Friday, January 8, 2010

Kitchen Renos and Organization

Bunny Williams Pantry
We recently renovated our kitchen. Well, not so recent, but currently finishing (YAY!) For those of you who know, a kitchen renovation is intrusive, disruptive, sometimes agonizing and very messy. It is not for the faint-hearted. Here a few tips before you jump in with both feet.
  • Planning is key. Think of all the things you want in your kitchen first. Your dream kitchen so-to-speak. List them. Blog them. Rip out magazines (I spent a small fortune on Kitchen mags).
  • Know you budget. Even then, do be surprised on going over it. The kitchen is the most expensive reno you will do in your house. Leave a buffer.
  • Cover you furniture before and drywall work. First of all, the area should be taped off with a plastic sheet wall and the furnace/air conditioner turned off. But even then, that wonderful fine drywall dust will find it's way into the rest of the house. Slipcovers or old sheets work well.
  • Organize your drawers in on paper before they're installed. Think end use. For example, your spice drawer or cabinet should be near your stove for handiness. You will be lost in your own kitchen for a while. Habits die hard, so make it easier on yourself.
  • If you have a lot of cookbooks, as I do, you will need a lot of shelves for them or plan on a separate book shelve to house them. If you have a walk-in pantry, even better.
  • Since I mention walk-in pantries, to add more space to my kitchen we knocked in my walk-in pantry. I have too say, I do miss it. But needed the gained space. Just contemplate this decision carefully! I still drool over great pantry pics (below).
  • Microwaves aren't the prettiest things. Why not store them below the counter on a shelf. More counter space!
  • A 6 burner stove is fantastic to have if you can swing it financially or space-wise. Don't get suck in with the inserts/modules: 
  1. The grill (the BBQ outside works just fine and guys do their bonding out there and do you want your house smelling like charred whatever?). 
  2. The griddle (OK this one is handy if you have a lot of guests to make pancakes for but a portable griddle or frying pan is good too).
  3. The steamer What happened to water in a pot?
  4. The fryer Bad skin. Greasy stove. Nuf said.
You may not be sold on my comments above,but just think, a burner with the right pan/pot will do all of these things. The freedom and versatility of a 5th or 6th burner, for me, out weighs all the bells and whistles.

So now that we are nearing the end (still a little drywall work to do and painting). I contemplate the organization of my kitchen, lament the loss of my pantry, but celebrate the gain of my smokin' hot Fisher & Paykel 6 burner 3rd child.

Barefoot Contessa Ina Gartner's pantry

Martha Stewart's Pantry and Wall of China "Skylands"
courtesy of  Martha Moments Blog
Below snaps courtesy of Country Living Magazine

This is so cute!

Below courtesy of Point Click Home
Home of Elle Decor and Metropolitan Home.

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