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7 Ways with a Butler's Pantry

Organization and design ideas for a stellar butler's pantry

By Lisa Frederick

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Butler's pantry: The very name conjures an air of refinement and luxury, a Downton Abbey-esque world of aristocrats and grand estates. The reality, though, is that butler's pantries—originally meant for staging and serving food rather than storing it—aren't just for the upper crust.

An unused nook, bare passageway, or ready-to-repurpose room near the kitchen and dining areas is all you need to create a butler's pantry that works hard and looks chic. Here are seven strategies to help you make the most of it.

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Cabinet/Pantry by Peter Archer, AIA

Drench your butler's pantry in color.

Typically small and tangential to high-traffic rooms, a butler's pantry is ideal for incorporating a bold palette without overwhelming the home. The rich, cobalt blue of this pantry contrasts with the mannerly neutrals in adjacent rooms and grabs the eye—there's no overlooking the space as a mere pass-through.

A carefully curated collection of crystal, glass, silver, and white china appears luminous against the deep background hue. The rug that anchors the pantry, plus the open shelving and star-spangled ceiling treatment, further elevate it to a true room rather than a storage spot.
Cabinet/Pantry
by Peter Archer, AIA

Next Slide >> Turn your butler's pantry into a kitchen backup.

View more slides in 7 Ways with a Butler's Pantry

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