Butler’s pantries were a necessity in the Victorian period; it was the place where servants made finishing touches on food before serving homeowners and their guests.
The word “pantry” comes from the Old French word “paneterie” meaning from “pain”, the French word for bread. In medieval times food and supplies were stored in specific rooms: meats were stored in a larder, alcohol stored in the buttery and bread was stored in the pantry.
The butler’s pantry was traditionally used to store silver, serving pieces and other kitchen related items. Because the silver was kept under lock and key in the butler’s pantry the butler would actually sleep in the pantry to guard against thievery. Nowadays, pantries are usually located off the kitchen or between the kitchen and the formal dining room. Typically you will find countertop space to rest food or to prepare the dishware prior to serving.
If you are not fortunate to have inherited a butler’s pantry with your century home…there may be possibilities. What I love about century homes are their “nooks and crannies”. Many kitchens in a century home back on the base of the main stairwell. Some of these spaces have been converted in to storage areas, closets or possibly a guest bathroom. If you have such a space, consider converting it to a pantry. With the addition of a glass door from the kitchen, it could be the perfect place for a pantry.
During the decades, many smaller century homes have added a 2-piece bath, adjacent to the kitchen. Not very hygienic or desirable….this could be your new pantry? My current home came with such a room; only accessible through the kitchen. A contractor removed all of the bathroom fixtures and closed off all plumbing to allow me to use this space as a walk in pantry. So handy, a great storage area for dry goods, pots and pans and those appliances which are rarely used.
With the addition of restaurant style shelving, a little paint and flooring, I had a pantry. I have also attached a photo of my desired pantry which would work perfectly in this space.