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Friday, July 5, 2013

Must-Have Kitchen Cabinetry Add-Ons

Whether building a new home or revamping your existing one, attractive and functional kitchen cabinetry is a must. Cabinets are often the building blocks of your kitchenscape, determining the function and flow. And selecting the perfect material, color and layout sets the tone for the type of experience you want people to have within your space. However there's more to consider than just the style, materiality and capacity. 

Think about the activities you enjoy (and dread) the most while working in your kitchen and incorporate details and accessories that make your clean up more efficient or your overall experience just a little more pleasant. There are custom cabinetmakers and vendors that offer unique and creative storage solutions for almost any budget. Below are a few that we consider must-haves for the conscientious culinary consumer.



Soft-Close Drawers


Though slamming a drawer full of loose metalware can make for a dramatic closing statement during a heated stove-side debate, generally it's not a sound we relish in. Enter soft-close drawer guides that not only ensure a smooth motion, opening to full extension, but also incorporate a self closing mechanism that engages as the drawer approaches on the return, easing it into place without the dreaded bang. And once engaged, the self-closing mechanism returns the drawer securely to it's fully-closed position, without the risk of bouncing back open. When specifying the details of your new custom cabinetry, these drawer glides can be side-mounted or under-mounted for the ultimate in concealment and stealth. And for upgrading existing cabinets, there are retrofit options that can be attached to your existing cabinets without the cost of all new hardware systems. 


Adjustable Drawer Inserts


With an increasing number of homeowners choosing to remain in their homes longer, renovations and kitchen upgrades often include modifications that increase ease of use and access for individuals with limited mobility. A shift is being made from upper cabinet shelving with doors to lower more accessible pull-out drawers. However without the proper planning and organizational systems, these areas run the risk of achieving the ghastly "junk drawer" status. Systems like those by Hafele and Rev-A-Shelf with adjustable peg-board inserts convert drawers of all sizes into perfectly configured storage for oversized dishes, sharp utensils and odd-shaped specialty items. The systems include a peg-board base that can be trimmed to size that is subdivided by linear dividers, round or triangular pegs, knife blocks and more to suit your individual storage needs. 


Personalized Built-In Storage


While there are hundreds of customization options for built-in storage, you do not need to utilize them ALL. Rather evaluate what type of cook (and clean-up crew) you are and choose the options that best suit your style. The master chef in training needs a large functional work surface with  access to a cache of ingredients within the work triangle (between the cooktop, cold storage and sink) to increase efficiency. A pull out spice rack or integrated prep area would quickly earn it's keep in this kitchen.  And for those of us that rarely branch out from the S&P but want a clean and organized space, flexible storage conveniently located for expedited clean up is heaven-sent. An appliance garage with pull down tambour doors is a great way to quickly conceal commonly used items and the integration of a hidden paper towel door is the icing on the cake to keep the clutter at bay.


For more unique ideas, take a look at this Houzz article with even more desirable kitchen amenities!