ruthj98

Finding a kitchen design that works for my family is very frustrating!

newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
last month
last modified: last month

We hired a designer. She came up with several different suggestions for a new kitchen. I don't think any of them are right for our family. Our kitchen and house layout isn't easy to work with.

There are a few houses in our neighborhood that are the same as ours. I've had the opportunity to see three of their kitchens. The best one had removed the wall to the family room next to the kitchen. It was very nice. But the owner said the kitchen had taken too much room and the family room was now smaller than she thought it would be.

So I ran into a neighbor on my street with the same house and asked him what his layout was. He kindly drew the layout for me. He said he and his wife redid their kitchen a couple of years ago and they like it.

The advantage to this layout is that I don't have to remove any walls nor move any doorways! What do you think? Not to scale.




Comments (163)

  • Jillius
    29 days ago
    last modified: 29 days ago

    To partim's point, it is handy that there are so many identical houses in your neighborhood. What are those selling for? How do their features compare to what yours would be like if you added a main floor bedroom, remodeled the kitchen a bit or a lot, etc.

    Since you are not planning on moving, it is fine to deviate your budget and remodeling plan from exactly what would make the most sense for resale. Definitely, if you have the money, with a forever home, the first goal is to make yourself happy. But it can be good to know the line between what adds equity and what adds joy.

  • claire larece
    28 days ago

    You don’t have to have a peninsula with the countertop overhang and seating. Imagine it without it

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked claire larece
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    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked claire larece
  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    to BlueberryBundtcake:

    Thanks for weighing in BB! Yours looks like a decent layout.

    Unfortunately the fridge and doorway cannot change places. There seems to be some kind of supporting post in the corner and behind the fridge. That means only some of the wall behind the fridge could be removed for a doorway---not enough for a walkway through. I like that the kitchen door was removed and counters were added. Moving the FR doorway is good too. My husband does the barbequing and he doesn't mind using the FR sliding door.

    Even though counter is added where the exterior kitchen door had been, I will have lost my 5 foot counterspace with upper cabinets and replaced that with a 3 foot unit. Even though the kitchen layout would be more functional, I really don't think I can do with any less storage space than I have now. Thanks for giving it a try. Can you see why I am frustrated?

    to Jillius and Partim:

    You both have given insight into the kinds of questions one has to ask themselves when making changes to their home. You've got my mind spinning in all directions---in a good way! lol I'll have more comments for you soon.

    to claire larece:

    Are you saying I should consider putting my table and chairs into Jillius' layout suggestion?


  • claire larece
    28 days ago

    Maybe that didn’t come out right. What I’m trying to say here is you can have that layout without having the overhang and chairs

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked claire larece
  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    to Jillius:

    I have so much to say . . . now if I could just type faster! LOL

    Looking at your suggested layout, at this point in my life, the FR turned into office would be welcoming. I would love to be able to close off the doors of that room and to my mess. Always wondered whether the FR wood walls were unique, as in a good thing, or not. I think they are kind of nice, but it perhaps makes the room darker. The fireplace is, what one might say, old fashioned? I find it very limiting. Furniture placement in front of it always looks bad. All the knickknacks on the two ledges give it a cluttered look. After turning the fireplace into a woodburning stove, we benefited from the warmth emanating from it. But then we found out it wasn't up to code and stopped using it as such. Now is it an asset for resale? It would need to have a fire proof floor added in front of it to be able to use it even as a fireplace.

    The doors added to the DR and the LR entrance I like. If the TV were in the LR, the door would be an asset for sure.

    I am not keen on a TV above the fireplace. I can see through LR windows, when I walk my neighborhood, that it is a common thing to do. But I, personally, feel the TV is too high. Why not keep the TV in the new office/FR? I'm the only that watches it---except when my daughter and I occasionally view something together. That would leave the LR generally unused again. I think adding a reading chair and light would be beneficial. My husband reads before going to sleep, and he would do that in the bedroom. When the heat and humidity were high (endless this year), he would come from the basement and read in the kitchen. He is a noisy reader---turning newspaper pages and folding them in a particular way! At this point I am relaxing watching TV and the bird is sleeping. I heard every crinkle! LOL So a reading chair and light in the LR would be a good idea I think for my husband and anyone else.

    My husband and I choose no door in the kitchen and adding the sliding door in the DR.

    Now the kitchen---one wall is moved and one wall is removed. I see that you incorporated all that I said. You have been "thoroughing things" for sure!

    Can we change things up? Am I allowed to change my mind as I navigate through this kitchen renovation?

    I like the idea of the pantry I have incorporated with an extended pantry where the fridge would have been. Makes it feel like it was part of the kitchen. One thing is---the pantry closet I have is not as deep as the area of the fridge. My husband says there are heating ducts behind the wall in the pantry and a post/beam in the corner behind the fridge. Maybe difficult to do?

    To me storage of kitchen stuff and small appliances, is just as important as pantry. I do have another area in the house where I store food items. (It is at the bottom of the basement stairs.) I have a wall unit in the DR filled with stuff. Some of it I would use more often if it were in a more convenient location. I'd move it to the kitchen if I could.

    As much as I don't want to be in view from the front door at night, I am thinking that I perhaps I am too old and too used to having the sink by the window and range on my left. Can you put it back there? I think my mind and body have now been "programed" to go in certain directions. Three full decades and going towards four decades is a long time---longer than I have left to live---a dose of reality.

    Enough for now. More comments for you and partim to come.

  • Jillius
    27 days ago

    >Why not keep the TV in the new office/FR?


    I was assuming you liked to do your unwinding in a different room from where you do your work/projects. Is that not the case? Also you said the bird ideally would not sleep in the same room with the TV.


    You might just install the TV on an arm you can lower when you watch and put back when you are done.


    Like this:



    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked Jillius
  • Jillius
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    > Always wondered whether the FR wood walls were unique, as in a good thing, or not. I think they are kind of nice, but it perhaps makes the room darker. The fireplace is, what one might say, old fashioned? I find it very limiting. Furniture placement in front of it always looks bad. All the knickknacks on the two ledges give it a cluttered look. After turning the fireplace into a woodburning stove, we benefited from the warmth emanating from it. But then we found out it wasn't up to code and stopped using it as such. Now is it an asset for resale?

    I think you said earlier that the family room walls were not actually paneling. I am afraid they would read as paneling to buyers, and paneling is very much out of fashion. Unless it is in a woodsy cabin. Again, you should please yourself first because this is a forever home, but if you are asking if it would hurt resale to paint or remove the wood, I suspect most realtors would beg you to paint or remove the wood.

    Same thing with regard to the unusable fireplace that is furniture-layout-limiting and cluttered-looking. Based on your description, that fireplace doesn't sound like an asset in any situation, let alone in an office or a bedroom, and I would be astonished if a realtor told you otherwise.

  • Jillius
    27 days ago

    > I am thinking that I perhaps I am too old and too used to having the sink by the window and range on my left. Can you put it back there?


    We can put things anywhere you like, but I really wonder how much this concern will pan out. I used the same kitchen for the majority of my life too, and when we moved, there wasn't a single instance of feeling like I was programmed wrong for the new space. If you do a big gut remodel and move doors and walls and such, this really won't read in your brain as the same room at all. The brain will just lay down a new map of the new room. It is VERY common to hear people say after a remodel they cannot remember how the old space was at all. It gets overwritten almost totally.


    Your friend who said she kept returning to the old drawer location -- was her kitchen layout only minorly altered? I could see if everything was identical but for a few things how that might produce more mental programming confusion than just a totally new schema. Also, how much did going back to the old drawer location really bother her? Was it a rare, silly oops moment? Or like a daily massive frustration? If you don't know, ask. I'd be curious if she is bothered enough to wish she had never changed her layout.

  • partim
    27 days ago

    It might be helpful for you to know exactly how much storage space you need in your kitchen. How many drawers, how much space for baking pans, cooking pots etc. If nothing else it will give you the good feeling that you are doing something active towards your planned renovation, by eliminating duplicate items or things that are no longer used.

  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    27 days ago

    "I was assuming you liked to do your unwinding in a different room from where you do your work/projects. Is that not the case? Also you said the bird ideally would not sleep in the same room with the TV."

    I must be overwhelmed---I forgot about my bird! Thanks for reminding me!

    Well, I think I could manage with a TV in the new office/FR room. I could move the bird to the LR to sleep because now the doors could be closed after dinner.

    "You might just install the TV on an arm you can lower when you watch and put back when you are done."

    Is there anything you don't know? LOL

  • Jillius
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    > Can we change things up? Am I allowed to change my mind as I navigate through this kitchen renovation?

    Of course. Most people do. Every kitchen suggestion you get here will come with compromises, and your reaction to each proposed improvements/compromises combo will help you figure out what are truly must-haves and what aren't. Usually the list of truly must-haves gets pretty short, and then they become a beacon for the rest of the design.

    Or someone will propose something you never thought of, or you'll find a picture online, and now all of a sudden it's your top must-have even though you never thought of it before.

    And then if you're smart, you'll start mocking up floor plans in 3D (both images of a 3D view and literally laying out the proposed arrangements with boxes and furniture and doing some pretend-cooking). SO many things sound great on paper or in your head and then you see how they're going to look or feel how they're going to feel and totally hate it. A lot of minds change then too.

    It's all part of the process.

    That said, I would strongly advise you do 100% of your mind-changing before construction starts. I had to redo all my electrical halfway through my remodel because I totally changed my mind on layout, and that cost us an extra $5,000.

  • Jillius
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    > To me storage of kitchen stuff and small appliances, is just as important as pantry.

    The label "pantry" in my layout was shorthand for "floor-to-ceiling cabinets" because those are frequently called "pantry cabinets." I did think you'd want to store some food there, but it is a massive amount of storage just for food. I also thought you'd want to store small appliances there, plus there's be tons of space left for whatever else you want. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets are fantastically flexible, good storage when they aren't too deep. They give you lots and lots of options. You can store anything you want in there. Definitely not limited to food.

  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    26 days ago

    Jillius, I like your explanation of off centered sinks. You are right that I am not one of those people that needs the sink centered. I am thinking though that the window I have (I think it is called a bow window) would be more difficult to position in the best way possible. The best view seems to be out of the center rather than the sides.

    For the different kinds of fridges as you mentioned,

    • A standard-depth fridge is about 36" deep.
    • A "counter-depth" fridge is about 30" deep.
    • A built-in fridge is about 25" deep.
    • Standard kitchen counters are about 25" deep.

    In those measurements, are the handles included? My fridge is 31" deep, plus 3" for the handles. If the standard counter is 24", then my fridge would stick out 10". But I see that a counter depth fridge is about 30" deep. That's not much different than my fridge. So I can keep my fridge? I do wonder if I should consider a counter depth fridge. After the kitchen was done, I would then be stuck with the space I have for a fridge and wouldn't be able to change to a different kind of fridge should my fridge breakdown.

    Plants would have to be by the window as there would not be enough light against the wall. In the summer sunlight does not enter the house too much due to large trees. Brighter in winter.

    I can make do with plants on one side of the "new" sliding door. As for putting in a window in the dining room, I don't think that would work. I don't really want to move the outdoor plants against the wall of the house as they could only be moved towards the front of the house. The chimney sticks out there making it not convenient. I like having the plants behind a locked gate. I have had two pots stolen in the past.

    As for adding a window in the DR, I don't think my neighbors would like that. The window would be facing their patio. I know the window would be high enough that I can't see through it, but I think my neighbors would feel some sort of lack of privacy.

    I think the piano may have to stay in the LR.

    Actually the piano doesn't block my light in the LR. We have it in the corner at an angle. It only covers maybe 8 inches of the window. I haven't shown you, but I have a large wall unit in my DR. I don't plan to move that for the experiment. So I won't be able to move the piano as the wall unit is in the way.

    If the piano were to be moved to the DR, I am afraid someone will hit the piano bench seat or drop something on it. The piano bench sticks out from the piano. I think it best to leave it in the LR.

    Not sure whether a door in the kitchen is necessary, especially if the DR window became a slider. It would require changes outside though.

    There are advantages of having a door in the kitchen, especially for barbequing. But the house isn't that big, nor the garden so we wouldn't mind going through the DR. It would be a little strange when eating outdoors as our patio is located at the other end of the backyard. I would think that most guests would expect to be able to use the new office sliding doors. Patio can't be moved to the other end. There is less room between our house and the neighbors there. Overall, using the dining room sliding doors would not be convenient for entertaining and bringing items in and out.


    to partim:

    As far as storage, think about how much you really need. You have a pantry to the left of your refrigerator that looks like it should hold quite a bit. Maybe that storage could be made more efficient.

    That's for sure!

    And any of the plans we are posting will include more efficient storage e.g. drawers instead of lower cabinets, good corner units that will hold pots and pans etc.

    Is there any such thing as good corner units? I haven't been impressed with what I have seen at IKEA.

    As far as counter space, remember that you are gaining the width of the wall oven unit as counter space. So even if the unit near the back door is shortened to 3 feet, you still have more.

    Wouldn't I be gaining counter space, but losing drawer space? The two drawers of stuff I have under my stovetop have to go somewhere. I know the wall oven would be gone, but the two drawers under the wall oven are full; I would gain counter space; and the cabinets above would be smaller?

    Remember too that over the next few years your household will likely shrink. If we were having this conversation when you had 2 small children then I'd be thinking that you needs would be expanding. Your needs will be shrinking so don't overbuild. Even one additional bedroom upstairs will completely change how you use your house. I know, I'm 65 and use my house very differently now that we're empty nesters.

    Definitely something for me to think about.

    Every plan will have pluses and minuses. It's great to brainstorm but as Jillus said above, the cost will be a factor too. Kitchen renos add more value than most but really on the new cupboards etc, not on moving walls and doors/windows. Don't get your heart set on a plan until you get some quotes.

    Good advice.



  • EL's whole house remodel ideas
    26 days ago

    Corner units, If you are on the Houzz site and type in magic corner you will find some great photos and videos. In my humble opinion (I am not a designer) I find these units rather genus in their use of that "black hole" that ends up being used to just toss stuff in there. :)

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked EL's whole house remodel ideas
  • AnnKH
    26 days ago

    My kitchen is a U, with the sink in the middle, fridge on one leg and range on the other. I had 2 corners to deal with, and spent countless hours looking at every fancy corner apparatus I could find. One corner (on the fridge side) was a no-brainer - that is a super susan for my small appliances.


    The other corner was a lot harder. My kitchen isn't huge, so I needed to maximize every inch of space. Everything I looked at, which really cool, didn't seem to fit my needs. Because my kitchen is small, I only had 1 drawer stack (plus drawers over the trash pullout and super susan).


    Eventually I made a list of everything I had in the kitchen, and where it would go. I had a spot for my big canning pot, and other bulky items that usually get relegated to the deep dark back corner. what I needed was a place for cooking utensils (I don't like them in a crock on the counter); bags and wraps; towels and dishcloths; pots and pans; canisters of dry goods. A magic corner or another susan might work for the canisters and frying pans, but what of the rest of the stuff?


    I realized that what I needed in my kitchen the most was more drawers. I closed off the corner completely, and put an 18" drawer stack on one side, and a 24" stack on the other side. We use those drawers many times a day, and are one of the best things about the new kitchen.

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked AnnKH
  • Jillius
    26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    @AnnKH, I also closed off one of my corners in favor of drawers. Now, instead of a corner unit, that spot has a 30" wide drawer unit that holds:


    Top drawer:

    • eating utensils
    • stuff for putting away leftovers (lids for the glass jars I use as tupperware, lids for the cat food cans, the wine bottle air-sucker-outer-and-stopper stuff)
    • stovetop cooking utensils (spatulas, tongs, etc.)


    Middle drawer:

    • bowls
    • plates
    • saran wrap
    • aluminum foil


    Bottom drawer:

    • pots
    • pans
    • colanders


    Of that whole list, only the bottom drawer's contents would have really made sense in a corner unit.

    In the upper cabinets above this drawer unit I keep drinking glasses, all our tupperware (glass jars, big glass containers with lids), and cat food/meds.. The drawer unit, the uppers above it, and their accompanying stretch of counter are smack between the cat feeding area + fridge on the left and the microwave + range on the right.


    So with what we have opted to store there, this one spot functions as our:

    1. Quick meals zone (fridge, eating utensils, bowls/plates, drinking glasses. and microwave)
    2. Cat care zone (her feeding area, meds, food, spoons to dish it out, and bowls/plates for food/water)
    3. Cooking zone (range, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and aluminum foil)
    4. Putting away leftovers zone (fridge, tupperware and lids, bowls/plates and saran wrap, wine bottle stopper-and-air-sucker-outer thing)


    Notice how not one of those zones would have been complete without the stuff we keep in the top and middle drawer of that drawer unit -- and that stuff would have all been crazy awkward to store in a corner unit because corner units favor bulkier items.


    A corner unit here might have technically given us more cubic feet of storage, but it wasn't the right type of storage for what that spot needed to work as hard for us as it does.


    @newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada, that is another example of how doing as AnnKH describes and blocking off a corner can be the best move for a kitchen. I mention all this because I keep encountering people who find this TOTALLY counter-intuitive. When you are living always hurting for space in your kitchen, it can seem just flatly wrong that more storage is somehow not always better. But, really, it's about the RIGHT storage for what you need. This is also speaks to why @partim suggested you take full stock of what you store.

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked Jillius
  • partim
    25 days ago

    The OP will have quite a few drawers in the plan I suggested. But an inventory of the space needed would be good.

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked partim
  • katinparadise
    25 days ago

    @newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada, if you add as many drawer bases to the cabinets as possible, along with a good corner unit such as a super susan, i think you'll find that you won't be lacking for storage. If you're gaining 36" by removing the back door, you'll have about 48" of counter space if you leave the dishwasher where it is. That give you room for an 18" drawer base plus another 30" drawer base. That should more than make up for the lost drawers under the wall oven. The best thing you can do, if it hasn't already been mentiontioned, is to take an inventory of everything you store in your kitchen to help you determine the best way to set up your new space.

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked katinparadise
  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    24 days ago

    kitchen idea, thanks for letting me know where I could find good information regarding corner units.

    katinparadise, I think you are suggesting I have 36" of space if I remove the back door and move the family room entrance. That 36" of space would be replacing my 60" back counter, drawers and uppers. So I actually lost space. If I had a range instead, I lose two drawers, but then I gain a couple of drawers by not having a wall oven. So it's just a trade off there as I see it.

    AnnKH and Jillius, I don't know what you mean when you say you closed off the corner and have drawers instead.

    Sorry, but I don't know how to take an inventory of the space needed. I am not sure whether I am actually storing things in the best way possible. I thought I could change things up when I had a new kitchen. I can take an inventory of what I have in my kitchen right now (minus what I could get rid of).

  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    24 days ago

    to Jillius, could you add these to the list you have started for my kitchen?

    These are additional things I would like to have.

    (1) Trash can other than under the sink.

    (2) We have a bin for kitchen waste that is recycled. We just stuck it to the exterior door. Hate it there. Convenient there, but something you don't really want to keep out at all times.

    (3) Would love to have my rechargeable vacuum somewhere in the kitchen. Now I have to go upstairs to get it. So most times I just use my broom instead. Of course there would have to be an outlet in that location.

    (4) I would prefer to have a wall oven rather than a range. I do agree to a range if it is the best fit for my kitchen.

    (5) If there were a place in the kitchen, I would like to accommodate my toaster oven. It wouldn't have to be there full-time. This summer has been very hot here. We have experienced twice as many hot days as usual. So we actually used our toaster oven many times so as to not heat up the house with the wall oven. I did actually use the toaster oven in the basement. There really isn't room for it in the kitchen so I just went up and down the stairs to see the food was coming along. Wouldn't it be nice to temporarily leave it in the kitchen?

    (6) I think the microwave should be out of the cook's corner. Sometimes others use it too to warm up their meals or help to warm things up.

    (7) I am thinking it would be best to have drawers under the kitchen sink rather than cupboards?

    (8) Need a place to keep my plant items like watering can, saucers, fertilizer etc.

    That's it for now. You see I have been thinking!

  • Jillius
    23 days ago
    last modified: 23 days ago

    AnnKH and Jillius, I don't know what you mean when you say you closed off the corner and have drawers instead.

    Here's some pictures of lisa_a's kitchen. She blocked off her corner and instead had drawers on one side and sink/garbage pull-outs on the other side. You can see in her floor plan that the corner is just a void - no cabinet in the corner, no storage in the corner. That's what closing off a corner means.

    Lisa_a's kitchen floor plan:


    Lisa_a's kitchen in real life:



    Kitchen sink and pull-outs to the right of the corner:



    Drawers to the left of her corner:



    All the details from lisa_a's kitchen: https://www.houzz.com/discussions/3447557/50-shades-of-gray-tko-version?n=113. She did an INCREDIBLY thoughtful and exacting job, so it's a great thing to read when you are trying to learn about more about kitchen remodels. Highly recommend.


    When you have drawers on both sides of the corner (and the corner just closed off), it'd look like this:



    In my kitchen, I've got drawers on one side of the corner and a range on the other side of the corner:





    Note: don't put your range in the corner like this. We're in a condo where the people above and below us share our range vent, so we could only move our range a few inches if we wanted to have a vent. You can put your range anywhere.

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked Jillius
  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    21 days ago

    Thanks Jillius for explaining about the void corner and drawers---and the photos. (Your kitchen looks really nice!) I didn't know that leaving the corner void was a possibility. I suppose it is a consideration for those with more ample space in their kitchens---or is there another practical reason for making that choice? I do like it---a lot.

    Now for this kitchen inventory I am doing. I can't do it. There . . . I'm being honest. For the three kitchens I have had in my lifetime, the drawers and cupboards were fixed. You worked with what you had. So I placed my items accordingly and did with what I had. But I have learned that there may be better ways to store items---as seen at IKEA or other's homes or pictures.

    I don't know which things are better in a drawer. The only thing I can say right now is that my old food processer is very heavy and that my mixer and blender should go in an upper cabinet not a drawer; it would be nice to have a drawer for my electric frying pan and that drawers seem to be the best storage place for a lot of items. So lots of drawers!

    And then there are drawers for utensils. At present I have three drawers for those. (1) is for cutlery (2) cook's utensils and (3) for less used tools and other items. The cook's utensils is too small. My husband (who doesn't cook but complains about having to put away items in what he thinks is too crowded) says I have too much---and I think I don't have enough! Look at all those gadgets in the kitchen stores! I think I am missing out! LOL So would I want a larger drawer, deeper drawer for the cook's tools? I don't know. Should I go to some kitchen store and dream of possibilities for my kitchen? Maybe what I need is a book like "Kitchen Remodeling for Dummies?" OH MY GOSH! I decided to visit my library online just now and found out there is actually a book just like that! It was published in 2003. I would think that is a bit outdated. But, what the heck, I decided to put it on hold. I know there must be a lot I can learn from it.

    So I took a break from writing the above and looked at the link you attached re lisa_a's kitchen. Wow. I want to be just like lisa---do the work, figure it out, and love the results. What a great thread!

    There was so much to learn that I was getting overwhelmed as I read it and had to take a break from it because I couldn't handle all the information and ideas. Now that's a great thread when it's packed with so much information that you can't take it all in! LOL I will also read her original thread. I am sure I will be overwhelmed there too---and that will be a good thing!

    I feel this kitchen reno is quite a journey I have embarked on. Forum members you are so helpful and I love all the different viewpoints. I will continue to try to make my way to my final destination---my new kitchen---and if you are willing to help me---I will be one very lucky grateful girl!


  • tcufrog
    21 days ago

    Perhaps if we list what we like to put in drawers plus what we don't like in drawers that will help.


    Here's my drawer list: flatware, Tupperware and lids, cookware and lids (separate drawers, spices (have inserts from Container Store in the drawers, small cooking gadgets (two drawers worth), placemats, napkins and tablecloths. In fact, I prefer for most of my lower storage to be drawers.


    Here's what I prefer to put in lower cabinets: casserole dishes, large baking items, colanders, small appliances (ideally on heavy-duty slide-out shelves, baking trays in narrow organizing slots, heavy Dutch ovens, and roasting pans. Mostly, big, heavy items that can't get lost in the back of cabinets.

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked tcufrog
  • A S
    21 days ago

    House before this all cupboards. House now all bottom drawers!

    To the left of our stove we have a drawer cutlery then of plates and bowls. Below that deep pans and baking things like casserole dishes.

    Next row of drawers over we have junk drawer, placemats and glass storage, plastic storage and big Tupperware.

    To the right of the stove we have knives and measuring stuff, then pots, then pans.

    To the right of that we have Saran Wrap and tinfoil and bags in one, bowls and blender and magic bullet in another, strainers and big serving wear in last one.

    Drawers are a dream. I would never choose a cupboard again!

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked A S
  • partim
    21 days ago

    I'm not a fan of the idea of a blind corner. Space is at a premium in this kitchen. You just need to get some ideas of how to organize a Lazy Susan. I have 2 corners in my kitchen and they hold a lot of stuff very well. I use the method of putting a tall container in it, and filling it with stuff. You just spin the Susan to access the container, remove it and take out what you need. So easy and holds an enormous amount. https://orgjunkie.com/2014/09/top-organizing-bloggers-kitchen-tour-organizing-lazy-susans.html  https://inspirationformoms.porch.com/organizing-the-corner-lazy-susan/

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked partim
  • partim
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    We stayed at a home that had one of these corner units. It held an enormous amount and was so easy to use because you never have to reach in - it all comes out to you over the floor. https://rev-a-shelf.com/16699?

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked partim
  • new-beginning
    20 days ago

    right now I wouldn't want to show you my current kitchen (it is terrible) but my previous kitchen I utilized drawer units instead of lower cabinets. Holds more, easier to find what it in there (no more sitting on the floor and sticking my head in the cabinet to retrieve what is in the back), and when getting older and less flexible about bending down, reaching in (and no worries about falling) it just makes sense. I had all my pots and pans, including cast iron, all my spices, all my kitchen towels, place mats, napkins, Saran wrap, parchment paper, zipper bags, flatware in those drawers. Heavy mixer-no but there is a 'lift' device you might want to consider. I will be re-doing current kitchen in IKEA drawers early 2021. The person that 'designed' current kitchen, for lack of a better word that won't offend anyone, must not have ever cooked!

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked new-beginning
  • Jillius
    20 days ago
    last modified: 18 days ago

    @newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada, lisa_a is like the Olympic gold medalist of remodeling. She's great inspiration and is a great way to educate someone about the breadth of things they could think about in a kitchen remodel, but don't feel you have to go to quite those lengths unless you want to.

    Thanks Jillius for explaining about the void corner and drawers---and the photos. (Your kitchen looks really nice!) I didn't know that leaving the corner void was a possibility. I suppose it is a consideration for those with more ample space in their kitchens---or is there another practical reason for making that choice? I do like it---a lot.

    See my earlier comment about why I chose to void one of my corners. I explain how that choice was practical for me even though I do not have ample space in my kitchen. I have four base cabinets total, one of which is a sink cabinet, and one of which is a garbage pull-out.

    Still, voiding that corner was more practical for my specific case. I explain it all in the earlier comment that may make more sense to you now that you know what we mean by voiding the corner and have seen a photo of my kitchen.

    Perhaps if we list what we like to put in drawers plus what we don't like in drawers that will help.

    What I have in drawers:

    • eating utensils -- forks, knives, spoons
    • cooking utensils -- spatulas, wooden spoons, slotted spoon, etc.
    • bowls
    • plates
    • pots and pans and their lids
    • strainers
    • a casserole dish filled with canning jar lids and cat food can lids
    • wine bottle opener
    • wine bottle stopper
    • knives & knife sharpener
    • prep tools -- whisk, microplaner, garlic press, lemon juicer, measuring cups/spoons, food scale, spiralizer, graters, etc.
    • rubberbands, binder clips, and twist ties
    • spices
    • mixing bowls
    • immersion blender
    • electric hand mixer
    • kitchen towels
    • garbage (technically a pull-out rather than a drawer)

    What I don't like in drawers:

    • tippy stuff (tall, skinny stuff) like drinking glasses and water bottles
    • blender
    • tupperware lids
    • baking sheets and cutting boards
    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked Jillius
  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    19 days ago

    It's really helpful to hear from you all about what you have and like to put in your drawers!

    So I made a list of everyone's drawer items:


    flatware, eating utensils---fork, knives, spoons

    tupperware, other plastics and lids

    cookware and lids

    spices (inserts from Container Store in the drawers)

    small cooking utensils---spatula, slotted spoons etc. (minimum of one drawer!)

    prep tools -- whisk, microplaner, garlic press, lemon juicer, measuring cups/spoons, food scale, spiralizer, graters, etc.

    placemats, napkins and tablecloths

    kitchen towels

    plates

    mixing bowls

    strainer

    pots, pans and deep pans and lids

    baking dishes

    junk!

    glass storage

    cooking knives and sharpener

    measuring utensils

    magic bullet

    Saran wrap, tin foil, parchment paper, plastic bags

    a casserole dish filled with canning jar lids and cat food can lids

    white bottle opener

    white bottle stopper

    rubber bands, binder clips, and twist ties

    immersion blender

    electric hand mixer

    garbage (technically a pull-out rather than a drawer)


    TO NOT CONSIDER PUTTING IN DRAWERS:

    tippy stuff (tall, skinny stuff) like drinking glasses and water bottles

    blender

    tupperware lids

    baking sheets and cutting boards

    __________________________________

    tcufrog, what kind of spice insert do you find helpful (from the Container Store)?

    Partim, your link for the lazy susan didn't work. It did bring me to org.junkie.com which I spent time looking at. Interesting site. I have put a label printer on my Christmas wish list and may look into getting some small lazy susans to put in cupboards.

    Partim, the corner storage unit looks efficient. I hadn't seen that before so I looked it up on youtube.com. to see how it worked. It requires about 4 steps to fully open it up. I like the way one can see all the items stored there, but that seems like a lot of steps to get to what you want. Don't you think?

    New-beginning, your kitchen cannot be worse than mine! We are also considering an IKEA kitchen. Good luck with yours!

    "lisa_a is like the Olympic gold medalist of remodeling" That's for sure, Jillius. In return for the help she received on the forum, she was able to give in return to others by documenting her story and her journey towards a new kitchen. Extremely helpful.

    What's a spiralizer good for? Maybe I need one? Another item for my Christmas wish list?

    _____________________________________

    My son said (today) that we should just do a quick facelift with the kitchen, like replace the hinges and handles, counter and floor. I said I don't think so. He said you've been talking about redoing the kitchen for a long time. (I was pulling out some cutting boards that I decided needed to be sanded and cleaned because I said I was getting ready for my new kitchen and they were not acceptable!) "If they don't get cleaned up, then out they go!" He did then say that I do seem to be more determined this time! You betcha!

    _____________________________________

    Now I am going to do an inventory of what other stuff I have in the kitchen that isn't going to go into drawers.

  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked tcufrog
  • katinparadise
    19 days ago

    I have the same spice holder as @tcufrog. They're easy to organize with all different size containers and easy to clean. I keep mine in alphabetical order so they're always in the same place and easy to find.

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked katinparadise
  • tcufrog
    19 days ago

    Mine would be in alpha order too if my family would put them back where they found them.

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked tcufrog
  • anjiz
    19 days ago

    Tcufrog: story of my life too! :)

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked anjiz
  • partim
    19 days ago
    last modified: 19 days ago

    I had to smile at your son's comment. A good friend and I have lived in this neighbourhood since the mid-1980's and her kitchen still has the original builder-grade cupboards from 1973. They're falling apart. She's been talking about a glorious new kitchen for the 32 years I've been her neighbour. They've beautifully renovated the rest of their home but that kitchen is difficult because it's small and she can't decide whether to bump into an adjacent room, or add a small addition, or ......

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked partim
  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    19 days ago

    I love those spice organizers! I don't think we have exactly those kind in Canada. I did find this one which I think is similar, but I like the ones you refer to better. I think the one you mention is a roll that you cut, not separate pieces?

    So I have started my "kitchen must have" file and added those liners.

    "Mine would be in alpha order too if my family would put them back where they found them." Tcufrog, I'll look forward to having that problem when I get my new kitchen (kind of)! LOL

    Partim, so you and I have lived in our neighborhoods since the mid 1980's!

    "She's been talking about a glorious new kitchen for the 32 years I've been her neighbour." That made me laugh! I guess I'm not so bad after all! I'm still chuckling!

  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    19 days ago

    Since I don't have a spice drawer, my family can't mix it up. It's mixed up already! But my family does do dishes. An annoying thing I had to give them a talkin to about is not putting the kitchen gadgets away in the drawer upside down! (They think they fit better that way) and I have to spend another minute trying to find what I need. A larger drawer or two drawers is a must have for the new kitchen!

  • gettingnowhere
    19 days ago

    @newhosta, where did you find those spice organizers? Also, I just looked and the container store ships to Canada, only downfall is the dang $ exchange.

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked gettingnowhere
  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    19 days ago

    I know what you mean about getting things shipped from the US to Canada.

    I found it at Solutions on their website. I am not sure if you can get it in the store since it doesn't mention it. Here is what it is called:

    Here's the link: https://solutions-stores.ca/spiceliner-drawer-spice-rack/

  • Jillius
    18 days ago


    Another way to do spices in a drawer. Just put labels on the lids.

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked Jillius
  • new-beginning
    18 days ago

    in case you haven't looked at IKEA's "drawer within a drawer" the last IKEA cabinet I purchased for the previous kitchen which I brought along to the current kitchen, does have that and the top (inside) drawer is just about right for storing spice/herb jars. From the outside with drawers closed it looks like a 3 drawer cabinet, but the top drawer is actually TWO drawers, each of them about 3" deep. Lower portion stores Saran wrap, parchment paper, etc. and the drawer that sits inside it is also almost 3" deep, spice/herb jars laying down flat on their 'back' with labels showing

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked new-beginning
  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    18 days ago

    Jillius, I like your way of storing spices also. It looks like your drawer has a bar or sectioned off area which would keep the spices in place. I suppose a deciding factor as to where one chooses to store the spices would be how often they are used. Also I suspect top drawers are the best drawers as they are the easiest to reach, and one should allow that space for what one feels are the most important and most often used items.


    New-beginning, I will have a look at the kitchen section at IKEA see if I find the "drawer within a drawer." Thanks for mentioning it. I may have missed it otherwise.


    Here's a peak of my poorly organized spices!


    I started off with the turntable a very long time ago! Then that wasn't enough so my father-in-law added shelves onto the a couple of doors for me (see below). Then I started buying bags of spices too. What a mess! Looking at that turntable I can see how yellow it's gotten.

    I don't know about you, but I find that I can see things a lot clearer when I take a photo of an area or an item. I learned that from taking photos of my garden. I discovered a virus on my hosta that I didn't see was there in real life. I think with a photo your mind stops and concentrates on a certain area whereas in real life your eye jots around a lot.



    As embarrassed as I am to show you my spices, it's the beginning of coming to terms with the reality of my kitchen today---and with that I can move towards making better choices and accomplishing---a new and improved and wonderfully organized kitchen!

  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    16 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Here is an inventory of what is left to organize for my new kitchen (other than what should go into drawers.)

    These items are in upper cabinets right now:

    Food processor (heavy)

    Soup Maker (electric)

    Braun Hand Blender

    Hand Blender

    Mixer

    Cook Books and Recipe Binder

    Kitchen Manuals

    Mini Chopper

    Glasses/mugs/travel mugs/thermos

    Wire rack/large lids/cutting boards (this absolutely needs upgrading!)


    These items are in the "pantry:"

    Electric Frying Pan (not used regularly)

    Paper Towels/tissue boxes

    Bird supplies/food


    These items are in the cabinet under the sink:

    Plant Supplies (fertilizer, watering pitchers, saucers)

    Cleaning supplies

    Dishwashing liquid, dishwasher detergent, rinse aid


    In the Lazy Susan:

    Tea Pots (3)

    In the basement:

    baking sheets


    Any suggestions on how to improve storing these items would be helpful.


    For those of you who have kitchen "helpers" who put your kitchen items away in the wrong places, you might consider doing what my cousin did. Her husband kept putting away things in different places even after asking him to please put them away in the designated spot. So one day she went to his tools and put them in different areas. He got the message! (Would probably work with kids too. Just move their stuff around!)

  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    16 days ago

    Just found a very helpful link about storing kitchen items:


    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5500787/faq-how-do-i-plan-for-storage

    I think it was meant for me! For example, remove unused kitchen items. That's what I am doing! I just recycled an assortment of plastic storage containers. I may eliminate even more as no one here is now going to work. They are working from home! (Yup, one big "happy" family!) Remove unused excess mugs. It's put on the to do list! Find other storage places for items used infrequently. Yes, will do. Anyways a great article---seems like it was meant for me!

  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked new-beginning
  • EL's whole house remodel ideas
    16 days ago

    I wanted to let you know I saw this photo/idea on houzz and if space is a premium factor you should perhaps consider this https://www.houzz.com/hznb/photos/rolling-hills-kitchen-craftsman-kitchen-los-angeles-phvw-vp~38240113

    it shows the drawer in drawer put also instead of a base/toe plate/kick plate, whatever you like to refer to it as...... you gain storage from an otherwise empty space

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked EL's whole house remodel ideas
  • katinparadise
    16 days ago

    I have the separate strips in my spice drawer. I like them a lot. They're easy to cut to size to fit perfectly in the drawer.


    As to cookie sheets, I have all of mine, along with platters, pizza pans, cooling racks and 9x13 baking pan in a 15" cabinet with vertical storage like this. I find it very convenient. Mine is stainless steel.

    Large lids sit right on top of their pots in the pots and pans drawer.


    My Kitchenaid mixer is in a cabinet with two pull-out shelves.


    My hand blender, along with my hand mixer, are stored in a pots and pans drawer.


    I'm seriously consider getting something like this for coffee mugs since my husband has about 30!

    I like the fact that they take up unused space under a shelf and there's still room to store other things underneath.

    newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada thanked katinparadise
  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    new-beginning and EL's, drawer in a drawer is a cool idea. Could be quite handy, especially if you can't have a very wide drawer, but have a deeper one instead.

    That kickplate storage is interesting and I had never seen it before. I wonder if this kitchen has an even taller kickplate space than usual to accommodate this kind of drawer. What I think would be an idea, would be to make a hide-away drawer in that location for things like---money? jewellry?

    katinparadise, if I could get those spice strips, I would use them now. I would clean out half of my junk drawer just to get more organized---even though the junk drawer is not in the right location.

    Pull out shelves---I think someone mentioned that earlier---I didn't know that existed!

    That vertical cabinet for baking pans, pizza pans etc. is a must have!

    In order to use a shelf mug holder, the shelves would have to have quite a bit of space between them, wouldn't it? In my kitchen now, I would not be able to use them. If I would have to raise my shelf to accommodate the holder, I would have a more difficult time reaching for the other items on the upper shelves. We just stack what we can. And my mugs would never look as neat as those in the photo!

  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    It's been a bit difficult to connect with the woman I met recently who updated her kitchen and has a home like mine. What I did find out from her is that the DR/kitchen and FR/kitchen walls are not supporting walls. The supporting wall is marked in red.

    I will try to connect with her again to see if she knows of other supporting walls/beams etc. From the bit of wall removed behind the fridge, that area may also offer some kind of support to the structure.