If your kitchen is lacking function, you may simply need to rearrange, not redecorate.
Those of you lucky enough to build a new kitchen from scratch will likely meet with a designer who will spend time to understand your personal preferences, provide advice and guidance, and collaborate with you to design the optimal space for your family. For those homeowners looking to enhance their kitchen design and function but are not in the position to customize from scratch—do not despair! I will share some tips that you can apply to YOUR existing kitchen space!
If there is one thing that I have observed consistently in my two decades of partnering with clients to enhance their kitchens, it is the primacy of function over aesthetics. Even if one is not replacing cabinets, counters, or a backsplash, there are usually opportunities to improve the space to enhance functionality and flow!
Here are 4 ways you find that function and space you need.
1)Seasonally purge your kitchen in the same manner as you would a closet. Items that are no longer used or have outlived their intended purpose can be:
- Passed along to a sibling or friend who can make use of it
- Re-purposed in your own home – e.g. an unused candy dish can be used to coral earrings, cuff links etc. in/on a bedroom dresser; safety pins and bobby pins in a bathroom drawer, etc.
2) Keep items in close proximity to where they will be used:
- Dish towels should be stored in the kitchen, not the linen closet, and preferably rolled (the Marie Kondo way).
- Dishes most frequently used should be stored in a cabinet above dishwasher so they’re easy to put away.
3) Keep things as accessible as possible (or vice versa):
- Is the item a seasonal one? Keep it in proximity during the seasons you use it, and put away when you don’t. Use a high shelf to store BBQ utensils during the winter and/or children’s menorahs once Chanukah is over.
- Do your kids serve themselves breakfast? Consider storing cereal bowls in a drawer instead of an upper cabinet that is hard for them to reach. An item like a plate holder can keep them in place, or try drawer liners discussed in this post.
4) Try to keep counters as clear as possible. If you use some items daily and choose to keep them out, consider storing them on a tray. A clear counter is more inviting to cook on!
5) If the dynamics of the family have changed (such as dietary restrictions or eating habits), and/or you no longer are buying and shelving as much prepackaged food, consider using pantry real estate to store dishes, vases, and serving pieces.
Photos by Esther Chill