What is a scullery, you may ask?
A scullery is a second small kitchen used for prep work and storage. All the mess and cleaning associated with meal prep takes place there, out of sight of the main kitchen. In Victorian times, English manor houses employed kitchen servants to do all the activities needed to cook family meals in the "downstairs" section of the house. A separate scullery was part of the kitchen landscape and it was staffed by a scullery maid.
Nowadays, homeowners have a scullery to conceal all the mess of meal prep, leaving their kitchens spotless and ready to entertain guests. In other words, all the meal prep magic happens out of sight, like behind a magician's curtain. A basic scullery includes storage space, countertops and a sink. This room can be customized to fit the space you have and the needs of your household.
Ideally, it would be best to include a scullery as part of your new-home construction plans. However, if that is not your situation, you can think about converting another space adjacent to the kitchen for this purpose. The scullery serves as the place for washing dishes, and for storing dry goods and wines, cookware, fine china, paper supplies, silverware, crystal, and everyday dishes. A sink for washing dishes is an essential element of a scullery, so the area must have plumbing available.
It's a definite advantage to have an extra kitchen during the holiday season to handle the overflow from the kitchen. Having the extra counter space allows for more than one person to help prepare and clean up large holiday meals. Messy dishes, pots, pans, glasses and silverware can be swept from the table directly to the scullery to be dealt with after the guests have all gone home.
A scullery is a convenient place to house small appliances like coffee makers, microwave ovens and food processors, leaving the main kitchen looking uncluttered. Without the clutter, the glossy surface of the kitchen countertops can shine through.
Think about decoration
A scullery provides the opportunity to be more adventurous in design and décor. It can be a departure from the main kitchen. Because a scullery is hidden from view, most homeowners will select lower-cost materials to complete this room. Decorating an extra kitchen may spark creativity, bringing bolder and brighter colors along with more casual and fun elements into the room.
Sculleries can serve as multifunctional spaces when combined with other uses such as a laundry room. Do you have enough room to include a space in the scullery for hobbies, crafts or even a home office? You are only limited by your budget, the space you have available for the project and your imagination.
Here are some ideas on where to "hide" your scullery:
The hidden scullery has a door that closes it off from the rest of the house. It is usually located adjacent to the main kitchen. This is the most private type.
A walk-in scullery is the choice for those wanting to combine a food pantry with a scullery. This option provides for generous storage.
Screen sculleries are extra workspaces that are sectioned off from the rest of the space by a partition such as a screen. While not as secluded as other types, it does afford additional space for meal prep.
A butler's pantry and a scullery can be blended into one room — a combination that offers ample storage. This is especially helpful for storing items only used for special occasions, such as fine china, silverware and crystal. More mundane everyday chores such as washing and cutting fruits and vegetables can be completed here as well.
Whether your scullery is "maid" to order or repurposed from an existing space, it is a luxury that may turn into a necessity. Contact us and bring a little bit of Victorian England into your home.