The kitchen is the most used room in the house. In fact, we spend an average of two hours a day walking, opening drawers, lifting and preparing meals. On average, we open our drawers, cabinet doors and pantries about 80 times a day! All this consists of a lot of movement in one room. Although we are usually in our bedroom for more hours, the use is still less.
It is for these reasons that it is very important to have a well organized kitchen, where ergonomics is put forward, and where we have quality materials, to ensure a good lifespan of our kitchen, which is still on average about twenty years! It is as important that our kitchen looks good as it is practical, which is why the work of a designer and the service of kitchen layout is so important when the time comes to refurbish or renovate and optimize this essential space in a house.
This blog post will discuss the importance of good kitchen hardware, as well as some kitchen storage tips, which are two of the most important things, but certainly not the first thing we think of when we want to remodel our kitchen. These interior design tips will help you look at the renovation of this room in a new light!
Hardware is a subject that we need to stay on top of as an interior designer or kitchen designer to make sure that we are always up to date with new technologies and trends for our clients, both for decorative hardware and the more technical hardware that powers our kitchen cabinetry and drawers. The traditional cabinet doors that lead into a deep, dark box are no longer appropriate! More and more, hardware is being developed for drawers and upward opening cabinet doors. Pantries are also getting modernized: we see more and more sliding pantries, which allow us to see all the food we have.
Decorative hardware consists of everything from cabinet knobs and handles to switch plates, hinges, etc. In fact, the decorative hardware participates in the mechanisms of each element, but we can choose the finish, shape and color, without altering its utility and functionality. A well-chosen decorative hardware in the decor really finishes off the all-encompassing element that one looks for when dealing with an interior designer. There is now a wide range of colors, finishes and shapes for decorative hardware, which allows us to have more personalized and unique designs to suit our customers’ tastes. There is something for everyone!
To continue with the decorative hardware, we must also think about the interior of the cabinets and drawers. As we open our cabinets and drawers as often as stated above at the beginning of the article, companies have started to take the time to make more interesting designs for cabinet pull-outs using different materials such as glass, so you can see through, aluminum or simply other colors or finishes of MDF and melamine to give a nice effect, even when the drawers are in use.
Kitchen storage and organization tips are closely related to hardware, which is why this article is two in one. As you will discover below, a good quality kitchen with optimized storage and outstanding ergonomic organization is totally dependent on the hardware used during the design of the kitchen. Your designer has all these elements in mind when designing your kitchen plans to put together all the pieces of the puzzle that it can be. These storage items will allow you to learn a little more about some of the hardware we like to use when designing a kitchen.
Organization and storage tips 1 to renovate your kitchen:
THINK ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION OF YOUR KITCHEN IN ADVANCE
Thinking ahead of time about how our kitchen will function and targeting our personal needs will help your kitchen designer or interior designer make a kitchen that is modeled for you, to really go out and maximize the full potential of the kitchen space and its organization! It is by planning ahead that you can be sure to optimize your kitchen organization space. But what do you have to think about to do this without it being too complicated? You can start by thinking about dividing the kitchen into zones. For example, a preparation area, a washing area, a cooking area and a storage area. This is when we will be able to make the ergonomics more pleasant, and make all the storage more intuitive, while maximizing the short paths between our areas and our important elements. For example, it is convenient to have the worktop between the sink and the cooktop or stove, to optimize the short path in our process: wash the food, cut and prepare it and then cook it. Another example: having the dishes stored not far from the dishwasher saves us a lot of time in the long run for storage. Another element that we love to include in the kitchen storage is to have pots and pans stored in deep drawers near the stove and oven: it is intuitive, encourages short trips and allows for maximum ergonomics since we are talking about heavier items. When it comes to redoing a kitchen, don’t think like a fit person, think like: how do I maximize the space if I have limited mobility? In terms of limited mobility, this can include many aspects; we are talking about someone with a baby, someone with arthritis, or someone who has difficulty with a hip for example. It is important to think about these things for the long term, as our kitchen will serve us for many years.
Organization and storage tips 2 to renovate your kitchen:
DRAWERS FOR DISHES RATHER THAN OVERHEAD STORAGE
Drawers to store dishes instead of overhead cabinets: probably one of my favorite storage features, which often surprises clients but they are most pleased with! Nowadays, customers understand the new mentality where it is important that thedrawers and cabinets should be organized so that the contents are clearly visible and easily accessible. Our drawers allow you to see what is stored better than in traditional hinged pedestals. They also help items stay organized longer, since you don’t have to move plates, pots and pans to reach other items in the back of the cabinets. You can simply open the drawer, where you can see the whole thing and where ergonomics is maximized since you don’t bend down to lift a heavy pot or stand on your tiptoes to get plates placed very high. It is important that all these movements that we do very often in our daily lives are comfortable, easy and intuitive.
In addition, support systems for storing dishes in drawers are now super convenient. They help protect dishes when opening and closing drawers and keep them organized. In addition, some of these systems have handles on each side, which allows us to take out a pile of plates at once to set the table. This way, the risk of accidents is reduced and efficiency in the kitchen is increased!
Organization and storage tips 3 to renovate your kitchen:
STORAGE CURED IN THE ISLAND
Hidden island storage is often found below the bar counter in standard cabinets, slightly shallower than the usual 25″, depending on the space available in the kitchen for the width of the island. This storage unit is perfect for all the items you don’t use on a regular basis, for example, fondue pots, raclette machines, cake pans, and any seasonal items you might have in the kitchen. This is a good way to optimize a large island while keeping the lunch space to sit on the stools and have that gathering aspect that defines today’s kitchens.
Organization and storage tips 4 to renovate your kitchen :
A pull-out pantry is an organization enthusiast’s best friend! This allows you to see all the elements that would normally be hidden behind other foods. As with the drawers, efficiency is maximized when you can see the entire contents of the pantry and access each item easily, without having to move many things around. It also helps to reduce waste, since you don’t forget any food in the back of the pantry, you always have it in plain sight, ready to be used. In addition, it is rare in a regular pantry that we use the entire box to the bottom to store our dry goods, since we cannot see them as stated above. Since the sliding pantry allows us to see everything, it’s easier to fill it all up. Thus, we can often install a sliding pantry less wide than what we would have installed as a regular pantry. Very practical for small kitchens where you want to maximize storage space!
Organization and storage tips 5 to renovate your kitchen:
Cushioned slides are good for all the storage systems and tricks stated since the beginning of the article. They simply help all the hardware mechanisms run smoothly and make the use of cabinets and drawers easier. When building a new kitchen, cushioned sliders are a must, no matter what the budget for the renovation. The days of slamming cabinets are over! More and more drawer systems are being modernized with more and more precise and mechanical mechanisms, which even close the drawers by themselves.
Organization and storage tips 6 to renovate your kitchen:
THE WASTE SORTING SYSTEM NOT TO BE NEGLECTED
In a kitchen, waste, recycling and compost are inevitably generated every day. That’s why it’s important to have a space dedicated to a sorting system, big enough for everyone’s needs. When we are able, we try to dedicate a full drawer box at least 18 inches wide for this purpose. It is more convenient to have deeper recycling and waste bins in this sorting system, so you don’t have to go and empty the bins every day. That’s why we’re seeing more and more free-standing drawer boxes for this purpose, rather than combining trash/recycling with the sink cabinet. This last option often ends up not optimizing our storage space around the sink. Instead, the space under the sink can be dedicated to household products used in the kitchen, in a more organized and less jammed way. To have this system, you must of course have the space that allows it, so the storage under the sink is still widely used in kitchens!
Organization and storage tips 7 to renovate your kitchen:
For utensils and work utensils, knives, spices, household products, boards and baking trays… this will ensure that the kitchen doesn’t turn upside down in no time. In the long run, this allows you to keep some structure in your drawers and cupboards, so you don’t have to search for items when you need to cook quickly. Everything can have its place, so that it becomes intuitive when using the kitchen. It also saves time when tidying up the kitchen or looking for a particular item or utensil. Just as with short trips, the time spent searching for and storing items in the kitchen should be minimized by tidying and organizing the kitchen. This has an impact on the time we spend in our kitchen in the long run.
8th organization and storage tips to renovate your kitchen:
The famous corner cabinets! They are also modernizing! Many styles of hardware are being done differently now for these cabinets that often give us a hard time. They allow, as well as the drawers, to see all the items stored in the cabinet. The hardware used behind this mechanism allows for a smooth operation without the need to force anything. We like to say that thanks to this mechanism, we have the modern “Lady Susan”, since she does not only turn on herself, but she takes her tray completely out of the box. So once again, this is a mechanism that allows us to appreciate the entire contents of the box, without having to bend over to search through a mess. There are also several other options for corner cabinets. The traditional Lady Susan is still used, some customers still like this option. There are also more technological options, like the first image below. It is in fact a lifting system with two trays (one serving as a counter and one in the cabinet), which allows us to access what is in the corner cabinet, without the need to open a cabinet door. This is a great option if you are a technology enthusiast!
Did these tips inspire you to design your future kitchen? Which of these elements do you find indispensable? I would love to hear your answers to this!
Written by Valérie Dewald