Norm and Jess's butler's pantry tied for third place. (Pic: Channel 9)
Norm and Jess's butler's pantry tied for third place. (Pic: Channel 9)

Why is The Block obsessed with butler’s pantries?

"I THOUGHT we had to put one in."

Poor, lovely Courtney. The Block's endless pursuit of bigger and better - in this instance during kitchen week - forced her to make a bad decision as she and partner Hans tussled with their apartment's difficult layout.

Having already delivered the biggest living room in the Southern Hemisphere the pair felt compelled to deliver an equally mind-blowing kitchen, complete with the trend de jour, a butler's pantry.

Now, having recently renovated my own home, this is one trend I'm happy to skip. I can't find anything in one kitchen, let alone two.

Despite our modern mania for open plan living, recent seasons of The Block have seen a rise in popularity for this funny little room.

In addition to a perfectly good kitchen where one can prepare food, cook, clean and talk over a glass of wine, the butler's pantry gives homeowners an enclosed space to do all the same activities. It's a dust-collecting chores cupboard, on steroids. How depressing.

After all of their hard work, Hans and Courtney's kitchen came in last place on Sunday’s episode of The Block. (Pic: Channel 9)
After all of their hard work, Hans and Courtney's kitchen came in last place on Sunday’s episode of The Block. (Pic: Channel 9)

Its main selling point is discretion; you can clear clutter out of sight when entertaining, because God forbid a dinner guest be forced to see a host loading a dishwasher in the modern age. But tell me, how many nights a year do you entertain on a scale that requires you to crack out the wedding china and get that fancy?

Like Harry Potter's cupboard under the stairs, the butler's pantry is a strange space tucked away from the action and everyday life.

And while a couple of this season's teams cleverly left their butler's pantry open at both ends to give better flow, easier access, and making it less removed from the room it's in, Courtney and Hans did the opposite. In their agony to conform with the latest trend (which is understandable, they're are under a lot of pressure) the flight attendant and pilot decided they must have said pantry at any cost. But it was a big mistake.

Cursed with a more awkward kitchen layout than the other couples, the pair installed a wall within their kitchen to create the must-have pantry. They did so at a cost to toddly shaped and small primary, everyday kitchen, and in the process committed the greatest crime, by blocking out all of the room's the natural light from two windows.

I’ve lived in apartment’s smaller than Kerry and Spence's butler’s pantry. (Pic: Channel 9)
I’ve lived in apartment’s smaller than Kerry and Spence's butler’s pantry. (Pic: Channel 9)

"Imagine if we didn't put in a butlers pantry," Courtney said afterwards.

Yes, love. We're imagining it. You could've had a nice, functional, large kitchen adorned with natural light.

I'm not having a crack at Courtney and Hans, they're trying to win a competition with a hefty prize. The Gatwick apartments are a good size, but they're not massive. And they could have managed without the butler's space.

In a typical three bedroom house, where floor space is at a premium, a butler's pantry is a reckless waste of space.

And though judges Shaynna Blaze, Darren Palmer and Neale Whitaker have created this problem with their declarations of undying love for room upon room built solely for storage, you just know the bastards will change their mind in a year or two.

Because unless you've got a genuine live-in butler, don't do it.