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How To Create Better Storage in Your Kitchen

Homeowners almost universally long for more storage space. It doesn’t seem to matter whether home is a condo, a retirement villa, or a large suburban ranch. Sometimes, it just seems that “stuff” expands on its own. It’s not a problem easily solved by a “junk drawer” or even by serious spring cleaning.

However, collecting “stuff” is part of what makes us human, and finding better ways to store the things we use and treasure may not be as difficult as one would think. The first step, of course, is to simplify, sort, pare down and eliminate duplications. Still, there are also some practical ways to create additional space to store those things you want to keep, particularly in the kitchen. The key is to tailor your storage to your individual needs.

Consolidate Your Belongings: Get Rid of What You Don’t Use

Collections are part of every family’s unique history. No one would suggest that you get rid of anything that has meaning in your life.

But never feel guilty about eliminating or replacing broken or damaged pieces, whether they’re “Grandma’s china,” your wedding crystal, or seldom-used small appliances. Hold a yard sale; in addition to the old toys and furniture, sell seldom-used dishes, glasses, and flatware, cooking pots, and serving pieces; take them to a thrift store or consignment shop, or donate them to a shelter. Someone will make good use of your castoffs.

Once you achieve that first goal, it’s easier to complete a “deep clean” of your kitchen cabinets and pantry, assess your priorities and reorganize your storage space.

Small Storage Solutions Make a Big Difference

If you’ve ever studied professional chefs at work during a TV cooking show, take inspiration from their solutions. Then adapt some of their ideas for your kitchen.

They’ll reach for a knife from a wall-hung magnetic rack or grab a wooden spoon from a vintage crock; frequently-used spices are often on display, and cutting boards and mixing bowls are stacked or nested in plain sight.

If you can’t manage a professional chopping block, get a cutting board that fits over your kitchen sink to save space and facilitate clean-up. Install a sleek utensil rack or spice shelf near your cooktop or range. Not all kitchen storage needs to hide behind closed doors.

Make use of inside surfaces on cabinet doors as well. Hang pot lids and kitchen towels from simple screw-in hooks; add wire racks to hold boxes of foil and plastic wrap, sandwich bags and spray bottles, even cookie sheets and muffin tins.

Corral table-setting necessities, including placemats and napkins, salt and pepper shakers, water glasses, and everyday flatware, on a simple tray or decorative basket right on the countertop. This can be especially helpful if your kitchen table does double duty as a planning desk or homework center, and it’s a real-time-saver at mealtime.

Adopt a section of countertop as a beverage center or snack bar:

1. Install open shelving for coffee cups and glasses, snack plates, napkins, and utensils.
2. Hang stemware and coffee mugs from an attractive wall or overhead racks.
3. Locate a coffee pot and toaster, nearby, and finish off the space with a drawer with custom inserts to hold supplies.
4. Or go one step further and include an appliance garage that will hide your small appliances when not in use.

Depending on your kitchen, this would be an ideal location for an under-counter fridge, ice maker or wine chiller, or a dishwasher drawer. The goal is to personalize your kitchen to reflect the way you live.

Customize Cabinets and Drawers to Maximize Storage

Kitchens have evolved over the decades from the strictly functional, utilitarian workspaces they once were. Today, the kitchen is not only for food storage and preparation, but it’s also frequently open to the main living space, so it must be as attractive as it is functional.

If a kitchen renovation is on the agenda, plan ahead by researching the innovative storage ideas widely available from cabinet manufacturers and by working with your design-build contractor. Rethink traditions, and re-envision your kitchen in a way that makes sense for you and your family.

Here are just a few of the best creative storage solutions:

● Eliminate unneeded doors to showcase china and artistic serving pieces on open shelving.
● Take cabinetry to the ceiling; add lighted glass-door display space at the top, or use that out-of-the-way space for party supplies and holiday storage.
● Take full advantage of an island or peninsula with storage that can be accessed from both sides, or install narrow shelves at each end to hold cookbooks, linens, or decorative pieces.
● Install a pull-out step ladder into a base cabinet to reach upper shelves.
● Locate a pull-out drawer in a base cabinet to serve as a pet feeding station that can disappear from view as needed.
● Install pull-out shelving, even under the sink, to eliminate getting on your knees to locate items in the back of cabinets.
● Use telescoping shelving in tall, narrow cabinets, and install telescoping blind-corner shelving to maximize corner storage areas.
● Take advantage of space between the studs for a recessed spice shelf.

Your remodeling contractor will have a wealth of other ideas for you to consider. The range of options is almost limitless, from baking centers with built-in flour and sugar bins to recycle bins in the pantry to a custom utility closet. Be open to possibilities — kitchens of the future don’t have to look anything like kitchens of the past.

Design a Walk-In Pantry

If your kitchen is currently short on storage, a walk-in pantry may seem like the ultimate luxury. However, even if a luxurious butler’s pantry is a reach too far, it might be possible to carve additional storage from floor space as compact as 3×5 feet. A space-saving bi-fold door will keep it hidden from view, but you’ll gain 15 square feet of floor space for customized shelving for food storage, large cooking pots, party supplies, table linens, and perhaps even cookbooks and a planning desk.

Think about your options, and work with your design-build contractor to make the most of the “found space.”

 

 

 

Discuss Your Ideas with a Professional

In the Lafayette area, Riverside Construction is your trusted resource for advice on all things remodeling. An award-winning design-build firm with a team that excels at listening to client ideas and then translating those dreams into reality, Riverside stands ready to help you redesign your kitchen.

If you’re still gathering information and thinking about possibilities, we understand. Why not add your name to our mailing list? We’ll share design ideas and remodeling tips with you via a monthly e-newsletter. Browse through our portfolio of completed projects to get your creative juices flowing.

When you’re ready to move forward, we invite you to contact us to schedule an initial no-fee conversation.

Check out these other blog articles you may like:

A Lesson In Kitchen Cabinetry Design
Kitchen Remodels: 3 Budgets, 3 Kitchens

A Lesson in Kitchen Cabinetry Design

Everything You Need to Know About Designing Your Kitchen to Fit Your Needs and Lifestyle.

An integral part of any kitchen remodel is the cabinetry—from the initial layout to materials, finishes and colors. And, how you put these elements together will define a space that not only fits your functional lifestyle needs, but also expresses your unique, personal design style.

Put function first

When planning your cabinets, first consider their placement. Will you choose a more traditional layout, or follow the more popular open floor plan concept? Will you design your cabinets above and below the kitchen counter to create a divide between your living room or dining room; or will you include cabinetry in a center island to create a more modern, open floor plan? No matter which layout you choose, make sure it is functional (the classic triangle layout of sink/stove/refrigerator is preferred). Your choice in cabinets will make a big impact on your home—from aesthetics to flow and function.

Consider the materials and colors you will use

Choose from a variety of popular wood options straight from nature, including Maple, Cherry, Hickory, and Oak.

Some alternative options include manufactured products like Thermofoil (vinyl wrapped door) and laminate, which is made up of three resin-saturated layers: a base layer of paper, a printed and colored layer (which can look like wood), and a protective transparent layer.

The color of your cabinets is limited only by your imagination. An endless variety of paints, stains and glazes are available to suit every taste.

Next, consider Cabinet Doors

Door style is an important component of kitchen cabinet design and commonly defines the style of your kitchen, whether traditional or modern.

Traditional cabinets are commonly framed in their construction, which means horizontal and vertical wood panels form a frame at the front of the cabinet box. Framed cabinets attach door hinges to the frame face and shelves are usually, but not always, adjustable.  The frame extends beyond the width of the box and covers a small portion of the inside of the box interior.  A variety of door styles are available with framed cabinets and are an ideal choice for kitchens where saving space is not as much of a concern. This type of cabinet is a popular choice for traditional and transitional design style kitchens.

A Riverside Project

Modern cabinets have a more streamlined design featuring straight, clean lines without much ornamentation. They are also commonly frameless, which means they are constructed without a face frame and have minimal space between the doors and drawers—maximizing interior storage and drawer space.  In fact, frameless cabinets can give you up to 15% more usable space within the same footprint. The flush-finished end gives frameless cabinets a furniture-like appearance and is often used with contemporary and modern style kitchens.

Courtesy of Wellborn Cabinets

Choose a Cabinet Door Style

Whether your design style is craftsman, contemporary, rustic, Mediterranean or modern you’ll find a cabinet door design to meet your needs.  The following is a list of some of the more popular cabinet door styles. What style feels right for you?

Shaker – The Shaker cabinet is the most common style in kitchens today.  It consists of a frame made from four pieces and a single flat center panel for the fifth piece.  Its clean simple lines go well with a variety of décor.

Flat/Slab – Simple but stylish, the flat-panel cabinet door is void of fancy embellishments. With straight lines and simple form, it’s the perfect choice for contemporary and modern decor.

Beadboard – Beadboard was used in the past as an embellishing wall treatment before plaster, drywall and paint became common.  The center panel of the cabinet doors in this style are made to look like traditional beadboard paneling, this style is perfect for cottage and shabby chic interiors.

Open – Open cabinets are a popular trend with a casual style that essentially removes the cabinet doors and exposes the shelves and supplies inside.  Perfect for those who want to display their prized kitchen possessions and beautiful dishware, but probably not the best choice if you tend to have a cluttered kitchen!

Raised Panel – With this cabinet style, the center panel is raised above the rest of the door or drawer and there is usually a recessed border around it.  Raised panel cabinets are often more detailed and intricate and tend to work well with traditional, transitional, country and rustic style kitchens.

Recessed Panel – Unlike raised panel cabinets, recessed panel cabinets have a flat center panel with a raised border around it, which gives off a sleeker appearance. The lack of embellishments for this style lends itself to a modern or contemporary style but can also blend well with transitional and even traditional styles.

 

Consider Unique Cabinet Drawer Features

In most kitchens, alongside cabinet doors you’ll find a standard bank of drawers for holding utensils, cookware and other items.  Cabinet manufacturers have been busy coming up with more creative drawer features to ensure your kitchen is functional and clutter free – here are just of few examples:

Corner Drawers for Maximizing Space

Cutlery Drawer

Cutting Board Drawer

Deep Drawer Divider

Drawer for Fresh Bread

Spice Rack Drawer

Charging Station Drawer

Drawers aren’t the only area getting added features, below are even more examples of ways to ensure your cabinets work their hardest for you:

Towel Rack Cabinet

Stem Glass Holder

Pet Station (courtesy of Carla Aston)

Blind Corner Functional Shelf

 

Lazy Susan

Pantry Pull Out

Tray Divider

Vegetable Bin

Waste & Recycle Bins

 

With an endless choice of color, material options and style options to choose from, take some time to research some of your options. And remember we are here to help when you’re ready to start designing the kitchen you’ve been dreaming about.  The sooner you can narrow your selections and define a plan that fits your budget, the sooner you can be begin cooking and entertaining in your new space.

Ready to design your new kitchen cabinets? Take the first step by scheduling a conversation with one of our professional designers. Or call today at (765) 838-1644.

Looking to renovate your kitchen, but need some more inspiration? Explore these kitchen cabinet design ideas from Riverside Construction before starting on your kitchen remodel.

We also schedule complimentary kitchen remodeling seminars regularly each month. Let us know your interest in attending by signing up today.

How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets

Many home remodelers and kitchen designers will suggest that the first thing to do when planning a kitchen remodel is to pick the cabinets for your kitchen.  There are a couple of great reasons for this.  Read more