how to redo a kitchen table

This made me realize how much I take for granted that people know where to put things, regardless of whether or not they’ve just re-done their kitchens, are embarking on a remodel, or are living with what they have. Since I can’t get back to my hometown this weekend to help my sister organize, I’ll do what I can via this Ideabook. Hope it helps her and maybe you, too. It may be a trial and error experience — it’s all about intuitively feeling your way around a kitchen, and every space is different.

1. Start with the basics: silverware. I like to put silverware in an upper small drawer close to the dishwasher, if you don’t have a dishwasher then close to the sink, if you don’t have a sink…well, this ideabook may not interest you :) It’s all about ease of clean up and putting items away when it comes to silverware…if there’s an island, then I sometimes put the silverware drawer in the island, but still a pivot away from the dishwasher or main sink. If you’re dealing with an existing kitchen, run out and buy a silverware organizer… and I’m a big fan of containers that look nice even inside closed drawers — they’ll make you happy when you open them. The most frustrating thing about poorly designed kitchens (or anything for that matter) is that you spend time searching for things in vain). Here, the obvious spot is the small drawer to right of the sink. Even though there’s a drawer to the left of this dishwasher, I wouldn’t use it for silverware because it would be hard to access when the dishwasher is open. I’d go for a drawer to the right of the sink, even though it’s a bit further away.
how to redo a kitchen table


2. Where to put everyday dishes? If you’re lucky enough to have more than one cabinet for dishes and glassware, think about something close to the dishwasher — but not in the way of its open door. If you’re standing at the sink, and the dishwasher is to the right, then put the everyday dishes and glasses to the left of the sink/dishwasher. If you’re lacking wall cabinets but find yourself with lots of tall storage space, use a pantry cabinet for dishes instead. Another idea: If you’re limited on wall cabinets and tall cabinets, look for a tall furniture style hutch or glass front storage cabinet and put it on a naked wall. Even though this might not be conveniently placed in the middle of the work triangle, it looks great, and taking a few extra steps to put the dishes away is a small price to pay for storage and style.
Drawer inserts are great option for kitchens short on wall cabinet storage. These caddies fit in lots of different cabinets sizes and you can pick up a whole stack of plates at once to set the table.Or take the doors off one of your existing cabinets to open up the space a bit and create a decorative and easy-access design for everyday items.

3. Cookbooks, wine, and oversized bowls. If you have a cabinet above the refrigerator, consider taking off the doors and adding a wine rack or an extra shelf for cookbooks, or even a few cool looking serving bowls. Typically this deep, dead space ends up being full of less used items that just take up space. Instead, use that space for a pretty presentation.

4. Utensils, knives, and everyday spices. Whether it’s a wall rail system for utensils and spices, a silverware organizer, a pot rack, or a spice drawer insert, check out all the amazing organizers out there on the market that are designed to be adjustable and fit existing kitchen cabinets of various sizes. Items like small appliances, large pots, mixing bowls and salad bowls are well situated to open shelves under islands or a baker’s rack if you can carve out some space for it.

5. Oils, vinegars, and taller spices. Imagine yourself cooking in your kitchen. Oils, vinegars, and items in taller spice jars, salt, condiments, sauces, etc. are nice to have in one cabinet to the left or right of the stove. You don't necessary want to walk to the pantry to get these particular items every time you need them. If you have cabinets between your sink and stove as shown here, tall spices, oils and vinegars are ideally suited to that furthest wall cabinet on the right.
how to redo a kitchen table


6. Pots and pans. Pots and pans should be put in a location that makes sense: near the stove (or cooktop). I prefer roll-out shelves as opposed to drawers for pots and pans, and if you can have a dedicated lid drawer, even better. The reason I like roll-outs is that they’re shallower: I can see what I need, as opposed to drawers where I often have to pull out the pots on top to get to the one on the bottom. If you have a cooktop, underneath is ideal. To the side is fine when you have a range, and if you don’t have room for a large cabinet to the side of your stove (27"-30” wide minimum), the island right near the stove is fine, too. If you don’t have an island put them in a cabinet perpendicular to you, or a pivot away in a peninsula.

7. Dry goods and the food pantry. To answer my sister’s question: Yes, if you have a pantry, put all your food there! Don’t spread it out in wall cabinets just because you have empty cabinets! Walking around opening doors looking for things you can’t find is one of the most annoying and frustrating things, and often keeps people from enjoying cooking. Less-used spices and sauces can go into the pantry, but put the items you use more often close to the stove. If you’re a baker, and you have the space, carve out a spot just for baking items like sugar, flour, etc. I have a client who truly has a sprinkle drawer!

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