Butler's Pantries at Any Price Point

The return of the butler's pantry is making modern entertaining easier than ever.

August 31, 2002


The butler's pantry in Concord's Sarine model is fairly simple. Concord offers a butler's pantry in almost every plan at one of its latest communities, Concord at the Glen in Glenview, Ill., where base prices range from $591,490 to $781,990.
Residential Homes of America, based in Lake Bluff, Ill., offers an elegant butler's pantry in its Windwood model, base-priced at $425,900. A regular pantry is opposite it in an ample hallway.

The return of the butler's pantry is making modern entertaining easier than ever. Located between the kitchen and formal dining room, the butler's pantry is a transitional space used for final preparations before a meal or for easy cleanup after. It usually features lower cabinets, a counter surface and storage cabinets on top.

"People aren't entertaining outside of the home as they were five years ago," explains Roger Mankedick, executive vice president of Concord Homes in Palatine, Ill.

Concord, a production builder recently acquired by Lennar, features butler's pantries in several Chicago-area communities in homes base-priced from the mid-$200,000s to the high $700,000s.

Butler's pantries can be carved into a number of plans fairly easily. Here are a few tips:


  • Most are about 3 1/2 to 5 feet wide with a standard cabinet depth. Do what best suits the plan and the buyer.

  • If it's in a hallway, the pantry should be at least 3 feet wide (with cabinets flush against one side), but 42 inches allows more room for passing through.

  • Think proportionally -- a wider work surface might call for a wider hallway.

  • Extras such as a bar sink and glass-fronted upper cabinets (for china or stemware) are common. Granite countertops, warming drawers, dishwashers, built-in wine racks and undercounter wine coolers are also popular.

  • Although practical for frequent hosts, a butler's pantry is a luxury or status item for most. Play it up with decorative cabinetry, tile or finishes.

  • Take the idea upstairs with a coffee bar between the master bedroom and bath or along a wall in the sitting room.
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