Kitchen Remodel: Improve Storage Part 1

Kitchen remodel - improve storage part 1 -- A Pinch of Joy
Kitchen remodel - improve storage part 1 -- A Pinch of Joy

One of the goals in our kitchen remodel was to improve the amount of storage available.  This is the pantry wall.  For this wall I wanted it to be storage from floor to ceiling and to make the refrigerator look like it “belongs”.   We met — and exceeded — the goal so much that I’m going to make a separate post on just this wall.   Here’s how we gained a huge amount of storage space ending with the takeaway for planning your kitchen remodel!

Before Kitchen Remodel 1 -- A Pinch of Joy

Before: the upper cabinets were a standard 12 inch depth.  I couldn’t even reach the handles on the cupboard above the refrigerator!  Because the kitchen was built before the microwave was standard, this was the only bit of counter space available to put a microwave.  I actually liked it at this height (have I mentioned I’m not a tall person??).  My original idea was to “build in” this microwave like the refrigerator, but changed my mind for several reasons.  The lower cupboard had one of those half shelf arrangements so it was not worth much in terms of storage.  I wanted to replace it with several drawers, but found that to be a costly storage solution and not as efficient as I had hoped.

Pantry wall After Kitchen Remodel -- A Pinch of Joy

Love the after!!  We were able to remove the soffit above the old cupboards which gave us the unbroken floor to ceiling storage we were after!  Our preliminary check showed a four inch heat duct ran diagonally across  the right hand corner of the soffit.  We really wanted that soffit gone and thought about opening the back of the the upper cabinet and building around the duct.  When our experienced advisor arrived on the scene, he determined that we could rework the heat duct to fit in the wall and ceiling (like it probably should have from the beginning).  Bingo — soffit gone and open space.   We had room to install usable storage above the refrigerator and an eight foot tall cupboard between the refrigerator and the opening to the dining room.

24" deep Storage above refrigerator -- A Pinch of Joy
The cupboard above the refrigerator is 24 inches deep.  I can reach the knobs to open the door!  I can reach everything on the bottom shelf!  Standing on the floor!   Well, except the cake decorating stuff in the blue lidded container at the very back — but since I don’t often decorate cakes I will gladly get a stepstool for that.  The upper shelf is also requires a stepstool which is just a few steps away in the garage.  Wheels or Bytes are usually willing to reach up (so easily!) and lift them down for me if they happen to be passing through.  (I may or may not plan retrieval from that shelf based on their arrival in the kitchen.)     I might add another rack on the left someday for smaller baking pans but for now this is perfect! 

Improved Kitchen Storage -- A Pinch of Joy

This is the top of the eight foot tall storage cabinet.  It is also 24″ deep.  Lots of room!  The upper shelf holds two deep pots on the right that I don’t use often.  The left is seasonal.  It’s too chilly to eat on the deck so right now all the dishes, glasses, pitchers, the box with napkins, salt, lighter, etc.  that are used there are on the top left hand side.  In the summer that space held extra mugs and “winter” things.  Never thought I had seasonal kitchen stuff — but there it is.  And there is room for it! 
    Second shelf:  Drawers are scarce in this kitchen.  There is no place to put them!  And they are more expensive than shelves.  So compromise.   This shelf holds three plastic baskets of odd-shaped, space hogging kitchen tools.  Like the pastry cutter,  the grater, that handy little rolling gadget from Pampered Chef (about the only PC piece I own and so handy).  And other such things.  I can snag the handles and pull the basket out to reach the tools.  Behind are more  things I use less and don’t mind grabbing a step stool to reach (yes, I’m that short!  Think I have a complex about that?) 
     Third shelf:  Food bloggers will recognize the frequently used photo props. (There’s more in the dining room buffet.)  Actually this shelf is thinned out quite a bit right now since we’ve had two garage sales this year.  I’m always picking up interesting pieces here and there, some I keep, some I use once or twice and rotate out.  But I can rearrange and choose standing on the floor.  And there is room! 
      Bottom shelf of the top unit:  Prime real estate.  Glass refrigerator dishes are here.  The glass ramekins have lids so work for both leftover storage and microwave reheating.  An extra measuring cup.  The salad spinner in the back. Bowl for loyalty cards and odd keys.   Any one who answers “Hey, where’s the. . . . . ” question 99,999 times a day,  will know why these items are at eye level and very visible!!!! 

 Improve Kitchen Storage - A Pinch of Joy

You can see the bottom half of this storage unit holds mostly appliances.  More about the Kitchen Aid mixer later.   I need to get over the learning curve on the food processor.  It was a gift several years ago, but I didn’t have room to actually store in the kitchen before.  Now that I do, I don’t think of it when I could use it.  Any tips on that?  The blue basket is another no-drawers in this place compromise.  It holds kitchen towels.  That arrangement works fairly well.  The rack with parchment paper, foil, etc has travelled all over.  I found a better home for the most frequently used clear wrap, but these are still nomads.  Oh, the thick rubberized shelf liners . . . . you’ll see those on shelves where things need to stay put or need a bit of extra protection, etc.  Shelves are bare where things need to slide across them. 

Wanna see where many of these things were stored before?  A BEFORE before picture? 

Poor Kitchen storage
Yeah — in a big cabinet in the garage. But I could reach everything while standing on the floor.  In the cold.  Or blazing heat.  :-) 
I love my new kitchen storage!!!!

TAKEAWAY for your kitchen remodeling: 

  • Know what problems you hope to correct, like the ten I listed in Reasons to Remodel Your Kitchen.  
  • Know what limitations you will have.  I mentioned in a previous post the limitations we had — like not changing the door, the flooring or the old kitchen footprint.  Some of these you won’t know until you get more into the process. 
  • Get more specific and think about the individual items you use, how often they are used and collect ideas on how/where those items can be accommodated.
  • Think about the space you have available and how it can be maximized.   Our removing the soffit was “free space” that wasn’t affected by any of the limitations.  Same with making the over refrigerator cabinet 24″ deep instead of 12″.  And choosing a different place for the microwave so we could have a 24″ deep cabinet from floor to ceiling in it’s place.   
  • Think about how YOU and YOUR family use things and wonder how that can be made better or how you can arrange things to accomodate your habits. 
  • Be flexible and willing to try something different.

You will love the results!!!   Next time, more storage decisions. . . .

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

3 Reasons to Remodel a Kitchen

1aKitchen North
3 Reasons to Remodel Your Kitchen -- A Pinch of Joy

Below are pictures I used to show designers of the old kitchen and the problems I needed to solve.  Using pictures made it easy to compare the designs and to keep the focus on what needed to be done.  Improving storage is the number one reason given for remodeling a kitchen.  It certainly topped my list!  Improving functionality is a second major reason.  Our kitchen was built in the Seventies before microwaves became common in every home!  That’s just one change in lifestyle that has taken place since the neighborhood was built!   An improvement in appearance is a third major reason for remodeling a kitchen. 

1.  Improve storage. 
 

Storage3

The Kitchen Aid mixer took up fully half of the storage space available in the peninsula!

Storage2
Some of the storage wasn’t even in the kitchen!  Cookie sheets, baking pans, crockpot and more were stored in the garage. 

2Corner cabinet
Some of the available storage was not accessible, like this blind corner next the kitchen range. 

2)  Improve functionality

9West

Behind the door with the writing is the Kitchen Aid mixer, pots and pans are jumbled on the other side.  The second shelf was only half the width of the cabinet and you could find a pan only by standing on your head while peering into the black hole. 

1aKitchen North

The upper cabinets especially did not make the best use of the space available.   The soffit did indeed contain plumbing — and heating and electrical.  It was stuffed full of utilities which meant it had to stay! The same was true of the soffit above the stove.  This limited  upper cabinet space to the existing height.  Sure, these pictures were taken in early February. Don’t you have the fall pumpkin hand soap setting next to the sink and a Merry Christmas plate on the cake stand in February? 

7bSouth wall

The cabinet above the refrigerator literally had an old coffee cup and two vases that were never used — nothing else.  It was such a pain to get to it.  The soffit had a four inch heat duct that cut diagonally across one end.  Straighten it out and the whole area was free.  We took out the entire soffit, which gave us lots of space and lots of options! 

3) Improve appearance 

3aBase Corner

When we moved in these cabinets were a DARK brown and the grooves were on the outside of the door.  We flipped the panels around so the smooth side showed and painted the cupboards white.  HUGE improvement, but that was also a long time ago and doors were literally starting to fall apart.  (See that top shelf that uses only half the depth — not a good use of space!) 

10aLazy susan

The lazy susan  was functional.  It was one thing that I actually liked about the kitchen.  Except when it was closed there was a good half inch gap all the way around the doors.  Note the dated hardware.  That was changed.  The  white dishwasher we kept — for now anyway. 

8aSouth
I wanted this wall to look like everything was built in from floor to ceiling, including the refrigerator and microwave. We came up with a different microwave solution.  Sometimes the criteria changes mid project — what can I say.  We also were keeping the Pergo floor that had been laid around the cabinets.  That meant the cabinets had to fill in the original footprint.  Keeping the floor was an easy decision because it was cost effective, the floor is relatively new, easy to take care of and we like it.  Keeping the same footprint was a struggle, because we had hoped to make some changes — for appearance, functionality and more storage.  The more we discussed,debated, drew and worked at things, the more apparent it became that  changes in the existing footprint were just not feasible.  We decided to stuff as much improvement as we could into the same space. 

5aPantry
This corner was a major eyesore with functionality issues.  We discussed all sorts of changes here — again with no real solution for improving functionality without creating more problems elsewhere.  Improving appearance was a different story.

Next — how we solved some of these problems! 

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

 

Linking up to these awesome parties here and, ,Nifty Thrifty Sunday  /   Share Your Creativity  /    Sunday Showcase  / Let’s Get SocialBewitch Me and Titi  /  Monday Funday / Sunday Pinterest /  . . . / Inspiration MondayMotivate Me Block Party   / /  Marvelous Mondays / CraftoManiac Monday / Sew Darn Crafty / Metamorphosis Monday  / Sweet Sharing Monday / Melt in Your Mouth MondayMore The Merrier /Made By You Monday / PincentiveTime to Sparkle / Give Me the Goods / The DIY’ers / Manic Monday  / Tuesday at Our Home  / . .Twirl and Take a Bow Tuesdays Treasures  / Show Me What Ya Got Create Link Inspire  / Tutorials and Tips  / You’re Gonna Love It / Mommy club Linky / /  Titus 2 Tuesday  / Totally Tasty Tuesday  /  Tuesday Talent Show, / Wake Up Wednesday / Wow Me Wednesday/   . . . Hit Me with Your Best Shot  / Homework Wednesday / The Inspiration Exchange /   / /   /  Wow Me Wednesday   /Wine’d Down Wednesday  /Wednesday Project Stash /  Wonderful Wednesdays  It’s A Party  DIY / Wildly Original   /Project Pin It /  . .  . Full Plate Thursday  / Showcase Your Talent / Krafty Inspiriation Throwback Thursday / Crafty Blog Stalker/ Fantastic Thursday /   Tasty Thursday  /      / Catch a Glimpse ,   Grace at Home,  Kitchen Fun,   Thrifty Thursday. .  Feathered Nest Friday  /  I’m Lovin’ ItFlaunt It Friday /  What’s ShakinLink Party Palooza  / Foodie Friday / Anything Goes./ Freedom Friday / Remodelaholic AnonymousSimple and Sweet Fridays  / Craft Frenzy Friday  / Be Inspired Friday / Friday Link Party  / Best of the Weekend / Weekend Winddown  /  . . . .   /A Bouquet of Talent   / Party Junk Saturday Dishes / Saturday Show and Tell / Strut Your Stuff Saturday /  Favorite Things Saturday /   Serenity Saturday, / Pin It SaturdaySaturday SpotlightSaturday Showilicious     / Show Stopper Saturday /   Saturday Night Fever  /

How to make a parka for 18″ doll

How to make a Parka for 18 doll -- A Pinch of Joy
How to make a Parka for 18 doll -- A Pinch of Joy

We visited Alaska a couple years ago.  Along the way we visited a replica of a native village where high schoolers demonstrated the ways of their ancestors.  I was fascinated by the clothing. 

Native Alaskan fur coat -- A Pinch of Joy

It was a very warm day in June when this beautiful young lady modeled this very warm and very heavy fur coat.  It was fully lined, long and fitted at the sleeves, all of which help hold the heat — good for cold weather.  The hood is weather protective but also is made very full.  The fullness combined with the length of the coat helps make the wearer more visible in the snow and also larger in appearance so smaller predators will leave them alone.  The boots are broad to make walking on /in snow easier. 

As soon as I saw this, I knew what my next American Girl sewing project would be!  Clothing styles are a fun way to help children relate to different places and different cultures. I bought the reindeer antler buttons at a gift shop during our trip.  Shortly after we returned home I found this faux suede embroidered in bright colors at JoAnns.  Down a different aisle was faux furriness for the lining. Perfect for a coat intended for actual play!  

Your hooded coat can be made of any fabric you choose and lined with any appropriate fabric. Some possibilities would be wool with a silky lining, quilted nylon with matching lining, denim with faux fur or anything else your imagination creates! 

Parka Pattern for 18″ Doll — A Pinch of Joy

Cutting out the parka -- A Pinch of Joy
Cut the coat shell according to the pattern.  Adjust the lining pattern according to the fabric chosen.  I wanted the white fur to make a fairly large edging that showed on the outside along the bottom and up the front.  the lining was also bulky so I opted to skip lining the sleeve and instead handstitched the lining to the shell around in the inside of the sleeve opening.  It needed to fit snugly under the doll’s arm so I followed the pattern to the notch and then cut the lining about a quarter inch wider.  This left enough ease in the fabric so that it did not pull and let the finished garment hang smoothly. Note: If you don’t want the lining to show on the outside, and it has no significant thickness,  cut it according to the pattern. 

Not only did I skip the lining in the sleeve, I laid the pattern so the edge of the sleeve was on the selvedge. No folding or hemming.  Not usually recommended in fine sewing — but this is a doll garment intended for playing.  Shortcuts are good! 

Parka for 18" doll -- A Pinch of Joy
Steps in construction:
1. Sew outer garment at shoulders, with right sides of fabric together. 
2. Stitch gathering thread into sleeve top between notches, leaving a long thread on each end.  Gently gather sleeve until it fits in armhole and matches notches on garment.  Stitch sleeve in place around armhole.
3.  Place right sides of garment together and stitch side of garment and sleeves together in one continuous seam. Repeat for other side.
4.  Add hood to neckline with right sides of fabric together, matching notches.  Stitch.
5.  Repeat for lining.  Omit step two if you are not adding bulky lining to sleeves, and only stitch sides of lining.
6.  Place lining inside the coat with insides together and so that seams are aligned with like seams.  For bulky or fur lining, hand stitch the lining in place.  For thin lining  fold both the coat and the lining in about one fourth inch, press and then top stitch together.

Parka fastener for 18" doll -- A Pinch of Joy

Stitch button in place.  The ones I used were about 3/4″ in diameter.  Cut a piece of thin elastic long enough to slip over the button easily and add a quarter inch for stitching.  Fold in half and stitch in place opposite the button.  Add a second button about 1 1/2 to 2 inches below the first.  I have not made this with a zipper and the pattern may require some modification.  You are on your own for that! 

Native Alaskan Coat -- A Pinch of Joy

Back of the inspiration coat.

Native Alaskan Coats -- A Pinch of Joy

A couple more Native Alaskan coats. 

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

Linking up to these awesome parties here and, ,Nifty Thrifty Sunday  /   Share Your Creativity  /    Sunday Showcase  / Let’s Get SocialBewitch Me and Titi  /  Monday Funday / Sunday Pinterest / / Inspiration Monday /……  Motivate Me Block Party   / /  Marvelous Mondays / CraftoManiac Monday / Sew Darn Crafty / / Sweet Sharing Monday / Melt in Your Mouth MondayMore The Merrier /Made By You Monday / PincentiveTime to Sparkle / Give Me the Goods / The DIY’ers / Manic Monday  / Tuesday at Our Home  / . .Twirl and Take a Bow Tuesdays Treasures  / /  Create Link Inspire  / Tutorials and Tips  /You’re Gonna Love It / Mommy club Linky / /  Titus 2 Tuesday  / Totally Tasty Tuesday  /  Tuesday Talent Show, / Wake Up Wednesday / Wow Me Wednesday. . . Hit Me with Your Best Shot  / Homework Wednesday / The Inspiration Exchange /  Cast Party Wednesday  /What’s It WednesdayPretty Wednesday /  Wow Me Wednesday   /Wine’d Down Wednesday  /Wednesday Project Stash /  Wonderful WednesdaysWe Did It!/   It’s A Party  /Enchanting Inspiration / Whimsy Wednesday / Wildly Original  / Brag About It Linky  / Delish Desserts /Project Pin It /  . .  . Full Plate Thursday  / Showcase Your Talent / Krafty Inspiriation  / All Things PrettyThrowback Thursday / Crafty Blog Stalker/ Fantastic Thursday /   Tasty Thursday  /      / Catch a Glimpse ,   Grace at Home,  Kitchen Fun,   Thrifty Thursday. .  Feathered Nest Friday  /  I’m Lovin’ ItFlaunt It Friday /  What’s ShakinLink Party Palooza  / Foodie Friday / Anything Goes./ Freedom Friday / Remodelaholic AnonymousSimple and Sweet Fridays  / Craft Frenzy Friday  / Be Inspired Friday / Friday Link Party  / Best of the Weekend / Weekend Winddown  /  . . . .   /A Bouquet of Talent   / Party JunkSaturday Dishes / Saturday Show and Tell / Strut Your Stuff Saturday /  Favorite Things Saturday /   Serenity Saturday, / Pin It SaturdaySaturday SpotlightSaturday Showilicious     / Show Stopper Saturday /   Saturday Night Fever  /



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...