Tag Archives: Kitchen storage

Open shelving

Open shelving and why it’s worth taking a closer look

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Open shelving and why it’s worth taking a closer look

We have been seeing the trend of open shelving in kitchens for a few years now, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. We love the open shelf look in kitchens and try to incorporate often in our designs. It’s not a look that necessarily works for everyone, or for every space, but when possible, it’s a nice way to inject a little modern vibe to your space.

There are many benefits to introducing open shelving in your new kitchen plans. Eliminating stretches of closed-door cabinetry can visually create a more spacious and brighter look in your kitchen. Removing cabinetry, especially those around windows, can often allow for greater natural light to fill the room and produce a lovely look and feel. This all helps to create a warm and welcoming feel in your kitchen.

The one resistance I always encounter to open shelving has to do with clutter and the dust. However, once you commit to open shelving in the kitchen, you will likely quickly commit to decluttering and keeping them looking pretty. Closed door cabinetry hides your mess, so basically you end up not really noticing how disorganized and cluttered your kitchen really is. Clients often initially object to open shelves in the kitchen, then end up loving the simplicity, organization and functionality of their new approach. There’s simply no longer a hidden junk zone.

When planning your kitchen design, one thing to keep in mind also is that open shelving is a great budget friendly option to full cabinetry. It’s also useful if you just want to give your kitchen a quick facelift. Removing a few cabinets, introducing some open shelving and applying a quick coat of paint can be an economical way to add new life to your space, if a full renovation isn’t in the budget or part of the plan for a while.

If you’re a collector or have special mementos, the open shelving option is for you. Why keep your grandmother’s pretty serving pieces hidden in a cabinet, when you can see and enjoy them daily? Create stylish little vignettes on your shelves by incorporating heirloom or collector pieces with plants, artwork, glassware and your everyday pieces to personalize your space giving it a look all your own. You can also change these vignettes according to the seasons… A vintage Christmas cookie jar on display with some fresh greenery and various other festive pieces is the perfect way to add some holiday cheer to your kitchen.

Open shelving is also a great way to address functionality or any issues with odd corners and unusable space in your kitchen, instead of instead of trying to fit an awkwardly shaped, and likely under-used, cabinet. It also allows you to efficiently use a lot of wasted space that may not be conducive to cabinetry, especially when considering small space kitchen design. Open shelves can be installed just about anywhere to afford you additional storage space, for example, over windows and doorways.

Yes, open shelves are a trendy look in the kitchen, but its a look that affords many benefits. Take the opportunity to bring out those pretty dishes from behind closed doors to give your kitchen a personal touch!

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed, stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.



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Top 3 things to consider when remodeling your kitchen

Top 3 things to consider when remodeling your kitchen

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Top 3 things to consider when remodeling your kitchen

A good kitchen has to fill many roles. Sure, there’s the obvious one – a place where you can prepare and serve food. But cooking takes a lot of time (cleaning, too), so it needs to be a place where you feel comfortable, relaxed, and happy.

The kitchen is also a common meeting spot for when you have a friend over for a cup of coffee or a whole bunch of friends over for a party. For parents, it often becomes the base of operations where you serve the kids breakfast, give them their lunch before sending them off to school, and try to curb their sugar intake during snack-time.

It’s not surprising then that the kitchen, along with the bathroom (another major base of operations, if you know what I mean), is one of the most popular rooms for homeowners to remodel. Before you start thinking about a long and possibly expensive home improvement project, though, consider these three factors:


Probably the easiest (and most fun) part of remodeling a kitchen is envisioning what you want it to look like. Much like your wardrobe, your home is a reflection of who you are as a person, and few rooms offer as many opportunities to express yourself through design and decor as the kitchen. Whatever your style – classic, modern, rustic, retro – your kitchen is a perfect canvas.

Maybe you’re a quirky person with a nostalgic heart. Instead of a boxy white refrigerator, why not get a curvy vintage model? Heck, you can make the whole place look like a 1950s rock ‘n’ roll diner if you want. Perhaps you like high-tech gadgetry. Did you know you can cook a meal in your crock pot using your smartphone? Or that Wi-Fi equipped scales can help you readjust entire recipes to accommodate the ingredients you have on hand? Even without going retro or futuristic, there’s a lot to think about: Paint colors, cabinet shapes and decorations. Go wild.


If form is all about exercising your right brain’s emotional side, then function is where your left brain’s practical side comes in. It’s important to find a balance between both. Your kitchen should be a place with an atmosphere and style that makes you happy to be there, but it also needs to be a place where all your meal-making needs are met.

When planning to remodel, think about all the necessities a good kitchen requires in order to fulfill its purpose. Make a list of important appliances. Think about how much storage you’ll need for food, utensils and cookware. Remember: Plenty of countertop space is a must when you’re doing meal prep. If you like eating in your kitchen, make sure to leave room for a dining nook or a central island. Last but not least, try not to cram too much into too small a space. Cooking is a lot easier when you can navigate your kitchen with convenience and ease, after all.


The final consideration is both the least pleasant and the most important: Affordability. Your imagination can come up with all kinds of cool renovations, but only your bank account can make them a reality. How much you have isn’t the only thing worth considering, though. There’s also the question of worth.

For instance, if you’re looking to add value to your home for resale, remodeling the kitchen could be a great way to do that. Or it could be a money pit. Using a seller closing costs calculator can help you determine if the added expense is worth adding on top of everything else. The truth is, not every kitchen needs a full-blown makeover. If funds are tight or your kitchen is mostly satisfactory, ask yourself if you can’t achieve the same goals with just a few small changes instead. Sometimes less really is more.


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9 Storage Ideas For Your Kitchen

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9 Storage Ideas For Your Kitchen

To keep your kitchen well-organized and clean, you need to think outside the box when it comes to storage. From pull-out drawers to open shelves and pantry-style cabinets there are endless storage options. We’ll give you some great ideas we’ve applied in the numerous kitchen renovations carried out to help you store your kitchen accessories, food cans, boxes and all those items that can easily fill up the countertops and make the place a big mess.

1. Custom Kitchen Pantry

Today’s kitchens are built with a neatly organized custom pantry. The pantry provides adequate space to store almost any item. It can be designed with different types of shelves and drawers for better organization and easy access. The main advantage of a custom pantry is that it can be used to store everything in one place. What’s more? When you store your items in one place, you’ll avoid buying items you already have. However, pantries are mostly ideal in spacious kitchens.



2. Corner Drawer With Organizer

Having a corner cupboard drawer with an organizer is an ingenious way to turn those awkward corners in your space into functional storage. Corner drawers are actually deeper than the usual drawers so you can store more items in them. Avoid the hassle of having to crawl on your hands to reach items in a corner cabinet by getting fully accessible corner drawers. Though angled, corner drawers can create additional storage space which pull out to reveal well organized drawers especially when installed at the bottom of the sink.



3. Utensil drawer

Want to keep your cutlery in close reach for the shorter members of your family? Consider installing a utensil drawer. These deep drawers can hold those plates and cups, well organized and safely just below the countertop. Utensil drawers are also great for keeping your tools and accessories neatly organized and accessible. You can use the drawers to keep your silverware and serve ware conveniently in the kitchen. They are an ideal space saver in many small kitchens.


4. Slide-Our Trash Cans

Are unattractive bins and trash cans taking away the kitchen’s beauty? Keep them out of sight with a pullout trash can drawer. This kind of drawer will also free up some floor space, help you to maintain good hygiene and keep the nasty smell at bay.


5. Baking Sheet Drawers (Cookie Sheet Drawers)

It’s easy for those baking sheets to pile in your space. What if you had a specially dedicated drawer for your muffin tins, broiler pans and cooking sheets? A baking sheet drawer is all you need to keep all these items nicely organized in your space. If you don’t have any additional space for a new cabinet, choose one existing drawer and just add some metal or wood dividers to neatly keep away your baking sheets.


6. Spices Drawers

Your spice collection shouldn’t result in clutter on the countertop. You need a special pull-out spice rack to ensure these items are nicely stored and easily accessible. Pull-out spice racks are very ideal on the upper cabinets. The drawer can be customized to suit your unique needs. If you are someone who cooks often, you can dedicate a single cabinet for the spice pullout rack. It can even be partitioned nicely using metal dividers.


7. Built-In Appliances

You can have uniquely designed kitchen cabinets to fit specific items in your kitchen. Whether it’s the dishwasher, fridge or any other appliance that you’d like to fit in a kitchen, you may request a contractor to design a unique space for it. Built in appliance can help you to save on floor space.


8. Open Shelves

One kitchen storage design that will never go out of style is the open shelves. Open shelves are perfect even for smaller spaces because they help to make the room airy and open up the space. You can use the open shelves to store your antique utensils, decorative accessories or even dishes that are used daily. They are cost-effective to install and maintain too. Just make sure you choose a design that goes well with your cabinets and drawers.


9. Pullout Shelves

Pullout shelves can be used to store anything and everything in the kitchen space. From the frequently used pots and pans to kitchen accessories, kitchenware and food items, pullout shelves are very functional. They are very ideal if you have deep kitchen cabinets and you’d like to make it easy to reach items at the back corners. The shelves can have trays that slide in different directions to allow you to access different items at a time.

To narrow down the kitchen storage options that would work for you, first consider the storage challenges that you need to resolve. Whether you need to reorganize your pantry or add more drawers, shelves and cabinets, the ideas above should give you some inspiration.


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