The pantry is an usual room in the house. It first appeared, in its near present form, during the late Middle Ages, where separate rooms within a large manor were used specifically to store food. Now of course they did not have canned goods or access to many known preservatives (outside of salting), so these rooms were not used in exactly the same way as the modern pantry. The word “pantry” itself comes from the French word of “Paneterie,” which is derived from the Latin word “Panis,” which means bread. So during the late Middle Ages, a pantry was a specific room used to store bread. Over the years, the use of the pantry expanded, as did the variations of pantry. One specific kind of pantry is known as the “Butler’s Pantry.”
The Butler’s Pantry is One of the Best Custom Home Features
History of the Butler’s Pantry
During the Victorian era in England, butlers and the wait staff often had separate quarters within the home. These quarters were, at least in new constructions at the time, sectioned off from the rest of the house, with one or two access points. This allowed the help staff to perform necessary work without being in the rest of the main house.
This practice continued into the United States, although many large homes during the early to mid 1800s used slave quarters instead, which were located on the exterior of the home in separate buildings. With that said, some did utilize the construction of separate, on-site rooms built into the home that provided space for servants, butlers and slaves to work
The butler’s pantry did not serve as food storage. Instead, it functioned more as a utility room where serving items were kept (such as dishes, serving trays and larger items commonly used for family gatherings and parties). The butler’s pantry was also used for the cleaning of dishes.
In areas without as much space (especially in Europe), butler’s slept within the pantry. This was because beyond their servant duties, they were also there to guard the silverware (made form silver and other valuable materials).
Modern Usage of the Butler’s Pantry
In modern houses, butlers and a serving staff, even when used, do not live in the home. Instead, a butler’s pantry is a space built between a dining room and kitchen and are still considered quite the luxury. Many older remodeled homes have retained or restored old butler’s pantries while one of the best custom home features includes incorporating them back into the kitchen design.
The room is designed as a meal staging area and offer storage for serving equipment, like table linens, find china and wine, among other storage options.
Whether you’re building or remodeling, don’t forget to add one of the best custom home features … the butler’s pantry!