I am a big fan of using open shelving in the kitchens I design, not just because it is a popular option today, but because, as a busy Mom of 3, I know how convenient it is to be able to quickly pull a dish off a shelf to set a quick table for breakfast or dinner.
I know this doesn't work as well if you don't cook everyday, because the dishes can get dusty, but if you do cook everyday, open shelving in the kitchen is a great timesaver for busy families like ours, and those of many of my clients.
However, the one question I always get asked is, "Jana, I love the look of open shelving but if we do that, where do I put all the stuff? All the pots and pans, all the lids, all the bowls, the things I don't use that often or want to keep hidden?"
The answer to that is often to build the storage into a big kitchen island, like I did in this kitchen above and below, or to arrange for double height pantry storage, with lots of kitchen organizing pull outs and storage containers inside, on an adjacent wall or in a nearby area.
(If you've been following my #OneRoomChallenge odyssey with my hallway, you will know that I am currently facing some pretty major organizing challenges myself, which are getting fixed this week! If it makes you feel better, see what a mess my hallway closets are right now, here. They are a #designdisaster...but not for long! )
Whenever I'm designing a kitchen for one of my clients who really wants open shelving, here are the 5 things I do before planning the additional cabinetry that will be needed to make this work for them. I hope these 5 tips will be helpful for you, too.
MY KITCHEN ORGANIZATION PLANNING PROCESS
1. I take an inventory of every kitchen item they currently have and ask them what they plan to keep, what they plan to donate, and what they plan to replace.
2. Once the inventory is complete, I ask them how often they use each item and where they use it. Do they typically use this item only when they are grilling outdoors, or baking, or do they use it everyday, like their favorite skillets and saucepans?
3. Once I know how often they use each item, I ask them where in their kitchen they typically use the item. On their island? Next to the stove, next to the sink or close to their refrigerator?
4. Once all of the above is known, I then measure the height, width and depth of each item so I can plan the appropriate organization for it.
5. Lastly, I draw up the floor plan and elevations of the kitchen, including interior elevations of each drawer and cabinet, so that I can order the interior organizational elements that will be necessary to insure there is enough space for everything, and the right kind of space.
This careful planning saves so much money (change orders are rare) for my clients, and they love knowing what new appliances and kitchen gadgets to buy, and where they are going to go before their kitchen is completed.
This kind of careful planning is the key to insuring every element of your kitchen with open shelving has enough hidden storage for everything you might use.
Now, here are some of my top kitchen organization must haves for your own homes. ( NOTE: You can buy any of these items you like by clicking the links under the image, and if you do, please know I will make a small percentage from your purchases. Thank you! )
This steel under counter shelving is stainless and sturdy and comes in 4 different widths, depending on your needs. It is 21" deep and 4" high installed. Tip: measure between the hinges on your doors to make sure it has space to pull out properly - not between the interior cabinet edges.
The pantry organizing starter kit includes: (1) OXO Good Grips 5-Piece POP Canister Set, (2) OXO Good Grips POP Medium Cereal Dispensers, (1) Acrylic 20-Bottle Spice Rack, (1) Large Omaha Stacking Bin, (1) Medium Omaha Stacking Bins and (1) Small Omaha Stacking Bins.
You can also customize the kitchen pantry organization starter kit exactly to your needs. Click to get started, here.
And now, for a few inexpensive organizational extras you might also enjoy having in your own kitchens.
If you have your heart set on open shelving for your kitchen, I hope today's post has helped you think through how to plan for the organization you will need to accommodate what you want to keep hidden. And if I can help you with the design and planning of your next kitchen remodel or new build, please reach out to me by clicking, here.
And, if you haven't yet, I invite you to please subscribe to my blog to receive my FREE guide to a successful kitchen remodel, full of great tips for you that will save you money, by clicking here and entering your email in the sidebar!
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