Although the humble Scullery is enjoying something of a revival in modern day kitchen design, one of the most interesting things about it is actually the origin of the name “scullery”. As with so many words in the English language, it’s from the French – “esculier” which is an old French word for plates – hence the scullery is the room where you wash and store the dishes.
The history of English kitchen design gives a fascinating insight into how the needs of the people using the space has changed in what is – relatively speaking – a short space of time. Kitchens in the 19th century were strictly for cooking only as the washing up was done in the scullery which was a much smaller room adjacent or located near to the kitchen.
Typically, middle class homes in this era would have included a kitchen, larder, scullery and also a pantry. Today, the scullery retains its original purpose – a space for washing dishes out of sight of the main kitchen. Clients who chose to incorporate sculleries into their kitchen typically do so because they entertain a lot in an open plan space and they don’t want it cluttered up with dishes and prep equipment.
Storage and utility are the two essential components for designing a scullery. There must be plenty of storage if the space is to be used in the traditional sense, tall cupboards for example are really popular because of the sheer volume of storage they offer. A large butler sink is a great idea particularly when combined with a tap that incorporates a separate rinse function. A dishwasher and pull out bin are usually top of the wish list for sculleries as is a decent worktop run for stacking plates and serving dishes, glassware etc. Then, last but by no means least, always consider using the same flooring as the main kitchen to ensure an easy sense of flow and continuity.