Under-Sink Organization

If there is one place in the kitchen that seems to be the catchall for clutter, it’s the sink cabinet. Much of the space is already taken up by plumbing, shut off valves and the garbage disposer. The rest of the space is in competition by cleaning products, paper towels and dishwasher detergent. This is especially true of single bowl sinks where the cabinet is 24” to 30” wide.

Waypoint's style 650S in Maple Honey

Tilt-outs in sink base cabinets have been a standby in kitchen design. They still offer one more way to squeeze in a little more storage space.

The area under the sink should be checked regularly for leaks. Leaks can be particularly sneaky…showing up when you least expect it. And the sink base can’t be overlooked when it comes to seasonal house cleaning. Bottles of cleaners can leak;  because of this I keep mine corralled in a plastic tray…just in case.

Waypoint's style 610D in Maple Linen

Waypoint's Multi Storage Cabinet offers creative solutions for under-cabinet storage.

photo compliments of Kidsafeinc.com

Since so many potentially dangerous chemicals are stored under the sink, safety locks should be installed if there are children in the home. This even includes regularly visiting children like grandkids. You can never be too careful. The one shown at right requires no tools and installs with adhesive, and is a one-hand operation for an adult. This and other safety products can be seen at kidsafeinc.com.Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Super Sink Base Makes the Most of Under Counter Storage

When every inch counts, consider maximizing under-sink storage. This sink unit comes with a number of specialized features that make the most of space. Waypoint's 650T in Cherry Chocolate

The stainless steel Tilt Out Trays are surprisingly useful for paring knives, sponges or scrubbers. Caution is needed selecting a sink when using tilt outs. Extra thick sinks made from cast iron, for instance, may cause the tilt outs to rub or not function at all. Most stainless steel sinks work beautifully though.Waypoint's 650T in Cherry Chocolate

Attached to the left door is a caddy for cleaners and a perfect spot to store a sponge. The right side is outfitted with a place to store plastic bags for reuse and another tray. The free standing Multi-Storage Shelf can be placed on the left or right. Of course, the plumbing has to be taken into consideration. Through-the-wall plumbing will probably work the best.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Seven Great Places for an Extra Sink

Extra sinks can be very helpful in the home. Oh, the basics in bathrooms and kitchens go without saying but think about the possibilities to improve the livability of the home with a strategically placed extra sink.

Below is a list of some of my favorite places to add a sink. Yes, installing plumbing in a brand new location comes with a certain cost but depending the age and accessibility of the plumbing in the new location, it can be more do-able than one might think. No matter what, the benefits will far out-weigh the added cost.

Waypoint's style 640S in Maple Spice

An island sink placed away from the main work triangle allows a second cook to be helpful without being in the way.

Even the (1.) kitchen can benefit from a second sink. One option is to add it to an island. But to make it truly practical it should be located away from the main traffic area so that a helper can use it without interfering with the primary cook. That might well put it near the dining area which makes it eminently practical for cleaning up after meals or filling water glasses.

The cabinets shown below are also part of a larger kitchen and serves as a beverage center.  It is also happens to be located near the door to the dining room and that makes it ideal for filling water glasses and makes a handy serving area.Waypoint's style 650S in Maple Honey

(2.) Believe it or not the master bedroom is another great place for an extra sink when it is part of a morning kitchen. This works best in larger homes when it makes sense to have a place to have a quick yogurt, cup of fresh coffee and bagel without leaving the master suite area.Waypoint's style 410S in Maple Espresso

(3.) If there is a dedicated craft room (every woman’s dream) then a sink placed there is very handy. From cleaning out paint brushes to washing the glue off sticky little fingers a sink will be very useful.

Waypoint's style 630F in Cherry Chocolate Glaze

Whether it is potting plants or paper crafting, an extra sink is a big hit.

(4) Butlers’ pantries, when located between the kitchen and dining room, will be handy for serving and clean up. This arrangement is most often found in older homes and one good thing is the plumbing won’t be too far from the kitchen. That will be a money saver.

(5.) Not every laundry room is large enough to have a sink but if the space is available, it can come in handy for soaking stained garments and rinsing out hand washables. A higher faucet comes in handy for filling cleaning buckets too.Waypoint's style 420T in Cherry Bordeaux

(6.) A sink in the side entry (often called the family foyer) comes in handy especially for families with small children. It’s a great place to get a quick drink of water during play. Even better, its’ a great place to wash dirty hands after play or a morning in the garden.

(7.) Beverage centers deserve a sink even if a small one. It’s great for making beverages, grabbing a quick glass of water, as well a cleanup. Beverage centers can be in more formal living areas (like the one shown below) or in casual areas. Either way it’s a winner.Waypoint's style 513S in Cherry Spice

There are lots of different sink materials and types of faucets to pick from today so no matter the style of the home, choosing the right materials for the extra sink will be easy.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Our Love Affair with Kitchen Islands (Part 1 of a 4-Part series) Design Basics

Waypoint's style 630S in Maple Mocha Glaze

Islands are nothing new. In fact one could say that tables served as kitchen islands in the earliest of indoor kitchens. Even back in the ’60s ’70s and 1980s islands played an important part in kitchen design. When housingIsland shown in Waypoint's style 610D in Maple Mocha Glaze trends turned to open-concept living, walls disappeared, islands became larger and more complex. When that happened, it became important for islands to look as good as they worked. The backs of the islands got special treatment and overhead lighting was as decorative as it was functional.

However, as much as we love islands, not every kitchen is large enough to accommodate one. Take a look at these images provided by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). They show the minimum clearance guideline for single and multiple cook kitchens. Believe me, they are critical dimensions for a comfortable workspace.

NKBA aisleway guidelines for kitchens

The minimum recommended aisle way for a kitchen primarily used by a single cook at a time is 42". Image compliments NKBA

NKBA aisleway guideline for kitchens

When two or more cooks frequently work together, the aisle way should be 48". Image compliments of the NKBA.

Appliances installed in islands take up a surprising amount of space when proper clearances are provided. For an example, let’s look at an island where the primary sink is installed. For our example we’ll use a single bowl sink. Allowing 27” for the single bowl sink in a cabinet, 24” for a dishwasher, three inches for a panel to conceal the exposed side of the dishwasher and provide support for the countertop and finally add NKBA’s recommended 18” of clearance on the other side of the sink, the minimum width of this island would be a whopping 72”. Not every kitchen has room for an island that wide, especially when remodeling an older home. Sometimes a kitchen space can’t accommodate even a much smaller island. It’s all in the dimensions.

So, here we’ve discussed some basic island design considerations. In the next three weeks, I’ll be talking about several islands that I especially like. Each is packed with design ideas.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Selecting the Right Sink

One of the hardest working elements in any kitchen is the sink. Some even categorize it as an appliance and it certainly is one of the points of the kitchen work triangle. So it is only fair that a lot of thought be given to this decision.

Waypoint Living Spaces kitchen in style 410S in Maple Honey

A top mount sink in a composite material is shown with Waypoint's style 410S in Maple Honey. Top mount installations are generally considered to be more traditional in style.

Sinks come in a variety of materials but stainless steel is preferred right now. Other choices are solid surface, composites, enameled cast iron, even copper.  Solid surface sinks have the benefit of being installed seamlessly into the countertop. More commonly sink installations are either under mount or top mount. Each has advantages. Under mount has a cleaner more contemporary look. Many believe that under mount sinks are easier to clean but they still have a lip that can collect dirt. The other thing to consider is that replacing a damaged under mount sink can be all but impossible.

Large single bowl under mount sink. Cabinets: Waypoint's style 650S in Maple Honey.

A large single bowl under mount sink in stainless steel is a great choice for many homeowners. Cabinets shown are Waypoint's 650S in Maple Honey.

Sink configurations vary but my favorite is a large single bowl sink. Double bowl sinks are a holdover from the days when dishes were hand washed. One sink was for washing and the other for rinsing. We hardly ever do that today. What is needed is a vessel large enough to hand wash those items too large to put in the dishwasher: things like cookie sheets, large mixing bowls and roasters.

Waypoint style 510S in Maple Auburn Glaze

Double bowl sinks provide two basins for washing and rinsing dishes. The installation is under mount in a granite top. Cabinets shown are Waypoint's 510S in Maple Auburn Glaze.

We can’t overlook farm (or apron front) sinks as part of the many choices available today. For more information, check a previous blog on this topic by clicking here.

Of course many kitchens have auxiliary sinks to supplement the main sink. This secondary sink (usually a smaller single bowl) should be located far enough away from the main work area to allow a second person to work at it without interfering with the primary cook. This secondary sink can be used for preparing beverages or, outfitted with a garbage disposer, it can become the prep sink. It gives you one more chance to thoughtfully outfit the kitchen.

A kitchen is a significant investment and each element of the project deserves to be thoughtfully considered.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces