Tuesday, February 12, 2013

kitchen drawers- the island



It's another beautiful "snow day" here in New Hampshire and that means I'm in the kitchen!
Awhile back my sweet, beautiful niece, Jenny, told me that she liked to imagine she was visiting us at the farmhouse and we were sitting in the kitchen having a glass of wine, talking about cooking and...
 looking in my kitchen drawers!!!
I figure if Jenny wants to look inside my kitchen drawers, then there are probably some of you who want to too!

[By the way.... If you live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and are thinking of putting in a swimming pool Jenny and her husband build pools- both residential and commercial gunite swimming pools.  They offer new construction, remodels, replasters, pool maintenance and consultation.   If you're in the area and the market, drop me a note and I'll send you their info!]





We got around 24-inches of snow during the blizzard last weekend!  We went from having no snow on the ground to 24"!




Years ago, well before we even thought of moving, I came across a kitchen that used all drawers instead of lower-cabinets.  I thought the idea was brilliant and functional and saved the magazine article for inspiration (remember the old days when you had to literally tear something out of a magazine instead of "pinning" it?!!! ;)  When designing this kitchen I incorporated all-drawers (well, almost "all") into the plan.  I couldn't be more happy with them and highly recommend them if you are designing or renovating a kitchen.

Since I have a lot of drawers I think it is best to break this topic up into a couple of posts.  I'll start with the island drawers.  

The marble top island is where most of the food prep takes place, so items inside these drawers are geared towards ease and convenience in cooking.  The island measures a little over 3 x 7 feet.  To keep from having to continually run around to get something in a drawer on the other side I have strategically placed duplicate items in drawers on both sides of the island.  It's a simple thing, but one that makes cooking more enjoyable.



The following are the drawers directly across from the sink.
I love to open a kitchen drawer and find "pretty"!  These little woven baskets ($5 each from Walmart) are the perfect holders for utensils.
One of my favorite kitchen tips is in the lower right hand corner- individual measuring spoons.  I bought several sets of measuring spoons,  took them off the ring they come on and can now pull the right sized individual spoon out for whatever I need instead of having to fold the spoons I'm not using back and then wash them all when I've only used one! When making a recipe I pull the appropriate spoon for an ingredient in a recipe and the ingredient itself and set them side by side.  Do you mise en plas?!



Next down is my "savory" herb and spice drawer.  The white polymer tiered-shelf drawer organizer
was cut to fit the drawer.



Below it are baking spices and ingredients, plus bulk bags purchased from Penzeys- I love Penzeys!



Flanking the ends of the other side of the island is the wine refrigerator and a cabinet for large items like my sheet pans, wire racks, cutting boards etc.  The refrigerator and the cabinet left a very small space to be accessed from this side.  I had the cabinet maker make shallow drawers so as not to waste any space.  I keep my papers and plastic wrap in one....



and measuring cups in another.



Below the measuring cups I store Ziploc and paper bags.



The following drawers are on the range side of the island.  As I mentioned, I store an extra set of measuring cups, spoons, scissors and a timer on this side so I don't have to keep running around the island to find items.  This drawer is right next to the wine refrigerator (right side of photograph) and is the wine opening station!



Love this drawer as it holds all things baking!  Oh, and my immersion hand blender- if you don't have one you need one, trust me!  It's a kitchen favorite this time of year when making soups.



This drawer is another favorite, holding my Cuisinart food processor, KitchenAid 9-speed hand mixer, and my chef's torch for making Dan's favorite crème brûlée!



I know it's not a "drawer," but I thought "Jenny" would want to see where I keep my sheet pans and cutting boards! :)


Hope you liked the Jenny-inspired post!

For more drawer organization and storage:
To see the drawers on the sink side click HERE
To see the drawers on the range side click HERE


84 comments:

  1. I remember you mentioning your use of all drawers when you took us on a tour of your kitchen. We renovated our own kitchen last summer, and I chose to include almost all drawers as well - I have one cabinet under the cooktop, which is in our island. I love having all the drawers, and it's so much easier to pull things out!

    Also - immersion blender is on my wish list. My birthday is next month!

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  2. Those countertops are just beautiful!

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  3. Joan, I love your blog and everyone of your posts. I smile every time I see a new post before I even read it. Thanks. Question, do you have a paints I use post? I like the paint colour in your kitchen.
    Angela

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    1. hi Angela- You can find them all on my sidebar, click on "my paints and stain colors"!

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  4. I have to laugh when I read this post! About 5 years ago when we redid our kitchen the builder suggested we put drawers in place of the bottom cabinets. I initially resisted the idea but he talked me into it, saying I would love them. I'm so glad he did because I do absolutely LOVE them now! I can't imagine my kitchen without them. I only wish I had room to have about six more of them!!!

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  5. Well, you were right...peeking into your drawers (gee, that sounds funny)was fun! I too keep duplicate measures and spoons in the baking counter area and the sink area. You really do need them in both places. Your kitchen is lovely. A few years ago I was able to design my kitchen the way I cook and bake...feeling very fortunate.

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  6. My kitchen drawers are organized the same way, except that I don't have spice drawers. My new kitchen will have them. How deep are yours? I like what you have done with the Penzey's plastic bags. I'm lucky to have a Penzey's about a half mile away. I like the multiple sets of measuring spoons. Mine are unlinked too. Is there anything you would do differently if you had to redesign your kitchen now that you have been in it for a while?

    Love that you're posting again!

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    1. The drawers are 14-3/4" deep. Lucky you to have a Penzeys so close! Mine is about 40 minutes away:(
      I've been asked that question before, and honestly I can't think of a thing I would have designed differently. I've been very happy with the way it looks and cooks!

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  7. Joan!! Perfect timing! I love gleaning from you. Thank you for sharing all of your kitchen. Love it! I'm so nervous right now... Making decisions! Already called the framer this morning to have him move the window 12 inches for more symmetry inside. Stay warm and enjoy your cozy farmhouse! Cheers! Emily

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    1. P.S. I went to Walmart yesterday and it seems they do not carry those darling size baskets anymore. Can you tell me what size they are?

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    2. Emily- look in the "bath" section- not towels, but things like towel holders. I had forgotten they were in a strange place until this comment;) The store I go to has them near the hardware/paint section. Let me know if you find them!

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  8. I love my drawers too! My favorite is the deep drawer for all my casserole dishes and vegetable serving bowls. A friend recommended never putting in cabinets with pull-out shelves -- it makes for two motions every time you need something AND you lose shelf space on the sides.

    I was surprised to see the neighboring house in the shot from your front door. I always thought you have uninterrupted views in all directions!

    Great idea to take the measuring spoons off the ring!

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    1. Unfortunately no;) We do have neighbors. I'm surprised you haven't noticed it before- it appears in lots of photos around the house. The neighbors house dates to the late 1600's and was part of a very large estate, owning all the land around us at one time. Our house faces the large antique home and not the road, and our maples that line our drive continue through that property so it is assumed that our house was part of that estate- perhaps the Overseers house.

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  9. I loved this post. I've always thought you could post about every drawer, shelf, cabinet, table, etc and want was inside or on top. Your home is so full of beautiful things with lots of stories. I love hearing about them always. I've wondered about something in your kitchen that I've not seen close enough. It is hanging on the wall between the two doorways to the right of your table. I've always wondered what it is? I just love it when you post !!!
    Best regards, Wenda

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    1. hi Wenda- that is an old clock face. It doesn't work or even have hands, but I love the patina on it!

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  10. A gorgeous kitchen !! Good luck with all the snow !!! Have a great day

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  11. Great post, thanks Jenny :) Makes we want to organize my own kitchen drawers! Hope you are having a wonderful day. -Al

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  12. Aunt Joanie!

    I loved your post and so glad I finally got to see inside your kitchen drawers! You are so organized and your right, the inside of the drawers are PRETTY! Now I just need come visit so we can have that glass of wine! :)

    Lots of Love,

    Your Niece Jenny

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  13. Hello Joan, You have much more self-control than I. If I had all those nice drawers, they would be crammed full in no time. My kitchen in Taiwan has no drawers at all, and very few cabinets, as both are inadvisable in this climate. Instead, I keep everything on open shelves, where I can keep an eye on it, and incidentally things are pretty handy. (I actually first did this when I lived in a pre-Civil War house in New Haven, which had lots of pantries but no kitchen cabinets.)

    Bye the way, Happy Chinese New Year.
    --Road to Parnassus

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  14. Love this post and will store *drawers* in my memory bank!!!

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  15. Joan,
    I love posts like this...it always inspires me to organize my kitchen! We remodeled our kitchen in 2003 and my friend / kitchen designer urged drawers instead of lower cabinets. I love them, it is so much easier to find things, including our pots and pans. Great post, can't wait to see the rest.
    xo,
    Karen

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  16. A very organised kitchen Joan......a girl after my own heart! Lovely design. Stay warm with the snow!

    Sophia

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  17. I should have known. I even love the way your drawers are done! I'm so glad Jenny gave you the idea for this post. And glad that y'all weathered the blizzard. I'll bet Ella is loving romping in all that snow!

    BethA

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  18. I thought about you when I was watching the news coverage of the snow storm. ;) It's beautiful and I'm sure you are staying warm and cozy in your hearth room (which I am still looking forward to seeing.) ;) Love seeing how organized your drawers are! It encourages me to keep mine cleaned out and organized. You mentioned "pinning", do you have a Pinterest account? If so, I would love to look at what lovelies you have been pinning. :)

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    1. Thank you for thinking of us Gina! I don't have a Pinterest account. I cheat and just look at a handful of people who I like their style/pins! Honestly it seems like a lot of work and time;)

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  19. Love this -- the measuring spoon tip is what I've done for all of my married life and when I cook in someone else's kitchen who doesn't do this I can hardly resist the urge to strongly advise them to get those spoons off that ring!

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  20. Sweet! Off to buy utensil baskets, STAT!!! ;)

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  21. When I saw on your IG you have a new post my thought was to wait for a quiet moment with a cup of tea and enjoy your calming and beautiful post. BUT, alas I just opening your blog and gobbled it up! Lovely post! ♥ Tina

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  22. drawers are the new cabinets! In my next kitchen I am going to remember this!

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  23. This is a great post--I am in the midst of kitchen design and would not have thought of using so many drawers had I not seen this. Thank you!
    P.S.--I share you love of Penzeys!! When I was deployed overseas I used to have them ship in all my spices.

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  24. I have a small kitchen and not much space for many drawers, but the best thing I did in my kitchen redesign was a deep drawer for all the plastic food containers (aka "tupperware"). It has saved my sanity!

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  25. Well, you know how much I love your kitchen, Joan - so this post was particularly inspiring. I can't imagine opening up my kitchen cabinets to share the goods within, namely because it's more of an archeological dig than a game of show and tell. Our kitchen cabinets are useless, with two shallow drawers to hold a mountain of supplies, and 4 crockery pots on the counter to collect the rest. Not to mention the knife blocks. So I completely agree that drawers are the way to go ... thanks for letting us take a peek in yours ...

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  26. Deep drawers are such a good idea. Have filed away to the kitchen re-do file.

    best,
    teaorwine

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  27. Thanks for the peek inside your organized drawers! I too have three drawers in my kitchen that I use for my pots, pans and stoneware. I love 'em. The rest of my lowers have pull-outs which is a really nice option too. When designing our kitchen I knew I wanted cabinets that were not just pretty but super functional too! (I hated having those upper cabinet corner cabinets that stuff would get lost in!) Looking forward to more organizational inspiration:)

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  28. I'm with Jenny, I want to be sitting in your kitchen, having a glass of wine, talking about cooking and admiring your beautiful kitchen.

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  29. Your island is both beautiful and functional! I am curious as to how that stunning marble counter is holding up to everday use?? I love marble counters but am still hesitant to take the plunge. Would you be so kind to share your experience with it? Thanks!

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    1. Anon- I am actually working on a post about marble and hope to have it up in the near future!

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  30. What a fun post! Drawers make so much more sense than lower cabinets where everything gets lost in the recesses. Thanks for sharing, Joan!
    xo Heidi

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  31. Very much loved this post. So great to gather new ideas....and your ideas are FABULOUS!!! Enjoy your lovely snow and beautiful kitchen!!
    Blessings~~Shine

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  32. just lovely joan. i knew they'd be gorgeous. how could they not be?
    i adore your island too. i adore your whole house. xo

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  33. When we moved here we didn't have any choice in the kitchen design BUT there are pull out shelves in ALL the base cabinets so that makes them so much better. I would LOVE to have drawers, for sure but that isn't an option. I have founfd this litchen to be very functional and I have it arranged for the best for us. This gave me an idea for a post. Would you mind if I share some "kithen ideas"??? We LOOOVE our immersion blender, and use it all the time for soups. It gets a real workout in winter!!! We are making split pea soup tomorrow. Yvonne, (from Stone Gable) and another friend are coming for lunch on Thursday!!!!!!!!! Have a great week, Joan. XO, Pinky

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    1. oh gosh, of course not Pinky. I think we all borrow ideas from one another;) Have a wonderful lunch- sounds like fun!

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  34. I cant even tell you how green with envy I am right now! My rental kitchen has great cabinet space, I'm not going to complain about that. When when it comes to drawers I have 1. 1 small, little drawer to keep all of my flatware, measuring cups, spoons, serving pieces etc. Its TORTURE I tell you.

    I cant WAIT for the day when I can design my own kitchen and I have a million drawers to play with!

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  35. I loved having a peek into your drawers as I love new ideas for organization. You really have such a nice arrangement and I love your tip on the measuring spoons. How often I have had to wash the whole bunch when I switch from measuring something wet to dry. I am picking up a few more sets...and some of those nice little basket organizers from Walmart!

    I'm on the lookout for an immersion blender and wonder what you use. Can you shoot me an email?

    XO,
    Jane

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    1. hi Jane- if you click on the highlighted words "immersion hand blender" in the post it will take you to the exact blender I have!

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  36. In my newly renovated kitchen, I chose virtually all drawers for the lower cabinets. I had them in my last kitchen too. They work well for dishes -- especially if you are short like me -- you don't have to lift these heavy items over your head from a shelf. They are great for pots and pans because of easy access. I have one lower cabinet with a door which is actually a pull out for my garbage can, one cabinet that has an appliance lift in it for my heavy Kitchen Aid mixer and two corner cabinets with shelves that pull completely out of the cabinets so there is total access to the dead corners. Other than that, drawers are the way to go. Now I am off to unlink my measuring spoons.
    XO, Victoria

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  37. Great post! I love drawers too, it is so much easier to access different things. You've given me some great organizational ideas! Can't wait to see more! ;)

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  38. Yes, I loved it! Thanks, Joan.
    Cynthia

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  39. Beautiful powder! Y'all enjoy...especially sweet Ella!

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  40. I love drawers too, most of our lower cabinets are drawers. I also love all that snow you got. I'm a bit jealous!

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  41. We did a kitchen remodel eight years ago installing drawers and pull out cabinets. Three of my grandchildren are weekly visitors and their Tupperware bowls and glasses occupy a third of one drawer. I bake often with my kindergarten granddaughter and the ease of two sets of measuring spoons and cups is ideal.I'm thrilled you're back blogging and sharing your gorgeous home.

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  42. Who would have thought I would be so excited to see drawers - but I was! You're right, why shouldn't the inside be pretty.

    Can't wait to see your post on marble. Can you include your thoughts on soapstone too (or do a separate post)?

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    1. hi Amy! I have a soapstone post in the hopper too;)

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  43. As you know, there will be a new kitchen in my future in the next 3-5 months so I am keeping all of this as reference for the day I need to make things just right . I love the idea of drawers and I also love the open shelves, although I never understand how people keep things that are out on shelves, clean all the time ..
    besos ..

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  44. You are a very good writer Joan, I never would have thought I would have been interested in a post about kitchen drawers but I read every word. LOVED the tip about the measuring spoons. Learn something new every day, who would have thought????? Great post!!!!


    Carolyn/A Southerner's Notebook

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    1. Thank you Carolyn- I am honored to have given such a talented cook a new tip!

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  45. Your kitchen is so beautiful, yet so practical. These are some of the most beautiful drawer insides I've ever seen, not just because of what's in them, but the careful thought on how they are organized. I especially love how your cabinet for sheet pans and such is organized. Great idea!

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  46. Oh your kitchen is awesome and I love the drawers!!!

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  47. I loved my big drawers in Ukraine and if I ever get to design a kitchen, that's what's going in rather than bottom cupboards!!!

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  48. On gosh I need to take the ring off my spoons asap!
    Loved this peek inside your drawers!
    You are perfect!
    XO

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  49. Awesome! Nothing like a well organized functioning kitchen and you seem to have aced it! Then you throw in a beautiful kitchen....and its a winning combination. Love your tip for measuring spoons, smart and clever. Thank you for sharing!

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  50. You knew we wanted to look into your drawers...thank you! I so want to redesign our kitchen with drawers, husband built the cabinets back in the 70's, so he's fighting it...but there are a lot of drawers and mine are organized similar to yours. I love the tip about the measuring spoons, I'm going home and take that ring off. Enjoy the snow! I am envious! donna :)

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  51. Joan, Dan, and Ella: Love our snow! When not outside, I've been cleaning cabinets and drawers; unfortunately, they're no where as nice as yours. Penzys Spices is always worth the trip! P.S.: Nieces are the best! Cindy

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  52. Jenny is right....very interesting and worth the tour!!....smiles

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  53. I just love your kitchen and Peeking inside your island is such a pleasure. When I have the chance to remodel a kitchen, I am going to take your advice and use drawers. as of now it is on the list! and who knew about that silly little ring for measuring scoops? I am off to the kitchen to remove it! haha.
    Looking forward to more of your posts!
    Sandy

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  54. Joan... your cupboards are so well organised and full of everything I like to have in the kitchen... It would be a total pleasure to cook and entertain in your wonderful space...
    Have a fabulous week with all that snow... xv

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  55. What a treat to see Penzey's spices and herbs in your well-organized drawers. We have a Penzeys in Raleigh, and I am now addicted to its Vietnamese Cinnamon and Herbes de Provence. Best wishes!

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  56. Your kitchen, and all that fantastic storage space, is my idea of heaven on earth. And I got a little chuckle when I saw the reading glasses in that first drawer pic. I too keep reading-glasses in my kitchen. In fact, I have so many reading glasses strewn about, that my hubby calls me "Fred Sanford" from "Sanford and Son." (I'm telling my age here.)

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  57. A beautiful kitchen! I love the kitchen island and those woven baskets are such a neat way to keep your utensils organized.

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  58. Boy I loved seeing your "drawers" :) I'll be doing a little remodel in my kitchen this summer and will keep your kitchen drawers as a reference. Thanks for sharing.

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  59. I've had my plans drawn for an island about the size of yours for some time now. Ours will be a temporary solution until we can redo the whole kitchen someday down the road, so we haven't been able to have as many drawers as I would like, but I have included an area for baking sheets and cutting boards similar to yours. One drawer will definitely have a space of the immersion blender. The husband is the soup maker in our house and he uses it all the time! Thanks for the tip of duplicates on both sides of the island. With a big island, I can see how that would be very helpful.

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  60. I am collecting ideas for an upcoming kitchen redo, and this is a treasure trove! Thanks -- Reggie

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  61. I think that your kitchen is absolutely beautiful. Did your painter use lacquer on your cabinets? I would like to paint my cabinets but was told I should have them sprayed and use a lacquer. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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    1. hi Tammy- I have had that question asked before and I don't know if its because the painter is trying to "up" the price on the job, but No the cabinets do not have lacquer on them. Lacquers can yellow over time (depending on the product) and unless you are doing a faux treatment I don't know why someone would use a lacquer. I supposed the painter is saying they will be more chip resistant?? My cabinets were spray primed by the cabinet maker for convenience and then hand painted at the house. (Cabinet maker wanted to spray the paint, but I wanted a non-perfect, hand applied feel of seeing brush strokes- not that you really see them, but if you look closely they're there. The sprayed on paint finish looked too contemporary, too perfect and plastic to me.) A good paint doesn't need a lacquer. I used Benjamin Moore's Latex Satin Impervo . This was my first time to use the Latex (as opposed to Oil-based) formula and I can not sing its praises loud enough- it is an excellent product. I haven't had a single chip in the cabinets in almost 4 years now of using the kitchen.
      You're smart to do your homework and not be "told" what to do by tradesmen. It's a mistake I see/hear so many people make and then are disappointed with the end result. Good luck on your project!

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  62. What a great idea about the measuring spoons! I wish my drawers looked like yours!!

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  63. I love the little baskets you use instead of plastic ones. They are so quaint. Going to try and find some myself. Throughmyporchwindow.blogspot.com

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  64. I noticed you do not use shelf/drawer liners. I'm not looking forward to that lining chore when our new house is ready ... do you have a reason for choosing not to use them to protect the wood?

    Thank you for resuming your posts. I try to clear my reader daily but save favorite bloggers' posts for times I can relax and savor them ... you'll note tonight was finally my time to enjoy yours!

    Jane

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    1. hi Jane- Actually I do use drawer liners, they're just clear! I found them at Ikea in the kitchen department. They are plastic and come in a wide roll which worked out well in the drawers. They also come in grey. I tried to find a link for you, but unfortunately came up empty.

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    2. Jane- I'm in good company as Martha likes them too! When trying to find a link for you I found this Kevin Sharkey post....
      http://www.marthastewart.com/274240/home-design-with-kevin-sharkey-order-in#220485
      Find photo #9 where he mentions them. I should have mentioned as he does that these liners are non-adhesive which makes the process that much easier!

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    3. Thank you, Joan, for researching this for me -- a terrific solution!

      Jane

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  65. Hi, I recently discovered your fantastic blog and immediately subscribed. I am so glad you posted about kitchen drawers and that you're happy with them! We are in the process of renovating our kitchen and decided to do all drawers. Only 2 upper cabinets...Been nervously awaiting the installation, now I feel much better :)

    Serena

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