Text by Elizabeth Czapski
A butler’s pantry makes a stunning statement incorporated in tandem with any kitchen, creating prime display space and the opportunity to showcase much-loved pieces—and personal style—within the heart of your home. However, they’re not just for show, and a well-designed butler’s pantry should not only look beautiful, but also offer an abundance of help for the modern hostess. Interior designer Maggie Griffin of Maggie Griffin Design shares a few favorite butler’s pantries that she and her team have brought to life with fresh, fun flair perfect for summer entertaining and outlines some of the key elements she strives to include in her designs from both a decorative and functional standpoint.
The Cottage Journal: Tell us about the role of a butler’s pantry in a home. How do you seek to achieve that role in your designs?
Maggie Griffin: In homes where storage is at a premium, a butler’s pantry can provide an extra space to store precious heirloom china and silver as well as a designated bar area to help keep the cook’s space clear in the kitchen.
TCJ: Are there any specific features you like to include in every butler’s pantry you design?
MG: In small spaces like these, I love to create a jewel-box effect with a punchy wallpaper, snappy paint color, and pretty details like sparkly hardware and a backsplash.
TCJ: What are some tips for readers styling their own butler’s pantries?
MG: Always consider going vertical. If you have tall ceilings, make use of every inch to give more space in cabinets for seasonal storage. Layers of textures and patterns bring comfort to a tight space. Think of creative ways to utilize countertops—glassware on a pretty tray frees up cabinet space and is an easy way for guests to know where the wineglasses are. [Above], we kept everything needed for entertaining visible and easily accessible.
TCJ: Can you tell us how a butler’s pantry can aid in entertaining and how that plays into your design decisions?
MG: Secondary appliances like ice makers, beverage fridges, and drink drawers are perfect for these spaces. While not utilized every day, it’s wonderful to have them within a few steps’ reach for guests when you’re entertaining. [Above,] we kept the glasses within reach at eye level.
TCJ: What are some of your favorite things to incorporate into these spaces—unique elements or special details that really make an impact?
- Glass-front cabinets for easy visibility and display
- High-gloss paint on cabinets for extra sheen
- Wallpaper around cabinetry for a punch of personality
- Brass hardware and accents for a traditional touch and warmth
- Mirrored-tile backsplashes to make the space feel bigger