Kitchen Remodel: Improve Storage Part 2

Kitchen Remodel Improve Kitchen Storage Part 2


Kitchen Remodel Improve Kitchen Storage Part 2

The peninsula is the main work space in my kitchen, as it is in many kitchens.  Chopping, mixing, rolling out cookies, kneading bread dough — a lot of food preparation happens here. So you’d think that storage in the peninsula would have to do with food preparation.  Like most kitchens, this one falls a little short of the ideal.   I like anything that requires less time on chore stuff and  makes life easier so come along and I’ll show you some of the ideas behind this part of the kitchen storage. 

3Kitchen Storage - Large Drawer -- A Pinch of Joy
This drawer represents a full 70% of the drawer space in the kitchen!  The left half is closest to the dining room  so that’s where the tableware is stored.  The right half does indeed have tools for food preparation and is used at the peninsula -  ideal!  Dividers essential in staying organized.  It also helped that I sorted out the broken and maimed pieces to toss.  The back divider has plenty of the miscellaneous stuff that is occasionally used  — like the yellow handled fork that Wheels used as a toddler.

4Storage for Pots and Pans -- A Pinch of Joy

The two cupboard doors open to reveal pullout shelves — LOVE them!  No more standing on my head sorting through messy piles of pots and pans!   Remember the Kitchen Aid mixer took up half of this space in the old kitchen.  And ALL the pots and pans were in the other half on the bottom shelf except for the half shelf above that held a pile of the smaller pans.  Huge improvement in storage space — even if the pots and pans are all used on the stove on the other side of the kitchen.  The grill is used on the counter next to the stove.  It’s okay — not a big kitchen and I need more exercise.  Oh yeah, see the cling wrap on the left — It has a slide cutter so I can roll off what I need and cut it without taking the box out of the cupboard.  On the other side is a box of sandwich bags so I can just reach in and pull one out.  I use both of these multiple times a day.  At the peninsula — so that keeps the spirit of the keep it where you use it ideal alive!  Right???

Corner Lazy susan Kitchen Storage - A Pinch of Joy

New and improved lazy susan.  The corner lazy susan was one thing I liked about the old kitchen — expect for the gap all around when it was closed.  This one — no gap.  It also holds twice as much as the old one!!!  I found that if I filled the space available I could have enough weight to bog down the turntable.  A little moderation in spacing and a bag full to donate helped solve that problem.  I used my cake frosting turntable to place cooking spray and oil front and center since that seems to be the items I have to hunt for the most.   Now I can just open the door and grab without spinning the cupboard turn table. The little turntable catches any drips and is easy to pull out and wash when needed. I’m still liking the storage containers I told you about when I reorganized the old lazy susan.  Since I use the peninsula for mixing, these items are very convenient to point of use. 

Kitchen Storage -- Appliance Garage -- A Pinch of Joy

The appliance garage was supposed to be another point of use storage space.  The literature on the cabinets said the opening would let the mixer slide in and out with ease.  What the literature did NOT say was that the Shaker style tambour door bottom takes up almost two inches of the “opening” so there was no way the mixer would fit in.  The store designer had only the literature to go by as well — but more accurate information made available would have been very helpful!  Instead, I keep my toaster and a small basket of health supplies there which is also very convenient — not a loss.  You saw the mixer in the tall storage cupboard in Part 1.

7Upper Cabinet Kitchen Storage -- A Pinch of Joy Storage

The old cupboards did not use all the wall space available for the upper cabinets.  This does — from the window to the edge of the peninsula.  The cupboard above the appliance garage was also a problem.  The designer told me I needed to use a two door cabinet to “balance” the two doors on the adjacent cabinet.  I had my doubts because it was so hard to access that cupboard anyway — short people have to lean way across the peninsula to reach the furthermost spaces.  But I let him talk me into it.  Big mistake. Something else I learned — flush mount doors do not open “all the way”.  Not only did I have to lean way across, I had to make contortions around the cupboard door as well.  That shortened my reach and that storage was really wasted.  You can see the solution.  I went back and ordered a new single door for that cupboard! 

Upper Cabinet Baking Storage -- A Pinch of Joy

Now I can open the door and reach what is on the first two shelves.  The top shelf used to have a collection of extras — made great garage sale inventory.  Now it holds a baking dish and a platter that I use occasionally and don’t mind getting the step stool to use them.  The plastic bin is just at the range of my reach, but I can snag the handle and pull it out to get to the extra measuring and mixing utensils stored inside.  The spices are mostly used in baking — another point of use for the baking zone.

11Dinner Ware -- Kitchen Storage -- a Pinch of Joy
Dinner ware storage right above the dishwasher.  I can stand between the front of the lazy susan and the dishwasher open door to unload the dishwasher directly into this cupboard.  Left handed Wheels unloads everything onto the counter and then shuts the dishwasher door and loads the cupboard — a two step process.  Tall Bytes just leans over the dishwasher door and pitches the dishes into place.  Ahem. . . .  Note the open position of the flush mounted door — that’s as wide as they open so you almost have to be standing in front of the cupboard to access it.   By standing on tiptoe, I can reach the dishes on the top shelf if they are stored with the edge of the dish on the edge of the shelf.  Push them back an inch — no.  And there is no hole drilled for lowering the shelf — the manufacturer makes these decisions for you.  These are all little things that make a big difference in functionality — but most of the time are ignored when planning storage. 
End of Peninsula with extra doors as design element -- A Pinch of Joy

Here’s what we did with the doors from the end cabinet.  Made them a decorative element on the end of the peninsula!  Adds the perfect finishing touch, methinks!!  (Bad light and shadows on a rainy day — sorry)

Take away:

  • Think about how you and your family use your kitchen.  Can you designate  zones for baking, cooking, doing dishes?  How can you store the items needed for those tasks close to the zone where they will be used?  In an ideal kitchen, there will be clear zones with storage accessible within that zone so people aren’t zigzagging around the kitchen to do one task. 
  • If you can’t have an “ideal” kitchen, make thoughtful adaptations you can use to make the storage space as functional as possible.
  • When you have doubts about the functionality and accessibility of storage space, stick to your guns.  You are the ultimate authority on how your kitchen will work for you!
  • Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions.   Box stores don’t have samples of everything, but try to get as much information as possible.  Hopefully you can take from my experience and think of questions that will get YOU your dream kitchen.   
  • Be flexible. 

  Begin the Kitchen Remodel    Transition Kitchen    3 Reasons to Remodel Your Kitchen  

  Kitchen Storage Part 1

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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. 

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Garage Storage

Garage Storage -- A Pinch of Joy
Garage Storage -- A Pinch of Joy

Since we are in the garage looking at the turquoise door and the mini mudroom,   I’ll show you the cubby storage that gets a lot of attention whenever we have a garage sale. Everyone comments on it!   It was born from the different styles Wheels and I take toward storage — and a little desperation! 

Wheels — and Bytes — and Bytes big brother — are visual people.  They have to see something for it to exist.  It’s literally out of sight out of mind!  I am the polar opposite.  Out of sight and in its place means it doesn’t get lost.  They have piles here and piles there and they can reach in without hesitation and tease the hammer out from the bottom of a stack of tools.  I tear my hair and will NEVER find that hammer.  Because who puts a hammer in a pile of wrenches????  Really!  

Then one day, Target had clearance on some shoe cubbies.  A light bulb went off.  They could see everything.  But in little piles where I could find things.  So the shoe cubbies came home with me and went on top of the 52 inch tall cupboards on the garage wall. There is a larger unit with 25 cubbies.  It’s on the left.  Two smaller units with 18 cubbies each are stacked on the right.  Those cubbies are also smaller in size than the larger unit.   A pre – made sorter for visual folks.   

A short time later, Kraft started selling mayo in these cool oval plastic jars that fit perfectly in each cubby.  They hold things like steel wool, hooks, batteries divided by size, locks and other small items.  They are all labeled so if they end up on a different shelf, you can still see the label and know what you are getting. It was a real bummer when they switched back to round jars!  

However, it didn’t take long for a problematic pattern to surface.  The guys are WAY taller than I.  You can guess where THEY put the tools they used most often! 

So in the dark of night one night when I couldn’t reach a tape measure, I made some labels, climbed my trusty step stool and rearranged things.  You can see the labels — the most crucial items that MOI uses.  They can put the rest of the items — boxes of nails and screws, large size latex gloves, stud finders, and the like –in cubby storage wherever they want and feel free.  I can reach the screwdrivers, tape measures, levels, sharps (knives, scrapers, etc), pliers and garden cutters  I need and feel organized.  I still find the hammer in the pile of wrenches but the little stuff is where it belongs! 

Is that win-win or what?????

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!



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