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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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SPIRAL WINE CELLARS?

I received an email from one of my fave clients the other day.  She is contemplating a dream kitchen for 2011 (Maybe you should too!) Anyway she sent me some of these amazing photos. Check out this dreamy spiral-trapdoor-otherworldly-cool wine cellar!  Was this an internet hoax, an urban legend, I wondered?

NO!  It’s for real and you can check out the UK firm that builds them here.  The appeal is not only novelty but efficient design.  The concept was designed in 1978 by a Frenchman (of course).  It’s not a basement, as I first thought, but an actual hole in the ground!

It’s not only space efficient but it’s Green as well.  They claim the temperature stays constant at 55 degrees.  Ok, so it’s probably still only a dream for us in Florida.  If you dug that deep under my kitchen you’d have an undersea wine cellar.  Now there’s an idea!

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G.E. HELPS YOU FIND YOUR DREAM KITCHEN

This modern kitchen features G.E. Profile appliances.

As a kitchen designer and writer,  my inbox is always filled with news of all the latest products, websites and all manner of things to do with our favorite room, the kitchen.  G.E. has always been known as the bread- and- butter of the appliance world.  Not only have they been around forever but they have evolved with the times.  Today they still offer the basic affordable options as well as higher end appliance packages under the names G.E. Profile,  Monogram and the new Cafe’ Series. These offer a wider variety of functions and integrated modern styling.

Early days (Note dangerous placement of stove! Sliding in between cabinets would have been better!)

Another thing that really makes them a 21st century contender is their state of the art website.  There is a wealth of information here whether you aim to use their products or not.  Of course they hope you’ll be seduced once you have entered their “web”, so to speak.

Play with this design on the G.E. site. They left room for art. I love it!

One of my favorite features on the site is the kitchen design function.  Simply choose a kitchen which is similar to your own space.  Then simply click on the various color choices.  It’s a lot of fun and a great way to start to narrow your choices and make the big decisions like dark vs. white cabinets, black vs. stainless appliances.  You get the picture (literally).  You’ll also find lighting ideas, safety tips and even recipes.  Oh, and the “must have’ G.E. product in my book is the Advantium Microwave Oven. My clients love it.  You can use it as a regular oven or as a microwave, so it’s like two ovens in one!

This bachelor client opted for TWO Advantiums, one built-in to the pantry and one over the range!

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FLORIDA KITCHEN CHARM

Thank you  for the out pouring of love and concern for our family.  No matter what happens the sun always rises again and we begin another day.

White cabinets and a shiny blue glass tile backsplash lend a coastal feel. Photo by Southern Accents

As you guys up in the northern regions are beginning to crank up the heat,  I thought I’d share a little warmth from down here in sunny Florida.  If you love warm tropical beaches, even when there’s snow (instead of sand) on the ground, here’s how you can bring this ambiance to your “anywhere” kitchen.

Blue & White will give you an instant feel of sun and surf.  White cabinets are hot!  Blue calls  to mind the ocean and may be added to your backsplash, walls or even used as  accent color for an island or hutch cabinet.

A modern version with Balthaup cabinets. Photo by Elle Decor


A sea view is a must and you can have one even if you don’t live by the sea.  Think art!  That way you can choose the sea view of your choice.  It can be a painting, a photograph or even something more abstract like a mixed media work of art.

I wish I was at the beach by ABSTRACTINC from Etsy.com

Gifts from the Sea are fun ways to add a beachy feel.  Shells, starfish or even bits of beach glass are great accents.  Try using a shiny glass tile backsplash for a watery feel or tiles with more of a honed finish look like glass that has been eroded by the sand over time.

seashells, starfish and beach glass tell the story of the sea

Burled Beach Corian countertop by Dupont

Throw some sand into the mix with solid surface counter tops in colors like Dijon from the Elements collection by Denova or Burled Beach by Dupont’s Corian.

Dijon from the Elements collection Denova Solid Surface Counters

The nice thing is you can add a little or you can pull out all the stops.  If you have “Floridified” your kitchen sent me pix.  I would love to show and tell.  Oh, and by the way, it’s nice to be back!


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TAP INTO YOUR CREATIVE ZONE

I live in a hectic family household  but Sundays are sacred.  Joe is off at work and kids sleep late, sometimes really late.  That is when I am blessedly alone.  That is when my spirit flies.  I catch up with all the blogs I haven’t been able to read during the busy week, maybe I do a little art and I dream.  Despite all my financial responsibilities,  my parenting realities and my work I get into a place where, for a moment,  I think just because I’m alive I can do ANYTHING.  Here are some things I become capable of on Sunday morning:

1. Going back to India to take up where I left off.


Glo in India 2001

2. Buy and decorate a hip Mid-Century modern apartment in Miami


My MCE Dream, Courtesy of Apartmenttherapy

3.Become a full time artist exploring and developing my many ideas and musings at my leisure. This is one of my collages.  If you want to see more visit www.papermoongoddess.blogspot.com


This is Hope

4. Go back to California to study more art


Glo at Encaustic Workshop in Carmel Ca. 2008


Ok, you get the picture.  When you want to create or remodel your own kitchen or design a kitchen for a client this is a very good space to be in.  Get in the mood and the ideas will come.  This is truly the first step in the Intuitive Kitchen process. When you have returned to earth you can edit.  Trust me it works.  Now tell me, don’t be shy (that’s counter intuitive). How do you get in the zone?

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