A butler’s pantry, really?

So, you are thinking about a butler's pantry? The question is, will it be useful, asks Paula Ross. This week she takes a look at kitchen space and considers what really is required in this area.
So, you are thinking about a butler's pantry? The question is, will it be useful, asks Paula Ross. This week she takes a look at kitchen space and considers what really is required in this area.

A recent online builders promotion asked the question  'Butler’s pantry or not?' 

It caused some synapsis activity. 

What constitutes an efficient kitchen now? The waters have been muddied here I think, about what works and what is a trend.

Could you use the space more efficiently? 

Is this extra room really a useful addition to your plan? Or just an expensive trend? 

Are you doubling up on appliances needlessly. 

Is it overkill? 

The pendulum has swung a long way here in arguably the most important room in the house. Size isn't an indicator of a functional kitchen and massive island benches, huge ovens, cook tops and fridges in commercial proportions are not indicative of good design.

In a previous article I mentioned the average family size has reduced to below replacement value of 2.1 children per household to 1.73 statewide (Vic) so to have these big greedy appliances humming away seems ridiculous. 

In fact, Australians are guilty of being among the highest energy consumers on the planet.

We currently use 2.8 times our sustainable ecological footprint, in layman's terms 2.8 times the resources that the planet can sustain ... 

Efficiency isn't necessarily a by-product of a big kitchen. A galley design has always been the optimum workable layout for a practical kitchen and many kitchens follow it's design features. 

Efficiency isn't necessarily a by-product of a big kitchen.

Paula Ross

We no longer use the work triangle, larger kitchens now require zoning. Group these together as much as possible.

A cooking zone (oven, cook top, microwave) a cleanup zone (sink, dishwasher, recycle and general waste bins) prep zone (fridge, pantry, sink, bins … include a prep pantry if possible with a power bank for kettle, toaster, blender etc) and a social zone (eat, drink, chat, phone, ipad & laptop) interlinking some activities in this area requires clever planning for the best layout.

An electrical plan tailored to these areas keeps these zones efficient.

We also need to allow a flow through for several people doing different activities, and not necessarily more floor space but enough room for several people to move around or through freely.

So a Butlers pantry? The question is will it be useful? How often do we shop? Or buy in bulk now? Will a large or walk in pantry be sufficient? It usually is!

Paula Ross, interior designer, paula-ross@hotmail.com