In certain areas of the house, who doesn’t want more storage? As you get ready to remodel your kitchen, plan for maximum storage, limited only by your budget and your square footage. Take a look at these options.
With your designer, mentally (or physically) place yourself in each working area of your kitchen and imagine what tools you would want close at hand. This will help you decide your storage needs for each area. Especially if you don’t have unlimited space, determine which items don’t absolutely have to be in the kitchen, and plan for their storage elsewhere, such as in a walk-in pantry or in cabinets near the kitchen. This could include a wine fridge, appliances such as fryers or noodle makers that you don’t use every day, and longer-term food and paper-product storage.
Commandeer the Space
Is there a little-used room adjacent to your kitchen that you could commandeer? Think about knocking down the wall to give your open-plan kitchen some elbow room. Or convert the room into a pantry or butler’s pantry.
Roomy or Creative
If you have the acreage for it, building a walk-in pantry for your remodeled kitchen has its advantages—most notably, sheer space. Even so, you should devise storage strategies to get the most out of that room. On the other hand, if you want your supplies close at hand, or if you don’t have the space for a separate pantry, there are endless cabinetry products and pantry-like cabinets that help you store your supplies and tools in creative ways. Keep in mind that these products aren’t cheap.
These have been around for a while, but cooks still love them because they make better use of the space in lower cabinets. Rather than having to get down on hands and knees to reach pots and pans down there, you can pull out a deep drawer and see everything stored in it. These drawers come with many further features to make the storage even easier, such as dividers to keep items separate and pegs between which you can stack different sized plates and bowls.
The Ceiling’s the Limit
Many designers are taking cabinets all the way to the ceiling to make use of that vertical space. Obviously, you would put only infrequently used items in the highest sections, although some kitchens even have library-type ladders to help the cook reach the upper-uppers. Another trend going around is the elimination of upper cabinets, or the use of open shelving, to give a kitchen a more open feel. You can have both ceiling-height cabinets and open space by designating one or two walls for a bank of tall cabinets and reserving other walls for open space or open shelves.
Stashing the Little Guys
How many small appliances do you want to permanently leave out on your kitchen counters? Think about the toaster, mixer, blender, dough maker, waffle maker, coffee maker. Probably not many, if you want a clean look in your kitchen—or countertops that are easy to clean. A few ideas for stashing those tools: the appliance garage in the corner, below the upper cabinets; a cabinet built just for the purpose of holding several of those appliances, set a bit away from the main work flow in the kitchen; a pull-out shelf for the mixer, concealable behind a garage-hinged door; a dedicated little cabinet space for the coffeemaker and its supplies, away from where the serious kitchen work is done, so that someone who wants another cup won’t get in the way of the cook.
- Building an island or peninsula into your plan increases your storage space.
- Research the tricky pull-out and tilt-out drawers and shelves that can hold spice racks, knife racks, and trash and recycling receptacles. There are toe-kick drawers—opened with your foot—that can hold linens, a stepstool, wine bottles, or even dog dishes.
- Under-sink cabinets are easier to access if you build in storage drawers there.
- You can tuck away your microwave in an open space below the countertop, with or without a door, or you can stash it in your walk-in pantry.
- Put risers inside cabinets to make use of vertical space.
- Don’t forget the inside of cabinet drawers for built-in racks to hold pan lids, spice bottles, and measuring spoons.