Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Appleshine: Unpacking a Kitchen (Part 2)

In yesterday's post, I started unpacking my client's kitchen.  She'd just moved from her small apartment to a more spacious loft and had no idea how to layout her kitchen.  

I unpacked all her boxes, displaying her belongings on the floor so I could see all that I had to work with.  Taking into consideration the design of the kitchen, I approached the storage with a logical and realistic sense of efficiency.  Take a look at the before/after pictures:

While it was tempting to put food in the cabinet closest to the fridge, I appreciated the simplicity of being able to unload the dishwasher and put the dishware directly in the cabinets above.  If the plates had been over the sink instead (note the Before photo), it would've required reaching around an open cabinet door in order to put a clean dish away.  Eliminating extra steps like that keep a kitchen running efficiently.

Many of her appliances and gadgets were a bright cherry red.  Instead of hiding them in cabinets, I chose the most suitable ones to display on her countertop.  When placing such items, keep the paper towels close to the sink (preferably on the right side as most are right-handed), the cooking utensils by the stove and larger electrical items accessible to an outlet.

These are 4 of her...wait for it...8 drawers!!  I know that may not seem so impressive to anyone outside of NYC but most of us deal with only one kitchen drawer.  (I wish I were exaggerating but I swear I'm not!)  I'd already filled her 4 stacked drawers with utensils, gadgets, tupperware and linens (respectively).  And since these were on the extended side of her prep area, I used them for extra smaller items, keeping like with like.

While it would've been more logical to keep pots and pans in the inner cabinet, closer to the stove, the design didn't lend itself to that idea.  The inner cabinet had a deep pocket, causing the top shelf to cut back.  So I kept more of her prep items (strainers, mixing bowls, measuring cups) there instead.  Notice that when storing the pots and pans, I kept the lids on top.  Sometimes it helps save space if you turn the lids upside down, creating a smooth surface to stack other items on.  However, unless you have a lid rack in your kitchen, it always saves time having the matching lid at hand rather than searching through loose ones.

It was a long day but in the end, I had a LOT of fun unpacking this kitchen. Starting from scratch with any organization project is a great time to implement good systems that work with the design of the space as well as the functioning needs.

Tell me, Appleshiners, what tips do you have on determining a layout for your kitchen supplies?

PS- Here are some great kitchen organizing tips from real cooks- twitter style.

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