ARTICLE Clare Chapman
If you’re an entertainer and play host to frequent dinner parties and guests, your kitchen will be the centre of attention. It’s one of the most social rooms of the house, and an area where people tend to naturally congregate.
Buf if you’re not one for entertaining, your kitchen is still most likely the heart of the home; a saying that has a lot of resonance for many. In family situations with younger children, the kitchen can often become an area of messy food preparation and chaotic school lunch and breakfast making.
Whatever the situation in your home, the kitchen is a place where function and organisation are key, and mess is less than ideal.
That’s where a butler's pantry, or scullery, comes in. Essentially, they’re an area to sweep dishes away, hide cumbersome appliances and a place for food preparation and storage – a room on which you can close the door, keeping the main kitchen clear as the visual focus. Depending on the context, a butler's pantry can also function as a full secondary kitchen.
Kitchen designer Hayley Dryland says the butler's pantry is a versatile space that can be anything from a large walk-in pantry and benchtop to a full kitchen and storage area.
If you’re in need of some more flexibility in your kitchen and have additional space that can be utilised but are lacking in budget, a basic scullery can be created with a little creativity and imagination, at minimal cost.
“The most cost-effective option is to create a large walk-in pantry with open shelving and a basic work space,” Dryland says. “Any mechanism to close off an area, such as drawers, cupboards and doors, is going to cost money, so that’s something to consider from the outset.”
Open, grab-at, shelving is cost-effective, and can be achieved relatively easily. “If you’re looking at keeping the budget right down, thinking about repurposing adjustable book shelving from a hardware store into kitchen storage is a good place to start. This provides easy-to-access, open shelving and a place to store any overflow kitchen items. We find people often want to store baking goods and larger appliances in sculleries to keep their main kitchen clutter-free.”
Being able to shut off a butler's pantry and create a secondary space to clear away dishes during a dinner party, or creating an area where children can come and make a mess as they prepare their breakfasts, allowing homeowners to simply shut the door and hide the mess while the rest of the kitchen remains tidy is an enviable situation for many.
At the lowest end of the range, Dryland says a basic butler's pantry created with open shelving and a simple workbench is easily achievable for under $2,000, provided the necessary space is available in the kitchen. Without plumbing, costs can remain low, but the functionality of a kitchen with the addition of a simply scullery can make a world of difference to a household.
If you have a slightly bigger budget to work with, why not read our mid-range butler's pantry and high-end butler's pantry.
Note: prices are rough approximations only and Refresh Renovations cannot be held accountable for their accuracy. All prices in this article are exclusive of installation costs and any variations unless otherwise noted.
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*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.