A scullery conjures up images of busy kitchen staff below stairs, preparing sumptuous meals for the resident family, Downton Park style.
You can imagine the hustle and bustle down there, and the various rooms where food and drinks supplies, produce and ingredients, pots and pans, the good china and best silverware would be kept.
Until recently, sculleries and butler’s pantries were associated with grand kitchens of the past, but now they’re one of the latest trends in in bespoke kitchen and home design.
Back to the future
From period mansions to large contemporary homes, it seems that sculleries and butler’s pantries are coming back as desirable additions to kitchens large and small.
Perhaps we should have seen it coming. For years, the kitchen as the heart of the home has been the hardest working room in our modern homes, often multitasking as food prep, kitchen storage, dining and entertaining spaces in large open plan layouts.
But as many home owners are finding it increasingly onerous to have nowhere in their beautiful kitchen where a mess can be made (and left), adding a separate scullery seems the perfect answer. Present a spotlessly clean kitchen at all times while messy food prep and functional yet unattractive kitchen essentials are tucked away out of sight.
The good news is that when it comes to bespoke kitchen design, a scullery can be whatever you want it to be. The key starting point is to define the jobs you want to move out of the kitchen and into the scullery to make your life easier, then brief your designer to come up with some great ideas to make this happen.
What goes on in the scullery?
Source: Residence Style
Extra storage for food and kitchen equipment
From supermarket shopping to home-made preserves, everyday kitchen gadgets to occasional cookware, glassware and crockery, it all needs to go somewhere – but does it have to be in the kitchen?
When you’ve run out of space in the kitchen, or you don’t want everything on display, a pantry is a great solution. Choose tall open shelving built for easy access and practicality alongside functional space-maximising cupboards. so that everything has its place and there’s a place for everything.
More space for washing and prepping
A sink is a common feature in a scullery. Go for a deep, large design, such as a Butler Sink, that makes it a doddle to prepare fruit and veg before cooking, and washing up large pots, pans and oven dishes afterwards, without your main kitchen getting messy.
A dishwasher is a good idea too. Both will help your kitchen stay neat and tidy, keeping the heavy duty washing and prepping tucked out of view. And if you choose to leave the baking tray in the sink to soak for a few hours, no-one will mind!
Small appliances at the ready
If you’re in the habit of using small kitchen appliances on a regular basis – blenders, juicers, fruit processors, sandwich makers, slow cookers etc – it makes sense to leave them out on the worktop rather than having to fetch them from the cupboard every time they’re needed.
But even if you have plenty of worktop space in the main kitchen, it does rather spoil the streamlined look. That’s where a scullery with added countertop space and plenty of power points comes in very handy.
Source: Little Piece of Me
Space for additional cooking and catering jobs
Are you a hobby baker? Do you love making chutneys and preserves? Perhaps you’re a fan of hosting large dinner parties? However generously sized your main kitchen may be, it is not designed for large-scale catering operations.
With all necessary (specialist) equipment close by and plenty of space for storing your home made creations and additional supplies (wine fridge, anyone?), a scullery may be the most useful room in the house.
Additional scullery design tips
As with any interior design project, you should take the existing space into account. Does the room get plenty of natural light? If there’s no window, proper artificial lighting is crucial.
Complement ambient ceiling light with task lighting, perhaps by fitting LEDs under wall shelves or in cabinets. If your scullery is no bigger than a glorified storage cupboard, motion sensor lighting may be most practical.
Think about whether you want your scullery to be a continuation of your kitchen, in which case you may want to blend the two spaces in terms of materials and finishes. If continuity is key, keep the same flooring, colours and styling in both rooms.
On the other hand, designing a separate scullery may be an opportunity to inject more colour or quirkiness than you would feel comfortable in the main kitchen area.