Help plan my Kitchen control center?

pinktoesOctober 18, 2007

In the final planning stages here for the new kitchen. I'm down to 2 available spaces for my "control center": (1) 12 square inches of wall space above the garbage can (stepcan which I love having out in the open). At the end of my run of upper cabinets and the side is at the framed doorway into the living room. Cabinetry is all custom, so I could design something (for more $, but doable). (2) Side of the refrigerator that faces the run of counters there.

I have the major family dropoff zone and bill paying elsewhere. This is just for: my freezer log, weekly menus, ongoing grocery list--all kept on clipboards now; note pad and pens; preprinted 3x5 reminder cards ("turn off hose"; "feed birds"; "decant cereal"; "get up in the morning"; etc.); a few clothespins for everything; freezer tape & marker; magnifying glass. I need a writing surface at 36" or so above floor and arthritis dictates it not be vertical (flat or slanted ok). Also, a dropdown or pullout writing surface would be a negative.

And, though I hate open storage, this is used so often during the day that I really should keep most of it out in the open(except freezer log, tape, pen and maybe the reminder cards).

This is the minimum I can reduce it to. It should function like a standup desk. I could use the side of the fridge, with magnetic bins, and do my quick writing on the counter there. Any ideas on which of the 2 spaces is better and how to arrange it?

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"get up in the morning"--snork!

A stand-up desk--neat!

Remember AuburnFan's ultra-skinny cabinet? This would be a GREAT place for oen of those! W/ more shelves than she's got, of course.

(I really need to have no job to go to, and a carpenter's workshop)

My vote: side of the fridge, so all that stuff is REALLY close by your writing surface.

(are you going to have a panel between your fridge and the cabinets? I did, bcs I didn't want stuff to fall between fridge and cabinets)

Could you put a medicine-cabinet-style (or AuburnFan cabinet style) cabinet up against the side of the fridge under the upper cabinets? On the fridge panel?

You could put baskets on the front door for some of the most-freqently-used stuff.

(I keep my grocery list on a mini clipboard w/ magnetic backing, on the front of the fridge--not phenomenally gorgeous, but I don't have that many other places. But of course, I can write up against the fridge itself--I do take it off and set it on the counter if I'm writing more than a word or two))

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 11:50AM
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OK, I can't find auburnfan's skinny cabinet. Unless it's the one in the master bath. And I never could see it well enough to make it out, anyway! Maybe not important. Is it something that faces in the same direction as the rest of the upper cabs and just has a really skinny door? That I could do by stealing from the cabinetry that's there now. Will have to do a scaled drawing because it might look too strange.

Forgive me if this is a "Duh" moment, but baskets on the skinny cabinet's door? I think you must mean on the interior of the door--yes? If I did that, I could leave it open most of the time. Except when invited guests or House Beautiful arrives. That could work. It'd be pretty high up for me, beyond the first "shelf", meaning the bottom inside of the cabinet. But that might be all I need regularly. Hmm....

I hate to say this to you because I know you are in cramped space, as I have always been, but I'm "wasting space" (sin, sin) between the cabinets and the refrig. so I can have room to really clean between and around it. No side wall on non-cabinet end of fridge for same reason. Don't love cleaning, but allergies, asthma require it. So, if something drops/drips I'll have probably 6" free to deal with it. HEY, there's bonus space to hang crap on the fridge's side! Love the silver wire mesh stuff and have some already. Maybe need the pocket files. But I did vow to get things behind doors, at least when I choose to close the doors; on-fridge magnetic stuff destroys that goal.

A surfeit of riches (space) is not making the decision easier. 12 whole inches here, 6 whole inches there. It's like I died and went to kitchen heaven.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 1:00PM
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the one in the master bath--it's basically 2.5 inches deep.

I was thinking of the cabinet running perpendicularly to the backsplash, so its back was to the refrigerator's side. When you opened it, it would be like a V w/ its point at the backsplash.

I think that even if I had the space, and even if I were leaving the big gap you're talking about (lucky you, extra space!) for cleaning, I'd want a panel there. just so it wasn't so easy to knock stuff off the edge. From a frustration-factor point of view (why *have* to reach in there to pick it up, if I don't have to). Fridge panels are 3/4 inches thick, so there'd be room to clean around the fridge anyway.

I guess I was thinking baskets on the oustide of the door bcs you seemed to adamant some of it needed to be out. But baskets on the inside would work well (and you can do both). And you're right, w/ a perpendicular cabinet like that, you could leave it open most of the time, and the door would be flush w/ the backsplash itself. Then, when you close it, bingo, it looks like cabinetry, like a side panel to the fridge.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 1:32PM
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I meant to add, I'll forgive you for counting your pennies in front of the poor, LOL!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 1:45PM
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t-sue: Ok, duh, I get it. I'm kinda liking that idea. Gonna let it run around in my brain (unleashed, as it were! danger, danger) while I get back to the bath design I must finish. I call this "my creative process--scouting phase." Hah!

Sorry to be flashing my cash, as it were. I beg forgiveness on the basis that I have spend the best years of my life, at least in terms of bodily health, space-poor. But now in order to get the precious space to squander, I'm taking on a choker of a mortgage at a time when I oughtta be saving for the nursing home bills. Oh, well. They can always take it away from me, but I'm gonna have it for awhile. Lived my whole life in scaredy-cat caution. I'm sure I've gone quite insane.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 1:52PM
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A coworker of mine once said, based on her experience volunteering for 2 years at a homeless shelter, "poor people want their to be rich people--they want to believe it could be them one day."

That's how I feel about your "riches" of space.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 4:05PM
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I guess my cabinet is famous now...

Here's a pic of the depth

Here's the door open

Good luck with your control center!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 6:54PM
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auburnfan: how nice of you to blow it up for me! You know, it is a great little cabinet. It's just in the wrong place. It should be an upper cab. My hairbrush, tooth care stuff, lots of little tubes of stuff and things in narrow drawer organizers. Oooo. LOTS could go there. Including--my control center.

t-sue: careful what you wish for! (And remember what goes with it. Oh, and you'd probably have to move down here to the suburbs of this large, southern NYC-wannabe city to find this much space, too.)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 8:00PM
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ooh, a hook on the back of the door to hang the grocery-list clipboard from!

And yes, that narrow cabinet (w/ 2 or 3 more shelves) would make a GREAT upper cabinet. It just seems itwould be awkward to lean down low for the hydrocortisone cream and bandages. (but, maybe not)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 8:42PM
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auburnfan: I'd be tempted to remove the shelves and put in hooks to hang a dustpan and whisk broom, or whatever else you might normally reach that low for.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 9:17PM
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My beloved silver mesh. I have no explanation for the attraction. Here's one that combines all my current little separate things in to one big, ghastly disfiguring metal object I can hang on the side of my refrigerator.

I must be stopped. Been trying to find something more decorative, thinking maybe I just need a small pretty something to sit on the countertop near the fridge (where I would hang only one silver mesh something!). Can't even find a source for pretty kitchen countertop somethings. Breadboxes are too big. I'm supposed to be doing something else this evening, which is probably why this search became so darned compelling.

Here is a link that might be useful: silver mesh message center

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 11:25PM
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It has a DRAWER!

I love that! It looks so functional (and your clipboard would fit in the back pocket! Post-its in the middle.

I love that they show it w/ a HAMMER! Bcs that's what you'd really end up w/ in there, wouldn't you? Me, I'd also have my utility knife in there.

The only bad thing: it's not big enough to hold the tape gun. And, maybe it has one more pocket than I would *need* (though if I lived in a much smaller town, I'd put the phone book in the very back pocket, and then it would be perfect.

I know it's not decorative and beautiful, but it works! there's a beauty in that, isn't there?

See, now here's another field I could enter, when I'm sick of publishing. I could use metal-reinforced Bainbridge board, or something, to make more-decorative versions of this.

Seriously, though, you could make that cabinet be a version of this, w/ a door. Leave the door open most of the time, and it would be just as accessible. Close it when company comes.

Or, put in the fridge panel, mount this on the side of the fridge panel (w/ its back to the fridge), and mount a simple strip of molding to cover the side; then you'd still have the silver-mesh part, but perhaps the visual impact would be lessened? It'd look like you set this organizer into a little cabinetry niche?

Do you have lots of these silver-mesh things? Maybe there's something about the aesthetic of these things that appeals to you. (that's legitimate, you know)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 9:33AM
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t sue: Yes, I think I could pretty it up, as you suggested. It's just the function of it that I like, I guess. And part of that is that, unlike wood, you can see through the compartments. Seems more accessible that way, though I know it's only visually.

You know I'm gonna have to buy one, don't you? LOL. It'll go somewhere, if not in the kitchen. (Not long from now I have to start working with DH to set up his drop-off zone in the WIC off the foyer. Things like this will get some play then.)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 9:50AM
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