Western Living Magazine
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The easiest way to keep your kitchen clean? Design it with plenty of storage in mind.
A great kitchen starts with great storage: a space where the clutter is easily stowed away, and a design that’s intended to encourage good habits. Putting together our kitchen issue, we saw more than our fair share of places that fit the bill, and pulled out seven key tips from the pros to help inform your next kitchen makeover.
Spices and seldom-used platters are stored in the overhead cabinets, and a pantry beside the fridge houses groceries, while everyday dishes and glasses find their home in easy-to- access drawers. Designer Denise Ashmore included some open storage, too (built into the island and above the countertop), to showcase pretty servingware and well-loved cookbooks.MORE: Get more pics of this Scandinavian-inspired white-and-wood kitchen.
In the butler’s pantry, Ashmore set up a small area specifically for brewing coffee and whipping up smoothies. “It keeps clutter off the main counter this way,” the designer explains.
In this Vancouver home, designer Juli Hodgson was able to convert an existing bathroom on the main floor (which, oddly, contained a full bathtub) into a butler’s pantry just off the main room, where the homeowner can store small appliances (and dry goods) out of sight.MORE: See all of this English-style Vancouver kitchen here.
“We like to make drawers as wide as possible,” says Hodgson. “They’re less likely to get cluttered when you can see everything by opening just one drawer—especially when you have seven kids who put stuff away in all different places.”
The dark inset cabinets in this sleek modern kitchen are covered in mirrored, smoked glass, which offers beautiful contrast, but is also very functional. The centre portion disguises the hood fan for the induction stovetop below, though you wouldn’t know it. “The nice thing about it is you can have a solid fixed panel behind one and dishware behind another,” says architect Matt McLeod. “Once they’re all closed, it all reads the same because reflectivity is so strong.MORE: See the rest of this gorgeous modern kitchen here.
It’s no accident that you can’t see the wall ovens in these photos—they’re also hidden from anyone in the nearby living space, which contributes to this kitchen feeling white and bright. (They’re fitted into a side wall off the main counter.) “Ovens are the one item you can move out of the classic work triangle,” says designer Lisa Bovell. “You put something in the oven and then leave it—it’s not like working between the cooktop and the fridge.”
Designer Nam Dang-Mitchell installed the rift-cut oak cabinets slightly higher than normal to allow space for shelving below. “It can get too monochromatic in a kitchen if everything is closed,” says Dang-Mitchell. “Showcasing these white Bakelite dishes against the grey tile is an important part of the culinary visual language.”
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