One secret to designing a great kitchen is to consider storage needs, desires and wants in the planning phase. When we work with clients, we determine how often they cook, entertain and hold family gatherings. A great kitchen must not only look out of this world, it also needs to incorporate the best functionality that meets our clients’ needs.
The first steps in maximizing storage are to access and purge what already exists. We will ask our clients to inventory all of their kitchen tools, gadgets, and countertop appliances and to estimate frequency of use. We designate the items that are only used once in a while or even as little as once a year (the large roasting pan for Thanksgiving turkey) to upper cabinets or to other spaces in the home to help ensure prime space for the utensils and equipment that is most frequently used.
By identifying the equipment and utensils that will be used most often, we can prepare a design that specifies the space they will need and make your kitchen function so much more effectively than to simply specify standard sized drawer widths and depths. We often specify a combination of drawer cabinets and shelf cabinets to meet individual preferences. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive. A drawer at the top of the cabinet combined with shelving underneath allows for storage of smaller, frequently used items in the more reachable drawer, while the shelf storage accommodates larger and less frequently used items, such as food processors and stand mixers. Not only does this approach save time, it also is easier on your back.
Many of our clients first think of storing their kitchen utensils in a horizontal position. Sometimes, we will specify vertical storage compartments for whisks, spatulas, slotted spoons, etc. that are easily visible and retrieved. A vertical storage cabinet can often make use of small spaces that might otherwise go unused, such as spaces next to a range or kitchen sink. Vertical storage is also appropriate for cutlery. We will divide a drawer into small deep individual compartments for knives, forks, teaspoons, soupspoons and salad forks.
We often maximize the space in a deep drawer by creating drawers within drawers. A top layer may be used for cutlery, below it is a second drawer for dishes and below that a drawer for pots and pans. These drawers within drawers slide individually with the top-drawer housing items used most often.
When we specify trays for drawers to hold cutlery and kitchen gadgets our goal is to size the tray to match the drawer so there is little to no movement. We can custom design trays to exacting specifications that account for the actual dimensions of your kitchen equipment.
We’ve designed kitchens to feature utensils as part of an open shelving system, housing them in jars or open vessels, which is an ideal venue for items used most often. Hanging rails are another option for storing and displaying utensils that not only make an aesthetic statement but also keep items used most often easily accessible.
Storage and organizational tools are not an after thought but an integral component of designing a beautiful, statement-making and thoroughly functional kitchen. To discuss how you can better organize your kitchen and make it a nicer place to make meals for family and friends, give us a call at (610) 262-7235 or visit us on line at www.directkitchen.com.