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ADD SOME SPICE TO YOUR KITCHEN

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Ok I admit I was having a quick peak around the internet desperate for “quick post” material.  I just couldn’t resist this space spice rack, not JUST a spice rack but a KITCHEN ART PRO CAROUSEL.  If you’re looking for a space for your spice you can even have it with a “space” theme.  AND check this out, with each click of the dial you’ll get a precisely measured 1/4 teaspoon drop of your selected spice.  Yours for $27.85, deal? More substance coming soon.

 

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NAUTICAL ZEN KITCHEN

Panels around peninsula reflect architecture of the house. Cool bar stools by Kyle Wells Design.

Ta daaaaa!  Another beautiful kitchen is complete, and yes it’s white with Shaker doors.  Surprise!  Not.  There were two main challenges about working in this home.  First of all the architecture is very unique and is an integral part of the space.  It’s comprised of posts and beams, angles and open lofts which remind me of a ship.  The second challenge was a lack of unity with way too much going on visually.  The existing kitchen had three different types of counter tops, two different types of cabinets and more stuff than space.  In addition, hinges and drawer slides were failing and paint was chipping.

The homeowners came equipped with the most valuable of traits, an open mind.  They were willing to see their kitchen and laundry area in a new way.  Every step of the design process we would ask ourselves “does this unify and simplify”?  Think “nautical zen”!

First off I decided to make peace with the posts and beams.  The layout remained the same and we didn’t even change the door style or color!  What we did was improve the fit and function.  Using all white counters unified the space and allowed the blue granite back splash to be the star of the show.  Here are some “before” pix and “after” solutions which will pave the way for smooth sailing in this new kitchen.

This was the peninsula before. See the new and improved above!

 

This existing refrigerator just didn't fit. It overlapped the casing of the door on the right. This built-in model was not built-in!

 

Before we also had a traffic jam on the left of the fridge with beams, posts and different ceiling heights!

 

The homeowners had to face facts and downsize the fridge. What they gave up in space they made up in style. Oh, and they kept the other one in the garage. Now it's built-in and it fits! We dealt with the beam by allowing the refrigerator cabinetry to stand alone.

Traffic jam on the left is also solved. By clearing the beam we were able to go higher with the upper cabinet plus we added an appliance garage below to keep things neat and tidy.

This is Mindi showing off her new kitchen.

 

Before, radius drawers were failing from weight and inadequate slides and guess what? The cook top didn't fit either.

 

We unified the space by using matching cabinets and creating a proper fit for the new Wolf gas cook top. Acid etched glass subtly conceals contents of cabinets.

 

This is Max. He's into hockey, he likes to dream big and he loves to cook so he's really happy about the new kitchen.

 

We added some hidden conveniences. This is the spice cabinet extraordinare!

 

This is the pantry/laundry room before

 

...and here it is after.

 

Last but not least, this cute little family member was very accommodating through the entire process.

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DESIGN AND THE MODERN KITCHEN

 

I made it! Here at last.

Granted I’m biased, but I have to say that Counter Space:   Design and the Modern Kitchen is the most engaging exhibit I have had the pleasure of attending.  It opened at the Museum of Modern Art September 15th and closes on March 11th.  The thing about this show is that we can all identify and connect with the topic of kitchens.  They are an integral part of how we live but we seldom give thought to exactly how they came about.  You can find just about all there is to know right here. Read more

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SPACES FOR SPICES

In my last post we began to look at the challenge of creating an organized kitchen to cut down on stress and save time.  Now that we have the pot ;)/pots organized let’s look at some creative ways to store your spices.  I love to experiment with cooking Indian food (lots of spices) and there is nothing more frustrating than digging in the back of a cabinet for the garam masala!

SPICES should be stored away from heat and moisture, so right over your cooking surface may not be the best option.  A spice rack behind the door of an a cabinet close to your food prep area or stove is a good choice.

Back of door spice rack by Rev-A-Shelf

I like the ones with adjustable shelves.  If you are adding one to an existing kitchen make sure that the shelves inside the cabinet are not going to get in the way when you shut the door.  Hopefully, if your shelves are adjustable, you can work your way around that.  Incidentally I also love to use these types of spice racks for storing over-the-counter and prescription medicines in the kitchen or bathroom.

Another way to utilize the back of a cabinet or pantry door for spice storage is to use a simple shoe rack!

Yes, it's a shoe rack!

My absolute FAVORITE way to store spices is the magnetic spice rack preferably on the back of a door as well.  Containers are not very deep so they shouldn’t interfere with cabinet shelves.  You can see everything clearly and you can even make one yourself!  Click here to find out how to make one. Is this cool or what?!

Next up, sorting out the tupperware nightmare,  making your utensils behave and your chance to win a “kitchen enhancing” accessory!

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STEP ONE, ORGANIZE YOUR KITCHEN

Happy new year!  Thank you for showing up here at Kitchens for Living where my new year’s resolution is to continue to bring you the latest in products, trends and  kitchen related (mostly) tidbits as they cross  my path as a professional kitchen designer.  Whether you are planning a new kitchen, thinking about planning a new kitchen (someday) or just want to make the one you have better you’re in the right place.  I am here to help as little or as much as you want!

Do you feel like these babies? Quite often we come to the conclusion that we need help when we realize how powerless and out of control our lives have become.  Well, guess what?  This happens in the kitchen too.  Do you want to have more time, less stress?  Organizing what you have in your kitchen is definitely a step in the right direction.  Here’s how you can start.

DOWNSIZE

One of the number one trends for 2011 is downsizing in all aspects.  This includes not only your waistline but your schedule, your closet and yes, your kitchen.  Gone are the “McMansion” days.  Today we are learning about living smaller with quality instead of quantity.  The smaller the space the more each element counts and the more organization matters.  The Intuitive Kitchen philosophy agrees with 19th century creative William Morris who said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”


The Not So Big Life by Sarah Susanka

One of my favorite books about downsizing, prioritizing and organizing your life is Susan Susanka’s The Not so Big Life.  She uses the metaphor of a house and its architecture and interior to show us a different way of looking at how we live.  She’s actually written a whole series on this theme but this is the one I know.

SITUATE WHAT YOU HAVE

Now that you’re down to the nitty gritty, the point is to store it so we can see it.  This is necessary for the items we use on a daily basis.  There is also what I call remote storage, or the hard to reach or up high areas which are ideal for storing seasonal items.  The biggest organizational day to day kitchen challenges are pots and pans, especially the lids, (according to my clients), spices, tupperware and cutlery.  Today we’ll start with  solutions for pots and pans.

POTS & PANS

First of all don't Google "POT STORAGE". I did. It serves me right.



Seriously, you can easily get into a fight with your kitchen cabinets over pots.  I like to store mine in a deep drawer.  I keep the flat pans under the range but I love tray dividers or vertical partitions for storing cookie sheets, pizza pans, cutting boards and serving platters.  This type of cabinet can be located over a wall oven or better yet it’s the best solution for a small base cabinet.




Wasted space becomes practical and beautiful pot & pan storage.

If you thought the space over your windows was wasted, think again.  An over-the window-hanging-pot-rack can be convenient adding visual interest at the same time.

A Blind Corner Base sees the light with a LeMans storage system by Hafele USA used for pots!

Now a word about those lids.  They do make door racks to hold them but my favorite solution is this nifty chrome rack that fits in an upper cabinet or in a deep drawer.  It’s great for the lids or other items and you can get one at  organize-it.com for $9.99

Lid storage and more from organize-it.com

So now you have some idea how to stash your pot pots for easy access.  Next post we’ll organize your herb spices and cutlery.  ALSO COMING UP IS A GIVEAWAY! Yes Kitchens for Living is going to give one lucky winner some kitchen love!!  (I’m not really a pot head.  It was just funny so I had to run with it.)

 

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