Kitchen Storage Tips

December 31, 2012

Tips

Tips

Often the reason for remodeling a kitchen is to gain more storage space.  It’s not always possible to increase the square footage of the kitchen, so you are working with the same floor space and same wall space.  When you select your cabinets, consider adding these cabinet accessories:

  1. Image borrowed from Artisan SpecialtiesInternal lazy susans: These spinning conveniences come in a variety of shapes, like the classic circular design, kidney-shaped and half-moon.  (See the picture to the right.)They take advantage of space in the back of corner cabinets that is often blocked off.
  2.  Image borrowed from myhomecreation.comSlide-out shelves: Deep cabinets are great if you can see and reach all the way back, but at less ideal angles, your kitchen supplies may never see the light of day again. Installing shelves that slide out eliminates this issue by bringing the far-back section of the shelf to you — think of it like a shallow drawer built in to the cabinet.
  3. Image Borrowed from Gala Dining RoomSwivel-out shelves: Like the love child of a lazy susan and a slide-out shelf, swivel-out shelves work great for maximizing cabinets built into awkward corners. (See the picture to the right)  In many ways, this is even better than the internal lazy susan, since it brings the shelves out where you can see everything on them.
  4. Image borrowed from woodweb.comPull-out cabinets: Like big drawers made of stacked shelves, pull-out cabinets give you the storage of a deep cabinet with more accessibility than a pantry.
  5. Image borrowed from beeboats.comPartitioned drawers: Tall, deep drawers are rarely fully utilized. They’re either left half empty or you never see the stuff at the bottom. Adding in partitions or built-in dish racks let’s you pack ’em full and find everything inside.
  6. Cabinets with drawers: More serious — and more versatile — than just slide-out shelves, drawers built into cabinets let you take advantage of extra space in a big cabinet or store important pieces next to their larger counterparts (like a drawer of lids built into a cabinet full of plastic containers).
  7. Image borrowed from thisoldhouse.comCabinet door extras: Deep cabinets with room to spare in the front are a great place for built-in bins and hooks on the inside of cabinet doors.
  8. Image borrowed from Amazon.comHidden appliances: If you’ve got some extra cabinet space, consider remodeling cabinets to hide certain appliances. From trash compactors (see picture at the right) to wine coolers, dish washers to refrigerators, there are plenty of appliances that can be made to blend right in with the rest of your cabinets. A countertop-level cabinet with an outlet in the back can keep blenders, food processors and coffee makers plugged in, accessible and out of plain sight.

If you want to get REALLY creative or have already maxed out everything you can do with common features, consider these ideas:

  1. Image borrowed from Schuler Cabinetry websiteBuild corner drawers.  Right now, you likely have dead space where cabinets meet at 90-degree angles. Your existing cabinets can be modified to make use of deep, dead-corner spaces by building custom angled drawers.  This will require a skilled finish carpenter, but in a tight space, the expense can be worth it.
  2. Create custom drawers or shelves.  While the lazy susan is an improvement over leaving inaccessible dead space, it still creates unusable voids.  (The opposite problem to putting a square peg in a round hole.)  Replace your inefficient lazy susan storage with custom drawers or roll-out shelves that are specially designed to hold spices, pots and pans, and other frequently used wares that don’t fit neatly into standard spaces.
  3. image borrowed from uneedhardware.comAdd a pull out pantry.  Custom cabinet makers can build specialty lengthwise drawers to fit in a space as narrow as five inches, as tall as 80 inches or more, and fit the depth of your cabinets.  Although narrow, such pullouts can accommodate regular pantry fare, such as cereal boxes and soup cans.
  4. Grab wall space.  Make use of the shallow space between wall studs for shelves perfectly sized for spices, olive oils, and vinegars. If you’re an avid cook, you’ll love having these essentials at your fingertips, easy to see and reach.  Remember though, in a remodel project you may find surprises in those wall cavities.  There may be wiring, plumbing vents, HVAC runs or other infrastructure hidden in the wall.  It is best to make an unobtrusive exploratory hole to see what you’re getting into before getting out the sledge hammer and bashing holes.  Also remember that if this is an exterior wall, it should be insulated.  Not only will you lose insulation value by removing it, but you could create a drafty cold spot.
  5. Image borrowed from seedsandfruit.comHide it in the floor!  Though an uncommon solution, in a truly cramped kitchen storage can be gained by adding a trap door in the floor to access the space between the floor joist for storage.  Obviously not for your everyday items, this storage idea can gain a space approximately 10″ deep by 14″ wide by whatever length you choose.  This isn’t something that you can do with a ceramic tile floor, but some other flooring finishes are conducive.  As with the stud space storage discussed above, it is important to remember that there may be infrastructure currently using that space for which accommodations will be necessary.

These tips are based on information from ImprovementCenter.com, though many of these ideas have been implemented by Easterday Construction in past projects.

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