The kitchen is turning out to be absolutely beautiful. I cannot begin to express how much we love our *Barker Cabinets! But the kitchen isn’t done. Okay, it’s 98% done, but it isn’t done, done. But it is still awesome! There remains some trim to paint, closet doors to install, and a few little things…. Blah, blah, blah…
Long story short, we have had a multitude of things going on in our lives, sucking up every moment of time we have, and I have been stretching myself to get as much done as I can. I promise a full kitchen reveal later this year but in the mean time, I thought I should do a post about some of the really awesome storage decisions and storage extras we did to make the kitchen even more custom and more awesome!
But first, a completely un-staged mini reveal of how it looks now (including the incomplete parts). You may remember me going on and on about the three phases of the kitchen, phase one being the sink/stove wall, phase two being the opposite wall with the refrigerator and microwave cabinet. And then phase three was to be my works/studio space behind a textured glass partition. Phase one and two are done. All of the cabinets are finished, all of the beadboard has been installed, and the light fixture has been put up. As for phase three? We are holding off on that for now (that is another post, trust me), with interim plans to use the space for a small table and chairs thereby turning our kitchen into a truly fabulous eat-in kitchen.
OK, now that I have gotten you up to speed with how amazing the kitchen looks (the finished parts at least), let me show you some of the amazing storage customization we did.
Corner Drawer Customization:
When I first began designing the other side of the kitchen, I was still planning on using IKEA cabinets. I wasn’t able to put the refrigerator in the corner because of bump out for the vertical steam pipe in the wall. This was one of the areas I struggled with my IKEA plans because everything I tried ended up with wasted space due to the fixed sizes available from IKEA. Then everything changed when I discovered Barker Cabinets.
Because width and depth of the cabinets can be customized, I was able to design both base and upper cabinets to wrap around the bump out for the steam pipe, and remain flush on the front, thereby eliminating the issue. Not only was I able to adjust the depth of the upper cabinet to accommodate the corner, but I was able to adjust the depth of the bottom cabinet including the drawers resulting in both cabinets looking as though they are single units. The base cabinets are 16 and 26 inches deep, and the drawers were customized to fit. The amazing thing is that it cost nothing extra to shorten the standard 24 inch corner cabinet to 16 inches, and only an extra $30 to add two inches of depth to the other one (which also resulted in deeper drawers). The extra cabinet depth also minimized the bulk of our counter-depth refrigerator. Isn’t this awesome?! I cannot speak highly enough of our Barker Cabinets…. Seriously, they really worked out perfectly.
Under sink pull-out:
When we were ordering our Barker Cabinets, one of the options for lower cabinets was a pull-out tray. Since all but one of our lower cabinets had drawers, I didn’t see that we would need any pull-out trays. But when I was putting the order together, it occurred to me that having a pull out tray under the sink may be a wonderful way to manage the storage. For an extra $80, they added this amazing pull-out which once modified to fit around our immovable waste pipe, has been a real joy to have. I love being able to access cleaning items in the back without getting down on my knees in the dark.
Giant Pot Drawers:
Since I am on the topic of Barker Cabinets, I want to add that just as ordering a shallower base for the corner resulted in custom sized drawers, and adding two inches in depth resulted in deeper drawers, the same applied when we made all of the base cabinets 26 inches deep instead of the standard 24 inches. This also resulted in drawers which are bigger front to back. In the end, we spent an additional $120 for the four base cabinets we needed to be two inches deeper, but we gained a lot of additional storage. Did I mention how much we both are thrilled with our *Barker Cabinets?
Vertical Spice Racks:
My husband is amazing in many ways, but organization is not his strongest point (he will completely agree with this statement). I remember how scary his spice cabinet was when we met. He had a cabinet with one of those lazy Susan turntables for his spices, but the cabinet was overloaded and the turntable didn’t spin, oh my! When I was looking at spice rack options I stumbled across these amazing pull out spice racks from Vertical Spice online and, “Bingo! The end of all of our spice storage problems!” As it turns out, our cabinet to the left of the stove which we had already planned to put our spices in, was the perfect size for their Maple Starter Bundle. I could not have planned this better. Ordering was painless, and installation was easy. Now we have the best spice storage solution in our building, if not the neighborhood!
The biggest splurge we made on our kitchen was custom storage for three of our drawers. One of the huge benefits of using Barker Cabinets is that we could customize our cabinets down to the quarter inch in width. This enabled me to fit all of our base cabinets perfectly within the fixed limitations we had to work with. This also resulted in the four drawer unit to the right of the stove being made at 13 3/4″ (leaving the inside measurement 10 5/8″). Now try and go to Bed Bath and Beyond or Container Store and buy ready made dividers for your flatware when you have a drawer that wide. They don’t make them.
So again my internet sleuthing paid off when I came across Orderly Drawer. Admittedly, custom drawer inserts are not inexpensive, but we felt it would be worth it for our flatware drawer. And it was… Perfectly designed for our narrow but long drawer. I designed it to put the knives perpendicular to the spoons and forks because they are a lot longer, and it allowed for more functional storage of the other items.
After a few weeks were were so absolutely thrilled with our inserts, we decided to splurge a bit more and order a double level divider system for the second utensil drawer and also a larger one for our junk drawer.
I will admit, the orderly drawers were not an inexpensive addition. But… The ability to have them custom made for our exact needs makes them completely worth it. They are easy to remove for cleaning, and they are very adjustable, and they should also last for many, many years.
Boon Span Dishwasher Net
Okay, so this isn’t so much a storage solution as it is a solution for alleviating dishwasher rage. You know… That inner rage when you open the dishwasher after the load is completed only to find half of the plastic items turned upright and filled with nasty dirty water. Once again the Internet came to the rescue when I went to search for a solution. The solution I found is the Boon Span Dishwasher Net and it is amazing! They market it towards families with kids, but grown ups use plastic things too, right? I use ours nearly every load, and you can find them on Amazon.
Oh yes…. Our secret area of shame…. I did say I was going to show you the unfinished part of the kitchen. It looks like a lot more than 2%, but really, I just need to finish painting the walls above the beadboard and the door trim, and I need to paint and re-install the doors.
Woo Hoo! I finally get a post out for the first time in more than two months! Seriously, we have some super amazing things going on, and I can’t wait to post about them. The last little bit of the kitchen will be finished up soon(ish), in the meantime, I am turning my eyes towards the bathroom. Expect to see that coming up soon-ish.
[*My enthusiasm about Baker Cabinets is purely from my experience with installing them in our kitchen. Barker Cabinets has not provided me with any incentives for my praise for their product. Those who know me, know that I am not one to promote product unless I really and truly believe it is worth promoting. So take it for what it’s worth. I wholeheartedly endorse Barker Cabinets and would happily use them again.]