Instead, “Take the time with the design and spend a little extra to get a kitchen that functions well and looks great, because you are going to spend a lot of time in this space,” he said.
What cabinet features are really worth considering? For ideas, we polled three kitchen designers whose work won first-place awards in Orlando’s Parade of Homes this spring: Spence, who is co-owner of Spence & Vaughn Fine Kitchen & Bath in Maitland; Susan Jurenko of Central Kitchen & Bath in Winter Park; and Boyd Joyner of Cabinetry Creations in Orlando.
Here are their top 10 suggestions. But remember, “You don’t have to have every bell and whistle,” said Jurenko. “Prioritize what you really need, then spend your money there.”
1. Two-tiered cutlery divider. When the drawer is open, the top level can be slid back into the cabinet, allowing access to the lower level.
2. Lift-up doors. No more bumping into open cabinet doors. Lift-up models open upward and out of the way.
3. Trash pull-out. This keeps trash bins out of sight but easily accessible. Two bins are better than one. Use them for wet and dry trash, or for recyclable and non-recyclable waste.
4. Roll-out pantry drawers. Even if you have a separate pantry, it’s handy to have some pantry storage for frequently-needed items close to the food-prep point.
5. Corner Lazy-Susan cabinet. This maximizes storage and makes stored items easily accessible. Even more useful are blind-corner pull-outs. The first set of storage shelves pivots outward when the cabinet door is opened; a second set can then be slid out.
6. Self-opening/closing drawers and doors. With just a touch, these open and close smoothly and quietly. Motorized and non-motorized models are available.
7. Pull-down shelving. A light tug on a pull-bar triggers a mechanism that moves high shelving down to an accessible height. It is especially useful for the elderly or handicapped.
8. Filler pull-outs. Instead of covering filler space between appliances and cabinets with trim, have narrow pull-outs installed for the storage of spices, trays, pots and pans, or cleaning supplies.
9. Triple-drawer cabinet. The top drawer holds prep knives and cooking utensils. The deep lower drawers can be used for storing pots and pans or stacks of dishes.
10. Pegged dish organizer. Handy for unloading the dishwasher and easily accessible to children, this low-level drawer has a pegboard base with dowels that can be positioned to hold dishes, bowls, cups and saucers in place. Today’s open-plan kitchens mean there are fewer wall cabinets but more base cabinets with storage drawers instead of shelves.
(c) 2009, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.