Kitchen Storage Spaces

Ask a Pro – Kitchen Storage - Maximizing Your Space

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Welcome to Ask a Pro. Today I am having a live chat with Shana Joshua, a designer from Brandom Kitchens and Bath Design Centre, and we’re chatting about kitchen storage and maximizing your existing kitchen Space. So what I wanted to start off with is just a few before and after examples to take a look at some options that you can have for taking advantage of extra space in your kitchen. What can you do to just maximize it?


Extra Area at the End of the Kitchen

So a lot of people find that they have just an extra area at the end of their kitchen, maybe it’s about 3-4 or 5 feet, whatever it is, that just kind of unused space. So if you look at this first picture, this is basically a kitchen that was done for a client of ours; that was done for the previous owner. So we were able to still get that cabinet line and actually get the same countertop and just add in that extra little bar fridge that she bought.

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The electrician did have to run an extra line for this and then just maximize that space so she didn’t have to have her computer on her island. That worked out really well for her, so you know, it might be our office. I was going to say, how great is that with the extra office space there too? It is. And we even got the wire for the computer cord to keep it plugged in right through the grommet there so it can be really customized to whatever your needs are. And this worked out really well, it matched perfectly. She was really happy with this one.

Maximizing Tiny Niche Walls

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The next one I wanted to show you is that a lot of people have these tiny little niche walls. Basically, a wall where you know it’s only a little over maybe 12 inches deep and you might have a little bit of length there. We said, let’s try to maximize the space here and go vertically with a 12-inch deep pantry. Pantry space is critical nowadays, I know this for a fact myself. I’m in a townhome where they didn’t give me a lot of pantry space, so I’m actually using extra pantry space around the corner.

So this worked out great for them and we customized it to make it exactly the length that fits on the wall. This type of cabinet has what they call a bent door. It just softened the corner so that when people walked around, it wasn’t like a really sharp corner there, and when you opened the cabinet, you could see just how much you can get in these little 12-inch pantries. But going vertically, you’ve got lots of room. So the next one is the same idea in which there was a tiny little niche there and the idea was, why can’t we maximize that space and try to get a cabinet? That was as close to the existing cabinetry as possible.

Thinking Differently About Cabinets

So you bring in your existing door and we can see how close we can get. It may not be perfect because every cabinet company is different, but we could get pretty close, and in this case, this was just a little oak cabinet and we were able to get pretty close to what was there. The next one here is, I wanted to showcase how people can actually think differently when it comes to cabinets. You don’t need a lot of space. For example, in this little wall organizer, all you needed was six inches in depth. 


This lady here said, when I walk into my kitchen, I want to be able to open up my organizer, put in my mail, put down like a little rub off the board. So I said, sure. We can turn it sideways. Sometimes just thinking a little bit outside the box allows you to have really great internal storage, and in this case, it’s the memo board and the mail slot there. 


Maximizing Your Cabinet Space with Smart Organizers 

Most people, the builders will often give you one of two types of corner cabinets. One will either be a blind corner, which means it’s basically a door that opens up and you got to get on your knees to kind of crawl into the back. If you see in this first picture, there’s a stove right up to that corner, so you can only access a blind corner from one side. Builders often would put these in, and they’re dead spaces. So why not put in an organizer like this one?

The Power Slide

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This one’s called a power slide, which is basically hinged and it slides out. So it’s almost like you’re two shelves sliding out. It allows you to load it up and then slide it back in. I did that in my own home and I’m able to get some small appliances. I got all my mixing bowls on my stainless steel and it’s a lot better than that tiny little half shelf that they normally give you. You got to really get on your knee and sit down on your knees to get the stuff in the back. 

The other one is a wood shelf Lazy Susan, and I love these because they’re different than the ones that look like they’re on a pole because they’re right on the shelf, so there’s no pole in the way. They rotate around, and when they’re in their position, they have that little cut-out for the door, and the door is a double-hinge door. It’s basically a little 12-inch door, usually one way, and a 12-inch door the other way. So, being a double-hinged door, you have access to the corner a lot easier with the L-shaped corners and the lazy Susan’s and so on.


The Wood Shelf Lazy Susan

There’s another option here, which is a lot of people will get a cabinet where it’s a full height door cabinet and only a half shelf is inside. Then, you have a lot of lost space in the front, so why not put in some rollouts? This is an example of rollouts and ironically on this cabinet. Get the rollouts on the left there, it has a magnetic catch on it so you can see exactly what a magnetic catch looks like. If you don’t want to put a handle on it, the magnetic catch you just push on the door and the door bounces back and it opens up then with the rollouts, you can put multiple rollouts you can

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This one actually has three of them but it all depends on your scenario. Usually, these rollouts are often custom done for the cabinets that are made, but there are rollouts nowadays that even to get a bottom rollout is beneficial. Even in the bottom of a sink, you can get them where they’re mounted on the floor of the cabinet. I’ve seen them all around sold in big boxes. So even doing something like that can help to organize your cabinets.. 


The other thing that I have mentioned in a lot of the new condos now and in the bathrooms, I’m noticing that they have the rollouts under the sink. There’s actually a cut-out for the plumbing, right? So because there’s so little space, they’re using every single little nook and cranny. So there’s a little cut-out around the plumbing so that you pull it out and there’s still space to be able to put stuff in. That’s where sometimes it gets tricky because if you are changing out a sink base, for example, and or you’re moving and the plumbing has to be moved and adjusted for that sink, sometimes you have to wait till the plumbing goes in before you go. I’m doing that right now for a client who has a kitchen cabinet sink, we don’t know how much room the plumbing’s going to take up, so we don’t want to pre-order anything because then, when the plumbing is in there and you’ve got too many double drains and whatnot, then it can take a lot of space. 

Maximizing Space in the Kitchen

So there are usually ways to figure out what’s existing, what’s left space that you can try to maximize it best you can. Then just the last picture here, this is a huge accessory that I do for pretty much every kitchen and it’s called tray dividers. What happens is over a fridge, those cabinets typically, if they’re made to be deep to cover the depth, the fridge, they’re usually often dead spaces. So maximize it by putting in tray dividers and when you do the tray dividers, what happens is all you have to do is reach the bottom lip of the cabinet. All you need to do is to grab a tray or grab a cutting board, a muffin tin, a cookie sheet, pizza pans, or whatever it is you end up doing. Now this one, over this fridge, doesn’t have a whole lot of space, but the one next to it. We wanted to make sure that they had taller ones so we actually put it in the cabinet above the microwave as well. But a lot of people will have at least a 15-inch or 6 or 18-inch cabinet above their fridge. So they might try to maximize it best they can. So this is a great accessory to put inside. Someone doesn’t have a lot of space, let’s say maybe even someone who’s in a condo. Just to be able to store some pots and pans without having to have them on the stove. 

Vertical Storage Solutions 

People even use old dressers and put them in the home just to be able to, maybe have a corner in the kitchen or whatever. But pots and pans are pots and pans type drawers are the best for. You want to be able to store them and that’s why we found a niche and we went vertically and got a pantry in there. Then we got a vertical pantry and they were able to store their pots in that pantry, so it’s just a matter of looking around, sometimes it might be just a wall cabinet that you could put over the top of something. But if it’s something that you use every day, you want to be able to have that at your fingertips.

Clearances and Island Size

Well, what you want to do is, you really want to get your clearances set up first because people have to walk around this island. So a minimum clearance on the functional side, this would be like where your sink is or where your stove is. It’s usually a minimum of about 42 inches. You could bring that down a little bit. I’ve seen that go as low as 41 or 40, but that is what the National Kitchen and Bath Association suggests. Whereas on the side where people are passing through or passing around, the minimum is 36 inches, and that is like a doorway. So three feet is all you need for people to pass around, but about 3.5 feet roughly, is what you need on the functional side if you actually take that out on the ground. Then you’ll know how big your island could be. Those painter’s tapes are great just to kind of mask out where you think it would be based on the functionality and the traffic zones around it. 

Movable Cabinets

What are your thoughts on having something that is movable like being on wheels versus countertops? Well, if it’s small enough, like one cabinet, it’s probably okay. A lot of people do use heavy countertops like quartz or granite. So in that case, 11 cabinets, like a 3-foot cabinet, would be the maximum if you did want to move it because they get awfully heavy with the stone and all. The appliances or whatever you’re putting dishes, pots, and pans inside, I wouldn’t do anything much bigger than that. We would want to nail that down and secure it because people could hurt their back trying to move something that heavy. 

Locking Casters

So when you make it movable, you can put casters on it. The casters can roll around, but you should be able to lock it because you don’t want somebody leaning on it, and when it’s not locked, it goes flying away and somebody falls. So although you want to make sure you have locking casters, what you could do is some people have just put a mount on the underside of the cabinet itself and then that way it can slide. On the existing flooring, assuming you have a smooth flooring, something like engineered hardwood or some vinyl. If you have a very bumpy tile, it might not slide as easily. So it all depends on your flooring as well

Pricing for Corner Lazy Susans

How much is one of those underlined issues? Corner lazy Susans can range in price, but like a decent one, usually about $150 to $250, maybe up to $300 depending on what it is, but about $150 I would say. At least. That’s not bad. 


Blind Corner Accessories

Pull out. Well, the other one is what they call the power slide or the blind corner accessory. There are a few of those available and they all have different functions. Some blind corners have three options that I know of. The power slide is the one that you just saw. There’s another one called the Magic Corner which looks like a kind of two-tiered metal rack that comes out and slides right into the room. So the magic corner is the most expensive. My own cabinet, it took a little peek, a little tricky, but I did get it in and I think that one was about $250- $300 I think for that one. It also depends on how much room you have because the Magic Corner that comes out, which is slightly different, needs a lot more clearance space. 

So whatever is next to it, you have to be able to open the door very fully and you have to have clearance in front of it. So those blind corner accessories are awesome if you can get them into those deep-dead blind corner spaces. You try to get something in there because it makes it so much more functional. I can attest to that myself. 

Amazing. Thank you. 

Thank you so much.

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