Scullery, Butler’s Pantry, or Caterer’s Kitchen: What’s the Difference?

There is no greater luxury than having a home where you are able to gather with friends and family, hosting events, small dinners, or even game nights. At Magnolia Homes, we work alongside our homeowners to build a place they are proud of with the flexibility and space to comfortably have guests in their home!

You will often see our homes to include a butler’s pantry, a scullery, or a caterer’s kitchen. When you see these words or even see pictures of these inside our homes, you might ask yourself what purpose do these serve and what is the difference between them?! Today is the day that we break down each of these!

Butler’s Pantry

Historically, butler’s pantries were used for storing dinnerware, silverware, linens, fine china, and the most valuable household dining materials! It was named the butler’s pantry because it usually was locked with a key that only the butler held.

Today, the butler’s pantry serves as additional cabinet space located between the dining area (formal dining room or the breakfast room) and the kitchen. This can be used for displaying your nice dinnerware, prized wine glasses, or your cherished coffee mugs. We see this often utilized as a bar complete with a drink cooler underneath and glass cabinetry at top or as a coffee station.


Historically, sculleries are associated with grand Victorian homes or English manors where kitchens were not to be seen. Today, the scullery is an additional prep room off of the kitchen for overflow dishes and plenty of cabinet storage. These are usually housed with a sink, and depending on the homeowner’s lifestyle preference, additional appliances such as a fridge, a second dishwasher, additional ovens, drink cooler, ice machine, and coffee pot. However the homeowner decides to use the space, it is often a place for bold color palette, statement lighting, and fun designs!

Caterer’s Kitchen

The caterer’s kitchen is similar to the butler’s pantry, but usually specifically between the kitchen, pantry, and formal dining room. It is not usually closed off with doors like the scullery but does serve as a good place for overflow items including delicious desserts for the holiday seasons and special dinners. The caterer’s kitchen is much longer than a butler’s pantry and has more counter space and cabinets and is typically decorated with a gorgeous statement backsplash and includes a sink. We often see homeowners utilize this as their bar.

We believe that a butler’s pantry, caterer’s kitchen, and scullery are all wonderful assets to have in your home that make a home complete with an added touch of opulence!