The kitchen has been called “the heart of the home” as the central hub for family gatherings, celebrations, heartfelt meals, and lasting memories. It’s no surprise it is one of the most popular rooms to remodel before any other area of the home. Aside from creating the ideal aesthetic for the kitchen, it’s important that the functionality is taken into deep consideration before moving forward with a major remodeling project. One of the most critical aspects of a functional kitchen is organization – specifically, storage space. Strategically planned storage can make all the difference in the overall success of a remodel. After all, what good is a beautifully remodeled kitchen if it is hidden by pantry items, dishes, and countertop appliances that do not have a proper storage space?!
One of the biggest components of a kitchen remodel is new cabinetry. Updating the look, improving storage space, and creating a more functional kitchen overall is directly related to the layout and design of the cabinets. Making structural changes to your kitchen, such as removing a wall or relocating appliances, can result in loss of cabinetry and as a result, loss of storage space. That’s why it is so important to hire a contractor that is experienced with kitchen remodeling and cabinetry design! You want to make sure the professional you choose to work with is knowledgeable when it comes to space optimization and storage solutions.
Increasing storage space is always a goal we have in mind when designing a kitchen remodel, especially if we are removing walls to open up the space. For most of our clients, maximum storage space is a priority because there is so much that must be stored in the kitchen cabinets: dry foods, pots, pans, dishes, utensils, and cleaning supplies. Don’t forget the appliances: the blender, coffee maker, toaster, can opener, crock pot, waffle iron… the list goes on! Including features like appliances garages, cookie sheet racks, spice racks, utensil drawers, and the like may seem to be common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many home builders do not include these types of features in their standard kitchen models. This is especially true for older homes, built before the 90’s.
If you are considering remodeling your kitchen or just updating your kitchen cabinets, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
As the story goes for just about all of the homes we remodel, our recent clients in Arlington, Texas, needed to update their kitchen with a new look and improved functionality. The original 1970’s kitchen wasn’t dysfunctional, but it was certainly dated and lacked the modern storage space the clients realized they needed. The fortunate thing about this project was that the kitchen had good bones – the layout was great and the cabinetry, although out of style, was high-quality; it was in fantastic shape for being 40+ years old! The kitchen itself was large and had a lot of available cabinet space, and our clients really wanted to upgrade the lower cabinets to drawers to take full advantage of it. This might not seem like a big change, but incorporating pull-out drawers in place of deep cabinets makes it significantly easier to access stored items. This is especially helpful as homeowners age, when it gets increasingly difficult to get on your hands and knees to reach stored goods or appliances at the back of the cabinet.
The main goal in each of our major kitchen remodeling projects is to improve the efficiency of the room. That could mean creating more counter top and storage space, adjusting the lighting for a safer, shadow-less environment, or reconfiguring the layout for a flowing, user-friendly floor plan. Though every home and kitchen is different, as are the clients and their unique needs, some, if not all, of these options are carefully considered during the design phase. After all, if your kitchen looks beautiful in the end, but it’s not functional, is it really worth the cost and time of a remodel?
One of the options we always suggest to our clients to improve the efficiency of their kitchen is converting existing lower cabinets into drawers. This might sound like minor detail, but in reality, having deep drawers under the counter instead of cabinets will make all the difference in how you use the space for storage. Because major kitchen remodels involve completely removing the existing cabinetry and installing new cabinets, why not design them in a way that will improve the functionality and convenience of your finished kitchen?
Here are 4 reasons why you should choose drawers instead of lower cabinets for your kitchen remodel:
The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house. When you consider how many times your family uses the kitchen throughout the week – how many meals are prepped, dishes are dirtied and washed, how often the trash needs to be taken out, groceries need to be put up and so on – it’s easy to see how it can quickly become jumbled and disorderly! Add the regular, frequent use of the kitchen to the occasional birthday celebration, holiday dinner, or Superbowl Sunday party and before you know it, your kitchen is in desperate need of some TLC and reorganizing.
One of the main reasons clients come to us for a kitchen remodel is because they want to improve the functionality and organization of the space. A kitchen that is equipped with the right features, adequate storage and a flowing floor plan not only provides for a pleasant experience when using the kitchen, but also creates a cleaner, sleeker look with less clutter. Trust us, these are two things you will appreciate all year ‘round!
Even if you aren’t ready to complete a full-scale renovation, there are a few storage solutions and features you can incorporate into your kitchen that really will make all the difference in it’s efficiency and organization:
1. Pull-out Pantries and Spice Racks
Many older homes include large walk-in pantries. While this might seem like a great feature to have in your kitchen, these bulky pantries often end up wasting more space than they provide. Not only do they take up potential counter space, but when you consider that there has to be enough room for you to stand inside, how much space is really being used efficiently? Pull-out pantries take up much less square footage while taking advantage of vertical space that would otherwise be wasted. Another neat benefit is that pull-out pantries can be seen from both sides, so you no longer have to worry about digging through your pantry shelves or finding an item that is expired because it was pushed to the back for too long!
Pull-out spice racks are another cool feature that optimize storage space and help with organization. Having this type of spice rack installed near your stove or cooktop makes for easy access during meal prep and provides for quick put-away when it’s time to clean up.
2. Cabinets Extended to the Ceiling
Increasing storage space is always a goal we have in mind when designing for a kitchen remodel, especially if we are removing walls to open up the space. Losing wall space can often mean sacrificing cabinetry as well. For most of our clients, this is a concern because there is so much that must be stored in the kitchen cabinets: dry foods, pots, pans, dishes, utensils, and cleaning supplies. Don’t forget the appliances: the blender, coffee maker, toaster, can opener, crock pot, waffle iron… the list goes on!