How to Store Kitchen Tools and Flatware

They say the key to organization is a place for everything and everything in its place. This is true for even the smallest items, such as your kitchen utensils. These include your everyday flatware as well as the many small but mighty cooking tools a serious chef requires. Here are some of my favorite options on how to store your kitchen tools in any space and on any budget.

Step One: Eliminating

Before you can organize any part of your home properly, you need to do some culling, and this is especially true in the kitchen. Drawers can quickly become filled with unused tools and gadgets, so take a hard look at the items you own and find as many as possible to give away or box up.

 

how to store kitchen tools

NEAT Method Santa Barbara

You may never get your collection of utensils down to the perfectly minimal arrangements shown in these photos, but the more items you can eliminate, the easier it will be to store and find the truly useful ones. Never use the little dessert spoons that came with your cutlery set?  Only used that special spatula (designed to perfectly flip a single egg) the one time? Stash these items away in less reachable spaces such as upper cabinets to free up more prime cabinet real estate.

How to store kitchen toolss

Joselyn Rendon Interiors

If Renovating, Make a Plan for Success

If you’re renovating or building a kitchen, you shouldn’t put off the organizational considerations until all the construction is complete. Thinking in advance about how to hold your collection of tools will produce a much better result. Planning to include a few drawers specifically sized for utensils will save a lot of potentially wasted space.

Typical cutlery trays aren’t very wide. Your basic eating utensils get used every day, but they don’t need that much space. A drawer just 10 to 12 inches wide will provide the right amount of space for those items without the need to have them share space with whisks and ladles.

How to store kitchen tools

Dura Supreme Cabinetry

Give Depth Some (Deep) Thought

Besides considering the width of the drawers, don’t forget to think about the depth. Drawers are often 6 to 8 inches deep (on the exterior face) by default simply because the cabinet has been split evenly into three to four drawers. However, a 4- to 5-inch-deep drawer (again, on the face, which translates to just a few inches inside) is all you need to store well-organized utensils. Using more and shallower drawers keeps items from getting piled on top of each other and lost in the mix.

Ideally, you should look at the collection of utensils you have (or plan to have) and map out exactly how much space they will need. This takes some extra effort upfront, but you will end up with a much better allocation of space than by simply choosing drawers in an arbitrary width. You can try laying out your utensils on a dining table to get a visual picture (and some measurements) of how much space they ideally would get.

How to store kitchen tools

Reiter Architecture & Design

Mix Drawers and Doors

Often people think of drawer cabinets and basic shelf cabinets as being two separate things, but they definitely can be mixed to meet your needs more efficiently.

Cabinets with a drawer at the top and doors and shelves below allow smaller, often-used items to be placed at a more reachable height, with the shelf storage left for more occasional items and oversized pieces. If you use lots of small chef’s tools when you cook, consider including many utensil drawers at the top level. It will save you a lot of bending down over time.

How to store kitchen tools
MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

Consider Going Vertical

Want to tidy up your cutlery drawer without having to assign each piece an individual place? Try a drawer with vertical cutlery bins that let you simply drop in pieces with long handles (such as spatulas and slotted spoons) and pull them out easily. You’ll be able to see each piece, and you won’t have to remember exactly where you got it later.

 

How to store kitchen tools

eric gedney | ARCHITECT

This style of cabinet can make great use of skinny spaces left over in your cabinet plans, such as the small spaces next to a range or sink.

You can store flatware vertically too. Cleverly retrofit a deeper drawer into a cutlery drawer by dividing it into small, deep compartments like this. Just be sure you don’t store sharp items this way, or you may dull the blades (and risk accidents as well).

How to store kitchen tools

Jim Martin Design

Create Layers

Another way to make the best use of deep drawers is to break them up internally into layers. You can either use a built-in drawer divider system or find a layered drop-in unit.

A tiered organizer can create compartments smaller than an individual drawer to gain maximum space efficiency. Just keep in mind that the upper layer will partially cover the lower layer (or will need to be slid individually), so you should put the most-used items on the most reachable tier.

Retrofitting: What Are the Options?

Of course, many of the images in this article use beautiful, built-in, custom-fitted trays, and those may not always be an option, especially when working with existing cabinetry. However, there are many alternatives available.

 

How to store kitchen tools

Renovisions

Single Trays

A classic single cutlery tray is sometimes all you need, but keep in mind that these trays are not truly one-size-fits-all. Finding one that comes close to filling your drawer width will provide more structure versus a small tray that shifts around with use. Measure the interior of your drawer and look for a tray that fills it. Online shops will usually have more size options than a small local kitchen supply store.

Configurable Trays

A step above the prefabricated single trays is a divider system made up of single compartments that can be mixed and matched like Tetris pieces to create spaces for all your items. If you can’t perfectly fill the full width, use the open space for a sturdy item such as a rolling pin or box of foil that will keep the other pieces from shifting.

Susan Brook Interiors

Resizable Dividers

Another step closer to a custom built-in is a resizable divider system like this one that lets you snap together pieces to create any size compartments you like. An advantage of this sort of system is that you can change the configuration later to fit a different mix of items, or even fit a new drawer if you move or renovate.

Open Storage Vessels

For those who don’t mind having some of their utensils on display, simple open vessels or jars make a great place to hold your often-used items.

This can look especially great in a kitchen that makes use of open shelving already, with the utensil jars becoming part of the overall chef’s kitchen appeal.

Hanging Rails

Another form of open storage is a rail that can be used to either hang utensils and tools directly (via a curved handle or a hook) or hang containers and holders to keep your utensils within easy reach but off the counter.

A wall-mounted system can be great for stealing a little storage space behind the range or elsewhere on the backsplash, which can be a lifesaver in a compact kitchen where every inch of storage space counts.

Pegboards

Like a rail, a pegboard can give you lots of flexible storage space on the wall. Whether this look is charmingly relaxed or too busy is a matter of personal taste, but if you like this aesthetic, it offers lots of practical options for arranging and rearranging your tools.

The full article by Toronto Interior Design Group can be found here. Houzz contributor. 

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For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

Find more informative blogs and articles on HOUZZ and on our website www.trilitebuilders.com.

 

Pros Share 6 Must-Have Kitchen Design Features

Design and remodeling pros recommend focusing on these must-have kitchen design features to create a functional and stylish kitchen

Countless decisions go into designing a beautiful and functional kitchen — so many that it’s hard to know what to focus on. We asked several design and remodeling professionals what they consider the must-have kitchen design features, and the following elements came up again and again. Give these areas adequate attention when planning a kitchen and you’re almost guaranteed to end up with a space that makes you happy.

must-have kitchen design features

Stonington Cabinetry and Designs

1. The Right Storage

Your kitchen cabinets make up the bulk of what you see in your kitchen, so your choice of cabinet color and style is a major, consequential decision. But the components inside your cabinets are equally important, if not more.

Your storage solutions determine how functional your kitchen is. When you’re at the peak of cooking a large meal, you care less about the look of your cabinets and more about the ease of grabbing the right tools, spices, pots, and other supplies.

A kitchen designer will often take an inventory of all the utensils, dishes, small appliances, and pantry items in your kitchen to figure out the right storage components for you. Pullouts, rollouts, and swing-outs will efficiently organize your stuff and make things easier to find and grab.

“When budget allows, we always, always recommend drawers or pullout shelves on the lower cabinet level,” designer Lisa Janzen of KC Interior Design says. “There is nothing worse than having to get on your hands and knees to see what is shoved to the back on your bottom shelves. Drawers make it so much easier to access and more efficient use of space.”

The New York kitchen shown here by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs is a good example of how hard your kitchen cabinets can work for you.

must-have kitchen design features

Yancy Interiors + Home, LLC

“I always recommend custom cabinetry with pullouts, built-in cutting boards, etc. to keep the jumble of everyday life to a minimum,” designer Yancy Dearinger Bonner of Yancy Interiors + Home says. She included a pullout cutting board next to the range in the kitchen shown here.

must-have kitchen design features

Innovative Construction, Inc.

must-have kitchen design features

BSW Design

2.  Hardworking Sink

Designers often recommend giving extra consideration to elements that you interact with the most. In a kitchen, that can be a lot of things, but the kitchen sink is one area that always sees a lot of action. So it makes sense to put a little more effort into designing the sink area and choosing components. These days, many sink manufacturers offer designs called workstations, which feature add-ons such as cutting boards, strainers, and prep bowls. “I always recommend a sink with gadgets,” designer Brittany Steptoe-Wright of BSW Design says. “For example, the sink in this project [shown here] is a single, large under-mount sink, but it has a colander, cutting board, and drying rack that sit inside on a small lip and provide so much function. It’s a game changer.”

must-have kitchen design features

Kitchen Design Gallery

The Galley Workstation shown here is a popular hardworking sink that includes several inserts for prepping and cleaning.

must-have kitchen design features

KE Interior Solutions

3.  Layered Lighting

Different tasks in a kitchen call for different kinds of lighting. Cooking at the stove, chopping vegetables, washing dishes, chatting with friends, doing homework, displaying collectibles — these all require a specific light source. “I recommend layers of lighting and multiple fixtures to cover every area,” designer Debbie Turner of Debbie Cahill Turner Design says. This might include recessed ceiling lights for ambient light, spotlights to illuminate important work areas like the sink and range, pendant lights to light an island or peninsula, and windows to let in natural light during the day. Designer Donna McMahon of KE Interior Solutions used a layered lighting approach in her own kitchen in Denver, shown here. Several recessed ceiling lights provide overall lighting, while undercabinet lights help with cooking tasks. McMahon even installed light strips below the base cabinets to create ambient lighting at night.

must-have kitchen design features

Ourso Designs

This New Orleans kitchen by Ourso Designs is another example of good lighting design. There are recessed ceiling cans, a pendant over the sink, pendants over the island, under cabinet lighting, and sconces over the floating shelves flanking the range hood.

must-have kitchen design features

Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

Of course, you shouldn’t forget to factor in natural lighting whenever possible. Architect Chris Dorman of Dorman Associates recommends that homeowners consider reducing the number of upper cabinets if needed to allow room for more windows to bring in natural light. “The kitchen is a place where people can spend hours, so maximizing natural light is key,” he says.

must-have kitchen design features

Wills Design Associates

4.  Island   

Perhaps no design feature in recent memory has changed kitchen design more than the island. Indeed, it’s hard to deny the benefit of a kitchen island. It adds an extra countertop surface and storage and creates a spot for conversation, homework, and meals. It can be a location for a cooktop, a dishwasher, or a prep sink, and it often provides that crucial touch point that completes an efficient work triangle. An island is a must-have kitchen feature for builder Kenneth Keating of Camlin Custom Homes. “A large kitchen island is a fantastic gathering place in any open-plan kitchen and gives the homeowner a flexible space to use for dining, entertaining, or cooking,” he says.

must-have kitchen design features

SV Design

An island is also a favorite feature for designer Tina Rodda of Eyder Curated Kitchens. “My must-have amenity is a workstation on the island for food prep and serving and a large butcher block at the end for carving and serving fabulous roasts,” she says.

This Boston kitchen by SV Design shows an example.

must-have kitchen design features

BASCO Builder’s Appliance Supply Company

5. Quality Cooking Appliances 

A kitchen is meant for cooking. And your range — or cooktop and oven — will be the most important component for cooking meals. Think about how often you interact with a range and how its function affects the quality of your meals and the ease with which you create them. That’s why many pros suggest you don’t skimp on quality when it comes to selecting a range and other cooking appliances. Designer Karen Parks of Associate Interiors puts a lot of focus on selecting high-quality ovens and cooktops. Shown here is the GE Cafe series.

must-have kitchen design features

Dorman Associates, Inc.

“I think that having a good stove is critical,” architect Dorman says. He used a Monogram Pro range in this Northern California kitchen.

must-have kitchen design features

Julia Chasman Design

Designer Julia Chasman makes vintage stoves a key component in her kitchen designs. For her own kitchen, shown here, she used a vintage O’Keefe & Merritt stove built in 1952 that provides function and style. “I have often used vintage stoves in homes of different eras,” she says. “They require some extra love and care. This one needed to be converted for use with propane gas as well, but the amount of charm and warmth they provide is incalculable. I also find them to be excellent stoves to cook on — perfect for cooking meat. It’s become one of my signature looks, and when I’m asked to source a vintage stove I know exactly what to look for to find one that will continue to serve its owners well for another 25 or 30 years.”

must-have kitchen design features

Julie Rootes Interiors

6.  Custom Vent Hood 

A ventilation hood removes cooking odors, steam, and grease from the air in your kitchen. But because the appliance sits at or just above eye level, it’s also an important visual element in the space. Many designers take it as an opportunity to create a stylish focal point, and going custom is often the way to go.“I am a big fan of a custom metal hood,” says designer Julie Rootes of Julie Rootes Interiors, who used a custom hood in the San Francisco kitchen shown here. “There are so many details you can pull in. It is one of the most important features of an elevated kitchen design. It’s like the jewelry of the kitchen.”

must-have kitchen design features

Heritage Homes of Jacksonville

Designer Jason Ulm of Heritage Homes of Jacksonville created the custom maple hood shown here in a kitchen in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Arched molding coordinates with the arched mullions on the cabinet doors to create an alluring focal point.

Written by Mitchell Parker, Houzz Editorial Staff. Home design journalist writing about cool spaces, innovative trends, breaking news, industry analysis, and humor.

 

Premier Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

Find more informative blogs and articles on HOUZZ and on our website www.trilitebuilders.com

1o Principles of Organizing That Work in Every Room

Article originally from HOUZZ

Getting your home organized is a great feeling but figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. Keep the process simple by zeroing in on these 10 principles of organizing, which can be applied to any space, anytime.

Get to Know Active vs. Passive Zones

Active zones are the spots in your home that you pass or touch daily (usually multiple times a day) and include the entryway, top drawers, and eye-level shelves and cabinets.

Passive zones are the less frequently used spaces in your home, including the guest room, garage, or basement, very high and very low shelves, and nooks deep within closets.

A common organizing mistake is to clutter your prime active zones with items you don’t frequently need. For example: Don’t keep your spare lightbulbs in the top drawer in the kitchen when you only need to grab one every few months!

Make Open Storage Beautiful

Every home can use a combination of open and closed (i.e., hidden) storage. But what you choose to store on your open shelving should be visually pleasing. The living room is a good place for books and pretty objects, not beaten-up board games and stacks of video games. Likewise in the kitchen, open shelving is the place to put your matching sets of clear drinking glasses or favorite teacups, not the plastic food storage containers.  Style Your Open Kitchen Shelving Like a Pro

Keep Things Findable

Out of sight, out of mind is an especially apt expression when it comes to organizing. Clear containers are ideal when you want to be able to see the contents at a glance, and open baskets can corral loose items while still letting you look inside.

If you use containers that aren’t transparent, be sure to label them clearly — or take it a step further and label each with a photo of the objects inside. (Instant cameras are ideal for this.)

Make It Easy to Put Away

This is most important when it comes to kid stuff, but we can all benefit from this rule.

When you need to go get something, you’ll get it out — it doesn’t really matter where it is — but when it’s time to clean up, we all get a little lazy.

To increase the likelihood of stuff being put back in its place, use easy-to-access bins, baskets and hampers, simple filing systems, and wall hooks for frequently used items.  Are You a Piler or a Filer?

Group By Task

I think of this as the first-aid kit phenomenon: When you need a Band-Aid, you may also need some antibiotic ointment, maybe some tweezers to remove a splinter, and a gauze pad; in a first-aid kit, everything you need to complete the task of caring for your injury is conveniently located in one place.

When you’re organizing your stuff, remember this and group everything you need to complete a task in the same place.

For example, you could make one box for medications, another for spare office supplies, one for holiday cookie cutters and sprinkles, and so on. Labeled shoebox-size boxes, buckets, or baskets work well for grouping small items together.

Create a Way Station for Items In Transit

We all have a certain amount of stuff that’s constantly in transit: library books waiting to be returned, our bag and keys, the dog’s leash, the casserole dish a friend left after your last party.

Instead of allowing these random items to pile up, create a dedicated space that can handle them and keep them neat.

If you have room by the main entrance to your home, this is the most logical spot — a few baskets on a shelf and some wall hooks should do the trick.  How to Keep Your Home Neat When You Don’t Have a Mudroom

Subdivide and Conquer

Wide-open drawers are an invitation to clutter. Anytime you have a drawer where you’ll be storing small items, use a drawer organizer. Use them for cutlery in the kitchen, office supplies in your desk, small and useful household items in your junk drawer, and daily essentials (sunglasses, keys) in a drawer near the entry.

Go Vertical

What happens when you go for something at the bottom of a pile? That’s right, it topples.

Avoid this organizing nightmare and go vertical instead. Use shelf risers to increase cabinet capacity, store sheet pans and trays in a vertical holder, and use wall-mounted holders to store brooms and mops so they won’t tip over.

Choose the Right Container For the Job

It can be heartbreaking to find that some of your most precious items — old family photographs, Grandma’s wedding gown — have been ruined thanks to improper storage.

Take preventative measures by choosing the right storage container for the job. Photographs and paper memorabilia should be stored in acid-free containers or albums, and textiles should be kept in breathable storage boxes or bags designed for that purpose.

Store Heavy Items Down Low

You should never have to balance on a stepladder while trying to lift something heavy.

Keep heavy items at or below waist height, including boxes, kitchen equipment (those dutch ovens and stand mixers weigh a ton!), and anything else that takes some real effort to lift.

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