More in Small Kitchens

Maximizing Kitchen Storage

All too often, the kitchen and clutter go hand in hand. To create order, you need to make the most of every nook and cranny.

Photo by Russell Kaye
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Just a few months ago, every inch in Margot and Chris Sieracki's kitchen in Edgecombe, Maine, was covered with appliances, spice jars, potholders, papers, and cookbooks. "It was a nightmare," says Jean Sharratt, the space planner and interior designer who helped them remodel the space. Her design solutions more than doubled the kitchen's storage capacity — and turned it into a cheerful, well-ordered oasis.

A Storage-Packed Island
A large central island is the workhorse of this 400-square-foot kitchen. With all of the elements that Margot wanted it to house — a cooktop with downdraft venting, a prep sink, a microwave, a breakfast bar, and lots of storage compartments — it grew very big very fast. But Sharratt cleverly broke down the massive unit, 9 feet long and just over 5 ½ feet wide, into four smaller parts that help define the different areas of the kitchen. On entering the house from the kitchen door, guests encounter a welcoming L-shaped breakfast bar 6 inches lower than the 36-inch height of the rest of the island. The side facing the main sink, dedicated to food prep, is furnished with an additional sink, a pull-out towel rack, and wicker drawers for root vegetables. A below-counter microwave and a gas cooktop anchor the side opposite the refrigerator. That side also contains a special spice drawer and a stainless steel trough for vinegars and cooking oils that was built into the countertop. The final face of the island houses a deep divided drawer for pot storage.

Details That Encourage Tidiness
Elsewhere in the kitchen, to the right of the main sink is a baking area, defined by a countertop that's dropped down to 30 inches — an ideal level for rolling out dough. Below are spacious drawers for bowls and cookie sheets; the cabinet above holds dry goods as well as a row of small drawers for measuring cups, cookie cutters, and spices. A built-in bench adjacent to the baking area invites Margot's young son to join in; its hinged top lifts open to reveal hidden storage. Sharratt even drafted a structural post to storage duty by adding a twin and wrapping both with custom-made wrought-iron pot racks. "Jean left no stone unturned," says Margot. "I finally have a place for everything."
Just a few months ago, every inch in Margot and Chris Sieracki's kitchen in Edgecombe, Maine, was covered with appliances, spice jars, potholders, papers, and cookbooks. "It was a nightmare," says Jean Sharratt, the space planner and interior designer who helped them remodel the space. Her design solutions more than doubled the kitchen's storage capacity — and turned it into a cheerful, well-ordered oasis.

A Storage-Packed Island
A large central island is the workhorse of this 400-square-foot kitchen. With all of the elements that Margot wanted it to house — a cooktop with downdraft venting, a prep sink, a microwave, a breakfast bar, and lots of storage compartments — it grew very big very fast. But Sharratt cleverly broke down the massive unit, 9 feet long and just over 5 ½ feet wide, into four smaller parts that help define the different areas of the kitchen. On entering the house from the kitchen door, guests encounter a welcoming L-shaped breakfast bar 6 inches lower than the 36-inch height of the rest of the island. The side facing the main sink, dedicated to food prep, is furnished with an additional sink, a pull-out towel rack, and wicker drawers for root vegetables. A below-counter microwave and a gas cooktop anchor the side opposite the refrigerator. That side also contains a special spice drawer and a stainless steel trough for vinegars and cooking oils that was built into the countertop. The final face of the island houses a deep divided drawer for pot storage.

Details That Encourage Tidiness
Elsewhere in the kitchen, to the right of the main sink is a baking area, defined by a countertop that's dropped down to 30 inches — an ideal level for rolling out dough. Below are spacious drawers for bowls and cookie sheets; the cabinet above holds dry goods as well as a row of small drawers for measuring cups, cookie cutters, and spices. A built-in bench adjacent to the baking area invites Margot's young son to join in; its hinged top lifts open to reveal hidden storage. Sharratt even drafted a structural post to storage duty by adding a twin and wrapping both with custom-made wrought-iron pot racks. "Jean left no stone unturned," says Margot. "I finally have a place for everything."
 
 

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