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November 06, 2006



You know, honestly, when we redid our kitchen, I just put in as many cabinets as would fit without looking ridiculous, and didn't worry too much about where everything would go. Some reasons I think maybe why this worked out for us:

1) Wall cabinets — all the way to the ceiling. None of that space up there to collect odds + ends + dust + grease + schmutz. Also gives you more space up on the top shelves for seasonal and infrequently-used things. This was such a huge improvement, and with the solid doors, you could put whatever up there, and no one would know. (We also invested in one of those German-folds-down-to-1-inch-thick-so-you-can-put-it-between-the-refrigerator-and-the-wall step stools so that I could get to stuff up there.)

1.5) For the wall cabinets, if it seems helpful, you might want to pick up a couple of extra interior shelves/shelf pins. I seem to remember it made it easier to customize different areas (flat things/tall things).

2) We have 8 dinner plates, 8 breakfast plates, 8 soup bowls, 6 tall, mis-matched pottery bowls (made by my father-in-law), 1 set of everyday flatware, maybe 10 or so glasses, and 8 or so mugs. So, not a huge amount of things we used on a daily basis.

3) All our pots + pans + small appliances (blender, rice cooker) went into the big corner, lazy-susan thingus. One note of caution: if you store a cast-iron dutch oven on the rotating wire shelves, it will eventually break the shelf — put heavy things on the base of the cabinets.

4) We had a separate dining room (definitely NOT an eat-in kitchen), and a buffet/china cabinet (bought before the reno, because we actually needed the extra storage), where (after the reno) we stored mostly table linens + wine glasses + (in the glassed-in part) decorative pottery that looked pretty.

Ultimately, I was even able to dedicate an entire wall cabinet to cookbooks, something that pleased me mightily. While a shelf full of cookbooks looks nice, they last longer if they're not exposed to light, grease, dust, and other general cooking schmutz. (Yes, I am a bit obsessive about some things, have you noticed? :) Oddly, I have no problem with staining pages of those same cookbooks, from the schmutz generated while preparing the recipes. Yeah, I'm weird)

I probably would have also gotten some of those large, flat base cabinet drawers for pots + pans if I'd had the space. Our Ikea contractor dude (who had done bathrooms and/or kitchens for 3 other neighbors) had those base cabinet drawers in his own kitchen + swore they were the greatest thing since sliced bread.


dang, that was long.


Long yes, but oh so helpful! I'm pretty sold on the big pull out drawers. My mom has some (though made by a cabinet maker not Ikea) in her kitchen and oh how I covet them! Pull out: see everything inside, even the stuff at the back! Push back in. It's like the best invention ever. I'm definitely in favour of the extra height wall cabinets for exactly the reason you describe, I already store all kinds of only rarely useful things on the top shelves of our cupboards and I wouldn't give those up for nothing. I think I may also end up moving the fridge down 12" so that we can have one more high cabinet there as I figure that extra narrow but high square footage can only come in handy. Thanks so much for the input!

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