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.
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."