Creating a Butler's Pantry

Reference Number: KB-00944
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


I would like to create a butler's pantry in the hallway between the kitchen and dining rooms for extra storage and display space. How can I model this in Home Designer?


Creating a butler's pantry in Home Designer is easy to accomplish using the cabinet tools and objects from the Library Browser.

To customize cabinetry

Changing the materials, and face items, of cabinets can be accomplished through their specification dialog boxes. In the image above, narrow, base cabinets, one of which is a corner cabinet that has an open front with shelves for placing baskets in for exposed storage, was created.

Wall cabinets with double glass front doors were also added in addition to hardware on the cabinets, and the materials have been changed from the default to a white oak material.

In your design, begin by placing and editing some base cabinets.

  1. Select Build> Cabinet> Base Cabinet and click in the plan to place the base cabinet.

  2. Once placed, use the Select Objects tool to select the cabinet, and click on the Open Object edit button to display the Base Cabinet Specification dialog box.

  3. On the General panel of the Base Cabinet Specification dialog box, change the Depth of the cabinet to be 18" so it will better fit into the space provided in the narrow hallway.

  4. Next, select the Door/Drawer panel to select a Door Style from the Select Library Object dialog box.

  5. To create an open front cabinet to place objects such as baskets, select the cabinet door in the preview, and under Face Items, use the drop-down menu to change the Item Type to Opening and ensure that there is a check-mark in the Include Shelves option.

  6. Make any necessary changes to the handles and hinges on the Door/Drawer panel.

  7. Finally, click on the Materials panel to set the materials for all of the various elements of the cabinet, such as Countertop, Backsplash, Hardware, etc.

  8. Click OK when you have completed making changes to apply them to the cabinet and close the dialog box.

  9. Once you have created a cabinet to the specifications you want, and are wanting identical copies of this same cabinet, use the Select Objects tool and click on the cabinet to select it, then click on the Copy edit tool.

    • To place a single copy of the cabinet, just click in the view to Paste it.

    • Select the Sticky edit tool and every time you click you will place another copy of the cabinet.

Most objects that might be placed on things such as countertops or tables will automatically locate the top surface of a cabinet or table and be placed at that height. However, you can also set their Floor to Bottom height in their specification dialog boxes, or move them in a 3D view to precisely position them.

In situations where you want to place objects on base cabinets that have wall cabinets placed over them, sometimes it can be difficult to precisely place, or adjust, objects on the base cabinets while the wall cabinets are visible.

To turn off the display of wall cabinets in plan view

  1. First, make sure that your 2D floor plan view is the currently active view, then select Tools> Display Options to open the Display Options dialog box.

  2. Scroll down to the Cabinets, Wall layer and uncheck the Disp column.

  3. Click OK to apply this change, and you will no longer see your wall cabinets displayed in plan view, which makes it much easier to place, select, and move objects that you want to have placed below them.

  4. You can use this same procedure to turn off other objects you may find in your way when trying to focus on a particular part of the plan.

To place objects on shelves

Kitchen accessories and other decorative items can be arranged inside glass-door cabinetry, in storage furniture such as hutches, or on shelves.

  1. Begin by placing some accessories in floor plan view.

  2. Click on an object to select it and then release the mouse, leaving the selected item highlighted.

  3. Hold down the Ctrl key down on your keyboard, or the Command key if you are using a Mac, and place your cursor over the Move edit handle at the center of the selected object.

  4. Click and drag the object into the same space as the cabinet, furniture or shelves.

  5. Create a Cross Section/Elevation view that shows your accessories and the furniture they will be placed in.

    Note: Home Designer Interiors does not have an Elevation tool; instead, use the Full Camera  tool. 

  6. In the Cross Section/Elevation view, move each object to the desired height, using the steps described in steps 2 - 6, above. The positions of these items can also be adjusted left to right in this view.

  7. Depending on the type of furniture that the objects are placed in or on, you may find it necessary to raise the heights above the floor of some objects either in a Cross Section/Elevation view or in the object's specification dialog box before moving them into the furniture's space.

  8. Finally, take a Camera view to see the results.