That’s right– let’s talk cabinets! Before you purchase your new kitchen cabinets, it is SO IMPORTANT you think about what is going to go inside them. From pots and pans to spices to utensils to canned goods, everything in the kitchen should have its place. Whether or not you are a Container Store-aholic, hopefully this post will help you organize your kitchen so that using it is so much easier post-reno. 

If I think of all the kitchen renovations we’ve done, there is one client in particular who I will always remember as being the most thoughtful about organization. A few years ago, we worked with a young couple who had just bought what they hoped to be their forever home. They spent many late nights sketching and planning, organizing and reorganizing, until they finally felt they had thought through all the possible details that needed to be accounted for. 

With two small kids, it was important for them to build a kitchen that was going to serve their family in the long run. They wanted a kitchen where they could try new recipes together but also a space where the girls could gain some independence preparing lunches, snacks and even dinner for themselves. They wanted a space to organize their coffee accessories so that mornings were a little easier, and a place for all their spirits and liquors so that they could effortlessly transition from barista to bartender on the occasion they were entertaining a dinner party. Their kitchen was also the connection between the main living space, the master bedroom and the backyard, so the most important issue to solve was making sure the flow of the kitchen complimented the way the family lived and moved around in their home. 

To ensure the kitchen was able to fully meet their needs, every inch of every cabinet was very thoughtfully executed. Starting with the custom, half pantry. In all honesty, this has continued to be one of my favorite ideas from our clients. Standing at approximately 4’ tall, the cabinet had 2 pull out shelves inside with the bottom shelf stretching exactly the length of a cereal box and the top shelf deep enough for all the afternoon snacks. Sitting right on top of this half pantry was a toaster oven, completing the full set up for an easy breakfast or after-school snack. Every cabinet had its own filler: from a pull down spice rack right beside the microhood to a pull out mini pantry that housed all the canned goods and filled the extra 6” between the range and the neighboring cabinet. At the end of the project, the family even added a shoe rack to the outside cabinet closest to the door to the backyard so the kids could come in and out without muddying up the new floor or taking up more space with a separate shoe area. 

You do not need to be Marie Kondo to make your kitchen work better for you. Think back to our last post on appliances and think about the work stations in your kitchen: when you are cooking and you need to reach for the salt and pepper (or in my case the Paprika), what is the quickest place to grab it from? When you’re unloading the dishwasher, how far do you need to travel to put away the plates and bowls? How can you reorganize to limit the amount of countertop appliances taking away from your prep areas? Know what is in your kitchen, what is really in your kitchen, and imagine yourself putting it away. Then, you are ready to start filling those cabinets!