5 Kitchen Issues Resolved

Chefs face a myriad of problems from inefficient storage space to small work areas through to poor lighting. Here are some solutions to these problems... without having to redo the entire kitchen!


PROBLEM #1: Lack of Space

SOLUTION: Larger Work Areas

Sometimes you only need clear countertop clutter to free working space by grouping together small appliances on an 18-inch wide counter near power outlets (toaster oven, toaster, mixer, bread maker).

Other Solutions:

1. Use a retractable system or a wheel-mounted work module, easy to move around. It can extend the work area or the L-shaped island.

2. Rethink the work space by gathering appliances and plan a work area near the stovetop.

3. A window sink? Make the window a focal point to offset the sink placement. 

4. Buy a high wheeled portable sideboard that goes well in another room (dining room).

5. Trade your large double sink for a single sink.


PROBLEM #2: Lack of Lighting

SOLUTION: Add Luminosity

Good lighting is essential in the kitchen. Think about opening up a wall onto a brighter room if there is a lack of lighting. Choosing pale-colored furnishings and flooring allows for more light. The simplest solution: create several artificially lit zones.

Other Solutions:

1. Install a hanging or pendulum light over the kitchen island for direct lighting.

2. Install spotlights behind glass door cupboards.

3. Integrate spotlights or LED strips under high cupboards to light up the countertop and on top in a casing or directly to the ceiling. LED strips at ground level give a great ambiance.

4. Install recessed lighting in the ceiling over traffic areas.


PROBLEM #3: An outdated kitchen

SOLUTION: Add trendy items

A kitchen in good condition can be updated changing key surrounding elements, in particular the countertop and backsplash. They have the power to change the entire look of the kitchen.

Other Solutions:

1. Countertops are available in wood, granite, quartz, laminated wood and other materials in an endless array of textures and colors.  Take time to flip through the kitchen section of your favourite decor magazine (Les Idées de ma maison, of course!) to backup your choices in considering cupboards and, ask for tips in-store to avoid costly mistakes.

2. Use the same approach for the backsplash understanding its strong visual effect. Whether modern or Moroccan mosaics, beige or urban grey, orange or Kelly green or bright white... the possibilities and choices are endless.A coat of paint will refresh the space at low cost.

3. Cupboard knobs and handles help change the style. Make sure drilled holes match and make sure not to go over budget (you will need a few and they are often pricy).Mouldings change the look (straight modern, classic curved).

4. Door and casings can be painted but you will need to disassemble each part for optimal results. Carefully paint after proper preparation keeping color combinations in mind.Some companies also specialize in resurfacing. An interesting option when compared with the cost of complete kitchen redesign.


PROBLEM #4: Lack of organization

SOLUTION: Ergonomic layout

A problem with no easy solutions. The specialists’ go-to answer is that everything needs to be redesigned!

Other Solutions:

1. Open a wall or a wall section to add a kitchen island and gain storage room and work area.

2. Rearrange the space. For example, you can add furniture (seating-furniture, buffet) in harmony with kitchen cupboards in the dining area if you have a large dining room and a small kitchen.

3. Make an appointment with a specialist. Show up with kitchen plans and pictures and ask for solutions that do not include to a total re-do.


PROBLEM #5: Lack of storage space

SOLUTION: More storage space

Cupboards are often messy. We pile containers of which we lose lids, we store larger salad bowls that gobble up the whole space... The solution short of reinventing the space is to maximize it. Before reorganizing you need to do a thorough clean up!

Other Solutions:

1. Install ceiling-high cupboards if the space is not used. You will be able to store rarely used cumbersome items (large plates, fondue or raclette kit). Choose a harmonized look with the other furnishings using either glass or opaque fronts.

2. Optimize a large drawer by integrating a smaller one on top (an internal drawer) for platter storage.

3. Opt for 3 rows of drawers.

4. Recuperate space at floor level for storing baking sheet, grills... Multiply sliding storage in the pantry.

5. Replace cupboards with drawers and add internal organizers (cutlery, lids, roll holders...). Make sure you have enough space to fully open drawers. Add large and beautiful open shelves. It is trendy and useful to store dishes, beautiful containers filled with pasta, rice, cookies....

6. Maximize corners by adding adapted interior mechanisms.

7. Use small wasted spaces by installing narrow bottle and spice-rack-style compartments.

8. Add a kitchen island. It can accommodate lots of storage and replace the dinette.

Source : Les idées de ma maison Author : Emmanuelle Mozayan-Verschaeve