Charging Station in Command Center

olivertwistkitchenJune 26, 2013

Plan is for a charging station for all our devices in the command center. There's going to be a shelf where we can plug in all our cell phones, kindles, iPad, etc. The question is exactly HOW to do this. Contractor today asked me if I want to use the plugs that are really USB ports. I didn't think that made sense, since not all of those devices use USBs, and I'm not convinced that USBs are really the way of the future. I figure with regular plugs or power strip or something I will leave my options open.

What do you guys think? What about USB plugs? How have you made your charging stations work? Thanks.

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lazy_gardens

We have a charging station that has a power strip with built-in USB power ports. You can plug a USB charger in directly, or use a wall wart for other devices.

I think USB is here to stay as a low-power charging method - it has electronic advantages that I don't want to have to explain.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:37AM
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gabbythecat

I am also not sure that USB is the way of the future. In 20 years it might be USB or something entirely different...we are going to just use a standard outlet - power strip or something. Not to mention, we can plug other things in there if necessary. It's easy enough to plug a USB hub into a standard outlet.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:54AM
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strayerdarb

I am trying to work this out myself. Right now I have this product I bought from Pottery Barn a long time ago. There's a power strip in the back with a removable back cover, and holes for the wires to come through. It looks like a shelf with a drawer below. I don't see why the cabinet designer couldn't mimic this idea but have it built into your cabinets somehow.

My cabinet designer is coming over and I am going to ask her how to do this.

Maybe it could be a drawer that is not as deep as normal and the power strip could be attached underneath to the decking under the granite, with holes in the back of the drawer for the cords to come through. To add or change things you'd have to get up under there though.

Or perhaps a shelf above the desk area with a tilt-out in the back area of the shelf. The shelf itself would not be as deep as a normal shelf would be because the tilt out thing would be built in the back of it. The tilt out could be similar to the tilt outs people put in front of the sink for sponges. The tilt out would house the power strip and have holes in it for the cords to come through, and your devices would lie on the shelf in front of the hidden powerstrip that is inside the tilt-out.

Plan on either a double wide power strip or lining up 2 powerstrips especially if you have a large family because I have found that I need more outlets.

As far as the USB, if there is a strip that has both that would be good. Mine only has regular plugs and I have put a few of the plug-to-USB adapters in it for the iphone and ipods because they only came with the USB cord for charging/syncing.

Still thinking...I will share the suggestions from the cabinet designer.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:59AM
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olivertwistkitchen

Gladys, that was my concern too. My other thoughts are that on the one hand it might be nice to have a "hidden" power strip with just cords hanging out to plug things in. But not everything charges that way. For instance, my camera to charge has to plug directly into an outlet, not a wire. Plus I was reading about vampire energy and if I leave the plugs plugged in all the time, I'll be draining energy. And if the power strip is hidden, I can't even turn it off.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:01AM
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meyersdvm

We had a similar charging station as Strayer, but it became a dumpling ground for clutter. I considered using a drawer as a charging station, but was concerned about the safety of it and always having a power strip plugged in. I decided to use a USB in combo with a standard GFCI receptacle. I keep the cords wound neatly with a Velcro strap in the closest drawer and they are plugged in only when needed. The USB charger has enough power to charge our iPads as well as a phone next to it and the other outlets next to it are available for other uses if needed.
So far I am very happy with this arrangement. Please ignore the drywall dust today :)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:18AM
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strayerdarb

If the cabinet designer could make it accessible, such as a lift up door or tilt out tray, you could open it to turn the power strip off.

Or...you could move the charging station out of the kitchen. I have a counter in my laundry room where I have moved everything and put a wireless printer so that I could get that out of the kitchen also. I do have my laptop in the kitchen still, but I can move that out when we have a party. Having the charging station somewhere else works for me for now until I fugure out if there is an elegant solutution for the kitchen desk area.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:31AM
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olivertwistkitchen

Thanks for the feedback.
FYI, we are already mid-construction, so a shelf within the command center in the kitchen is definitely happening, it's just a question of how to plug everything in.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:34AM
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justmakeit

I have a charging station in my back hall dumping cabinet, but I wish I'd given it more thought beforehand, as you are. We had the electrician do both USB and regular outlets above the counter, thinking we could use the counter for charging. This let to a mess o' cords every evening, and was highly unsatisfactory. Then the carpenter installed a power strip behind the back of the drawers and drilled a large hole in the drawer for the cords to come through. This is somewhat better, except that if you're traveling, it's difficult to get the cords out to take with you (we ended up getting duplicate cords just for travel). I'm happy to have a dedicated drawer for charging, though. I don't think USB outlets would have been the way to go, and neither does computer scientist DH :-)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:38AM
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olivertwistkitchen

justmakeit- I thought of your point as well. If it's so neatly tucked away and hidden, it will be a huge pain to get the cords out to travel or something. The tilt out door or something is an interesting idea, but I'm having trouble visualizing it.

The new command center is designed but not built so I can't attach a photo, but these were my inspiration photos. It will have a shelf hanging down from the cubbies (kind of like in the 2nd photo) where we want to put all of our electronic devices to charge.

Modern Kitchen by Portland Kitchen and Bath Fixtures Huggy Bear's Cupboards

Traditional Kitchen by Eugene Architects & Designers David Edrington, Architect

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 12:52PM
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annkh_nd

One of the goals for my kitchen remodel was to get junk off the counters - including chargers

I'm putting 2 outlets on the side wall of my command center (which will be in a 20" deep pantry cabinet). I'll have a shelf in the back where I can put rechargeable batteries, and a small basket for charging wires not in use. There are 2 separate outlets, rather than a 4-plex, to allow room to plug in larger things.

I'll post photos in August, after it's actually installed.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 9:26PM
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dilly_ny

I love my charging drawer, but clearly, it need cord management and organization. I have a plug strip and a 4 port USB adapter.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:38AM
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dilly_ny

I googled charging drawers and found this idea using binder clips to keep the wires contained. I'm going to give it a try.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY charging drawer

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:38AM
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laurajane02

Does anyone use a wireless charger?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 12:00PM
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live_wire_oak

Kemper makes several compact cabinet solutions for the issue.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 12:23PM
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