Bet­ter built-ins

They can add charm, pro­vide spe­cial­ized stor­age and give you a lit­tle more room. Meet the built-in, sav­ior of kitchens large and small.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - BY CLARE MAR­TIN

You know the drill: If some­thing sounds too good to be true, it prob­a­bly is. So if some­one were to tell you that there was a way to add ex­tra space and more stor­age to your kitchen, you’d nat­u­rally take this as­ser­tion with a healthy dose of skep­ti­cism. But this is one case in which the good thing ac­tu­ally is true — built-ins (think spe­cial­ized cab­i­nets, shelves, even benches and ta­bles) can free up room in the kitchen by mak­ing use of space that would oth­er­wise go to waste. Read on to dis­cover some of our fa­vorite ideas for in­cor­po­rat­ing built-ins into your kitchen.

1. CAB­I­NETS (see pho­tos on page 21). It’s a given that the kitchen you’re build­ing will have cab­i­nets — what’s not so cer­tain, though, is how ex­actly you’ll fill them. While this might seem like the per­fect task to put off un­til mov­ing day, the re­al­ity is that fig­ur­ing out how you’d like to use your cab­i­net space now will help you de­sign a more or­ga­nized kitchen. Many cab­i­net man­u­fac­tur­ers now of­fer spe­cialty items such as cor­ner cab­i­nets and pull-outs in their stan­dard prod­uct lines, so be sure to do plenty of shop­ping around to find op­tions that work with your life­style. Spe­cialty cab­i­nets are also a great way to make use of space that would oth­er­wise go to waste — one of the most pop­u­lar ways to do this is to squeeze long, nar­row cab­i­nets de­signed to hold things like brooms and spices in the nooks be­tween ap­pli­ances and tra­di­tional cab­i­netry.

2. PANTRY. Just like cab­i­nets, a pantry is a kitchen es­sen­tial — a must-have space for stor­ing food and other dry goods. But what if you don’t have room in your kitchen for the walk-in pantry of your dreams? A slightly re­cessed wall of­ten can pro­vide you with plenty of pantry space. (Re­cesses as small as 5 inches are still plenty wide enough to hold rows of cans, spices and boxed goods.) Again, de­cide how you’d like to use the space be­fore you be­gin de­sign­ing it so you can out­fit your pantry with spe­cial­ized fea­tures such as deep drawers, hang­ing bas­kets and pull-out shelves, all of which can help keep you or­ga­nized by pro­vid­ing item-spe­cific stor­age zones.

3. SHELVES. Be­cause they don’t have doors to hide be­hind, kitchen shelves of­ten end up be­com­ing some­thing of a dis­play space, so take this into con­sid­er­a­tion when build­ing them into your de­sign. Of course, the lack of doors also gives shelves an­other bonus: easy ac­cess. You’ll want to keep both of th­ese fac­tors in mind when de­cid­ing where to place shelves in your kitchen. For in­stance, a small cubby near your stove de­signed to hold cook­books is handy when you need to look up recipes, and the books’ spines will add a nice pop of color. In the same vein, open shelv­ing or a plate rack above an is­land or bar al­lows you to show off your china and stemware while pro­vid­ing con­ve­nient ac­cess for serv­ing.

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