The kitchen is the busiest place in our home. It is also the most expensive furniture in our home, for the most part. People spend a lot of thought on the exterior design of the cabinets, but often not enough on the everyday use of the kitchen.
A kitchen needs to be functional and easy to use. How does one plan for the most functional kitchen? As an organizer who has built two kitchens for myself and helped many clients plan for the most functional kitchen, here are a few tips and photos.
Every cabinet should have a planned in advanced functionality
When laying down the design, you should be able to know what you would like to store in each cabinet. No cabinet should just be created based on measurements and look. We need to know where pots will be in as well as everyday dishes, sharp knives, appliances etc.
Only by planning this way, one can know there’s enough storage and everything has a place.
Use as many drawers as possible
Drawers will always pull out, which means that one can see everything that is in the drawer. It also makes it easy to take out and put back heavy items. Drawers height should be planned specifically to the dishes and pots you have or plan to have.
Upper cabinets are in general not a good idea
Upper cabinets are often not deep enough, do not have pull-outs and also block the countertop from optimal usage. A modern kitchen would have either only bottom cabinets or top to down cabinets. My pantry is a top to bottom cabinet. See next item
The pantry does not need to be a separate room
A separate room takes more space. A pantry that is just a wall of top to bottom cabinets is much more efficient. Some of the cabinets should have pull outs to store food while other cabinets would have shelves to store wine glasses or expensive dishes etc.
The pantry in the photos has 4 sections and has more than enough storage. It is back to back with the kitchen cabinets and saves precious space.
An island is recommended, if applicable
If you have a big enough room for an island, go for it. Make sure it is big enough to fit 4 seats comfortably and have cabinets for all everyday dishes. See photo.
The use of corners is best with a “Le Mans”
Many people know this feature as “lazy susan”. The improved version of this is called “Le Manes”. It is a pull out of the corner shelves which again makes it super easy to access the stored items.
A dedicated drawer for sharp knives is recommended
Many homes store sharp knives in a bulky wooden rack that sits on the counter top. Instead, you can use the organizer in the photo. It is safer and does not take space on the countertop.
Make sure the hardware used is metal and sturdy
Cheap hardware will cause failure of drawers within a year. Remember – you can always replace the face of the kitchen drawers, which is purely a design thing. Replacing the hardware is hard. I recommend European hardware to be on the safe side. No plastic parts should be used. After all, a kitchen is made for the long run.
Choose a sturdy sink
If a sink fails, parts of the countertop would have to be replaced. This will be very expensive. Do not save on the sink budget. Ask what the strength of the stainless steel is, for example. They all look the same but they are not.
Liners should be supplied in custom size for each drawer
There are more details to look at, but these are the important ones. If you plan on remodeling or building a kitchen, don’t rush it. Take the time to do it right.