Butler’s Pantry Wine Cellar & Storage

Converting a Butler’s Pantry Into a Wine Room

Also known as a serving pantry or scullery, a butler’s pantry is a transitional space between a kitchen and dining area. If you landed here after searching “butler’s pantry wine room” online, odds are your home has one of these unusual spaces.

Historically, butler’s pantries were used for food prep or storage by house staff, including “scullery maids,” chefs, and butlers. While it’s no longer common for most families to have a butler in the style of an old English manor, you can still put a butler’s pantry to good use.

Many people end up using this area as a storage room, wet bar, or food prep zone. But a butler’s pantry can also make a great wine storage room. Ahead we’ll explore why it makes sense to store wine in a butler’s pantry and answer common questions about creating a butler’s pantry wine room.

What is a butler’s pantry?

Butler’s pantries were historically used to store a family’s finest serving ware, silver, crystal, serving platters, and other treasured dining accessories. These spaces were often enclosed and locked up at night to prevent theft. Some butlers even slept in the pantry as an additional layer of protection from would-be thieves.

Butler’s pantries are usually configured in one of a few ways. They can be:

  • Small hallways between the dining room and kitchen
  • Fully enclosed rooms between the dining room and kitchen
  • Integrated into the dining room, with built-in shelving, cabinets, and countertops for food preparation and serving

Why use a butler’s pantry for wine storage?

A butler’s pantry actually makes a lot of sense as a wine cellar. This space or room usually sits between the dining and living rooms, so you’ll have easy access to wine for dinners and parties.

Since they’re typically part of the interior of the home, they may stay cooler throughout the day, which means less work to create optimal conditions for wine storage.

Finally, butler’s pantries tend to be in the “Goldilocks zone” in terms of size—larger than a typical hallway closet, but not too large as to be overwhelming to renovate.

How many bottles will fit in a butler’s pantry wine room?  

It really depends on the configuration of the space. A typical hallway-style butler’s pantry is at least 5’ x 8’—the minimum amount of space required to be functional.

This may sound like a tiny space, but you might be surprised at how much wine will fit even in a small butler’s pantry wine storage room. Removing existing cabinets will allow you to store hundreds of additional bottles, especially with floor-to-ceiling wine racks.

How do I build a butler’s pantry wine storage room?

The location and configuration of your butler’s room will determine how much work you need to do to create optimal conditions for wine storage. If you have a hallway-style butler’s room, you may only need a simple cooling system and wine cellar doors at both entry points.

If the room is on a wall that gets direct sunlight, you may need more extensive renovations, including the installation of a vapor barrier, insulation, and sheetrock.

If there is a window in the space, you may need to upgrade it with an exterior-grade model. These additions, along with a cooling system, will help keep the room at optimal temperature and humidity conditions.

See our wine cellar construction guide to get a better idea of what’s required to build a wine cellar.

Is a butler’s pantry enough space for a wine cellar?

As mentioned earlier, most butler’s pantries are at least 5’ x 8’ (40+ square feet), and sometimes larger. Depending on the exact dimensions of your butler’s pantry, you may be able to store anywhere from 500 to 1,000 bottles—and possibly more. For the average wine collector, this is more than enough wine storage capacity.

Double-deep and waterfall-style butler’s pantry wine shelves make it easy to store wine in a butler's pantry more efficiently. It comes down to making smart use of the space you have.

Build a Butler’s Pantry Wine Room with Wine Racks America

With a bit of planning, you can show off your wine collection while preserving your most prized bottles in a converted butler’s pantry. Wine Racks America can help you do it. We’re one of the nation’s most trusted wine storage providers and custom wine cellar builders.

Count on our expert guidance in helping you in building a butler’s pantry wine room. Get in touch with our team for helpful advice and information about our kits and custom wine storage systems.

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