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Of all the spaces we get to design here at TLD, kitchens are far and away my favorite. One, because as we call can attest, it tends to be the room where people just want to be. And two, becuase whether you love to cook or loathe it, preparing meals is a part of being human, and when you can do it in a space that is not only beautiful, but packed with function, it makes the experience SO MUCH BETTER.
I went through the dozens and dozens of kitchens we've designed and pulled together my top 10 list of the best customizations that we love to include. Some of these can really only be done when you replace your cabinets, but others have retro-fittable solutions! We've included product information for both so that if you are planning to renovate you can share them with your contractor!
Humans are creatures of convenience, and we are ALL more likley to recyle if the bin is close at hand instead of out in the garage. This double trash/recycle pull out fits in a 15"-18" space and contains both bins! No ugly trash cans sitting out or inside the pantry. You can retro fit them into a cabinet as well using this guy in wood or metal!
KNIFE BLOCK BUILT-IN
If you are past the age of small children opening all of your cabinets, and you love a counter clear of clutter, this one's for you. This pull-out takes about 9" of space and can hold all of your knives (and utensils!). The knife block area is filled with tall plastic-y rods (think about a hair comb - the bristles are all packed together next to each other) so they can house any and all knives. We like to place these near where you're likely to use your cutting board so your knives are right where you want them.
There are a couple of ways you can store your utensils. The first is in a drawer, and this can either be custom and built in to your drawer like this guy, or can be retrofitted using ajustable dividers like these:
The second way is to house them in a pull-out, similar to the knife block pull-out. The very best spot for this is right next to your cook top so those spoons and spatulas are within easy reach.
This guy is SO HANDY. It keeps your cooking oils and spices right by the stove where you need them. You can keep your everyday ones right at hand and stash other less frequently used ones (like pumpkin pie spice...do we really need that in April) in the pantry.
If you think that plates and bowls can only be stored in upper cabinets, allow me to blow your mind. These peg drawers are amazing for storing your everyday dinnerware, fine china, mixing bowls, you name it!
If your family is anything like every family on planet earth, every single piece of paper from school, mail, charging cord, and tree trimming coupon finds its way onto your kitchen counters. With a bit of planning nd about 24 - 36" you can house all of that business behind closed doors! Slots for mail, shelves for binders or baskets, drawers for pens and rubber bands and sharpies, and charging for devices, all in one place. Best part? If people are coming over you just close the doors and NO ONE HAS TO KNOW.
This is a good one. If you want your devices to live in the kitchen, rather than in your bedrooms, create a charging area inside a drawer. We placed the one below above the window seat at the breakfast table so that you can have power while you're drinking coffee and scrolling the 'gram or working from home. Then you can close away the devices at the end of the night or during meal times.
If you're someone who uses a lot of small kitchen appliances (like meeeeee) then this is definteily something you will appreciate. It keeps appliances close at hand and powered up without the visual clutter on the counter. Great for coffee makers, kettles, toasters, stand mixers and blenders (be sure it's tall enogh! Blenders and stand mixers are TALL).
COOKIE SHEET + CUTTING BOARD ORGANIZER
Stacking cookie sheets, muffin tins, and cutting boards on top of each other is a big fat pain that often results in everything spilling on a floor, hitting your toe, and causing you to utter a swear. The best solution is vertical organizers to keep them in smaller groups and prevent them from falling over. Above the oven or to the side of a range are great spots.
TALL PANTRY CABINETS
OH tall pantry cabinets, how I love thee. So efficient, bringing the food right to you where you need it. Drawers behind doors for everthing at or below eye-level. Or the full pantry can pull out just like the spice shelves, but taller. Shelves for bulk items above. Be careful about mounting spice racks on the back of the doors, however. If the door is taller than about 42" it will cause a lot of strain on the hinges and wear them out prematurely.
BONUS because I just couldn't narrow it down...
POT LID ORGANIZER
In your pots and pans drawer, you can add shallower drawers INSIDE to store the lids right above the drawer with the pots. Pro tip - measure your tallest pot lid before they build it, because if you have tall lids things might not fit and might have to rebuilt (not that this has ever happened to us!)
It was haaaaaaaard to narrow this down to 10 (well OK11) since there are so many great things you can do with cabinet innards. Did I include your favorite? If I missed a great one drop it in the comments below!
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