Design + Decor, Kitchens

Pantries, Larders & Sculleries…Oh My! What’s the Diff?

Design by Stacy Curran Interiors


Today’s kitchen is so much more than a place to make meals. Today’s kitchen is also a living area, a place to gather, a place to linger. Today’s kitchen combines food prep with food enjoyment. It’s a place to enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of coffee with a good friend. Today’s kitchen isn’t a place that is hidden in the home. Much to the contrary, it often plays a starring role. And because of that, it’s more important than ever to give great consideration to a kitchen’s design and decoration, as well as its functionality.

And that is also why the rooms adjacent to the kitchen, the rooms that help it do its job so seamlessly and beautifully, are important to consider as well.

In today’s post I’d like to talk about those oh so important spaces: the pantry, the butler’s pantry, the larder and the scullery. For those of you in the dark, here’s the skinny on the each of these spaces, how they differ and how they are being used in today’s kitchens.



Let’s start with the pantry. This small room or closet in which food, dishes and utensils are kept is found near the back of the kitchen. 

But beyond their utilitarian definition, pantries today are also defined by their beauty. Here are several that are real lookers. I love each of these beautifully organized and detailed pantries.


(left): Can a pantry be sophisticated? Apparently it can. Just look how tailored and put together this one is!

(right): On the flip side, you gotta love a light and bright pantry with classic bead board paneling and a library-style ladder.

(left): If classic farmhouse is your preferred kitchen style, you may love this classic farmhouse pantry with the sliding door.

(right): And how gorgeous is this modern style pantry with the expansive glass doors and industrial style vibe?

(left): This pantry is all about color! Love the whimsical wallpaper and the beautiful teal cabinetry.

(right): This pantry, on the other hand is a vision in white.

(left): Check out the hidden door leading to this pantry!

(right): And here’s another classic beauty with a library-style ladder. How cool that this pantry is curved.

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Designer Unknown



Okay, on to the Butler’s Pantry, another area of the kitchen that has seen a great resurgence in popularity recently. A small ancillary service and storage room, a butler’s pantry is the upscale link between a kitchen and a dining room. And since they often can be seen from the dining room, they need to look fabulous!

Here are a few butler’s pantries that fit the bill.

Deep blue lacquer gives both of these beautiful butler’s pantries a glossy glow.

Design by Kelly Hohla | Photo by Paul Dyer


Design by Lauren Haskett


(left): Black kitchens are trending in kitchen design this year, so I had to share this black and white beauty of a butler’s pantry. And that red patterned rug is just the pop of color this space needs.

(right): This stunning gray paneled kitchen opens up to its butler’s pantry through a hidden door.

Source Unknown


(left): Sometimes a butler’s pantry doesn’t have to be an entire room but a single space dedicated to storing all those pretties for entertaining. We created a butler’s pantry in a large hallway between the kitchen and dining room in this century home reno in St. Louis. This is the same kitchen we shared on social this Monday and Tuesday.

(right): Another example of a butler’s pantry that isn’t a room at all but still has tons of storage and looks amazing.

Design by Marcia Moore | Photo by Michael Jacob


Designer Unknown | Photo by Brian Woodcock for Veranda


(left): Glass doors with black steel frames create a luxurious entry point into this butler’s pantry. Loving the elegant accents of marble and wood.

(right): Simple, adjustable shelving in this smallish space makes for the perfect place to store all those entertaining essentials.

Design by California Closets Austin | Photo by Molly Culver for Camille Styles


The Larder

The larder, as defined by the dictionary, is “a room or large cupboard for storing food.” Traditionally a “larder” was a pantry cabinet – a piece of furniture housing food, as opposed to a pantry which is an entire small room or closet.  A larder works well for smaller kitchens where there isn’t space for an actual pantry room. Creating a spacious larder cabinet to store dry foods, vegetables and small appliances, such as a coffeemaker and toaster is the ideal solution. Whether they’re freestanding or built-in, many of the newer larder designs include shelving, drawers and often even a countertop.

Here are a few larder cabinets for inspiration:


(left): When it comes to small pantries, maximizing space is key. So don’t forget to use the back of the door. Note the clever use of trompe l’oeil on this larder’s door. Those little drawers? Not real. But how much more interesting is this than just a flat panel door?

(right): This fitted pantry is cleverly concealed in the middle section of a cupboard. Glassware and cookbooks line wooden shelves, and a lower-level marble ledge offers a cool surface.

Design by John Davies | Martin Moore


(left): Retractable doors in this larder hide organized canisters, and pull-out drawers offer extra storage.

(right): This larder is so sleek and sophisticated. I love the drawers for bread and cake!

The Scullery 

Ever wish you had an extra sink in your kitchen or a place to conceal the dishes when entertaining friends? Say hello to the scullery, the place where the “dirty work” takes place in a kitchen.

A fixture in homes with staff until World War I, the scullery was the domain of the scullery maid (professional dishwasher and vegetable peeler).

To me, the scullery is a combo walk-in pantry meets utility or mudroom. It’s a place at the back of the kitchen where all the “not so pretty” happens (be it prepping meals, cleaning dishes or even potting plants!) 

When I’m planning a kitchen with a client, I always discuss with them how to hide the clutter/dirty dishes/prep work when they have guests. The scullery solves that problem.

Here are a few ideas for a standout scullery:


The scullery can be classic and traditional.

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It can also be contemporary. Even though it is firmly rooted in the past, a scullery can be quite at home in a modern setting; especially with the open floor plans that are so popular today.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this fourth installment in our series on kitchen design and what’s trending for the hottest kitchens in 2021! (You’ll find links to past posts in the series below).

And today, I hope I’ve shed some light on the differences between a pantry, a butler’s pantry, a larder and a scullery. If you’re thinking about renovating your kitchen or building new, it would be wise to incorporate one of these spaces into your design.

If you need some help, we’re here and ready to go! Just give us a call at 314.395.1114 or CLICK HERE to send us an email.

By the way, we’re back running full speed at Marcia Moore Design, but if you still prefer to work virtually, we understand and can do that, too. Whatever works best for you and makes you the most comfortable is great with us.

Stay safe and healthy,

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