If you were going to…

If you were going to have a butler's pantry (a little area (maybe four feet wide?) between the kitchen and dining room with some glass-front cabinets for storing crystal and china, designed for serving at parties), would you want a sink in it? Or would you rather have the extra counterspace? Kevin and I are in disagreement on this point.

Seventeen photos of butler's pantries -- the first one is about the size we're thinking of, I think.

In researching butler's pantries, I found this fabulous quote:

Equipment of Butler's Pantry.

The butler's pantry should be equipped with:

Strainers for punches, tea, and coffee.
Enamel ware pitchers for ice-water, punches, soups, etc.
Utensils and seasonings for salad making.
Vegetable brushes for cleaning celery and radishes.
Soft brushes for washing cut glass.
Materials for cleaning silver and cutlery.
Soap, ammonia, washing soda, and alcohol.
Matches in a tightly covered tin box.
Hardwood boards for use in cutting bread, meat, and cake.
Knives of various sizes.
Refuse can of galvanized iron with cover.
A dish drainer with a folded towel in bottom to prevent the nicking of dishes.
Glass-towels, hand-towels, dish-wipers, dish-cloths, cheesecloths, and holders, neatly arranged in a drawer.
A receptacle for soiled table linen is necessary. A hamper is best, if there is sufficient space; if not, a bag hung on the door is convenient. It is unwise to place soiled table linen in a drawer, as the odor of food which clings to it is an invitation to mice.

- Table Service, by Lucy Grace Allen, originally published in 1915.

Love it. That section goes on and on. I was tempted to just keep typing in the whole thing, and have placed the book on my Amazon wish list. I would have just bought it, but I think I need to put myself on a book buying hiatus for the next year, so that I can afford to actually build my butler's pantry...

We got the preliminary numbers from our general contractor today, and it looks like we can afford this renovation. At least the low-end version, and assuming we don't actually want to buy any furniture for our house...

5 thoughts on “If you were going to…”

  1. I think it depends on whether you’ll be using the space for food prep (or cleanup). If it’s in a narrow hallway, it won’t be a good place to do that, and the sink will be unused. I have two friends with small secondary sinks of this sort, and neither gets any use at all.

    On the other hand, if it’s in a nook, and if you often have a second person working on something and need space outside the kitchen for that, then a sink might be helpful.

  2. It’s effectively tucked into the north side of a hallway, but the south side of the hall is open to the dining room.

    I think if it got used, it would be used during parties, for rinsing off tea cups or glassware or little appetizer/dessert plates. But Kevin thinks it’d be more useful to have the extra counter space. Just not sure.

    We normally have about one party a month, either a tea or a brunch or a dinner, with 2-3 big parties a year.

  3. These don’t have to be mutually exclusive options. I have seen sinks with removable covers which provide counter space and which can be easily removed and stowed if you need an extra sink on occasion.

  4. Yes, someone just suggested on my Facebook page a sink with a cutting board cover. That might be a good solution; will see what Kevin thinks.

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