Kitchen Design: Organization + Functionality Tools

Now that we are in the final stretch of our kitchen renovation. I’m beginning to think about the tools and accessories needed to make our kitchen be the most organized and functional as possible. Because I fully believe the purpose and key difference between interior design and decorating, is to create spaces that achieve both form and function.

The areas that I’m specifically talking about in this post relate to the tools you use on a regular basis, and not the actually cooking tools like mixers and knives but the step ladder that you use to access your tall cabinets, the hook solutions used to hang your bags and aprons and the countertop storage used to stow your food waste and utensils. I do intend to devote an entire post to our pantry design and that organization, but I’m currently still working out those details and figuring out the best containers for the job in that space. Immediately, I’m in the market for a step ladder, hooks and rubbish bins so I’m selfishly focusing on that now!

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Step Ladders

First topic: Step Ladders! I designed these ultra tall floor to ceiling cabinets that act as our pantry and extra storage around our built-in refrigerator. They’re beautiful and have such a grand presence in the kitchen I am so happy I decided to go all the way up to the 9 ft ceilings. However, now I need a ladder to access the top cabinets, where I intend to store the kitchen appliances that don’t use too often, the extra paper towels, toilet paper and odds and ends. I decided not to have a ladder that leaned and attached to a rod in the kitchen, like the majority of the inspiration images I’ve been finding, because I thought it would actually be more in the way than useful. That means, I needed something that could be easy enough to access daily if needed, but also easy to store. I decided I wanted it to be attractive since it’s going to be hanging front and center in the kitchen to the right of the fridge. With those needs in mind I searched for preferably wood or lacquer painted step ladders that can fold flat and not take up much room when set aside. I narrowed the choices down to 4 options, the pricing is across the board and unfortunately, my favorite (which comes with a hanging hook too) is the most expensive. I ended up going with the Wawei stepladder, it’s still in shipment so hopefully I’m happy when it arrives. I think I’ll end up painting it the same color as the cabinets or leaving it the natural wood. I’ll keep you posted on that final decision.

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Wall Hooks

There are a few locations in our kitchen where we can hang items for easy access. Those locations are between the fridge cabinet and the doorway, at the end of the pantry cabinet, as well as at the end of the base cabinets to the side of the range.

One of the items I’m planning to hang from the area near the door is the step ladder. But I’m also planning to hang items like the cooking apron and the reusable grocery bags. This means I want the hooks to be mounted high up on the wall. I have decided that going a little more traditional here with a shaker style wood peg rack painted the color of the wall (or cabinet) will be the best look. I do think the stepladder will need it’s own hook so I’ve ordered a sturdy ball hook in unlacquered brass that will be mounted slightly lower than the pegs. In the last location, next to the range I’m planning to hang dish towels and oven mitts. Originally I was thinking a towel bar would be nice but if I need to hang mitts that doesn’t really work too well. So I’m going to hang hooks of the unlacquered brass finish there. I want these hooks are going to be small and minimal.

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When I was planning out my new kitchen design, the last thing I wanted was stuff and gadgets messying up the countertops. To avoid this I’ve dedicated a ton of storage for small appliances. The microwave, toaster and coffee items are all going to live behind closed doors (in the panty/coffee station). The only items out in the open will be the most necessary, easily accessible ones, such as the containers for cooking accessories, commonly used spices, soap and lotion dispensers. That means everything that is out in the open must look purposeful and attractive. I’ve narrowed down my favorite containers for cooking accessories to coordinate well with the finishes I’ve used throughout the space already - think copper, brass, glass and ceramic. I also got very picky about the cutting board situation and the storage containers. Below I’ve linked my top choices.

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