walk-in pantry is a little different from a butler’s pantry for a few reasons. For one, it’s usually solely dedicated to storage.

In other words, it doesn’t have the same preparation and staging countertop space that a butler’s pantry would have. Usually, you’ll use a walk-in pantry to store items like dry goods, canned goods, and other items that don’t need to be kept in a fridge or freezer like chips or spare drinks.

In addition, walk-in pantries aren’t usually rooms of their own the way that butler’s pantries are traditionally used. Instead, these usually have the same concept as a walk-in closet but rather than being dedicated to clothes, it’s the food and drink items mentioned above. See our guide to our guide to walk-in pantry dimensions.

Walk-in pantries are typically built to save space but won’t serve as a high-traffic area either. While you might make your coffee in a butler’s pantry, you’re probably only going to go into a walk-in pantry to get something, peruse ingredients, or put something away. When you aren’t in the walk-in pantry, you can shut the door and it’s out of sight, out of mind like any other closet.

Butler’s Pantry Pros And Cons

A contemporary butler's kitchen pantry room with wine storage cabinet bar sink blue cabinets brick backsplash and various pantry storage Now that we’ve defined what a butler’s pantry is, we can take a look at what it can offer. Just like any other home renovation, though, adding a butler’s pantry comes with its own pros and cons.

Pro: Versatility – The biggest benefit to a butler’s pantry is that it’s versatile. You can use it for more than just storing items. As mentioned before, the counter space offered in a butler’s pantry gives you room to stage and place final touches on dishes before serving them to everyone there.

Pro: Extra Counter Space – Alternatively, a modern use for the space could be the addition of a feature like a nook with countertop to prepare tea or coffee or a place to keep appliances you don’t have space for in the kitchen.

Con: Expensive – On the other side, adding a butler’s pantry to your home can be costly, especially if you don’t have a pre-existing space to simply convert into a butler’s pantry. Still, this disadvantage is dampened by the fact that adding a butler’s pantry also adds value to your home.

Con: Cleaning – The only other downside to using a butler’s pantry for its countertop space is that it adds more to clean alongside your kitchen. Luckily, this isn’t always as labor-intensive as you might expect.

Walk-In Pantry Pros And Cons

Empty walk-in pantry interior with white shelves and dark wood floor As we did with the concept of a butler’s pantry, it’s important to consider both the pros and cons of a walk-in pantry.

Pro: Extra Storage Space – One of the biggest benefits of a walk-in pantry is all of the storage space it offers. Unlike a butler’s pantry, a walk-in pantry doesn’t usually have the countertop space for preparing and adding the final touches to food.

Instead, almost all of the space in a walk-in pantry is dedicated to storage, giving you plenty of room to keep items including converting that would-be counter space to additional storage for items like food and appliances.

Just like butler’s pantries, walk-in pantries often seem complicated when it comes to finding space for them. Luckily, this point is partly saved by the fact that walk-in pantries are highly customizable, so you can adapt your specific design to fit your tastes and home.

Pro: Better Organization – A walk-in pantry offers plenty of organizational opportunities. This means you can sort items by type of food group. Using dedicated shelving or cabinet space for your most frequently used items can help streamline your meal prep and allow you to quickly create a shopping list.

Con: Upkeep- Unfortunately one of the downsides to all of this storage capacity and organization is the upkeep required. Managing the walk-in pantry so it doesn’t become a mess takes some time.

Con: Takes Up Space – A walk-in pantry can take up a lot of space that would otherwise be used for something else like your kitchen layout.

How To Use A Butler’s Pantry vs. Walk-In Pantry

Organised pantry items in storage room with wood floors and white pantry organizer One of the biggest differences between a butler’s pantry and a walk-in pantry isn’t even the details in their individual design. Rather, it’s worth considering how you want to use your pantry to decide between these two options.

There are some similarities between the two options in that they can give you a lot of extra space to store supplies and items for your dining room and kitchen. However, only a walk-in pantry is solely dedicated to storage. In other words, you probably aren’t going to spend much time here.

On the other side, a butler’s pantry is built as a transitional area and an extension of your kitchen while also offering plenty of storage space. Once again, this is largely thanks to the counterspace that a butler’

Visit our guide on the best pantry paint colors for more related content.

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