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.
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.
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???
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
- 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.
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