It’s Out in the Open: Dish Storage That is

Open storage for dinnerware is so popular today. Pick up any shelter magazine and you will see what I mean. Now that surprises even me because you’d think that people wouldn’t want to store their dishes where they would collect dust daily. And frankly, not all everyday dishes are attractive. But so it goes.Waypoint's style 410S in Maple Spice

Of course you can always put dishes behind glass doors and that’s a great look and solves the dust part of the problem. But, we’re talking about putting dishes on open shelves or in plate racks.  Here are some tips that will make this trend work more smoothly for you:Waypoints style 630F in Cherry Spice

Tip #1: Open shelves are best for frequently used dinnerware. If they’re used regularly, it stands to reason that they will be washed all the time and will never become dusty.Waypoints's style 510S in Maple Espresso

Tip #2: Old or brand new, when dishes are out, they become part of the kitchen décor. Choose a color or pattern that works with the design theme or even adds a much-needed touch of color.

Tip #3: Place the shelf low enough so that dishes are easy to reach on a daily basis…maybe even for the kids. If the dishes are easy to reach, an open shelf is a practical place to store them.Waypoint's style 650S in Maple Linen

So while there are a few things to think about before planning open storage for your everyday dishes, it’s a popular look. And despite all my cautionary words, you will laugh to know that in my last remodel…I put my everyday dinnerware on an open shelf. Right there for all the world to see. And guess what? I love it!

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

New Products Offered by Waypoint Living Spaces

October 2012

Waypoint Living Spaces launched a number of new products in October. Always looking for more products with appeal for today’s homeowners, Waypoint expanded their offering of cabinets with Butt Doors. Butt Doors are double door cabinets without a center support post. The doors meet neatly in the center and this feature makes the interior of the cabinet easily accessible.

Other additions to the line include a new cabinet-to-cabinet wood hood  in both 30” and 36” widths and a hinge with an integrated CushionClose feature which offers a soft close feature without visible hardware.CushionClose hinges and drawer glides are standard. Look for painted finishes in the partial overlay 500 series cabinets for a cottage look in your home. Oak and hickory are now offered in the 510 and 511 series. These wood species are especially popular in the West and Midwest.

 One of my favorite additions to the line is the option to select a five-piece drawer front on our popular style 650 style. See above.

A Tawny oak finish has been added the line too. Look for next week’s blog to see a kitchen in this finish in style 650 with a definite Arts & Crafts vibe.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Galley Kitchens are Efficient and Stylish

Whether it is called a galley or a corridor, kitchens with two parallel rows of cabinetry are considered highly efficient. That’s because their configuration makes them a natural for a perfect work triangle. Appliances are easily arranged to offset  each other in the room.

Galley kitchens allow appliances to be nicely offset from each other making a perfect work triangle. The challenge is that many times traffic flows right though the work area...so the cook is battling everything from kids to family pets running through the middle of the room while a meal is being prepared.

Usually from seven and a half to nine feet in width, galley kitchens are historically small and have a traffic pattern that goes right through the middle. There is often an exterior door at one end and the other end leads to the rest of the house.

Some galley kitchens are larger and can accommodate a cooktop and separate wall ovens. Note the stacked wall cabinetry that maximizes storage space.

Perfect work triangle or not, whenever traffic interferes with the work area, it makes a difficult place to function. And because these kitchens are small, they are hardly the place for a crowd to hang out. Still, many homes in America have this type of kitchen.

Waypoint's style 510S in Maple Aburn Glaze

Most galley kitchens have an eating area at one end and a door at the other.

The question is, what can you do with a galley kitchen? Changing the configuration of a galley kitchen without building an addition is a real challenge. Taking out a wall to open the space to another room can be a tough decision too. By removing a wall, all the storage provided by the wall cabinets is lost and since these are typically small rooms, it is almost impossible to make up that lost space. The best bet for a galley kitchen is to maximize what you have:

  • Take wall cabinets up to the ceiling if you can. Even if you have to use a step stool to reach items on the upper shelves, at least the space is there for seldom used items.
  • Consider using a range rather than a separate cooktop and wall oven and you will save on valuable counter space.
  • Fill cabinets with interior organizing accessories so that every inch is used to the fullest.
  • Make the space as beautiful as possible: it’s all in the choice of cabinets, hardware and surface finishes.  The good news is that because the space is usually small, upscale choices are more affordable.

Waypoint's style 630F in Maple Coffee

A contemporary galley kitchen designed as an open plan from the very beginning. Here 42" high wall cabinets are installed as base cabinets back up to the sink cabinets. They help obscure kitchen clutter and make up for the loss of the overhead wall cabinets.

Every kitchen can be made better by good design and thoughtful details. Galley kitchens can be a challenge and I hope these ideas and photos have helpful. And special thanks to one of my readers for suggesting this topic…this one is for you Suzie!

If you have topics that you would like covered in Connie’s Corner, contact me through email by clicking here.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Inverted Frame Base Cabinets Solve Design Problems, Add Versatility

Waypoint’s Inverted Frame Option puts the drawer just above the toe kick and that small alteration offers a variety of design solutions. It totally changes the look of the cabinet but what I like best is when it does something helpful.  Waypoint cabinet with an inverted frame in style 610D in Maple Coffe finish Inverting a kitchen base cabinet (reduced depth or not) makes a drawer possible in a small bathroom or powder room. So often, storage is at a premium in small rooms and adding a drawer is a great improvement. It works the same in a small kitchen too. The only thing required is to have through-the-wall plumbing.

Waypoint style 430F in Maple Auburn shown with an inverted base

A cabinet with a wastebasket insert is often enhanced by inverting the frame too.

Waypoint potting bench shown in style 430F, Maple Auburn

In this case, it was used in a gardening bench to hold potting soil. It puts the soil at a more convenient height and the bottom drawer is perfect for storing extra gardening supplies. This idea works with a kitchen wastebasket cabinet too. What I especially like about putting the drawer on the bottom in a kitchen installation is that you can sweep crumbs off the counter right into the basket.

The inverted Frame Option is available on most standard base cabinets and can be combined with a number of other Waypoint options.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Butler’s Pantries Still Popular Today in Larger Homes

With the holiday season upon us, I got to thinking about preparing and serving all those family and friends and it made me wish for a butler’s pantry. Oh, and a butler to go with it.

Butler’s pantries were popular in the grand houses at the turn of the 19th century. Picture glass-door cabinets to the ceiling filled with fine china, silver, a myriad of serving pieces and a big sink for flower arranging.

Pantry at the Biltmore Estate

The pantry at The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC. The home opened on Christmas Eve in 1895. Photo compliments of The Biltmore Estate.

The most elaborate version can be found in the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. There, the kitchen is in the basement (I am glad that changed) and food was taken upstairs to the butler’s pantry on one of two dumb waiters. I’ve been lucky enough to visit America’s largest home twice and both at the holiday time. Believe me, it is worth the trip.

Today, butler’s pantries still exist in larger homes and are located between the kitchen and the dining room. They may be smaller and not have a butler on duty to guard the silver but they too house china and serving pieces and, to me, they are the perfect place to have an extra sink and dishwasher if a lot of entertaining is done in the home.

A butler's pantry in a modern home shown in Waypoint style 612D in Cherry JavaHere a butler’s pantry in a beautiful traditional home in Florida features glass door cabinets with glass shelves and interior lighting to show off the contents. Open shelves in the middle are for displaying platters and other pretty items. The room is given a modern touch with the use of Medium Bar Pulls in Satin Nickel. The style is Waypoint’s 612D in Cherry Java.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Hoods as a Focal Point in a Kitchen (Part Two of a Two-Part Blog)

Using a decorative hood as a focal point are an easy way to add a knock-out look to any kitchen. We started this topic last week. But if you missed it, click here. This week we’ll talk about a couple more ideas on how to get a super look.

Waypoint kitchen in style 610D, Maple Linen featuring a custom hood

This painted white kitchen has a definite coastal vibe and part of the charm is the site-built hood with a stucco finish. It is painted to match the Maple Linen cabinets and features graceful curves, corbels and molding to the ceiling.

Another popular way to handle the area around a cooktop or a range is to create a hearth-style grouping of cabinets. This is a nice look in tradional homes.

Hearth-style range hood

Decorative tile can be installed just behind the cooktop or in the entire area. You often see a pot filler faucet in these applications.

Being on the practical side though, I want to discuss the amount of space a hearth-style range or cooktop surround will occupy. The reality is that it takes  a minimum of 60” for a 30” range. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends a minimum of 12” on one side of a cooking surface and 15” on the other. Since a hearth-style arrangement mimics a fireplace, it should be symmetrical.  That’s where the 60″ comes from 2 x 15″ plus the 30″ range. This is something your designer will help you with. Not every kitchen can handle a hood as large as this, but if the space is available it can be a great look.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces