Hidden Gems

mom2reeseJuly 15, 2009

Well, 8 months after moving into our new house and still finishing out that 1% of the kitchen, DH and I have made a big decision to move. We probably won't start building/renovating for another year (we still have to find a property), but I'm already starting to plan my next kitchen.

I was looking at redroze's blog (love that kitchen), and one of the sections is entitled "hidden gems" such as hidden pullouts for a laptop, stained floor vents, etc. I've seen quite a few "oh, why didn't I think of that?" ideas on this board (one that comes to mind is the owner who put her island outlets hidden behind a tilt-out panel above the trash bin).

So, what are the hidden gems in your kitchen? Those little extras that make life easier but one doesn't necessarily think to do (or even know can be done?).


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Wow! Another new house? I don't know if they're gems, but I have a lot of customization in my cabinetry. My own blog isn't up to date, but they're installing the cabinetry now, and I will be posting pictures within the next week, if you want to have a look then. These include the horizontal and vertical tray cabinets, with doily shelf, Arlosmom blind corner pullouts mounted on adjustable shelves, extra deep drawers with interior pullouts, pastry board/cutting board caddy (pullout), pegboard cabinets, and dual operator euro style tapmaster.

Some things I considered that are also gems are surface mounted knife slots, a draining channel behind the cleanup sink, and floor grommets for power/phone/cable in the table area.

Have fun planning your next one!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 3:01PM
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I want to see your blog but the link did not work!
At any rate, I hope you post some pics here of your cool cabinetry ideas.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 3:08PM
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I love these kinds of threads so many fun ideas.

I donÂt have one, but I think a Toe Kick Step could be useful for many.

For example, if the MW is above the double oven and a little too tall to reach safely (for shorter folks or perhaps kids) - just tap the toe kick area and the step will pop out giving you that extra needed boost. Or, instead of making the counter in the baking zone lower for kneading and rolling, just add a toe kick step to give you some vertical advantage.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 3:24PM
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The buyers of your home will be so lucky to come into such a beautiful space. Your kitchen is one of my favorites and sits in my inspiration file for the next go around.

I love my wall cab knife pullout. It's behind a filler strip and keeps the knives away from the kids, but off my counters.

My next kitchen will also have some of the great hidden things I've seen here like toe-kick drawers, or that great paper towel cubby.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 4:35PM
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these are all great. I need to build two more kitchens, LOL.

pllog - cannot wait to see the pics!

LAX - thanks for the compliment. I LOVE that knife pullout - I am definitely going to try to incorporate this. That's brilliant!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 5:00PM
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I knew corner cabinets were not going to be for me, so I decided on corner shelves for the uppers and a 3 bin recycling center for the lower corner cabinet. Both of these decisions have worked out perfectly. I love beautiful bowls and now I can display them (and decorate for the holidays, too). I never thought I'd like my corner solutions so much!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 6:04PM
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LAX-- love that knife pullout!

I have an odd one: a single 220 outlet wired for European appliances. My husband is English, and I no longer (ever!) have to hear about how much better the European small electrics are. The electric tagine he lugged all the way from the UK can now work in the US exactly as it was intended. :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 6:14PM
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An electric tagine! Oh, I'm jealous. I've never seen such a thing.

Remodelqueen, love your corners.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 6:48PM
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Anna, thanks for telling me! The link is correct in the code. GW seems to have decided that if there's a link it must only go to GW so have some kind of bot or something that redirects it to a GW page!! This is where it thinks it's going: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/www.jcskitchen.net And, of course, there is no such page!!

The correct address is www dot jcskitchen dot net. There are two empty links on the index page, and I need to catch up the floor, but the work to date is mostly up. I'll also try to post some preliminary cabinet pictures...

Electric tagine!!! Oh my!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 7:02PM
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Remodelqueen, is it possible to get a further back picture of your corner so I can see how it looks in the context of the whole kitchen?

I am basically considering my corner unusable space no matter how it's set up, and your solution is the closest to usable I've seen!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 8:15PM
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Here's one- we don't have lighting yet, so it is kind of difficult to get a good shot. The little buffet lamp doesn't really help! :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 9:31PM
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I, too, love these kinds of threads -- but I can't look too closely as we are mostly complete, and I really have to be satisfied at this point -- my DH might disown me if I complained about one thing!

Anyway -- I'm short and our youngest is 6. We knew the micro would be on a shelf above the counter so our solution was to make a step out of the bottom drawer.

This is the "snack area" --- frig and freezer on each side, prep sink, bread drawer, micro is now in empty space above and toaster oven is on counter also. Kids utensils and small plastic cups are in drawers.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 9:56PM
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laxsupermom, I love your knife pullout and am kicking myself that I hadn't thought of that! That is a really great idea!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 10:33PM
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If I had a toe kick step, I know I'd wreck an ankle! I love my lowered countertops (island, baking area, and stove run). They aren't hidden, but most people don't notice until it's mentioned.

Remodelqueen, I LOVE your corner solution. I also love the built-in bookshelf in ours, and Vicnsb's closet-style pantry that tucks into a corner.

These also don't classify as hidden, but things I've seen here that I wish I'd done are bumped-out, to-the-counter-windows like mamadadapaige's and erikanh's so my window wouldn't be covered in splatters from the sink, a combo cooking area: gas and induction mix, like Gizmonike (who is the one with the island outlets behind a fake drawer front), and I wish I had more display type space...I love great bowls and I'd like to display them and store them at once.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 10:40PM
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Bumping this up...all you experienced kitchen remodelers, we newbies need your advice!

These are lifted from my friends's blog...thought some of them were worth listening to:
I have often mentioned that there are things I'd have done differently if I could do my home renovation over again. Well now that we are building a new house, I have the opportunity to do so. Here are some thoughts. I'll keep this post to the kitchen for now. I expect this will be a multi-part series!

Kitchen things I'd do again:

Big, ginormous, single bowl sink. Those two-bowl sinks are utterly useless. I love my enormous 32" wide, 10" deep sink. You can hide all your dirty dishes until AFTER the dinner party. And you can soak stuff. I hated my little sink where half my saute pan would stick up and out of the sink. Like I said, it was USELESS.
Big center island. I love a big workspace.
Prep sink + clean-up sink. Two sinks are essential. But consider placement (see below).

Double oven. Love it for entertaining a crowd.
Warming drawer. Ditto - great for entertaining.

Easily accessible garbage. I have one garbage pull-out by each sink. One has recycling + garbage and one is just garbage. We fill both.

Massive firepower at the cooktop. I have 22k BTU output on two of my burners which I find really useful for bringing big pots to boil or to do anything with a wok. No wimpy cooktops for me.

Dishdrawers. I love my Fisher Paykel dishdrawers. True, they are noisier than others but I love the convenience and ergonomics of the drawers. F&P now has a "tall" drawer which sounds really good to me. I particularly like them for glassware and for ease of loading and unloading.

Tapmaster. I can operate my sinks hands-free. It's very convenient when your hands are covered in raw chicken goo.
Glass-front cabinet doors. Brightens everything and prevents guests from wondering where the heck the water glasses are.
Drawers, drawers and more drawers! Can't get enough of them. With full-extension glides and the soft-close feature. Doors on lower cabinets are a way builders get by on a budget because they are cheap. And mostly useless. The worst thing ever in my opinion? Pull out drawers *behind* cabinet doors. Too many steps.

A walk-in pantry. Honestly, it's just about my favorite thing in my kitchen.

Kitchen things I might rethink or do differently this time around:

Stainless steel everywhere. Fingerprints much? EVERYWHERE! People with children, think long and hard about this. There are some nice new finishes with coatings that make this less of an issue. But kids have a way of imprinting their whole hand right in the middle of the stainless fridge door immediately after you've wiped it. Drives me bonkers.

Black counters. I like dark, simple, "quiet" stone but black is not a good idea. Shows dust and, in my case, everything else. Beware the honed black granite. Dumb, dumb, dumb of me.
Zero-radius corners in your sink. Fancy stainless steel sinks have these sharp corners. The rounded corners are easier to clean. The sharp corners get kinda funky.
A desk space. I have a 27" wide "drop-zone" as you enter my kitchen. That small space is where all the junk goes, including mail. It's entirely too small. Next kitchen will have a very large space for mail, coupons, phone, etc.
A recharging station. I don't have one but I need one.
More space for cutting boards and vertical storage of cookie sheets, cupcake tins, etc. I have one 12" lower cabinet and I need at least double that space.

Garbage disposals. I have one at each sink but I think I may only need one at the clean-up sink. I'm going to try to compost my prep sink remnants. I may not install a disposal at all this time and see how it goes. Seems very non-green to me to have these.
Prep sink placement. In my current kitchen I thought I wanted to space my sinks out so I put my prep sink in the island. But the cooktop is on the wall diagonally behind the prep area. So when I cook, I am always chopping on the island, then I have to turn around and transport the chopped stuff nearly 4' to the cooking zone. Not efficient at all.
On a similar note - a potfiller over your cooktop is pretty sweet if you can swing it. I may not get a potfiller exactly, but I think I will put the prep sink in very close proximity to the cooking zone. That way you get both water and a drain near where you cook. I am always skimming gunk off a pot of something or other and then hoping it doesn't drip on the way to the sink. Between that and the drippy produce from my cutting board, it's messy.
Microwave placement. Mine is a tad too high for me and definitely too high for the kids. I am pretty sure I am going to mount just below counter-height this time. Or just at counter height. I think I am going to put the microwave on a shelf and ditch the built-in kit. The kit costs almost as much as the appliance!
While I love cooking with gas, I am considering an induction cooktop. Induction is incredibly efficient and very sleek looking. Also very easy to clean and very safe for kids. I was thinking that I would couple this with a single wok burner so I can get the romance of the flame (and the "wok hee" thing going on with my stir-fry) but it's not the most cost-effective solution since many wok burners cost more than a whole cooktop. I might put the wok burner outside though so I don't need to put a wind tunnel-like ventilation system into this new kitchen. Also, the gas cooking makes the kitchen really warm up on already-warm summer days. With induction, more heat is going into the pan and less into the room. Still torn about this because I really covet a griddle and that's only happening with gas.

Ventilation. I have a supposedly kick-ass Vent-a-Hood today and for some reason it sucks at sucking. It's a big blower and it ain't quiet. I know it's pulling grease out because I see all kinds of gunk when I clean it. But I can have it running full speed and the room still fills with smoke when I'm wokking. Although a downdraft is kind of stupid as I am fighting physics, I have been thinking of it for the next kitchen only because of the aesthetics. I need to think this one through more.
Plugs and my island. Not enough and not well-placed. Maybe plugmold next time. I've seen people run it just under the lip of their countertops or right under their upper cabinets. I think Sheila Lukins (one of the Silver Palate cookbook ladies) recommended it somewhere.

Two dishwashers. I love my drawers but I am thinking that having one other dishwasher that is of the "standard" variety would be good.
30" deep kitchen counters. Normal counters are 24" deep. The wall where I have my sink is 30" deep and it's so much more useful than the conventional depth. First off, my sink is really large and the extra depth helps with that. But it also helps give workable space even if you have small appliances on the counter. The extra little bit really helps. You don't need special cabinets. They are all "regular" depth. I just had them set forward a bit.

Refrigeration. I have a 48" GE Monogram side-by-side today. It has super cold spots and occasionally food freezes in the fridge in a cold spot. I think this is where the dual compressor thing would be handy that Sub-zero has. Only I don't have that kind of budget. A fridge should not cost as much as an automobile unless it keeps your food cold and gets you to and from work everyday. Generally I need a lot of refrigeration space with 3 growing boys and only enough time to do one big shopping trip per week. I think I may do two 36" refrigerators. Two of everything seems to be the theme here. Thank goodness I have a large kitchen. But I don't want to spend a fortune on both purchasing and then running too many compressors. While I like the built-in look, I may abandon it for cost reasons. And no more side-by-sides. The freezer configuaration is lame.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 1:55AM
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I love my hot and cold water filtration system in my pantry. It is like a water cooler but hooked up directly to my main water line - no more lugging bottles and kids can make their own hot chocolate.
It is not hidden though. Scroll down to see pics.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 6:23AM
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Thanks for the compliments, everyone. I drew up the knife pullout after seeing a similar one here. I bought the cherry plywood, glides, and magnet strips. DH built it for me. I still haven't edge banded the open ply ends 'cause we're the world's slowest DIYers.

As long as we're adding unhidden wants - I, too, would love gas & induction like gizmonike's kitchen. I love love2cook4six's drawers within a drawer and her dual-action trash pullout that's accessible from both sides of her penninsula. Windows that go down to the counter will be in my next kitchen. Dual DWs are an idea I love from this site. It would keep dirty dishes out of my sink. I won't run a DW that's not full, but waiting for the next meal will usually yield too many dishes.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 7:15AM
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I love hearing about the unhidden gems too - basically anything that's not the "standard thing" to do.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 10:44AM
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I'm meeting with the cabinet maker soon. I showed the knife pullout to my DH five minutes ago and he rolled his eyes---but I'm bookmarking this page in order to incorporate some of these wonderful ideas. Thank you all!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 11:09AM
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Being only 5'1", I love having my step stool handy in a toe kick drawer.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 11:13AM
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Ooh...I also forgot to mention the pullout Gismonike has beside the oven for racks, etc...there is also good use of space under sinks. If I ever do a kitchen again, that one is my first stop for ideas of things to include.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 11:30AM
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Alice462 I love your Snack Zone. Can I see a picture of your whole kitchen so I can see this zone in context to the rest of the kitchen? Do you have a really large kitchen? I love the idea of zones but still have trouble seeing how to create them without a really large kitchen.

FirstHouse I found your post to be very helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to write it all out.

I appreciate everyones contribution and it sounds like I need to find Gismonike blog... :-)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 12:00PM
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jeri - sorry it took me a while to get to this and these pictures are not current, but I think shows what you are looking for. Our kitchen is an addition 16x22 and part of an overall whole house reno. We love the space and have been in and using it since about April, I think. Not ready for FKB, but we are happy to be using it!

This shot is from the eating area - doorway to left of freezer goes to laundry, doorway to right of frig goes to family room. There is a micro. in empty space above counter and toaster oven on counter just below.

Baking area and exterior door. Shot from eating area.

Main sink - shot from eating area.

Our island is in the "barrier" island category b/c it is between the path from frig to stovetop/sink. We have not found it to be a problem, I am pretty good about getting all cooking ingredients out so do not find my self trekking back and forth. Our desire for windows limited wall space so we had to compromise with an island cooktop - not ideal, but works for us and I'm happy we kept the windows.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 6:36AM
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Step stool in the toe kick drawer WOW! I am going to have to figure out how to get that since my cabinets are already ordered. What a great idea! And the knife pullout too -- I can just see my DH rolling his eyes as well LOL! This is great, thanks for the ideas!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 9:01AM
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Swickbb-- A small step stool fits well in the narrow tray divider drawer too (in case that is an option for you).

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 6:26PM
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laxsupermom: That knife pull-out is awesome. Can you give more details on how you did it? How wide of a fill space did it take?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 12:34AM
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mdod, It just uses a regular 3" filler strip for it's face. The space is a hair's width wider than 3" - just enough bigger that it opens & closes w/out binding. There are 3 overtravel(they go an extra inch further than full extension) drawer glides on the backside of it. The box is built like a drawer box that then sits on it's side out of 1/2 inch cherry plywood. The magnet strips are 3/8" thick. 2 glides would probably be enough, but we're DIYers who like to overengineer everything just in case.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 7:30PM
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Little gems:

- My knife drawer. Like a block, but a series of wooden strips mounted on a thin sheet of plywood. Fits inthe top drawer under my cooktop, and holds about 40 knives!

- My sunken utensil bin. A round hole cut into the countertop and filled with a removable stainless steel bin. This shows the top 4-6" of my utensils and keeps them handy but out of sight from across the raised island.

- Electrical outlets on the underside of my table-style island. Out of sight, out of mind, there if you need them.

- Combination plugmold, low horizontally-places outlets, and shallow undercabinet outlets. Again, out of sight, out of mind, there if you need them.

- Cup hooks on the underside of my dish shelves. An oldie, but a goodie.

- Pull-out spice drawer with a boxed 'test tube rack' for my spices. I'm up to 72 spices and counting... All alphebetized and easy and inexpensive to refill.

- Airswitch button for my island garbage disposal.

- Dark plugs and plates for my dark backsplash; light plugs and plates for my light backsplash. Wooden plates for the plates on the wooded outside of my island.

- Trash pullouts at bothe the prep sink and main sink.

- A warming drawer right beside the cooktop. Makes perfectly-timed dinners served hot on hot plates a breeze.

- Extra fridge and freezer in a walk-in pantry! No more 'out to the garage'...

- Re-using our old kitchen countertops (Corian) for our pantry shelves. Durable, easy to clean, and green! Plus a wider, deep coiunter-height pantry section for setting down groceries.

- Black rubber pot-holders that hang inconspicuously on the handles of our black wall wall ovens. Always there when you need them, and so low-key.

- My junk closet! We had a little closet in the hallway that we use for my purse, basic office supplies, calendars, school forms, kid's backpack, dog food, cell phone chargers, keys -- the kind of stuff that clutters an island. And doors to hide it!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 8:49PM
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So many great ones here!

- Like Sweeby, I love our electrical outlet under the island. Ours is under the overhang and is perfect for keeping our laptops charged when we're hanging out working, checking emails, surfing GW, etc!

- The "custom" shelf our cabinet maker built for our Magic Corner units. I really wanted a super susan but the layout wouldn't allow for a full one, and it really bugged me that the Magic Corner units didn't use the corner space fully. The solution he came up with was to build us a custom wooden shelf for each corner that is wider and deeper. Fits lots more stuff and I'm sure he has used this with other clients.

- Our all fridge and separate freezer drawers. Perfect size for the two of us (full fridge and freezer in basement for entertaining)

- Our extra cookbook shelf built into the top of one of our pantries

- Our under the stairs drawers for shoes and boots

- How the woman who hand painted our cabinets also painted our freezer drawer grill so that it perfectly blends...

- And how Trixie's eyes match the new cabinetry! (couldn't resist this one :-)


    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 9:39PM
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bump : )

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 4:20PM
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From Misc photos

Haven't finished this yet, but have a feeling it will be the thing I adore....paper towel holder in island!

Tapmaster foot pedal for water without using the handle.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 12:42AM
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Circus Peanut

We racked our brains for something to do with an 8" empty spot next to the fridge -- we ultimately nixed a broom closet in favor of slide-out bin shelves. They're little but very mighty, and hold a pantry's worth of stuff:

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 3:19PM
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Circuspeanut, those are cool!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 5:58PM
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Don't know how gemmy, but nicely hidden and we really like it: An aftermarket door-mounted trash pullout used to hold pet food. The food manufacturer recommends leaving it in the bag, which is fine with us, and a whole new bag stuffs perfectly down into the plastic can and rolls back inaccessibly (for them) into the cabinet. Super tidy and as easy to access as I can ask for at 5 a.m. with pets crowding under my feet.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 8:23PM
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Thanks so much for all the ideas! It makes leaving my new kitchen behind much more palatable :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 10:27PM
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I didn't want flour and sugar canisters on the counter but I wanted them at counter height rather than in a drawer. Our baking cabinet is a tall cabinet next to our mixer and I have a pull out in it that is counter height. While baking I open the door and roll out the shelf with all the important baking stuff on it (incl. baking powder & soda). I leave it out while I'm working then push it back in and close the door when done.

We have a tall cabinet that separates the kitchen from the dining room. The upper portion has glass on 3 sides with doors opening to both the kitchen side and the table side for easy access to dishes. The cabinet looks like a hutch from the dining room side and has 18" tall doors at counter height (spanning the height between the counters and uppers). The doors open as a pass through.

Another hidden gem is our tv on a pull out arm in the cabinet above the fridge.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 12:19PM
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Zelmar I'd love to see a photo of your tv on the pull out arm!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 2:25PM
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hi southernsticher,

We used half the cabinet for the tv (a small 15" tv) and the other half for baking/roasting pan storage.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 9:12PM
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Okay this is from my last kitchen, the one I loved. But I converted the old ironing cupboard into a spice cupboard. It was the very best part of our kitchen. You could fit 2 spices front and back and it was so easy to get to. I also stored the zillion BBQ sauces my brother-in-law kept sending us. I miss this cupboard almost more than anything else in my old house!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 11:37PM
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I Like the cat in your photo. The hidden gems are awesome!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 5:02AM
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Thanks for the photo, zelmar, it's super cool!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 5:06PM
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On the inside of our upper pantry cabinet, I mounted a sheet of metal to use as a magnetic post-it board, rather than having the new fridge covered with magnets and notes and stuff.

On the back side of our angled peninsula, we have a large decorative panel that looks like the cabinet doors. Rather than just nailing or screwing the panel to the back of the peninsula cabinet, I attached it with accuride cabinet slides so that it can slide to the side exposing the triangular gap between the cabinets along the wall and the peninsula cabinet, which can be used as additional "secret" storage.

Also because there was no room for a broom closet in the new kitchen, I made one just around the corner from the kitchen in the living room.
However having a normal door there would have looked really out of place. So this is the solution I came up with:

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 11:36AM
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Bob cville--that is BRILLIANT!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 2:41PM
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Circuspeanut, do you have photos of the whole wall with your refrigerator? I am also considering open shelves above it.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 2:33PM
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Bob_cville's a genius on more fronts than just the ones he shared above . . . his custom drawer dividers are fabulous . . . and his timing was perfect for me. I'd just found the little brackets at Lee Valley and wondered if they worked. Bob used them, and I've got a box of them sitting on the counter waiting for me to plan layouts for the drawers. Thanks again, Bob!

Also, I know there are mixed opinions on this, and they're surely not hidden, but I LOVE my big drawers rather than lower cabinets.

In my last kitchen, we never really used the bar stools at the island, except when entertaiing, so this time we opted for a dropped table-for-two at the end of the island. Three grandkids fit there easily, and DH and I like it better. I often sit there to do chores like cleaning beans or some other time-taking task. It's been a Godsend with my broken ankle! And hidden, between the tabletop and island top is a plugmold, spraypainted charcoal to match the cabinets.

Also, maybe everyone with an appliance garage does this -- I had a quad-plug installed in the back wall and leave all appliances plugged in, and just pull them out when needed.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 8:44PM
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Dear rubyfig,

Thanks for the great suggestion. I immediately moved my red stepstool to to my tray cabinet. It's perfect and right in the middle of my kitchen.

susie1010 (5'2")

href="http://s753.photobucket.com/albums/xx174/susie1010/?action=view¤t=007.jpg"; target="_blank">

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 1:50AM
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A lot of my favorites aren't really 'hidden gems', just planning. We have a very small kitchen so
*I reserved one drawer for me and one for my fiance for, well, anything. Our personalized 'junk' drawers SO cuts down on clutter and helps when I'm straightening, so I can just toss his stuff in there and he deals with later.
*Our snack drawer. One drawer devoted to snacks. With limited room, we have limited stocks, and sometimes things I had stashed for lunches or dinners would have been snacked on. Grrr.
*In general, I really put a lot of thought (like, a full drawer plan with labels prior to purchasing a thing) as to where things went. It's noticeable. For instance, we don't have to move our feet to make coffee, tea, pour beverages from the sink, etc. Everything is where it's supposed to be.

But our favorite has to be our pantry. We live in a 50's ranch and had a common, but useless, 8" deep broom closet. I had installed pantry shelves in it when we moved in, but the door was hard to open and it wasn't usable. We installed cabinets inside and left 17" at the bottom for dog bowls so the dog's out of the way when eating. All of her food, leashes, bags, etc. are in the bottom drawer - easy to feed her, and everything's right there by the back door for walks!

Pantry before - door closed

Pantry before - door open

New pantry and dog station

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 12:15PM
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susie--so glad it helped. Thanks for sharing the picture!

reedrune--what a clever idea!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 12:44PM
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reedrune - thanks for posting your pantry. I have an area that will be 21" wide by 12" deep and really wanted to put something in that space but was talked out of it by the KD. I am going to go back to him and show him this.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 12:58PM
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malhgold - I love the shallowness of the space - stuff doesn't get lost! I love it! It get's the most 'wow' comments from folks. Especially pet-owners :-)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 2:28PM
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My favorites are the plug strips that run under all the upper cabinets just out of sight and also underneath the granite overhang of the island. Mine are flat and have plugs every 12" , but I know they come every 6" as well. I have also seen angled ones, sort of triangular that set perfectly into the angle between the wall and the upper cabinet. I have more outlets than I could ever use and one is always where it's needed.

I also like my appliance garage with cabinet doors as it uses space in a corner that otherwise would not have been used. I'll try to post a picture. It is in the photo gallery but I haven't yet figured out how to post pictures here.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 10:04PM
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    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 3:30AM
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    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 2:13PM
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I love this thread!

I don't have anything to show yet, but a few things I am doing that I am really excited about are:
- A custom baking cart/mini-island that rolls out from under my huge island and also acts as a cooling rack. I had the width made to fit standard half sheet and quarter sheet baking pans, with a drawer to hold baking items. With the baking pans on the racks below, I can also use it to store additional items like rolling pins and stuff. I plan to store my hand mixer on the bottom shelf. This is my compromise because I couldn't change my layout to accommodate a dedicated baking station.
It's not done yet, but here is a photo of the inspiration cart (sorry so blurry) and next to it my unfinished cart where I'm stacking pans right now because I took down my pot rack for the remodel. To be done - paint, countertop, installation of metal racks along the long side:

- I am having a pantry cabinet/fridge surround built and am converting the otherwise empty space on the sides that would be taken up with molding into very shallow cabs. On one side, I plan to store my spices, meds and other narrow items. On the pantry side, I made the shelves deeper and will use it as a message center and charging station. I'm also planning on painting the inside doors with magnetic paint for our magnet collection and to act as a message board. DH and kids are messy, so hoping to hide stuff behind cab doors. :-)

1st pic: Message center /charging station side. It's going to be wired for electrical and our LAN so we can install a flat PC or laptop too. 2nd pic: Spice rack side, also wired for electrical.

Ideas I stole from this forum
- Plugmolds under the wall cabs and under one side of the island so I have a clean backsplash with only outlets on the two far ends where there will be small ap*pliances in front. DH worked really hard to do this!
- Island outlet behind a false front cab drawer.
- Making fridge surround deeper so my fridge didn't stick out.
- Too many others to remember!

Ideas I want to do but need to figure out how -
- A folding stool or Kik step somewhere accessible but not in the way for short me.
- Knife organizer in a drawer or somewhere.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:27PM
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Ooohhh I just found another thing I HAVE to have. :-D
The foot pedal for my trash can cab! (thread)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:56PM
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Bump! Great thread!

You all are brilliant!! I am so impressed!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 11:34AM
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Love this thread, too. I am also happy to report that since I started this post last summer, DH and I decided not to move and I'm getting to enjoy my new kitchen a while longer!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 2:14PM
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ciana--your baking cart is fabulous. I'm not a baker and I don't have space for an island, but your cart makes me want to start baking and find space. What a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing.

I have a shallow cabinet that is just deep enough for cans of vegetables/fruit etc. I have it shelved so there is just enough room for the cans plus about 1" so there are lots of shelves from floor to ceiling. THis is one of my favorite cabinets...I love the cans only being one can deep...I can see what I have.

We also have a message cabinet that is on the side of an upper cabinet that we use as a charging station and such. I was going to put cork in it to pin stuff up, but the magnetic paint is an even better idea. Thanks.

I've learned so much on this board to list.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 2:26PM
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mom2reese - so glad you get to enjoy your kitchen longer! And thanks for starting this thread. I go back to this one over and over and hope it will be around for a long time to come.

eks6426 - thanks! When I saw the inspiration baking cart on the cover of a book, I had to buy the whole book "The Kitchen Idea Book" just for the cart.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 7:00PM
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I love this thread.

Kickspace drawers are one of my favorite ideas. I used a grommet as a "finger hole" to pull them out.
It is very seamless along the kickspace and only noticeable if you get down very low to look.
I can keep all my extra money hidden in there. Oh yeah, nothing extra now after the reno..LOL

Weird colour but here they are closed, picture taken from close to the floor

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 11:26AM
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    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 6:26PM
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I have deep pullout drawers in my island, facing the sink, specifically for the cat food bowls and cat food. They overhang a matching platform on the floor where the cats eat. Everything is very much concentrated near the sink, garbage, and recycling bin. Wonderful. The cats were trained to eat there in a couple of days.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 7:08PM
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    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 11:31AM
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