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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Gray

Tidying Up With Hidden Spaces

Updated: Feb 24

Organization. We can't get enough of it. Not only do we want to be more organized today than ever, we want to look good doing it and enjoy the sense of peace it brings to our lives. We're cleaning out our closets, garages and basements, exchanging clutter for more specialized storage made specifically for the important items we need.

The concept of open floor plan is nothing new. For years, breaking the walls between our living spaces and the place we prepare meals and hang out with loved ones has been the reason for many remodels as well as the norm on house plans. The problem with all of this openness is the lack of places to hide all the stuff. The appearance of our home is vulnerable to what the kitchen looks like. If the kitchen is a mess, the whole house looks messy. But the reality is, a lot of that kitchen clutter is the stuff we use throughout the day and it's just easier to leave the Instant Pot, bread, oils and mail out on the counter than to be constantly putting them away.

Alternatively, we're seeing a shift to building the walls back up. WAIT! Before you go to this extreme, let an experienced kitchen designer show how you can have the best of both worlds. Partial walls, pass-through cabinet doors and walk-through pantries are allowing more flexibility for organization and hiding your work mess, while still keeping a level of openness so you can visit with company and have your kiddos hang out with you.

Multi-functional walk-in pantries serve as mini kitchens suited to your habits. For example, instead of just a pantry adjacent to the kitchen, if you have just a little extra room, turn it into a baker's pantry where the second oven is located next to a counter with a single sink for hand washing pans and bowls.

Hidden workspaces. Yes, countertop real estate is important but consider wall cabinets to the countertop in an area where small appliances may be hidden behind cabinet doors. Smoothie makers and juicers can be readily available just by opening a cabinet door, where inside, the shelving is up high enough to use these appliances in place.

Interior accessories. Having items easily accessible means that we are more likely to put them away after each use. First, the obvious: simple roll-out shelves in your base cabinets mean you have easy access and full view to everything inside. Deep drawers are better in most cases, but the height cannot be adjusted for tall items like the roll-out shelves can be. Trash pull-outs are a must and are even available with multiple containers for recycling. Spice racks keep you from fumbling and over buying. A heavy-duty mixer shelf rises out of and lowers back into your base cabinet with ease. There's even a pull-out with special inserts providing safe and protective storage for knives and other cooking utensils.

Instead of spreading your one workspace across the entire kitchen, imagine smaller workspaces that make it easy to get everyday tasks completed. These areas don't have to be completely distinct from one another; they may share space. Just keep in mind how you see yourself completing each task and take advantage of every inch of space.

Getting a little creative with these ideas before you get started on your project will allow you to actually enjoy keeping your kitchen clean and tidy without a lot of effort.

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