Enter our edit of butler’s pantries and sculleries – bringing the best of cooking, cleaning and organising to the kitchen.
Butler’s pantries or sculleries are the unsung heroes of the kitchen. They’re where all of the action takes place out of sight; for entertaining, your morning coffee, concealing clutter (dishes) and providing storage space.
Historically the traditional butler’s pantry, as the name suggests, was for preparing to serve meals and drinks for guests – often located between the dining room and the kitchen. On the other hand, the scullery was more of a workspace tucked away from the rest of the home. The scullery functioned as the critical area for cooking and cleaning, reflected in the footprint and design; with a sink and benchtop, large appliances such as a fridge or oven, and storage.
Today, these utilitarian workspaces are a consistent feature in premium kitchens featured on est. In this kitchen covet, we set foot inside some of our favourite examples, where clever design intervention is reflected in the flow and functional details.
The Bay House by Studio Prineas, a multi-generational family home in Sydney’s Georges River, reflects its minimalist, architectural palette in the kitchen with smooth, all-black joinery on honed concrete floors. Behind a sliding door, the butler’s pantry is an aesthetic extension of the kitchen, congruous with the custom joinery and pulls and ease of movement. The second sink is considerately tucked away, while a mirrored splashback increases the sense of space.
Armadale Residence by Sanders & King and Pleysier Perkins
The revival of an original Italianate 19th-century home and stables in Melbourne by Sanders & King and Pleysier Perkins could only beget a refined kitchen and scullery. The Armadale Residence scullery is infused with an old-time elegance, featuring a ceramic sink and mounted mixer that reflects the space’s historical purpose with the new-age functionality of built-in appliances. Above the sink, open shelving houses ceramics and glassware; ensuring the scullery is a practical area separate from the kitchen, to serve visitors and family members alike.
Christine Rose makes a case for the light and bright scullery in her own family’s Lysterfield home. The all-white, streamlined space takes full advantage of access to sunlight and features a combination of custom open shelving and joinery. Ideal for making a morning coffee and keeping all of the breakfast fuss and meal preparation directly out of the kitchen, this spacious, sun-lit space makes a case for a larger scullery – and a smaller ‘show’ kitchen.
Functional family living is at the heart of the Chloe House by Templeton Architecture. The Federation era home’s classic material palette and layout move away from open plan living and see an efficient kitchen with a butler’s pantry as the dedicated workspace. However, Templeton Architecture made sure the butler’s pantry still felt connected to the kitchen’s cooking zone with an open doorway.
The Sage House by Melbourne designer Carole Whiting meets a brief for a client and their family that requested a home that wasn’t ‘too showy’. Leaning into the practical side, the butler’s pantry discreetly backs onto the kitchen, calling on natural stone, oak flooring and white, v-groove cabinetry to complete the classic and contemporary scheme. The chalkboard wall is a playful nod to how this space lies at the heart of organising the family.
While a beach house, Melbourne studio Mim Design were steadfast on including a butler’s pantry in their Portsea Hideway project. A favourite from the est archive, the calm and collected kitchen and butler’s pantry feature a timeless palette of white subway tiles and, fittingly, ‘Portsea Grey’ natural stone. In addition to the handleless flat white joinery, the butler’s pantry plays home to the kitchen’s built-in appliances, as well as a coffee and tea station and sink area.
La Casa Rosa by Luigi Rosselli Architects and Arent&Pyke
Luigi Rosselli Architects collaborated with Arent&Pyke on a rose-coloured Gothic Revival cottage in Bronte that saw the kitchen as a creative take on the original home through bespoke cabinetry, salmon-coloured terrazzo floors and a curved marble island. Behind custom curved steel framing, the butler’s pantry not only features plenty of space to store but for the client to display their cookbooks and collectables; a highly personalised space that isn’t just reserved for meeting functional demands.
The Bourne Road Residence butler’s pantry by studiofour is a tantalising space for the inner-organiser. The space draws on the same ethereal white scheme as the kitchen, where everything is neatly displayed in pull-out draws and open shelving. Part of studiofour’s mission to design healthy homes, the butler’s pantry is concealed behind the kitchen space while still enjoying ample access to natural light.