Organizing the kitchen

flgargoyleJanuary 22, 2012

Do you wish your kitchen was better organized? I do! I hate digging through piles of sometimes sharp implements to find a measuring spoon. To me, a kitchen is a workshop (bear with me, I LIKE workshops!) In my shop, tools are (or should be) placed to be convenient to the task. Each tool has a specific place, with many of them mounted on pegboard and outlined so that you can see at a glance where they should. Now, I'm not advocating pegboard for the kitchen, but- How do we organize all of these tools?

Since I'll be building a new kitchen in a new house, I have a lot of options. I'm already planning a dedicated spice drawer. The shallow drawer will be partitioned to hold after-market jars. The lids will be labeled, as will the space for the jar. That way, when I have half-a-dozen spices out, I can put them back easily.

My grandmother's kitchen had a smallish reach-in pantry, and it had pegboard on the inside of the door. She had a number of various utensils hanging there in plain sight once the door was open, so she could find that certain spatula at a glance.

What do we do about measuring cups and spoons? We have several sets, and need them so we don't have to wash and dry a cup after measuring wet ingredients so that we can then measure dry ingredients. If I put pegboard inside the pantry door, I could see individual hooks for each measuring spoon, with several of each size on their respective hooks. That way, if I need the use of two teaspoons, I can go to one place to grab them, knowing exactly where they'll be. Maybe I need to invent and market some kind of measuring station so everything you need is in one place. I can sell them on late-night TV, 2 for $19.95 (But wait- There's more!)

I like the idea of matching everyday dishes on open shelves. Matching, so it looks orderly, and out in the open to make them quickly accessible. I think the right glasses and mugs can also be part of the decor. Mom always kept everyday flatware in Mason jars on the counter- simple, cheap, elegant.

One of my pet peeves is oven mitts and pot holders. Where to put them? Ours are jammed in a drawer, and you wind up taking all of them out to find the certain one you need at the moment.

There are some pretty good options for pots and pans out there. I plan to use the new drawer systems that have come out in recent years, and that stuff is pretty well thought out. What things do you wish you could better organize? What solutions have you come up with? Us folks in smaller homes need to be better organized!

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This kitchen has several shallow drawers so I have one for knives,large spoons ladles and then the third one is misc kitchen things. I do not have many of each of these items so it does not get messy. I also have one small drawer for baking,rolling pin dough thing with the wires in it candy thermometer and cookie press. then another drawer for the canning tools jar lifter jar funnels rings flats.Pot holders also have one drawer. And there is a drawer under the microwave for those things.

NOW here is the mistake I made. I let them put drawers over lower cabinets and that is a mistake. Do banks of drawers or all lower cabinet. When there is a drawer over lower it makes use of the lower cabinet not good.

I love your idea of lots of kitchen drawers. I think they are much more useful then cabinets. I ended up putting things in dish pans or on trays in cabinets so they slide out like a drawer.

I probably waste a lot of space in our kitchen because I want like things together. I have really pared down my kitchen stuff. I have the "just Stuff" in my china cabinet to use some times and enjoy looking at all the time. but I am pretty bare bones as far as the rest of kitchen stuff.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 10:35AM
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I have a baking drawer too. In it are spatulas, whisks, one rolling pin, and measuring cups and spoons. I can't stand a jumbled mess either.

With the cabinet I'm currently rebuilding, I am going to build a spice pullout. I haven't quite got it all figured out, but I want it to hold any size spice container so they can all be in one place.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:01PM
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We buy our spice in bulk from Penzey's, and keep them in the freezer. I'll get a whole set of matching generic jars to hold them in the kitchen. I'd guess we have at least 40 different herbs, spices, and mixtures.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 1:40PM
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Jay, if you look at the images of Julia Childs' very professional kitchen, SHE HAD PEGBOARD and kept her extensive set of cooking tools very well organized. I'm thinking you might find a series of pictures about the Smithsonian's display of her kitchen somewhere.

I watched the movie JULIE AND JULIA, and was most impressed at the very end with the footage shot in the Smithsonian of that kitchen. And if I can find it, there was a magazine article with illustrations showing it too. I'm a big Julia fan, if you cannot tell! What a woman. It was her husband who fixed up her kitchen pegboard, I'm thinking. So you are in good company.

Take a look at the new catalog from IKEA about storage ideas. Oh boy, do they have some great options. I've purchased quite a few things from them, including the bars mounted to the wall, that can hang (by hooks) utinsels, or else put the pot lids there between the bar and the wall, it works with colanders too. IKEA also sells magnetic little metal containers (also see them at WalMart) which have a see-through top and can hold herbs or small items. I found some on clearance at Staples and stuck them up on the frame of my electrical breaker box.

Then I have the IKEA (looks like flower pots) for hanging off the metal bars, and those could hold shorter utinsels like spoons. A magnetic strip might serve you well for sharp knives, because even in a bouquet with sharp ends out, you'll be stuck ...and one never presents a knife to someone with the pointy end out. I think one of the most attractive features in a kitchen is the knife block. Or, if you have a butcherblock surface, make slots in it to store the working knives in a handle-up position near the back out of the way. I had a neighbor who had a rolling cart/island surfaced by butcherblock, and that is where she housed her cutlery, in plain sight, and mighty practical it was too. And she cooked a lot. LOVED to eat at her house.

Marti, I'll have to look up the pull out spice cabinet which is sold as a skinny base cab and is put wherever you have a gap of about 6 inches. I do think they also have them for upper cabs, but I can see the spice pull out on one side of the range, and a skinny open cab for trays and cooky sheets on the other side. Both less than 6 inches wide.

One thing that always messes me up is my DH always buys the super-size, large economy size of everything, and those things tend to be about two inches too tall for any shelf, so they have to be laid on the side or stored in a very inconvenient place. And when it is half empty, you still have to store it in its big volume shape. That is why I prefer to buy milk in half gallon sizes, not gallon sizes, because fridge space is taken up by a half-empty gallon, then he buys a second full gallon, because that one is almost gone, and I just don't see the point. I know lots of milk is irradiated these days and does not spoil quickly, but I much prefer to buy it more frequently to keep it fresher.

One thing that I like is having my produce that does not require refrigeration on display. Unless you buy 50 pounds of something, or bushel baskets, you can hang the onions or the sweet potatos in a basket somewhere, the French used to put their eggs in a hen-shaped wire basket which I think is so attractive, but unless you have your own chickens, the eggs have to stay in the fridge. A real bummer. (Jay, do you plan to have a few laying hens? Oh please say yes!)

If you don't have room for a horizontal hanging pot rack, you can put a single hook in the ceiling and hang a chain from it, then put some hooks in as many of the links as you think helpful/pretty/nice, and then hang your most frequently used utinsels from that, or your most frequently used smaller pans (not pots, they are too bulky). But I have a really small cast iron pan which my daddy used to bake his cornbread, and it hangs nicely that way, when I did not have a good pot rack.

Before I had a way to upload pictures to a forum, I had an old scale that I used as a pot rack. My ceilings were only 8 foot, and I put this scale in the middle of the kitchen above my rolling cart which served as my tiny "island." I kept it up high, because I moved the cart around, but I also had a rope leading through a pulley so it could be lowered. The rope I kept tied off to a cleat on the far wall out of the way. I liked using my nautical pulley and cleat in the house this way.

Well, I've gone on long enough here. Doubtless I'll think of more things related to storing items in the kitchen. Like Jay says, it is a workshop, and it can be beautiful too.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 2:07PM
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ML- I was thinking the same thing, when I saw pegboard :) Here's a couple of pictures...and that is a great movie! From Kitchen plans From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Okay- That's a little TOO 'workshop', even for me (Well, maybe if I was single LOL). I'm not a big fan of hanging the pots and pans, partially because we don't have the lovely, artsy professional ones you see in the magazines. Our kitchen will be quite open to the dining room and living room, so I'd like to be able to stow most stuff.

I wouldn't put sharp knives in a Mason jar! I was thinking forks, spoons, and maybe butter knives. I do like the idea of keeping them in slots in the work surface though. Just have to remember to child-proof if we ever have grands.

We do have a lot of antique kitchen utensils, and I'd like to figure out a good way to display them.

While we'll probably have a couple laying hens around the place, you could always fill an egg basket with fake eggs for the effect.

Like my workshop, I don't like a lot of clutter in the kitchen. I have these huge, wonderful tool cabinets that I keep all of my tools in. I wonder how they would look in the kitchen? They do make them in stainless steel, too. Hmmm....

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 3:36PM
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Probably useful in a professional chef's kitchen, but all I can think of is the amount of dust that would be on them in my house. lol

I can't handle that much clutter either. I'd rather open a drawer and get something out.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 6:09PM
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I'd love to have the amount of pegboard, between the oven and the sink, in my laundry room. I'd actually use it for tools, though! LOL

Jay- The one negative about open shelves is that they get dirty. Dust, pet hair, dirt, etc. and you have to wash the dishes and the shelves, fairly often. What about plate racks, glass uppers, mug hooks...combined with a few open shelves?

Lots of drawers, on that peninsula, would give you plenty of space to organize all your kitchen tools. Also, have you seen the new drawer organizers? People are starting to use bathroom/cosmetic organizers for kitchens...think outside the box (which I know you like to do) and you'll find all kinds of creative and inexpensive ways, to get organized in the kitchen! :)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 6:56PM
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drawers, drawers and more drawers!

"I ended up putting things in dish pans or on trays in cabinets so they slide out like a drawer. "

I'm doing this for now in my 'new' kitchen. I'd like to eventually replace the base cabs with drawer stacks - I only have room for about 5 (2@25, 2 @ about 12 and 1@ about 20").

but who knows if that'll ever get done so til then tubs and trays!

i don't really have that much kitchen stuff anymore - I'm pretty bare bones these days. of course, in the new place with a counter top to work on I might cook something up more often.

I've thought a lot about storage in future drawers tho. I'd want 1 for baking stuff like the measuring spoons/cups, mixer beaters, spatulas etc. A deeper one for colanders and large mixing bowls (I only have maybe 2 of those).

I only have 2 skillets, 2 pots and 1 lid so my storage needs aren't what others would need!

I only have about 12 spices so i don't need a lot of space there either - but I plan to put them on a small turntable in the upper cabinet to the left of the stove. with my small jar of cooking oil and bottle of olive oil.

Amazon also has lots of drawer divider containers. I was searching on there the other day - many options.

has anyone tried those new spice 'racks' they promote on tv - qvc even has them that fit in an upper cab and the 'shelves' of it pull out and drop down so you can see them/pick out what you need?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 2:35AM
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I have one like this steph

I don't really care for it though. The round bottles like they have pictured slide back and forth, and I can only put shorter bottles on the top part because my shelves aren't tall enough.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 10:43AM
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I don't think I've ever seen one like that...

qvc wouldn't let me copy the pic to photobucket so I've posted the link to it's page on qvc site.

I've seen them done vertical and horizontal. i'd think about getting one (they're cheap enough) if I had more spices to put in it.

Here is a link that might be useful: qvc spice rack

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 5:15PM
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I have 12 new drawers in my kitchen and I absolutely love them. I use 4 of the larger drawers for pots and pans. I use 2 more larger drawers for my rubbermaid and the lids. I use 2 smaller drawers for cooking utensils. One drawer for the utensils I use every new and then, and one drawer for the ones I use every day. Turns out I use the same few larger spoons, spatulas, etc for cooking.
I have a drawer just for my measuring spoons, cups and baking items.

I also have 3 pots I use all of the time. The larger pots are now in the bottom cabinets because I don't really need them anymore. I just hate to get rid of them just yet. I actually know where everthing is!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:16PM
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Remodeling my little galley kitchen improved my life so much. Here are my tips.

1. Install cabinets up to the ceiling, either with very tall upper cabinets, or small cabinets on top of standard sized ones. Storing less frequently used items up there frees up space in the lower ones.

2. Get enough shelves in your cabinets. I was shocked that my upper cabinets only came with one shelf each! Talk about wasted vertical space! I shelled out a lot of extra money for additional shelves. It was so worth it!

3. I really like my big baking cabinet over the fridge. It has horizontal shelves for storing pans, and vertical slats for storing baking sheets, cooling racks, cutting boards,and serving trays.

4. Large pull out drawers work well for storing my pots and pans. I got a pull-out metal contraption in one cabinet to hold smaller pans and lids, and I think it's a waste of space.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 8:47PM
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'I have 12 new drawers in my kitchen'

when did you do that? did you show us? you're not redoing it again w/o our help are you? lol!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 4:34AM
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No, it was 2 years ago when I was experimenting with the beadboard wallpaper.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 8:59PM
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Jay, Julia didd not put knives in a Mason jar, no way. She adored her knives as I recall. And in the first picture of her kitchen, take a look at the low counter adjacent to the ovens. You will see the kind of wooden slotted knife holder that keeps the points protected and safely out of the way.
I'd described that somewhere previously.

I think you could construct your OWN knife block, which is a series of boards with routed grooves to take in each knife, depending on how many knives you have. In fact, that is something that I would love for my DH to make for me. I know JUST the place for it, near my new range.

BTW, my new range arrives tomorrow afternoon. And so does my new HP all-in-one SmartTouch computer. Not a laptop, it is a desktop w/o a tower. The tower is sort of piggyback to the 23" monitor. I'm looking forward to that. My laptop here is going on 6 yrs old, and I've worn the letters off the keys. And got bird feather dust between the keys too.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:37PM
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be sure to post a pic of your range AND new computer!

I've worn letters off of my keys in just a few months. i'm on my 3rd keyboard in 2 or 3 yrs.

don't know how a laptop keys are but I can pop my keys off and clean under them. I do that a few times a yr.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:54PM
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I'd love to organize my kitchen but it seems like a daunting task. We have everything stuffed into drawers. The main problem is we have two large double lazy susan cabinets, and they're so full that things fall off the lazy susans and jam them so you can't turn them. Then everything in there is never seen and never used.

I wouldn't want open storage for utensils and pots like on the pegboard pictures...they'd require constant dusting around here.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 3:31PM
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OldGardener, I'm glad you said that about the lazy susan cabinets and things falling off. In my new design I have one such cab planned for my kitchen, and will see what other options I have. Right now, there is a dead space in part of the corner base, because I cannot crawl in there. So I've been tossing my backlog of paper towels in there, and sometimes the big bag of dry dogfood.

I do like open storage, and I do have trouble with dust. In the kitchen, that dust mixes with oily/greasy condensation. Especially since we do not have a vent fan. However, when the new range hood is installed, that fan sucks 600 cfm, and I will use it religiously, believe me.

However, until then, I just keep inspecting my hanging things or displayed stuff, lids of cannisters etc, and always put them in the DWasher when I need to fill out a load of dishes. I like to see sparkling glassware of any kind. However, I do not like to see canned goods or boxes with product labels.

And Steph, I use a can of air to blow out my keys, being careful not to blow so long that it puts moisture in my old laptop. One of my birds has eaten 3 keyboards keys and I had to replace the keyboards, did not know I could have mended the keys themselves. Live and learn.

And the new Bertazzoni is in the Teahouse and it looks SO GOOD. I mean, it is a heavy duty, classy, expensive looking work of art. Mama Mia, that is a hot Italian number!!! It is inspiring.

Jay, the way a kitchen looks can inspire one to cook, which is how I feel about it anyway. So planning the storage and making things easy to access has a lot of importance. With your new house, think long and hard about what your wife, and you too, makes you happy to be in the kitchen, and then make it happen.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Corners are a problem, but as the new saying goes- They've got an app for that. Blum (and probably others) now make corner drawers. You still lose space in the triangle on each side, but it's still probably better than the lazy Susan approach. I might try one in SC, depending on the final kitchen lay-out.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 5:00AM
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OH Those are interesting Jay. I am not fond of the lazy susans either. I have had too many come loose on me and the shelves slide down the pole. The way these drawers have sides would be good to help things falling over the edge. If they could do that with the round shelves it might be better. BUT you still need to not over load them. Boiling it down to get rid of the stuff you really do not use. I need to deal with that again here. I think it is an on going process.

We eliminated our dead corner by opening it on the back side. Good place for the telephone drawer and dog biscuits in the cabinet blow. LOL

Wonder if it would be possible to make the dead kitchen corner cabinet space accessible from the room behind it?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 10:34AM
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I think lazy susans are fine as long as you don't overload them like we have done.

In my prior house, I made use of the dead space in the corners by cutting a rectangle in the counter-top above each dead space. Into the rectangular openings in the counter-top, I then inserted nice-looking wooden cutting boards with a hole in each cutting board so it could be lifted. Underneath that cutting board, I attached a hanging wire basket to the bottom of the counter-top. The hanging wire basked was used to hold potatoes and onions. To get to the potatoes and onions, I just lifted the cutting block. That worked out really well to make use of the dead space in the corner.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 2:39PM
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I'm a newbie. I LOVE those corner drawers. The little triangles could have been eliminated by making the cabinet straight across the front there, which would give a little extra counter-top. They would be better next to a cabinet space than to another set of drawers, so the extra triangles of space at the sides of the drawers could be accessed from the cabinet.
I'm keeping a copy of the picture!
For now, I'm stuck with my old cabinets with the dead space in the corners.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 12:39PM
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kalmiopsis48, I thought that too. Seems like an angled corner would make a nice workspace right there.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 1:01PM
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Alex House

Here's another solution for corners:

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 7:06PM
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'I wouldn't want open storage for utensils and pots like on the pegboard pictures...they'd require dusting.'

me either - way too much dirt blowing around out here in the desert! I swear if I slept 8 hrs straight thru I'd need dusted off myself!

I've seen the LSs before with very high sides on them - like the sides of a very deep drawer.

have I posted this idea here before? I did recently - somewhere - maybe on kitchens.

then there's this idea. the drawers in there slide back to the right into the dead space and the triangular part swings back into that space.

and then this idea for the upper. It can be done like this in the base corner also.

and another one - those little things sticking out on the right swing out to access items.

and this has nothing to do with a corner or storage. Thought I'd throw a few pics in just for fun! It's my precious Snuggles from the 80's (lived til the summer of '96). It looks like it was her 2nd birthday. my younger kids were just teenyboppers then. Snuggles is sitting on dd's lap. dd is 41 now and ds is 40! how'd that happen?

here she got a bit carried away - but hey, it WAS her birthday.
btw, THAT is my kitchen table - the one I'll be using in my 'new' place. The top of the bench is visible also. Right now the table is in my LR covered with craft stuff.

just another view of my table and bench - and Snuggles checking to see if she missed a crumb from her BD cupcake!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 4:24AM
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Storage ideas that I love are using the back or side of an island for hanging utensil storage area a few inches deep, then using a sliding door to hide them. It would have to be on a non-seating side. The island top would extend over the utensil-hanging frame, integrating it into the island. If the utensil area is on a short side of an island, a couple of hinged doors could hide it.

If a fridge is next to a doorway, you could build a similar shallow storage area on the open side. Shallow spice racks could also go in such a space, if the heat of the fridge motor does not heat up that side.

Remember about oven heat before you start putting spices, wine, or oils into pull-out storage next to the range or oven. I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at pictures of a beautiful kitchen designed so that the oils will go rancid in storage, the spices will cook each time the oven is lit, or the wine will go bad in the heat above a refrigerator that has a motor running off and on all night and day! Wine wants to be cool, so near the ceiling above a heat-producing appliance is just plain stupid!

Jay, don't forget MamaGoose's shallow canned goods storage. You can fit that between the studs on an inside wall (one that needs no insulation).

Our newish kitchen has 20 drawers and I love every one of them! If you all remember, the kitchen was a 24 year-old Quakermaid kitchen from the east coast that I bought at Green Demolitions and hired someone to fly out and drive home for me. It still was cost-effective if you don't count the hours of sweat equity it took to refinish them!

I have a bank of four drawers in a 19" base cab. Top is tableware, next are kitchen tools like thermometers, wine vacuvan, can openers. Next is a drawer with a shallow plastic rectangular container with larger serving spoons and meat forks, along with tops to use above plates in the nearby microwave. Bottom drawer has DH's strainers for canned beans and such. A drawer above the trash pull-out is near the sink, so holds cotton floursack towels I reach for to dry dishes. Above the 30" pull-out base is one BIG drawer that holds all the big cooking spoons, most whisks, some spatulas (spatulae?), tongs, ladles, and all the odd utensils that come with those cooking tool sets. Spaghetti claws? I use that one for reaching to the back or really tall shelves.

Jim, our carpenter, made a cabinet to house the wall oven. I had him put four deep drawers under. The oven is 30" wide, so the drawers are probably 28". Top one is towels - lots and lots of kitchen towels! Next we store some odd things like the clay potato and garlic bakers that are rarely used. Then there is a drawer for graters and steamers and such. The bottom drawer has colanders and the hand- mixer, other small appliances. The island has four drawers. The first, closest to the sink, has knives. Not the good ones, they are in a knife block. Paring knives, serrated cutco knives, odd knives. Next are the silicon potholders. This drawer is under the cooktop and almost across from the oven, so the potholders are in reach for the oven or cooktop. The next drawer is also under the cooktop and I like to try to keep spatulas in it for use on the cooktop, but DH and my friend who helps around the house keep putting them in the big 30" drawer. In the last island drawer I keep whisks and such for use on the stovetop.

We do have a baking drawer over on the desk. It is next to the pantry and near the sink end of the island, where lots of prep work gets done. Measuring cups and spoons, rubber spatulas, cookie cutters all go there. There are baking pans and the stand mixer under the drawer in the cupboard. Other kitchen drawers are in the desk and have non-cooking uses.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:00PM
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LOL Steph with pup on table looking for crumbs.

Nancy I have a small shelf at the end of our fridge and it is great. I keep an assortment of things on it. Mostly my kefir making stuff, it likes a little warmth, recipe box. Used to have the cook books there too but have moved them to a drawer when I got shed of more kitchen stuff opening up that drawer.

Drawers are wonderful in kitchens. I vote for as many as a person can get.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 11:10AM
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Hi All,

I'm new to the forum and have spent the last 20+ years in our 2000 square foot mountain home. Raised our son, many dogs, and a few of his friends who came to stay for extended periods. We remodeled our small kitchen almost 7 years ago, which was a vast improvement. We will be building another slightly larger house to be near family (2500 square feet per CC&Rs), but that's a story for the building a home forum!

I just wanted to echo the drawers versus cabinets theme - including in the lazy susan corner cabinet. I have one and it works fine, but I mentally groan every time I have to squat down and lift up heavy sets of glass bowls. It was the best we could figure at the time but I wish we had a drawer option back then.

BTW, a friend just did a big kitchen remodel and ordered cabinets from Italy. I have a hard time believing we do not make really great cabinets in this country, but she said they are unbelievable - all drawers, so stable and soft to open and close that you can store upright wineglasses in them without breaking. Hard to imagine so I look forward to seeing her new kitchen.

I store measuring cups and spoons in a drawer. I also LOVE my magnetic knife rack, which allows me to store all my sharp kitchen knives within reach. I put it up above the prep counter on the side of the fridge and it blends in well (actually on the wood covering the side of the fridge). Highly recommend it if you don't mind the look as it frees up valuable counter space and keeps them in reach.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 12:32PM
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It is easier for me just to mark this thread than it is to copy all the great ideas put forward. I copied some of the corner cabinet pictures for my Inspirations folder on my computer.

Nancy, when I think of drawers, I always remember your kitchen and how you fitted it out with the IKEA drawer hardware. Or was it Blum from Valley Hardware? I'll probably use them to get my barn door hardware.

Okay, I'm trying to get into the kitchen designing mood, and be specific before I can get anything done. Thank heaven I do not have to deal with a whole house, even if every room in it will be touched in this next project.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 8:52PM
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I also shake my head when someone puts the spices or oils along the sides of a range. Not something i'd do - the heat would ruin them. Either side would be a good place for the cookie sheet, muffin pan, cake pans or glass cookware.

If I were gonna redo the upper cabs I'd like that corner cab I posted above. Lots of storage and easy to see!

I thought it'd be a nice surprise in the midst of the stress of kitchen organizing to see a furbaby - lol!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:38AM
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I meant to mention this before, but slipped my mind.

At restaurants, which serve cafeteria or buffet style, they frequently have their china on the elevator type storage, which rises as plates bowls saucers cups are removed from the shelves. I'm thinking that a similar type elevator, with a lid to cover it such as the cutting board and basket mentioned earlier, would be a fine way to get use out of this otherwise dead space.

What you put in it? Up to where the corner is located in your kitchen. And on what kind of storage is adjacent to it, so nothing would be hampered from operating properly.

I sure do like some of the ideas illustrated earlier for this problem, and have added those pics to my Inspiration folder on my computer.

And, I have a link to Julia Child's Kitchen, which was placed in the Smithsonian as earlier mentioned. To me, she is an American original, and up there with Lillian Gilbreth, mama of CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN clan, and also a pioneer in home organization. I read her book MANAGEMENT IN THE HOME way back in the 1960s, and it influenced my ideas about housework. She was a professional just like her hubby, and came up with the concept of measuring your "reach" and locating your storage items close to first use, and I think the "toe kick" on base cabs, the standard depths of cabs, the gap between countertops and upper cabs, the all-important "work triangle" for efficiency. Plus, she did more than JUST the kitchen, because she worked on how to efficiently MAKE UP A BED, and thus changed the lives of countless hotel maids who were taught to make up beds HER way.

Isn't that amazing? And here we are still talking about the things which she based an illustrious career upon. Especially in our SMALLER HOMES, what she wrote about will always be basic and timely.

Here is a link that might be useful: Julia Childs'Kitchen At the Smithsonian

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Sorry ML, the Ikea kitchen hardware was not me. I had pull-outs already in my 33" base and on the island. In the drawers, I used some wooden dividers I already had and some plastic drawer organizers I already had. I did buy some of the drawer divider barbed steel channels that I linked below. I have not used them yet, however.

I love your idea of using the push-up plate elevators like they have in buffet restaurants! How handy,sanitary, and modern. I wonder where you can get them...

Here is a link that might be useful: Lee Valley Tools - a favorite catalogue

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 12:08AM
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I am now subscribing to a blog called Thistlewood Farm, mentioned elsewhere, and ran across an entry by her about an "idea" another blogger had to make old banged up china or dinnerware look fresh and unscratched.

I put THAT link below.

Not that I am amazed at what BKF (BarKeeper's Friend) DOES, I've known and used it for YEARS. It is just that you might be more affected by the way this blogger tells it than with my experiences with it.

Actually, I've used it for over 30 years. It is a fine powder in original form, and it is much better than something like Comet which is more gritty and scratches stuff. I started using it while I was a boat captain, and ordered it by the case from the manufacturer up in Indianapolis IN. Hard to find it in some small towns, but when I did, I bought 'em out. Inside our boats, we had a lot of metal handrails which took a beating with greasy hands etc going up/down quickly and in high seas. These rails were nothing but welded pieces of pipe, did not start out all shiny and polished like chrome. And that is where the BKF came in, because by the time we were done with it, it looked like we had chrome rails. If you are doing such a project, with metals, be sure to wipe it down afterward with a neutralizer, something like club soda or rubbing alcohol. It will make sure no TARNISH residue remains to get on your hands and such.

I still clean my kitchen sink and laminate countertops with BKF to this day. If you have stains from KoolAde or beets or pomegranates on your laminate surfaces, just put a paste of the BKF on it for a little while, and then use a rag or P-towel to finish the job. My old countertops are near white, and terribly scratched, but you don't see the scratches after a round with BKF.

I've also used the paste form of BKF, which is a bit milder or gentler than the powder form. It is fantastic for cleaning metal cooktops. I'm not sure that GLASS cooktop manufacturers would warranty the product if you used this to clean them, so read your warranty information for new items. But I also clean the glass cooking surface of my DH's GE range in his cape in Massachusetts. The greasy grunge inside the hood of the stove vent is awful to clean, but the paste version of BKF is easy to put on a cleaning pad and get it under control. NOTHING I know of can make an old hood vent clean without some effort, I'm not saying that it will be a snap--but it will get it clean.

So in your kitchen cleaning basket, be sure to make room for a truly great MADE IN AMERICA product, BAR KEEPER'S FRIEND.

NOTE: I don't own stock in the company, and I do not work for the manufacturer. :) I am a confirmed user.

Here is a link that might be useful: Renewing your dinnerware

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 10:52AM
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I love barkeepers friend. Did you know it is made from Rhubarb? So, it is organic, won't harm your septic...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Nancy, thanks for posting that link. I plan on using those. They look so much easier than building a drawer insert.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 11:52AM
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I just want to put in another "YES!" for drawers!

We are finishing our kitchen, where we have IKEA cabinet boxes, with all the Blum hardware, but custom door and drawer fronts. Most of our base cabinets have drawers--in fact, we have 24 drawers and 4 pullouts, some with drawers inside. I cannot imagine going back to "Crouching Woman, Hidden Tupperware Lid" ever again! And for once, I am truly organized in the kitchen! Hallelujah! :^D

Two nightmares in my previous kitchen set-up were the cabinet that "held" all the plastic storage containers--you know the kind that when you opened the door, it spilled out onto the floor and your feet. Another was the cabinet that housed the baking dishes. I really, really disliked having to crouch down and pull out the stack of glass pyrex, to get the large lasagna pan on the bottom. So because I am a picture person, I am posting just these TWO drawers that have made my kitchen life so much better!

Ahhhhhh. :^)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 7:26PM
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'And for once, I am truly organized in the kitchen! Hallelujah! '

and I can hear the music!

looking forward to a lot more pics of your kitchen on the kitchen forum - soon!

love those IKEA drawers! if I change any of my base cabs out I'll most likely replace with IKEA.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 12:54AM
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Shelayne, woman, I need you to tell us about what you did to get your IKEA kitchen looking like you wanted. Those bowls in the drawer standing on edge, sheer inspiration, but I need to know how deep that drawer space is.

Because YES I AM GOING IKEA!!! Cabinet legs and all.
Shelayne, please if you have a thread on another forum about your kitchen project, could you just drop the link here? It will be very much appreciated. I think I'm seeing the beadboard doors that I like in one of your pictures.

Glad you stopped in again. Don't stay away so long.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 3:10PM
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I went over to Kitchens and put in just SHELAYNE for my search parameter, and got a chunk of threads with a lot of meat on em, to which Shelayne contributed.

None seem older than December 2011, at least for the first 20 hits. It should keep me busy sorting through for what I want, you might try and see things you want as well. Not all kitchens have to be NEW, some are just a redo.

It's a gray windy rainy stormy day here in south Alabama, what better activity than sorting through information, like finding treasure in the attic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shelayne's kitchen thread contributions

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 3:17PM
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yes, I recognize her name (sticks w/me because that was what I planned to name my dd - except my cousin had her dd before mine was born and that's what she named her dd).

I knew she was on kitchens but couldn't remember if she was finished or still in process. we know her cabs are in now tho!

ML - you're gonna have to give us a step by step description of putting together the IKEA cabs... then I'll decide if I should go that route. I sure love the organization of the drawers.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 3:48AM
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Aw shucks, you guys. I feel so gooey inside. ;^)

Moccasinlanding, that IKEA deep drawer with the baking dishes, is the 12.5" drawer front--the standard IKEA bottom drawer of the deep drawers. The tupperware one is the middle drawer, at 11.25". The inserts are the Rationell inserts they sell separately. I have the older style. I noticed in the latest catalogue that they look different. I suppose I will have to check out the newer style.

I am headoverheels in love with my drawers. I may have mentioned that. LOL. I have just about everything in the drawers, including my everyday plates and glasses. Another favorite is the pots and pans drawers--LOVE! DH used to say that it sounded like "you are having a fight to the death with an intruder" every time I had to retrieve a pan in our old set-up. Hahaha! It kinda felt like that, too. ;^)

Yes, the kitchen is *ALMOST* done, so close I can taste it, and I PROMISE to post it here as well as Kitchens, with all the gory details. It is not a huge kitchen, by any means, but taking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, gave us an entirely new space--with all sorts of storage opportunities--and BOYOHBOY did I take those opportunities and run. DH pokes a little fun at me calling everything "stations". Like, "Where is the potato peeler station?" or "Where is the cheese grater station?" He is so silly, but he has to admit, that we know where everything is now.

I thought we would wrap this baby up this past weekend, but instead we have had to stop to address a bathroom issue. GAAAAAH! This is the life of DIYers, I guess. I thought I was going to be done last spring. Silly, silly girl. :^p

Steph, I have to say that assembling IKEA kitchen cabinets is SO EASY! I promise you, you will be floored at how easy. You don't need any fancy tools--A Phillips screwdriver and a hammer. Really. The drawers are the EASIEST part, as they just snap together. I couldn't believe how easy they were! I did all the assembly by myself, so I can honestly tell you that they are not difficult at all. After the first one, they go faster and faster. I was banging them out in 10 minutes! In fact, DH and I would race. He would be putting up the rail to hang the cabinets, and I would be assembling that same cabinet. LOL. We are so competitive, we even made the kitchen a race. P.S. I won. :^D

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 5:40PM
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OOPS. I totally forgot that ML asked for a link to kitchen pics. I have a sorta/kinda blog going on Ikeafans, where there are some photos of the progress or non-progress in some cases, in case you are interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shelayne's IKEA kitchen

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 6:30PM
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that's super that the drawers are that easy. I've decided if I change anything out in the kitchen (survive long enough to do that and have any energy left) that it'll just be the base cabs - making them drawers. would putting 4 drawers in a stack be easy to do?

are the drawers you posted above 24" wide? (that's my guess from what's in them). I wouldn't need but maybe 2 that deep. I sure don't have the amount of cooking things you do. not anymore since I seldom cook. I've got 2 pots, 2 skillets and 1 lid these days. I found a saucepan that looks to be about 2 cps - don't know what I'd use that for anymore... I would like to put my dishes in drawers tho - that's a set for 4 - again won't need much height for that. and 1 for my most used mugs and glasses (ok, I have about 3 glasses. somewhere I have a set of 8 my dd gave me about 20 yrs ago. never opened it yet). I have 6 base cabs including the sink base. not counting the dead corner.

I read on your blog some - love what I can see there of your new kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 1:56AM
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Hi Steph, the drawers above are actually 30" wide. I do have 24" wide ones as well, and they hold a LOT! Yes, a 4-drawer stack is just as easy as the 3-drawer. I have a 4-drawer in 18" wide. Just know that the 4-drawer's bottom deep drawer is 11.25" high, as opposed to the 12.5", when there are only 3 drawers. I hope that made sense. LOL.

You can do so much with the IKEA cabinets. The base cabinets can be made into many different configurations, as everything can be sold individually. Of course, you can just buy a complete base, with the style of door/drawer you want as well. That is one of many things I love about IKEA kitchens.

If you have an IKEA near you, and when you are ready, I would suggest picking up a 3 or 4-drawer base cabinet in the cheapest door style (Harlig--it's only about $4-6 per drawer front.) unless you KNOW which style you want, and give a try assembling it. Their directions are PICTURES, not a bunch of words, so you can easily see what you are supposed to do.

That is what I did, and I did it because DH was NOT on board with IKEA, as he thought the kitchens were like their Malm dressers. He is not thrilled with those at all. So I purchased a 3-drawer stack with the cheapest drawers to show him. That cabinet is now in our linen closet.

And as I mentioned above, I was amazed at how easy the drawers were, as the drawers on the Malm dresser were not fun to assemble. The kitchen drawers, on the other hand, were soooo easy! Snap, snap, slide, done. :^)

There are also many tutorials about assembling IKEA kitchen cabinets--you can find all sorts on Ikeafans, and there are also Youtube videos.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 10:12AM
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Shelayne, so pleased to see you in the house here. Oh yeah, I'll be interested in your IKEA kitchen blog. I have registered there, but not shown up lately. Seeing your kitchen is persuasive enough to get me there.

What you did to convince your DH sounds like a good plan to me. My DH must think just like yours. But to last for the rest of my life, hey, 20 years would be a LOOOOONG life expectancy..

The closest IKEA for meis Atlanta, and that is about 400 miles away. I'd probably fly up, spend about 2 days shopping there, and then drive a truck loaded up with STUFF home. Flat packed in boxes, I might be able to rent a cargo van instead of a 10-wheeler.

IKEAfans is very informative, but I found it somewhat hard to get around there.

Shelayne, please come back often, we/I really want to hear the story of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:15PM
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Hi I have a 15" cabinet w/ a small useless shelf . Can I fit sliding shelves into it or can it be fitted w/ drawers ?If anyone would know, you guys would know :)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 4:32PM
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hey, I thought about just getting one to attempt to assemble too -lol! figured i wouldn't be out that much money and if too difficult I wouldn't have to bother to return it. IKEA's about 30 miles from me and that's a long drive for me. Lot's of traffic into Tempe!

I do have 1 cabinet that is 30" wide and 1 that I think could expand to 24" (that'll depend on how much space my fridge takes up; I wanna leave a few inches in case I have to replace it). I've considered putting the dw there if not too expensive to replumb/wire it to the right of my sink.

If I do that I'd have a 24" space to the left of the sink where dw in now.

I looked inside of all of my cabs - even the base ones - and all except the sink cab are in really good shape (the guts of them). the doors and drawers are horrible!

the left side of the sink cab is disconnected from the floor of the cab where they should be joined. ick. I have wondered if I could just assemble a new 'side' and 'floor' piece and glue it over what is there now or I might be able to prop up the floor on that side and replace the 'side' piece when the dead dw is pulled out and before the new / used one is put in.

i've been looking in all the cabs to see if any 'openings' - of any size to close up / seal. don't want any icky critters coming in! sadly my arms aren't long enough to even reach to the back wall inside a cab.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 11:21PM
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Hi I have a 15" cabinet w/ a small useless shelf . Can I fit sliding shelves into it or can it be fitted w/ drawers ?If anyone would know, you guys would know :)

I am assuming it is a base cabinet that is 15" wide and the usual 24" depth. And YES YOU CAN. I have a cabinet just that size beside my fridge and we took out that half shelf (which was sort of there to keep the cab rigid, but not really worried about it), and now I have a Rev-A-Shelf roll out installed. GOOD quality stuff. You can get it at Lowes, and maybe the other big box store as well. But we happened to buy our products over at Lowes in the closet supplies section.

I also noted you started a thread about soapstone/marble counter top inset. Won't reply to it because it would drop out of top slot and I have no experience with either product.

My counter tops up north are all the Silestone quartz, STELLAR SNOW. LOVE it so much, gonna put the same product and color in down here in AL as well. But since I have an almost GALLEY style kitchen here, I will put stainless counter top on the cooking side. I will have a chance to add a different feature on the cooking side, though, and am thinking of it being butcherblock. It will be at the end of the counter, where I think there will be room to make an "L"
that sticks out about 12 inches further and has doors or drawers on the side away from the range. So I can put my brand new mixer down there, with some sort of popup mechanism. I don't think I'll be able to pick it up easily, and it is a heavy sucker. So, like the old typewriter desk hardware, this could help. I do not like stuff on my countertops. But I like open shelving. Go figure.

Steph, I'm not sure I understand your issue with the floor piece. I'm planning to eliminate the toe kick space, and put all of my cabs up off the floor. In a house where it might not be level flooring, this is better to do, because you can screw the bottoms out or in to reach level at the top.

And, about the critters, out there in your desert country, I would not want to encounter an irritated scorpion or a very angry rattler. Even here in Alabama, it has been known to have big snakes come in around the piping and lie all cozy under the sink cabs. It was sort of happening in my OLD bathroom here, because there was NO FLOOR BENEATH THE TUB. My cat caught a squirrel inside the house, I'd been grossed out because I thought it was a rat, until I saw what she'd left of its carcass--the rear end, she ate the front half. And my next door neighbor's cat caught a snake which was beneath her kitchen sink. That was when I lived on the bayou though. Here it is mostly squirrels--or it was until I tore out the old bathroom. No new uninvited guests these days.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 1:19PM
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ML- it's the actual side and bottom of the cab box... the left 'wall' of it and the bottom /'floor' of the cab that have come apart. from the other holes in walls and doors found in there I wouldn't be shocked to find the dude who lived here before kicked it in.
While typing about it above it hit me that when the dw is pulled out (to be replaced) there'll be better access to that cabinet side to see the damage and decide how to repair it - if possible. If not repairable, the whole cab will have to be replaced.

it's still connected (glued? screwed? both?) on the other side - and on the back. I think - I'll have to double check the back part.

I do plan to plug up any gaps around piping. I'd really like to just cut a piece of the back of the cab out so I can see that it's all closed in where the piping comes into the home and close that up also if it isn't already.
I'd replace the piece i cut out of course. I'm using a sample vinyl tile to close a few gaps. will measure it out into 2 pieces to fit together AROUND the pipe. It'll glue itself to the back wall of the cab and then I'll caulk where the tile encircles the pipe. as of now there's probably a gap of about an inch around it!

that's terrible about no floor under your old tub - ick! and ick on the squirrel. yrs ago we had a squirrel get in our attic. he gnawed away on the corner of a bookcase and I thought we had termites... had the exterminators out and they determined it had been a squirrel. we plugged up his entrance!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 8:45PM
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EAT REAL FOOD, I am going to do exactly that. I bought the drawer glides at Lowe's and will just have to put a spacer on each side so it is flush with the door opening.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 9:50PM
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Shelayne, where did you source those amazing drawer dividers?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 12:17PM
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Jackie - do you mean the dividers in drawer with her glass baking dishes? I believe those are from Ikea also. Others on kitchens have used them.

you might search for her kitchen thread on kitchens. or check the Ikea website.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2015 at 12:24AM
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Interesting that this thread surfaced three years later. I just built my first kitchen cabinet!

To sum up, the kitchen will have 32 drawers and two tall pull-outs. The only cabinet doors will be under the two sinks. No upper cabinets at all, at least for now. I do have one wall that I could put them on, but i don't think we'll need them. Each stack of drawers will have 4 drawers, and the one on the bottom incorporates the toe kick, so the bottom of the drawer goes almost to the floor, rather than 4" of wasted space under the cabinet.

I'm building my own cabinets from scratch, partially because none of mine lend themselves to standard sizes, and partially because I'm building the entire house, and this is my favorite part!

Because of my kitchen layout, there are three inside corners. One is where the peninsula meets another counter. I'm going to a wheeled bin under that corner, accessed from the other side. One corner has no cabinet under it; just a counter top, so I can sit there and do prep work. The third corner will have drawers, and some waste space. I'm working on a design for a small appliance lift so I can keep the mixer in the blind corner, but out of sight when not being used.

Someday, there WILL be a kitchen build thread, because our kitchen has a lot of unique features, especially for a small, budget house.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2015 at 6:50AM
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32 drawers - awesome! If you find you don't need that many, send me a few - lol!

I like that it popped up also. Has Shelayne telling about the Ikea drawers. I do want to have the lower doors on my end cabinet (the type with uppers and lowers and a 'hole' in the middle at counter height) changed out to drawers. Might even have one put up above where doors are now - in the 'hole'. I'd still have room in the 'hole' for my CD player and puppy cookie jar.

I'll have to ask my handyman if he wants to tackle it... but even 3 more drawers (24"w) would sure be nice!
I'm ok with him finding usable/good condition drawers at the resale place or Ikea. 4 would be even better.

btw, can't wait to see your kitchen and all the neat features you put in it - HURRY!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2015 at 11:40PM
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Jay, I'm pleased that it resurfaced when it did. For one thing, I stand corrected on my claim that the Bertazzoni range has been in the Teahouse for TWO YEARS. No. Indeed, it has been in there longer than that. I mentioned it on January 27, 2012, as being my NEW BERTAZZONI IN THE TEAHOUSE. So that means it is THREE years old and never been used, is a new stove. I've been waiting a long time to use the wok, to make a nice omelette, to bake bread. won't be long now.

I've never built a drawer, Jay. You and MamaGoose are way ahead of me.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2015 at 7:37PM
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Oh man, Moccasin, I bet you can hardly wait!! I am excited for you! :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 6:54AM
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Indeed, I cannot wait, Shelayne! This 65 year old cottage will be fresh as a spring chick just like my hosta garden, both emerging near the same time. Sleeping beauties you might say.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 7:56PM
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Here's a sneak peek at some of the kitchen cabinets. Bear in mind that they are raw, without finished fronts, edge banding, or permanent handles. One pic shows what they will look like, prior to paint, with the antique type tray pulls.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 6:23AM
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Moccasin, I love how your lower drawers are constructed to use the toe kick space. And the inset to double the drawer space. Perfect. Me want!

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 6:49AM
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mushcreek-- lovin' the drawers! It is going to be fab!

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 7:13PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Wow, I'm impressed by the thought that's been put into the design of those drawers, especially the one incorporating the toekick space. I love the drawer pulls, but the ones that were used previously (in the first pic), are very nice, too. ;)

    Bookmark   Yesterday at 8:34AM
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