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Tips for Creating a Well-Designed Kitchen Space

Posted on Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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Thinking of redoing your kitchen cabinets? While one might be wholeheartedly concentrating on durability and aesthetics to include door color and style, and drawer knobs and pulls, there is something significant that should not be overlooked. That important thing is function. Nowadays we have more  kitchen gadgets than generations before. We own coffee and espresso makers, toaster and toaster ovens, air fryers, indoor grills, food processors, bread machines, mixers, blenders, slicers, and more. Get the picture? What’s the overlapping theme? Having all these modern-day appliances usurps valuable space. While it’s possible to eliminate infrequently used gadgets, often we keep them “just-in-case we need them.” So now, more than ever before, having functional storage is key to having an organized and efficient kitchen space that works well. This could mean extending cabinets floor to ceiling and installing kitchen islands to maximize storage space. Over the years, ingenious designs have come a long way. Here are some newer custom options worth consideration:  

  • A designated appliance area –The purpose of this space is to hideaway large appliances while keeping them ready-to-use at countertop level. Here, frequently used appliances such as coffee makers and toasters are cleverly hidden behind a pull-down cabinet door to create a seamless design. Outlets are often installed within that space so that one does not have to lug appliances around to use them. A win-win in kitchen design.
  • A specified knife and utensil storage area – New sleek kitchen designs seek to eliminate surface clutter. Thus, things like countertop knife blocks and cutlery caddies are becoming a thing of the past. Instead, narrow pull-out drawers located near the stovetop put needed utensils at your fingertips. Not only are utensils handy for chopping vegetables or stirring soup on the stove, but they are organized. As a bonus, they can be customized and placed near a built-in butcher block cutting board area to create an ideal workstation. Or knives can be inserted directly into a thick marble countertop customized for home chefs.
  • Useful spice and cooking oil storage areas  – Today’s cooks enjoy using a variety of spices and cooking oils. Experts know this and have come up with clever ways to neatly store these frequently used supplies. Spices can be alphabetized and neatly stored vertically as in a pull-out drawer, or horizontally as in a drawer spice rack, as examples based on preference. Expandable storage options are practical and allow users to customize their kitchen space. Oils can be stored upright in custom pull-out drawers or can be placed on a built-in lazy Susan for easy access.
  • Pots and pans storage – Cookware is a big investment, so you’ll not want to worry about scratches. Stacked pots and pans make them hard to access, especially when you need the one on the bottom of the pile. For this reason, you’ll want to avoid stacking them unless designed for such purpose. There are many options to keep pots and pans at easy reach. Deep drawers where pots and pans can be horizontally laid, layered shelving, or specialized peg boards for hanging frequently used cookware are great alternatives to stacking them. Newer storage options also include lid storage so that they may be arranged according to size for ease of use.
  • Open or closed shelving to display favorite items – Open shelf storage for cookbooks puts them in the room where you use them most and makes them easily accessible. Specialty collections, such as teapots or designer dishes, can be on display via open shelving or behind glass doors with built-in spotlight. Tiered carousel shelving is great for large items that can be stowed away in corner spaces.
  • Clever tray storage – Kitchen chefs tend to accumulate a lot of cooking and baking sheets, muffin tins, pizza pans, excess cutting boards and more. Designating a cabinet with dividers for vertical storage is a wise idea. Generally, it’s a good idea to store them above a wall oven for convenience. It makes what you have easy to see, use, and neatly store.
  • Wine fridge and other special additions – A custom kitchen should include appliances and features that are useful and make your space special. For people who cook and entertain large groups and have the square footage, two ovens or dishwashers may be considerations. A wine fridge is a popular kitchen item that provides space to store and cool wine. It is often integrated into a countertop or kitchen island. Having one frees up food storage space in the refrigerator.
  • A pet station –  This feature involves pull-down or swivel open pet stations that provide a place to store and/or serve dog food and water for pets. Often, pet stations are built into kitchen islands. Simply close and hide food away when not in use.
  • Trash and Recycling area – In the kitchen, there is always plenty of waste and recycling. Many people opt to keep trash out of site by incorporating bins under the sink or in the pantry for waste and recycling. Many slide out for use and easy cleaning and have covers to contain odors.

Above are some smart ideas to consider when customizing a kitchen space. The average kitchen remodel costs roughly between $14,000 on the extreme low-end to $40,000 and upward. These price differentials occur based on square footage, general contractor and labor costs, cabinets and countertop materials, and other factors specific to a kitchen remodel. Since it’s pricey to remodel and customize a kitchen, a great option is to retrofit older spaces using store-bought and easy to assemble organizing products that serve similar purposes. For example, one may simply mount a lid rack inside an existing cabinet, add an installation-free expandable tiered spice rack to a cabinet, or repurpose a sturdy file folder divider to separate and store cookie sheets; low cost options that can add function and value to a kitchen.

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