Keep the chef happy by making sure all the cooking equipment and utensils are in their proper places.
Tools on Parade
Good storage ideas often can be adapted from room to room. Even the workshop has some lessons to teach. Here's how to get this look:
-- Mount a pegboard on a backsplash to put utensils within easy reach. If your backsplash is otherwise occupied, consider mounting pegboard inside a cabinet door.
-- Repurpose metal pegboard accessories designed to organize tools to keep kitchen tools in line.
Up and Away
Utensils are easy to find and never out of reach when hung on "S" hooks from a rod above the cooktop. No need to buy an expensive storage system -- a simple towel rack, tension rod, or dowel can be mounted near the food-prep area.
Flip a Lid
Use dividers to keep pot lids separate from pots and pans. Place the dividers above the range to keep lids out of the way, but within reach when cooking.
Keep sharp utensils stored in a stainless-steel box mounted on the side of a counter or island, and they'll always be easy to find. Consider putting the box inside an upper cabinet door if your household includes small children.
If you don't have a spot for a wall- or ceiling-mount pot rack, recast one or two base cabinets flanking the range. This narrow compartment is just wide enough for favorite pots and pans, which hang from "S" hooks that fit a track on the pullout rack. Cookie sheets and fold-away roasting and cooling racks are also naturals to store in a narrow space.
Drawer dividers make it possible to snag any utensil or piece of cooking gear the moment you need it. As an extra organizational step, group like items together.
From the Block
A small drawer containing a knife block is perfectly placed beneath the countertop where food preparation takes place. Knife blocks with slots for a variety of shapes protect the knife blades and the user.
Once you've had a built-in cutting board, you'll be smitten for life. Beneath the surface, knives are stored on a magnetic strip designed specifically to keep sharp blades from sliding around in drawers.
Bring it home: Look for these strips -- easily retrofitted into your cabinet drawers -- in housewares departments or storage-solution stores.
Here's a tip: Don't let other thin or shallow spaces in the kitchen go to waste. They're ideal for storing bakeware and platters.
Pullout drawers rank with lazy Susans as among the most useful advances in kitchen storage -- making heavy baking pans and oversize cookware much more accessible. Plus, your back is saved from twisting and turning to see what's at the back of the shelf.
Save big bucks: To save money, try to find systems that can be retrofitted into existing cabinets.
Rack 'em Up
To keep your shallow frying pans, saute pans, and lids easy to access (rather than stacked in an unwieldy pile), store them in a wire rack inside a deep drawer. Larger pots and pans can rest nearby.
In One Place
A large drawer like this one is designed to store plenty of bulky cooking gear, a logical place to organize and store your hardest-working pots and pans.
Deep pullout drawers that flank the range can ensure that the right cookware is never out of arm's reach.
Corner cabinets are notorious for wasting storage space due to inaccessibility. Swing-out storage solves that problem by bringing contents to the cook.
A two-tier pullout uses formerly wasted corner space to house small appliances behind closed doors -- instead of leaving them out on the counter to catch crumbs.
Move your microwave off the counter to free up valuable workspace. If you're replacing your cabinets, consider including a large cubbyhole like this one to house your microwave.
Found at a flea market, an old sled becomes a homespun pot rack. When replicating the project, make sure the support chains are anchored to ceiling joists or hang only lightweight objects.