Maximizing Storage and Light in Your Kitchen

Framing Custom Kitchen

No matter how big or small your kitchen is, it’s the most comfortable place in the house. To also make it the most functional, you’ll want to take advantage of some awesome kitchen trends in storage and lighting. Whether you’re planning a major remodeling project or just a little reorganisation, these ideas will improve efficiency and brighten your space.

Have a Design Plan

When designing the perfect kitchen layout, you may be completely focused on choosing quartz vs. granite countertops or painted vs. stained cabinetry. While those are important to the overall aesthetics of the room, more consideration should be paid to the functionality of the space. And finding a place for the items you use most will help mealtimes run smoother and keep clutter from countertops.

Hidden Storage

Beautiful Custom Kitchen Interrior

Today’s cabinetmakers are aware of consumer demand for more storage and easier access to it. Deep base cabinets that were once impossible to retrieve items lost in the back now feature full-extension, roll-out shelves. Now you can easily pull out that giant turkey roaster once a year without having to crawl inside.

Pull-out wastebasket and salvage bins are a popular way to conceal kitchen refuse while providing a simple way to separate your recyclables.

Appliance garages are still a desired option for housing everything from microwaves to blenders. These daily-use items are still within easy reach but hidden away to provide a clutter-free countertop area.

Customizable drawer inserts are an ingenious idea. Used in shallow or deep drawers, dividers separate sections to allow mixing and matching within the same space. Now your flatware can sit neatly next to your potholders and cooking utensils. A dedicated spice drawer positions each bottle for easy identification and retrieval as you try to replicate Grandma’s pie recipe.

No space is wasted as even underused, narrow spots keep cookie sheets and pizza pans organised and pull-out quickly when it’s time to bake.

Open Storage

Walk-in pantries and pantry pull-outs are fantastic additions to any kitchen. These are used to store everything from food to dishes to small appliances. Depending on how much room you have, these ingenious storage solutions range from simple wire shelving to stylish custom drawers and cabinetry.

Wine racks and china displays are being located in new, clever spots like the end of islands or above the sink.

Floating shelves provide a place to display decorative dishes, vases and cookbooks while breaking up the monotony of ordinary cabinets.

Designers are adding dedicated walls of storage to new kitchens to create more open space. Floor-to-ceiling cabinetry confined to one area of the room becomes the go-to spot for everything from everyday dishes to linens and small appliances. Often these designs combine glass doors and open shelving to also serve as a beautiful focal point.

Mix and Match Lighting

Illuminated Luxury Kitchen

Today’s lighting options are more varied than ever. Consider mixing and matching a variety of styles, colours and textures to blend function and ambiance to the most popular room in the house. Retrofit kits are also available so you won’t need to rewire your entire kitchen to create a new look every time you want to update.

Task lighting is an essential element to any work space. Place these fixtures 30 inches above a cooking surface, sink, table, countertop or island. You may want to raise it to avoid hitting it over a cooktop or if you’re tall.

Recessed or can lights are used for general illumination and should be placed 24 to 42 inches apart. These should light the entire room and operate on a couple separate switches.

Undercabinet lights ensure good visibility as the fluorescent bulbs provide even lighting across the countertop. Low-profile designs are available so you won’t notice them from standing height. Make sure to select daylight bulbs to keep colours true and food appealing.

One of the best lighting options trending now are pendant and mini-pendant lamps. These hanging fixtures can be used in clusters or alone, come in an endless variety of colours, styles and shapes, and create a stunning visual boost to task lighting. Shades are easily changed to create a new look any time you want. Use them over islands, tables and sinks to brighten any space for tasks or add a dimmer switch to create some atmosphere.

New puck lights that use xenon, halogen or LED bulbs can be placed in any hard-to-see spot. Operate with a micro switch or motion sensor inside a cabinet to maximize space and see what’s inside. These can also be used as accent lighting inside glass cabinets to display a warm glow instead of glare.

Don’t forget the cabinet colour will affect how many lights you need. White or light-coloured countertops and doors will reflect light and allow you to reduce the wattage on bulbs or the number of fixtures in the room. In contrast, dark surfaces absorb more light and will require extra illumination.

Green technology is guiding new and improved lighting options such as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and LEDs. These are more affordable, use less energy, produce less heat and last longer.

Maximum Return on Investment

With so many incredible storage and lighting solutions available today, integrating even a few of them into your kitchen will make your life easier. Go ahead and try some; you’ll be glad you did.

Written by Jon Labelle (Home Remodeling Expert)
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