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The Next Step...Planning For Storage

posted by: buehl on 01.03.2011 at 05:23 am in Kitchens Forum

Planning For Storage

Once you've finalized your basic design, it's time to analyze your storage needs in each zone. The results of that analysis will drive the size & configuration of your cabinets and drawers.

  1. First, make a list of everything you plan to store in your new kitchen, regardless of where it's stored, basement, dining room, etc.
  2. Next, take the list and group the items according to function. Will they be used during prep? cooking? baking? cleanup? Some items, like pot holders, may belong in two different zones (in this case, cooking & baking). You can either find storage between the two zones or have duplicates and store one in each zone.
  3. Now, determine where each of your zones will be (prep, cleanup, cooking, baking, storage, etc.)
    The next step depends on the stage you are in the design/order process...

  4. If you've already ordered your cabinets, then you will have to work with what you have. So...
    • Identify the storage potential in each zone and list them on a piece of paper with a section for each cabinet (base & upper) and one line per drawer or shelf in that cabinet. This includes your pantry for your "storage" zone.
    • Take the two lists and, while imagining yourself working in each zone, put the dishes, tools, etc. that you will be using in cabinets in that zone. Fill in the lines in the cabinet list with these items.

  5. If you are still in the design phase, you will have the opportunity to plan your storage to meet your needs in each zone.

    • Take your list and imagine yourself working in each zone.
    • Go through the motions to determine the best locations for each item that will be used and stored in that zone (don't forget that you will probably have both upper and lower cabinets).
    • Now that you know where to put the items, determine what the best way is to store those items (drawer, shelf, etc.) and what size (e.g., pots & pans work best in 30" or 36" drawers)
    • Lastly, transfer what you've done to your design & tweak as necessary.

You should now have a well-thought out and highly functional kitchen!

Sample storage map:

This process and the resultant "map" will not only help you to "see" how things will fit, but the map will also help when you move back into the won't have to think about it, you'll be able to just put things away. It will also be a handy map for everyone to use when attempting to find things the first few weeks w/o having to open every drawer or door!

Oh, and don't forget the Junk Drawer! Most people end up with one, so you may as well plan for it so you at least have control over where it's located!

Common Zones, Appliances In That Zone, and Suggestions For What To Store There:

  • Storage--pantry & refrigerator--Tupperware, food, wraps & plastic bags
  • Preparation--sink & trash/recyclables--utensils, measuring cups/spoons, mixing bowls, colander, jello molds, cutting boards, knives, cook books, paper towels
  • Cooking--cooktop/range & MW (and near a water source)--utensils, pot holders, trivets, pots & pans, serving dishes (platters, bowls, etc.), paper towels
  • Baking--ovens/range--utensils, pot holders, trivets, pots & pans, casserole dishes, roasting rack, cooling racks, cookie sheets, foils, rolling pin, cookie cutters, pizza stone, muffin tins, paper towels [often combined with Cooking Zone]
  • Cleanup--sink & DW & trash--detergents, linens, dishes & glasses, flatware
  • Eating/Serving--island/peninsula/table/nook/DR--table linens, placemats, napkins, dishes & glasses, flatware
  • Utility--broom, dustpan, swifter, mop, cleaning supplies, cloths, flashlights, batteries, extension cords
  • Message/Communication/Command Center--keys, phones/answering machine, charging station, directories/phone books, calendar, desk supplies, dry erase board or chalkboard, pens/pencils, sticky notepaper

Less Common Zones:

  • Tea/Coffee Bar--tea/coffeemaker (and near a water source)--mugs, teas/coffees, sugar, teapot
  • Snack/Beverage Center--near MW & refrigerator or small refrigerator--snacks, snack dishes, glasses [often combined with Tea/Coffee Bar]
  • Pet Zone--feeding area--food, snacks, leashes, medicines (if no children in the home), etc.

Overlapping of Zones

Due to space constraints, some zones often overlap. If this is the case in your kitchen, be sure there is enough work space in the overlap for both activities. Zones that commonly overlap...

  • Prep & Cooking Zones--These zones should be adjacent to each other, so this is a common overlap and is generally not a problem. Just be sure you have enough room for prepping as well as landing space for the range/cooktop. (It is strongly advised you have enough room for emergency landing space on both sides of a range/cooktop.)
  • Prep & Cleanup Zones--If there is only one sink in the kitchen, these zones will be adjacent to each other because of the need for a water source for both zones. However, true overlapping is not generally a good idea. Instead, try to keep the cleanup area separate from the prep area by putting the sink between them. E.g., DW on one side, Prep Zone on the other side. (You should strive to keep the DW out of the Prep Zone as well as out of the path between the sink and Prep & Cooking Zones and between the refrigerator and Prep & Cooking Zones.) Also try for at least 36" (42" or more is better) of room on the Prep Zone side of the sink for ample workspace as well as accommodating the inevitable dirty dishes that will accumulate next to the sink.

Commonly Used Items: pots & pans, utensils, small appliances, linens, pot holders, trivets, dish detergents, "Tupperware", knives, pitchers, water bottles, vases, picnic supplies, cook books, etc.

Foods: Spices, Breads, Flours/Sugars, Teas/Coffees, Potatoes, Onions, Canned Goods, Dry Goods (rice, pasta, etc.), Cereals, Snacks

Small Appliances: Toaster, Stand and/or Hand Mixer, Blender, Breadmaker, Toaster Oven, Food Processor, Crockpot, Waffle Iron, Electric Skillet, Coffeemaker, Coffee Grinder, Ricer, Steamer

SPECIAL NOTE: If your ceiling or one or more of your walls is coming down, consider wiring for speakers, TV, Computer, etc.

Some helpful threads:

forestfire..please help me with my lists [Missing In Action as of 5/16/10...if anyone has saved it, please let me know by emailing me via "My Page"]

List of stuff in kitchens?

What should go within easy reach of the cooktop?

What goes where?

Reloading the new kitchen, any tips where things should go?

Only one lower cabinet...would you do it?


extremely helpful
clipped on: 06.12.2011 at 10:25 am    last updated on: 06.12.2011 at 10:25 am

RE: What should go within easy reach of the cooktop? (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: buehl on 12.08.2009 at 04:47 am in Kitchens Forum

This might also help...

  • Cabinet 1: 24" base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 2: 30" base, 2 drawers + Warming Drawer
  • Cabinet 3: 6" filler pullout w/3 shelves
  • Cabinet 4: 36" cooktop base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 5: 6" filler pullout w/3 shelves
  • Cabinet 6: 31" base, 1 drawer + Microwave Drawer
  • Cabinet 7: 36" corner sink base w/15-3/4" square sink
  • Cabinet 8: 24" base, 4 drawers
  • Cabinet 9: 27" base, 1 drawer + 2 roll out shelves (2 doors)
  • Cabinet 10: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 11: 21"W x 12"D x 30"H upper, 3 shelves
  • Cabinet 12: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 13: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 14: 21"W x 12"D x 30"H upper, 3 shelves
  • Cabinet 15: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 16: 36"W x 24"D over-the-refrigerator cabinet
  • Cabinet 17: 33" base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 18: 18" Trash Pullout + 1 drawer (2 bins)
  • Cabinet 19: 36" sink base w/35-1/2" sink
  • Cabinet 20: 24" DW
  • Cabinet 21: 27" base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 22: 31.5" double-oven cabinet, 1 drawer + cabinet above w/dividers for tray storage & 1 shelf
  • Cabinet 23: 23"W x 12"D x 36"H upper cabinet, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 24: 23"W x 12"D x 36"H upper cabinet, 4 shelves

  • NOTES:

    just amazing!
    clipped on: 06.12.2011 at 10:09 am    last updated on: 06.12.2011 at 10:09 am

    RE: Ants! (Follow-Up #9)

    posted by: boxerpups on 06.02.2011 at 02:50 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Definitely Terro.

    Terro is basically borax acid and sugar water. It seems
    like a clear maple syrup. It is safe around pets. Not sure
    about kids but if the ants are inside cabinets maybe you
    can put the sticky drop of posion paper inside the cab.
    Give it at least 3 weeks. You need the ants to eat the
    poison and take it back to their home to kill their
    families. (Wow I sound so mean).

    I even put real sugar with the terro on top. That way the
    ants really get the poison but get excited to find sugar.
    My ants have been gone for 2 yeas now. Be sure to leave the
    trap filled with fresh terro at least 3 weeks to really kill
    off the colony.

    Best of luck.


    get for mom
    clipped on: 06.02.2011 at 05:03 pm    last updated on: 06.02.2011 at 05:03 pm

    RE: Buttermilk (Caesarstone) has been poured! (Follow-Up #7)

    posted by: ZacsDaddy on 05.10.2011 at 02:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

    The backsplash is Grazia Listelli tile -- a 2.5" X 10" subway tile in green with a crackle finish with a black liner. If all goes well, it'll evoke the tile details in the other rooms of the house. The tile will go to the ceiling (in the area above the sink) with open shelving.


    clipped on: 05.11.2011 at 07:02 pm    last updated on: 05.11.2011 at 07:02 pm

    RE: Cameo ss cleaner--a winner! (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: cat_mom on 05.09.2011 at 03:14 pm in Appliances Forum

    I keep Cameo in the house, in addition to BKF (and Zud!). Cheap enough and the containers don't take up too much real estate under the sink. All are pretty much interchangeable for some surfaces/cleaning jobs, but for certain cleaning jobs, I sometimes prefer one over the other.

    FYI Zud works great on those grey metal marks (from knives for ex.) on plates.


    cleaning stuff
    clipped on: 05.10.2011 at 10:09 am    last updated on: 05.10.2011 at 10:10 am

    Outlets in Island?

    posted by: Stefaniebb on 05.07.2011 at 12:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Is it required by code to have outlets on the ends of your island? I will have two outlets inside the island I am having a hard time letting them cut up the panels on the outside for some reason :)


    clipped on: 05.08.2011 at 08:50 am    last updated on: 05.08.2011 at 08:50 am

    Hood's in!

    posted by: TC44 on 05.02.2011 at 01:39 am in Kitchens Forum

    Sorry, more bad phone pics :(
    Installed hood today. We love it.
    Faber Pro Magnum 36 (600 cfm); it was the minimum cfm recommended for the range, but we think it will be more than adequate for the type of cooking we do :)
    It exhausts straight out the back wall (about 12 inches). Tons of suction! I can't imagine what 1000cfms is like!
    The range specs called for 42" of clearance from the range top to the bottom of the hood, but we went with 36" (42" just looked too high to us).

    We selected this hood because of its clean lines. I also got a great deal on it. Ebay. $680.

    We are now 99% done. Just waiting for our custom french doors to arrive (8 ft tall); they are already 3 weeks overdue. Once they are installed I'll take some better pics of everything.

    Thanks for all of the ideas and inspiration :)



    great hood and tile!
    clipped on: 05.02.2011 at 01:12 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2011 at 01:12 pm

    Need some input on my galley kitchen

    posted by: rosieo on 04.29.2011 at 09:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

    From kitchen for KF

    One side is a solid wall and will have uppers on top. The other side opens to the dining area and has no uppers. All the base cabinets will be drawers. In my last remodel I put in all drawers and wow, I'm a devoted and passionate believer.

    1. Is 14 and a half feet too long for a galley kitchen? Or should I extend it? I can't extend the width (and I like being able to pivot and reach both sides) but I could steal another foot for length. I don't need storage space but I always crave more countertop space.

    2. There's an extra 6" cabinet space on the back wall that I don't know how to best utilize. Maybe some nifty pull out or narrow cabinet I never heard of but must have?

    3. I'm still undecided whether to leave both ends open or should I make it a dead end? I cook by myself and have two small children. I'm thinking a dead end would be more peaceful (no more kids racing around the kitchen) but will I get tired of walking to the end every time I want to sit down?

    4. I'm still a little fuzzy about how to make separate zones. Is there a tutorial somewhere or can you just point out how to do it?

    I bake and cook A LOT. I grind all our grains for baking, make cheese from my cows, process our own meats, can a lot - in short, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

    Any advice or criticism would be much appreciated!


    Buehl's great zone explanation!!!!!
    clipped on: 04.30.2011 at 07:14 am    last updated on: 04.30.2011 at 07:54 am

    Marble gets edge--more kitchen progress pictures

    posted by: sandn on 04.28.2011 at 03:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Back in January, we asked this forum to help us choose an edge for our our marble counter top. And of course you very helpfully did. There's a link to my original post at the bottom of this post.
    Just as you helped us with our decision to choose soapstone over stainless for our perimeter counters, the kitchen forum emboldened us to try an unusual edge on the marble for our island. And when I say try, I mean try for the next 40 or so years, since it's not every day one replaces a marble counter.
    We did choose the eased square edge over a setback inverted ogee. And, we love it. Here are some pictures:

    Here's the island counter being installed over a plywood substrate. You can see the built-up edge quite clearly. Unlike the soapstone, which took two men a full day to install, the marble (with no seams and no sinks) went in in under an hour).

    Please don't panic; we aren't going to have a crazy two-toned island. I'm in the process of painting all of our beautiful custom cabinetry by hand. The gray is primer. The black, actually called off-black, is a Farrow and Ball paint in estate eggshell. I volunteered for the job (much to the delight of my cabinetmaker and mirth of N, and I may be in indentured servitude to my kitchen for the rest of my life).

    Another edge shot. Again, what's gray will be black, off-black.

    Here's the marble. What you can't really see in these pictures is the subtle but unmistakable coffee coloured veining that runs throughout the white body of the marble. It picks up and is emphasized by the other ivory tones in the room.

    And another shot of the marble. In this photo you can see the recess under the bar top, which makes the lower part of the island extra deep and gives us a place to store dishes and hide two recessed outlets.
    I wrote a blog post in a little more detail you could read here: "Soapstone wins and Marble gets its edge"
    If you click on the original post link below, you can see the slab we had our island counter cut from. In our excitement at getting our soapstone counters installed, we only remembered at the 11th hour to specify to the marble fabricators how we wanted the slab cut. Luckily we weren't too late.
    Thanks, all, for your help.
    More to come.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Marble edge dilemma: advice would be very nice


    marble for island? beautiful edge!
    clipped on: 04.29.2011 at 04:27 pm    last updated on: 04.29.2011 at 05:05 pm

    If it's all drawers, then where do you store . . .

    posted by: oldalgebra on 01.12.2009 at 11:53 am in Kitchens Forum

    After weeks of reading comments and getting help on this forum, I'm convinced that drawers in base cabinets are, in general, more useful than pull-outs behind cabinet doors. With the new configuration, I will be losing my pantry. It is inefficient to be sure. Still, it holds a number of things that I'm concerned I won't be able to store any more efficiently than pre-renovation.

    I've seen the innovative drawers-within-a-drawer set up for cans. Still, I can't seem to visualize an efficient way to store items like cereal boxes, oil bottles, vinegar bottles, cake mixes, etc. in those deep drawers. Are there dividers and such that make it easy to keep track of the items even though labels won't be viewed as easily? How do you do it - or do you?

    Pictures will help, if that's not too much trouble. Thanks.


    Remember to go through list again for what's in my cabinets
    clipped on: 04.16.2011 at 02:33 pm    last updated on: 04.16.2011 at 04:04 pm

    Capital Culinarian rangetop?

    posted by: footwedge on 11.26.2010 at 12:54 pm in Appliances Forum

    Has anyone purchased this? How do you like it snd how was the install?



    Need to order soon if going this route.
    clipped on: 04.11.2011 at 01:17 pm    last updated on: 04.11.2011 at 01:18 pm