Storage Solutions

Before & After: The Contrasting Color Kitchen Remodel


Over the years we have designed and remodeled hundreds (if not, thousands) of kitchens.  Every client and kitchen are different, which makes for a very interesting job working as a kitchen designer! But every once in a while, a kitchen comes along that really makes you stop, think, and appreciate the beauty of transformation.  One of the most rewarding experiences is creating a space that puts a smile on the homeowner’s face every day.

This project is one of the ones that makes us smile.  This kitchen was long over due for an update.  The homeowners work hard every day and enjoy having a space to come home to cook in at the end of a long day.  Their existing kitchen was lacking in storage space, function, and aesthetics.  The space definitely didn’t stand up to the elegant and traditional style of the old Victorian home.  Most notably, the layout of the kitchen also felt disjointed with oddly placed windows and valuable space that wasn’t being used properly.  Working within an existing space can be challenging, but seeing this kitchen for the first time felt like a good opportunity to push the limits a bit with the layout in order to show the homeowner’s the potential of their space.

Anyone who cooks often knows how important a well-organized kitchen is.  Not only does it make your time in the space more enjoyable, but also more efficient.  When designing this kitchen with the homeowners, we largely focused on the placement of the cabinetry and their individual function in relation to one another.  Below are some of the key wants and needs incorporated into the new kitchen:

  • Adequate Pantry Space with Functional Storage

The homeowners were used to having a pantry cabinet in their existing kitchen, so this was something they couldn’t sacrifice in the new design.


  • Base Mixer Lift for Stand Mixer

For someone that bakes often, a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer is a must.  They are very heavy and can be difficult to store, so most people typically leave them on the counter (taking up valuable space).  The solution here was to dedicate a cabinet with a mixer lift and outlet inside the cabinet.  This way the mixer is easily accessible when needed and can be hidden when not in use.


  • Area for Baking

A designated section for baking (not within the main working triangle of the kitchen), was important to the homeowner.  This area also includes the Base Mixer Lift and additional storage for baking sheets, mixing bowls, etc.


  • Island with Storage

The existing island was more of a table/furniture piece that lacked closed storage.  In a smaller space, maximizing storage is typically at the top of the list.  A drawer cabinet and trash pullout were used to create the island, along with simple detailing and a contrasting color.


  • Cabinet for Trash/Recycling/Composting

A trash/recycling pullout is a no-brainer in kitchen design, but the composting request is a new one gaining popularity.  We were able to find a pullout with 2 large bins (trash/recycling), and two small bins with lids (composting).  This was included in the island as mentioned above.


  • Open Shelving/Glass Cabinets for Display

The original built in cabinetry in the kitchen had seen better days.  Typically, we’re all for salvaging original woodwork, but this was screaming for attention.  The homeowner requested a mix of open shelving and glass cabinetry for display of plates and miscellaneous pieces of importance to her.  This area also became a nice focal point of the space.


  • Cabinetry/Crown Molding to the Ceiling

Taking advantage of the extra space above the existing cabinetry was important for these homeowners.  The open space was wasted space that could be used for additional wall cabinet storage.


  • Storage for Spices

One of the most popular requests we receive, we incorporate a spice pullout (or two) into almost every kitchen.


  • Plain & Fancy Cabinetry

Last, but not least! We actually received this client as a lead through Plain & Fancy’s website.  The homeowner had always dreamed of having Plain & Fancy cabinetry in her kitchen, and we were able to make that dream a reality!

To learn more about Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry - click here!


This project is a great example of how with a little creativity you can completely transform a kitchen within the existing space (without tearing down all the walls a-la Fixer Upper style!).  We hope you enjoy this kitchen as much as we do!           


Kitchen & Cabinetry Design by Robinwood Kitchens

Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry Provided by Robinwood Kitchens

General Contracting & Cabinet Installation Services Provided by McManus Builders (Madison, NJ)

Photography by Andrew Pitzer Photography

Storage Solutions 101: Accessorizing Your Kitchen

In the past few years we’ve noticed an increase in our client's wants and needs for storage solutions in the kitchen. With the popularity of interactive social media websites like Houzz and Pinterest, consumers are much more aware of the abundant amount of options available to them.  One of our favorite steps in the kitchen design process is sitting down with our clients and taking the time to review all accessory options.  This is one of the ways the homeowner can really personalize their kitchen depending on how they cook, clean, and entertain.   

The following storage solutions are ones that we have found to be most common and successful among our projects.  Enjoy!

1.      Rollout Drawers

No matter the budget, rollout drawers are probably the number one request we receive from our customers.  Typically installed in base cabinets and pantries, rollouts are a simple solution that create a convenient way to store a variety of items.  In base cabinets 15” wide and over, rollouts can be especially useful for small appliance and pot/pan storage.  In pantry cabinets rollouts are ideal for the storage of cans, packaged goods, and cereal boxes.  

(Photo Credit: Robinwood Kitchens)

(Photo Credit: Robinwood Kitchens)


2.      Utensil Organizers

Installing a utensil organizer in a drawerbox can make the world of a difference for meal prep.  Imagine prepping for dinner and all your utensils are haphazardly thrown into the drawer next to the stove.  Not only can it be dangerous (accidentally picking up the microplane instead of the whisk?!), but think of how time consuming it can be to dig through the drawer to find the utensil needed.  A well-organized drawer can make meal prep faster and more enjoyable for all the cooks in the house.  Utensil organizers are often offered in a variety of layouts to suit the consumer’s needs. 

Custom Utensil Divider by Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry  (Photo Credit: Robinwood Kitchens)

Custom Utensil Divider by Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry (Photo Credit: Robinwood Kitchens)


3.      Spice Pullouts

Spice storage is another one of the top accessory requests from our clients.  Spices and bottles of oil are often described as the most inconvenient and difficult things to store in a kitchen.  Simply keeping bottles, jars, and cans of spices in a wall cabinet can cause chaos while cooking. Instead of having to move three rows of spices out of the way to find the thyme, a pullout mechanism installed inside a wall or base cabinet would allow the cook to easily find the ingredient needed for their recipe,  Spice pullouts are available in a variety of sizes, which makes them easy to incorporate into even the smallest of kitchens.

(Photo Credit: Robinwood Kitchens)

(Photo Credit: Robinwood Kitchens)

(Photo Credit: Robinwood Kitchens)

(Photo Credit: Robinwood Kitchens)


4.      Trash Pullout

A pullout trash can is a no-brainer to incorporate into any kitchen design.  Understandably it may be difficult to dedicate an entire cabinet to trash cans in a small kitchen.  An alternative solution is to install a pullout trash can under the sink.  The trash is still easily accessible and is kept out of sight and smell.


5.      Hanging Cookware Pullout

We truly had one of those “A Ha!” moments when we saw this accessory for the first time.  Glideware has created the hanging cookware pullout which is a great alternative to rollout drawer storage for pots and pans.  This accessory allows you to store the pots/pans together with their coordinating lids.  It also eliminates stacking pots and pans within each other, which is an annoyance that is also damaging to the cookware itself.  This hanging organizer can also be utilized in other spaces such as the mudroom (backpacks, purses, etc.), outdoor kitchens (grilling utensils), and even the garage (extension cords, tools, etc.).

Hanging Cookware Pullout by Glideware  (Photo Credit: Glideware)

Hanging Cookware Pullout by Glideware (Photo Credit: Glideware)

6.      Toe Kick Step Stool

This accessory is literally a hidden gem.  Most homeowners keep a step stool in nearby to aid both the vertically challenged and young children yearning to help in the kitchen.  The toe kick area of a base cabinet is an open space that can be utilized for additional storage.  This is the perfect place to install a step stool.  It is both hidden out of sight and is easily accessible for all to use.

Toe Kick Step Stool Installed in a Robinwood Kitchens Project  (Photo Credit: Robinwood Kitchens)

Toe Kick Step Stool Installed in a Robinwood Kitchens Project (Photo Credit: Robinwood Kitchens)

7.      Drawer Peg System

The majority of homeowners find drawer base cabinets with deep drawer boxes as the preferred method for multipurpose storage.  Lifting heavy stacks of dishes and bakeware from a base cabinet rather than a wall cabinet is more ergonomically comfortable for users of all ages.  The drawer peg system is an insert that can be customized to your specific needs.  The pegboard and removable pegs allow you to easily modify the use of the cabinet. 

(Photo Credit: Richelieu Hardware)

(Photo Credit: Richelieu Hardware)

8.      Appliance Garage

The appliance garage has made a comeback within the last few years.  With the increase in small appliance usage (Coffee Makers, Blenders, Espresso Makers, etc.), more customers are looking for a way to store these items so they are easily accessible without the countertop clutter.  There are a few ways to incorporate appliance garages into the kitchen depending on the layout and space available.  Tambour doors installed below a corner cabinet are a notion of the past.  The appliance garage of today will often incorporate bi-fold or pocket doors for a more contemporary aesthetic.


9.      Base Pullout

Base pullouts are available in many different sizes, forms, and functions.  This particular base pullout by Rev-A-Shelf is a space saving accessory that provides three different storage options.  Knives can be difficult to store for obvious reasons, but this pullout provides a safe and organized way to store knives of any size.  The stainless steel utensil bins offer an alternative way to store the items used most while cooking. To top it all off the lower shelf provides extra storage for mixing bowls or even packaged goods.

Base Cabinet Pullout Knife/Utensil Base Organizer  (Photo Credit: Rev-A-Shelf)

Base Cabinet Pullout Knife/Utensil Base Organizer (Photo Credit: Rev-A-Shelf)


10.      Corner Drawer Cabinet

While we could write a whole blog post about corner cabinets (stay tuned!), we wanted to touch base on the Corner Drawer Cabinet because is the new alternative to the commonly used lazy susan.  The corner cabinet is often deemed “awkward”, and for good reason! Everyone knows how cumbersome it can be when you have to literally crawl into your cabinet to retrieve a bowl that fell off the lazy susan.  The opportunities for organized and easily accessible storage are definitely opened up by incorporating diagonal drawers.  Currently the Corner Drawer Cabinet is only available from our custom cabinet companies.  We believe that as it becomes the “norm” for corner base applications that it will be offered in all price ranges.

(Photo Credit: Glenvale Kitchens via Houzz)

(Photo Credit: Glenvale Kitchens via Houzz)

To view more photos of the above mentioned storage solutions check out these ideas from Houzz!

15 Most Popular Kitchen Storage Ideas on Houzz

Kitchen Storage Solutions Hide and Keep

Kitchen Storage Solutions for Every Nook