Make the Most of your Storage with These Highly Functional Inserts and Ideas

When renovating your kitchen, it’s important to make the most of your cabinet space. So at Innovative Construction Design-Build, we always get to know the way our clients want to function in their kitchens before we draw the first line of a plan. Whether you’re a serious home chef, a baker, a frequent microwave user or a family who needs a straight path to the coffee in the morning or the snacks in the afternoon, we’ll help you set up your cabinetry in the way that works best for you. This begins with taking stock of everything you want your counters to contain. And we keep up with the latest in custom cabinet offerings in order  to offer our clients the best, most efficient solutions. 

Take a careful inventory

When planning cabinet layouts and functions, take inventory of everything you’ll need to store. This includes:

  • Herbs, spices and oils
  • China, glassware, serveware, cutting boards and everyday utensils
  • Cooking utensils like spatulas, large spoons and knives
  • Pots, pans and other cookware
  • Tabletop items including vases, linens, candles, candleholders and seasonal items
  • Small appliances like mixers, blenders, juicers, breadmakers and crock pots
  • Any food or drinks that will be stored in cabinets
  • Paper products and items like aluminum foil, waxed paper and ziplock bags
  • Pet supplies and food
  • Baking supplies and tools
  • Glass and plastic food storage containers such as Tupperware
  • Barware such as bottle openers, stirrers and cocktail napkins
  • Anything else you like to keep handy in your cabinets

1. Pull-out Pantry Drawers

Many of the kitchens we work on don’t have room for that dreamy walk-in or butler’s pantry. But pull-out pantry drawers make it easy to access food stowed in cabinets. And the right cabinet organizers will save floor space over a walk in pantry overall. With these handy pull-outs, there’s no digging around blindly in the back of a deep cabinet.

2.  Deep Drawers

This one is simple — a plain old-fashioned drawer is something that many homeowners are looking at in a whole new way. In the past, most lower cabinets were doors with a drawer sized for silverware or aluminum foil boxes above it. But today, most homeowners prefer keeping pots and pans in deep drawers rather than having to squat down and dig around the back of  a cabinet. These drawers make so much more of the space because it’s easy to access items stowed deep in back. And they are easier on the back and knees, which is especially important for those who are planning to age in place.

We are also finding that many homeowners are using less upper cabinets today. This is because it frees up wall space for windows, popular open shelving and tiled walls. Going without so many upper cabinets also makes a kitchen feel bigger. Of course, getting rid of upper cabinets means that lower cabinets have to work harder. And as a result, deep drawers accommodate the kinds of items typically stored in upper cabinets. Pegs and other inserts make sure that your china and glass will be safely stowed away below.

 

3. Trash and Recycling Pull-outs

Having to take up floor space with trash and recycling bins is less than ideal. They are never that attractive and that space can be put to better use. A pull-out tucks them away yet keeps them handily available. This one is adjacent to a prep sink and even has a pull-out cutting board with a hole in it. The scraps can be scraped directly into the bin when pulled out below.

This kitchen island in Peachtree Corners has a very handy feature. There is a pull-out cutting board located above the trash pull-out. And there’s a hole in the cutting board, so they can sweep scraps straight into the garbage bin.

kitchen-island-pullouts

This beautiful custom island has a special pullout that contains a compost bin.

4. Pull-outs for herbs, spices and oils

When you’re busy at the stove, you don’t want to be digging around cabinets for your most often-used ingredients. And leaving them out all the time creates countertop clutter. Pull-outs next to the stove can house all of your herbs, spices, vinegars, oils and other ingredients within easy reach.

5. Built-in Utensil Caddies

Likewise, it’s also important to keep cooking utensils within reach of the range. This insert holds everything from spatulas to meat thermometers. And check out the way the false front on the drawer keeps all of the cabinets looking uniform. It blends right in with the adjacent drawer/door setup. 

6. A Catch-all Family Center

This is a smart solution we love — adding a slim cabinet along the side of the fridge. This gives the fridge a custom surround and integrates it nicely into a kitchen design. And it provides a handy space to mount that ever-changing important family calendar. We backed the upper portion of this cabinet in a magnetic board so that the family also can hang notes, messages, bills and invitations here. And there are hanging utensil caddies to complete the landing zone. The bottom portion is deep enough for storing canned goods.

7. Pull-outs for Linen Storage

These handy drawers are perfect for storing tablecloths, placemats, napkins and other dining linens all in one place. As a result, it makes it easy to switch up your tabletop decor.

Bonus: We hid an outlet beneath the countertop here. It has USB ports in it for charging devices. If you don’t want the required outlets breaking up your beautifully tiled walls, we can come up with a number of solutions to conceal them like this one.

8. A Stand Mixer Lift

If you’re firmly in the “I want to show off my gorgeous turquoise KitchenAid mixer on the countertop all the time,” you do you — we’ll make room for that. But for those who prefer to keep it stashed or need the extra workspace, get to know the mixer lift. It will provide easy to access your heavy mixer when you need it. And it’s a cinch  to push it back into the cabinet and shut the door when you’re done. This particular baking setup even has room for mixing bowls on the pull-out shelf below.

9. Baking Sheet, Cutting Board and Platter Storage

The proportions of items like baking sheets, baking pans, cutting boards and platters make them awkward to store. Custom inserts in a designated cabinet will help keep them neat and organized, and make the most of your storage space.

10. Pet Bowl Storage

Lots of us leave pet bowls out all the time. But it’s nice to be able to simply kick them out of the way when guests are milling about the kitchen. This toe-kick drawer holds all of the pet bowls and is easy to tap closed when things are too busy in the kitchen.’

When it comes to all the special custom inserts available today, this is just the tip of the iceberg. When you let us know your storage needs, we will come up with smart storage solutions for you. Whether you don’t have a pantry, want a specialized baking station, need to include a coffee station, hope to give your kids a special section to grab their own snacks or want cabinetry that will help you age in place, customized cabinetry will make life easier.