When I’m designing a kitchen remodeling project, my clients often fret about the cabinets I want to remove to open up a wall or provide more counter space. The client is usually thinking, “A new kitchen means cabinets for my stuff!” I’m then tasked with convincing them that they can live with less cabinet space to gain more functional counter space, openness and style in their new kitchen. Here are my three talking points for why you can live with less cabinet space in your kitchen:
1. More efficient use of space. If you look into your cabinets and pantry, you’ll see that there is a lot of empty space for you to reach through to grab what you are needing. There’s also a lot of unused area where the items on the shelves are smaller than what the shelves will hold. We design our client’s new cabinets to maximize the cubic footage of the cabinet so the empty unused storage space is minimized. We accomplish this primarily by using drawers and pull outs everywhere. When a kitchen is finished, it can have 10% fewer cabinets, but because of the design efficiency of the new cabinets, the storage capacity will actually be more than that of the old cabinets.
2. Do you really need all of that stuff? This gets personal, but it’s my job, so I gotta do it. I ask the clients if I can look through their cabinets. Within minutes I can give suggestions such as rethinking how you use the cabinets day-to-day, and pointing out the obvious space given over to obsolete appliances, too many dishes, duplicate mixing bowls, and other pots and pans. It’s always a good-natured discussion, but I’m always amazed how we just get used to our environment and don’t realize the benefits of space and energy we receive from a good old- fashioned purging of the stuff we don’t use that we’ve collected over the years.
3. Accessorize For Space Savings. There are a lot of aftermarket products that are designed to store things outside your cabinets. The rolling island cart is a great one; knife racks, pot racks, and spice holders are others. Utilizing these types of accessories will save you space and help give your kitchen a great look.
Having a kitchen remodeled is an opportunity to get you outside your day-to-day box so you can experience a new, more efficient and energizing life style. For me, I often find less is more, and kitchen cabinets are a good place to start that philosophy.