Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Storage Solutions in Larger Kitchens

Today lets talk about some very convenient storage solutions for your larger kitchen.

Spacious Kitchens are a  wonderful luxury. They make us feel pampered, blessed, and excited about all the people who can easily gather in the heart of our home! So are there any negatives?
Well, the answer is yes. Maybe the sink counter area or cooking prep area is way across the room from the Professional sized Sub Zero Refrigerator. ( or other high end brand ). It is time to make sandwiches or dice veggies for dinner. There is a creative solution.

Remember the pots and pans drawers we explored a few weeks ago? I bet you may not know there are refrigerator drawers that can be installed in your island next to a prep sink. Storing your vegetables in one of these drawers is perfect. They are massive compared to the normal crisper drawer. Produce remains fresher because it is not subjected to continual changes in temperature caused by the opening of the main refrigerator doors. You can select drawers to stack vertically or horizontally. How about one for the produce and the second dedicated to sandwich ingredients?

Right next to these drawers is the perfect place for a couple of other handy practical cabinets. A pull out 15 to 24 inch wide Double Trash Container Cabinet makes life easier.  We talked about pull out 3 to 6 " filler width units perfect to hold spices, vinegar, or oils to store, last week. If more space is needed for the same items, they are also available in 9 to 18 inch pullout cabinets. The larger ones are food items needed on a daily basis.  

In the baking area near your ovens, tray cabinets are perfect! These cabinets come slotted to protect your serving platters or trays from banging into one another. They are also great to hold cookie sheets etc. Again, you may only have room or need for a 6 to 9 inch wide tray cabinet. However if you have multiple platters or baking trays you can utilize 12 to 24 inch, or wider to secure whatever space you need. Pulling out  a single platter or tray is so much better than trying to access one stacked inside a cabinet. Doesn't it always seem like the one you want is on the bottom of that stack?

It is very convenient in a large kitchen to have a wall of tall cabinets for food storage that may supplement a walk in pantry. Or you may add that wall of tall cabinets "in" the pantry area. Cabinets with roll out shelves are perfect for pantry food storage. Plus once again the "Pull Out " or " Sliding Pantry" Cabinet option is available in Tall Cabinets as well. These cabinets pull straight  out and everything on the shelves is seen and accessible quickly from both sides. The inner hardware used guarantee pulling out the entire door attached to the shelving happens smoothly. Surprisingly so!

Last but certainly not least is interior dividers you can add to all the drawers in your kitchen. The configurations can be custom designed creating a place for every item. Then "every item in its place" is a snap.

We have lots of drawings and pictures with all the details if you are excited about the MOST organized functional kitchen you have ever dreamt of! We are here to listen to your specific and personal needs and wish list!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Open Counter Tops with Plenty of Space

What exactly is an Appliance Garage Cabinet?

It is a cabinet that extends down to your counter top. It is typically 18, 24, 27, even 30 inches wide if you have enough wall space. The average is 24 inches wide and 15 to 18" deep. Your mixer, toaster, blender, food processor, etc "park " in this great space when not in use. There can be roll up doors or two full overlay doors to close all of these tools away and out of view!

If your kitchen is large enough to include one of these, you will love the convenience of tucking all of the small appliances cluttering your current counter top. Oh, I would love one of these!

There are other "to the counter" cabinets that add design as well as function to both your kitchen and bath project. They may be a taller cabinet with one to three drawers resting on the counter. The cabinet above the drawers is a perfect application for a focal point in the room. It makes a great statement with a glass door. Then it is perfect as a display cabinet with a finished interior. Most people do not need the old fashioned China Cabinet in the Dining Room our mothers treasured. In fact displaying a full set of china dinnerware and matching serving dishes is rarely seen these days.
However, a 18, 24, or 27" to the counter cabinet is perfect to store those "special place settings " used occasionally. The drawers below can be accessorized with special dividers perfect for fine silver cutlery. Another possible space , though not as easily accessed for your Holiday finery is 12 to 15 " high cabinets stacked on top of the 30" to 36" wall cabinets you select. Yes, you will need a step stool to access the dishes. However if you like the drama of lighted cabinets , these are a good source of light for function as well as drama.  

What about the microwave? Maybe you prefer a separate unit rather than the Microwave Hood mounted over your cook top. If you want to get it off the counter top too, a Drawer Microwave tucks in with your base cabinets. They have soft close technology, just like the drawers to your cabinets. They are very easily accessed and perfect for use by kids.

Other cabinets that are very practical and also add a pop of design as an accessory are great places to tuck away cooking utensils, spices, medications, oils and even some smaller cleaning supplies. Often 3 to 6 inch fillers are necessary to help your base or wall cabinet runs fit mathematically. You can use just a filler. If you select that the space behind it has no function. You may want to have your designer add pull out fillers to creatively store items that will make the function in your space complete.

These hidden away jewels are also available as special decorative accessories. Called Pull Out Fillers or Posts they really make your kitchen "pop". Another 6" selection are spice drawers> I love these! If your taste is traditional , country, or rustic these very functional cubical looking drawers are wonderful. I love to place them next to a sink base to hold dish towels, supplements, or medications.
If next to a stove, they are perfect for cooking spatulas, spoons, knives, and whisks. Small items like Baking soda, baking powder, spices that get hidden behind larger food items fit in these drawers perfectly.

The pull outs are also available with two shelves. Next to the cooking center, stove are of your kitchen, they hold oils, spices, and  cooking utensils tucked into special buckets that fit in holes drilled into the top shelf. Other practical storage ideas are tray cabinets close to the oven/ baking area of your kitchen. You will probably find a minimum of  a 9 to 12 " cabinet is best to hold trays and baking sheets.

Are you salivating dreaming about all the wonderful ways of adding both beauty and functionality? We love to help you discover what works best for your life style. Come brainstorm with us.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dedicated Cabinets and Accessories

Remember the pots and pans drawer we talked about last week? In my opinion, as a designer for twenty plus years, Pots and Pan Drawers may have impacted changing the functionality of kitchen's! I know there have been many innovations. However, this type of cabinet has simplified life for countless homeowners.   Here is why I love them.

Historically pots and pans were tucked into those blind corner cabinets. Usually these dysfunctional
cabinets were the largest, yet most impractical use of space. They were typically placed next to the stove and extended around the corner to the sink.  Then this scenario happened everywhere, " Where is that pan?  I know I put it in here! " As an adult, you needed to get one of your young kids to crawl in looking for whatever was lost inside. Or, you had to be a contortionist with a flashlight to find the pot or pan needed!.

There are internal accessories called "swing-out shelves" now that make the blind corner cabinet a little more functional. However, in my opinion, a corner cabinet with a full base and an upper half shelf or a corner Lazy Susan cabinet is superior. Both can be utilized for food. The second option is perfect to store pots and pans. However, my vote for the best goes to the Pots and Pans drawers! They are either two deep drawers or a three drawer model with a top shallow drawer and two deep drawers below. The top drawer is a wonderful place to  store cooking utensils, hot pads, & cutting boards. Interior accessories are available to divide the width and depth of this spacious drawer. That creates defined categories to hold everything you need in one convenient drawer!

The typical base cabinet with stationary shelves works fine. Or you can add roll out shelves to the interior of the base cabinet. However, to access what you need requires opening the cabinet doors and pulling the shelves out. Why not reduce the effort to one movement, just opening the drawer

The bottom drawers are deep enough to store big deep pasta pots, every size pot or pan you need, and heavy skillets. It is surprising how much weight these drawers manage and still operate with soft close features. The construction on glides is strong and purposely designed for weighty items.
There are two other options as well. These drawers are strong enough to hold dinnerware if you choose. There are plate holder accessories designed to stack all your dishes too. Storing your dinnerware in the base cabinets allows the wall cabinets to be available for more creative use. Glass doors with lit finished interiors are beautiful focal points as well as functional. Would you like to display favorite family heirlooms or special trays, glassware or specialty dishes?  Storing breakfast foods close to your refrigerator for convenience is great when there are some wall cabinets free from storing your everyday dinnerware.

Clean open expanses of your counter top makes your kitchen look bigger, cleaner, and more inviting!
Small appliances, docked charging stations, dish drainers, and other various kitchen necessities can dramatically minimize counter space needed to prepare and cook. I find a clean clear counter relaxes me when I enter my kitchen. I happen to have a smaller kitchen. One of the inconveniences of that is needing to combine "charging areas" for our electronics with either the cooking  or cleaning centers of my counter top. Ugh!

One of the newer innovations addressing this issue, is another favorite. It is called a Docking Drawer. This great functional cabinet drawer will eliminate unsightly clutter. How many devices end up being charged on your kitchen counter now? Probably a few, correct? Docking Drawers  are a popular addition to our remodeling projects. They completely eliminate the headache of electronic clutter and endless tangled cords! This practical choice takes all your devices, tucks them neatly into a tidy drawer. Your counter space can be completely free for food prep  and cooking.

Having a place to "park " mixers, blenders, food processors frees up counter space as well.
It can also become a unique and beautiful focal point in your kitchen. Next week we will discuss these efficient cabinets and other specialty selections that make your kitchen truly organized!