We recently converted our old laundry room to a butler’s pantry! Continue reading to see the before and after, and what I would have done differently now that it’s all complete!
It Started As A Laundry Room
Once upon a time, our butler’s pantry was once a laundry room. Our house has a very small kitchen. Not ridiculously small, but acceptably small. Do I wish I had a bigger kitchen? Absolutely. If I had a magic wand to instantly double my kitchen’s size you can bet I wouldn’t hesitate to do it in a second! Sadly, that’s never going to happen, (what are you gonna do?) Although, I am very grateful we have a nice built in pantry which does provide a substantial amount more storage.
The kitchen also had a laundry room right off the kitchen. So when I was viewing my house, I immediately thought the laundry room would be of much better use if it were a walk in pantry. All our rooms are upstairs so it made so much more sense to have the laundry room on the second floor, and to use the former laundry room as a butler’s pantry.
Above you can see what the laundry room looked like in its gutted state. Sadly, at the time this all went down, I wasn’t blogging so I didn’t even think to take pictures of what it looked like as a laundry room! All I could think of was when I’d be able to rip it all out and change it to a walk in butler’s pantry.
I wanted to try to stay true to my Neo-Victorian style house without making it look too old fashioned. Although I love antiques and vintage items having too much of it can make your home look like a time warp. Mixing it up with modern touches keeps everything looking fresh and timeless.
We were on a tight budget, so obviously I couldn’t go crazy with all the things I really wanted. Let’s talk about some of the design choices I made to keep on our small budget.
Butcher Block Countertops
I chose these for two reasons. The first being that they are more affordable than stone countertops, and I love how they add warmth to the space. The second reason was more for future planning. One day I hope to remodel my kitchen. I have no idea what stone countertop I’ll want when the time comes, so I figured a wood countertop would mesh well with whatever I choose in the future.
In my wildest dreams, this Butler’s pantry would have had top to bottom cabinets with doors, hardware, and stone countertop! I would have wanted it to look like a mini kitchen. Realistically, that would have been way over our budget. (Why oh why was I cursed with such expensive taste!) So I opted for bottom pullout drawers, and open shelving above the countertop. It was much more cost friendly and has a lovely vintage farmhouse look.
Beadboard backsplash is more affordable than laying down tile, and is always timeless. My one regret is that we didn’t bring it up to the ceiling. Again, budget restraints allowed us only to go above the countertops.
Let me just say that vinyl flooring has come a long way. When our contractor mentioned doing vinyl flooring in our butler’s pantry, my immediate reaction was, “heck no!” However, once I walked my snubby little self down the flooring aisle at Lowes, I was pleasantly surprised! Vinyl flooring actually looked a lot like real hardwoods, but was much more cost effective!
Since there was no way I’d be able to match vinyl to my current hardwoods in the kitchen, I opted to go with a stronger contrast. This light gray flooring has stood up to a lot of wear and tear. It was easy to install (they can go on top of existing floors, easily snapping together), and is super easy to clean!
Brackets That Withstand The Weight
The last element I wanted to talk about were the brackets used to hold the open shelves. I tried my hardest to find wooden brackets that would withstand the weight, but to no avail! Also, our contractor told us metal was the sturdiest if we wanted to be able to store a lot of food and dishes on our shelving. Since this is a working pantry and not one just for show, I had to let go of my desire for beautiful corbels, and went with the sturdy working brackets. You can bet that I am still on the lookout for corbels that I might be able to cover my metal brackets with. I’m not giving that dream up yet!
What I Would Change Today
Overall, I love my new butler’s pantry! It has increased our kitchen’s storage tenfold! I love walking into it in the morning to grab a cup of coffee, and to look out the windows at our beautiful front porch. However, there’s always a lesson to have learned from every experience, and here’s a few things I would have done differently.
First, as I mentioned before, I wish we would have spent the money and taken the beadboard all the way up to the ceiling. My husband would probably disagree with this as he likes to stay on budget. I on the other hand like to follow my heart, which isn’t necessarily a good thing as my heart tends to want things I can’t always have (or afford)!
Second, the dovetail pullout drawers. I love them. They are finely made. But, I should have gone with the taller drawers. I thought I would want to see all the food I had which is why I opted for shorter drawers, but no no. My pantry would look a whole lot neater if all my pantry goods were completely hidden away. I’m kicking myself now for not doing that, but like Elsa says, “Let it go, let it go!”
Last, lighting. My husband installed the under mount lighting on the bottom open shelf. I wish we would have had an electrician install more outlets so we could have done the same on each row of shelves. I’m sure we could still go with battery powered ones, but the plug ins are much less maintenance.
A Job Complete
And that’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed viewing our new butler’s pantry. If you are planning on doing something similar in your own home, I hope this post was helpful in providing you with inspiration and finer details to consider.