I love to cook and I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. I also love having different sizes, shapes, and styles of dishes to serve food on. The only problem with either of those things is that my kitchen is small. Not super extrememly small, but definitely small. It’s fine for one person to be in there, but if I’m cooking and Jack comes in to get some coffee or something we have to side-step around each other. This kitchen was not intended for more than one person to be using it at a time!
The cabinets were new when we bought this house and they were O.K., but they were basic oak cabinets that didn’t have a very nice finish on them. The size of the cabinets and the layout was fine, but we didn’t like the doors at all! One of our kids made new hickory doors for them and I love them now! Hickory is such a warm looking wood and has a nice, cabin”ish” feel to it. Even though the cabinets are made from oak and the doors are hickory, you don’t notice the difference in the wood types and it saved a lot of money and time.
For some reason, the previous owners only installed cabinets across part of the upper wall. I think perhaps they didn’t know what to do over the sink area, so they left it open. That was 42″ of horizontal space that was just being wasted! Years ago I bought a plate rack (although Jack was a little reluctant about it) and it’s worked pretty well for us, but it doesn’t offer as much usable storage space as I would like. Now, however, Jack is reluctant to give up the plate rack. He loves being able to just grab a plate and go. After a lot of talk, I came to the conclusion that Jack would be O.K. with something different if the same sized dinner plates, sandwich plates, and bowls were in a single stack instead of smaller plates being stacked on top of larger plates, etc. He just doesn’t want to have to move one thing to get to another.
I have more cabinets than many small kitchens do, but definitely not enough to make it convenient to access the things I use frequently. I have dishes that I pretty much never use because it’s so inconvenient to get to them. My “pretty” serving bowls are either stacked inside each other in the back of a tall cabinet or stacked inside each other on the top shelf of another cabinet, therefore I rarely take them out. 😦 I would definitely use them a lot more if I could get to them easier.
Our kitchen is open to the dining room and living room, which is nice. It makes it appear somewhat larger then it is and it also gives me light from those rooms. There is one small window in the kitchen and that’s going to get enlarged soon. Jack ordered a window to replace the existing one and it’s going to be much, much larger. I think I’ll have about three times as much glass space as I do now. I’m looking forward to having more natural light and a better view of the back yard and it will be nice to see the wildlife walking through the yard while I’m cooking.
My goal is to find a way to add additional, functional storage space to my kitchen without knocking down any walls or reconfiguring my existing cabinets. I have that 42″ of wall space available since I’ll be getting rid of the plate rack. I’m all about easy and inexpensive, plus I don’t want to embark on a six month remodel job. I don’t think Jack or I would be very happy about our time being taken up on a project like that when we have so many other things we would rather do with our time.
After a lot of thinking of possibilites and options, I’ve finally settled on an idea for optimize the space and make it function well for our needs. Jack likes the idea and it will provide what he wants with what I need to make my kitchen work better. I haven’t exactly decided the exact style/method of mounting that we will use, but we will be using dark pipe (it will match with our existing hardware) with open wood shelving and will have somewhat of an industrial feel to our finished look. The shelves will cover the 42″ wall, will angle across the corner by the sink, and will extend slightly onto the wall with the window. Here are some of the ideas I’ve found online: