Kitchen Storage Improvements: Do This at Home!

Today we’re showing you how to maximize kitchen storage.

But first, a big thank you to everyone that supported our Amara Blog Award nomination as the Best DIY & Home Improvement Blog! Birdz of a Feather has been shortlisted!!

Our Improved Forever Kitchen

With any kitchen reno, there are some ‘must haves’ if you plan to stay long term – but storage is a biggie! In our last post, our kitchen was renovated with the intent of putting our house on the market. After deciding to stay, and living with the kitchen for a while, we got to work changing a few things to make it more liveable for us. Our kitchen is fairly small so storage is key.  Our improved ‘forever’ kitchen was accomplished with three key features: better storage (pullouts and pot drawers), electrical placement and lighting. Electrical placement and lighting will be covered in a future post.

Maximize Kitchen Storage with Pullouts and Pot Drawers

Pullouts

Standard cabinets with doors are fine for reselling a house, but are not great when you have a lot of stuff to store. Who wants to kneel down and dig around a cupboard that’s so low to the ground? Not us! It’s hard to reach items in the back and a nuisance to move all the things that are stacked on top of the one thing you really need! Pullout shelves not only help organize kitchen items behind closed doors, but put everything within reach!

Since we weren’t sure if we were going to like pullouts as much as the pot drawers we had in our pre-reno kitchen, we only purchased enough to do a test run on the set of cabinets beside the dishwasher (and for the pantry).

Here is one of the pullouts; they’re pretty shallow.

Install Glides

We removed the shelves and installed these drawer glides.

The part circled below fits into a hole in the back of the pullout:

Here’s a closeup of the back of the pullout where it connects:

To install the pullout, the glides get fully extended, then the back goes in first.

The front of the glides then snap into the clips on the underside of the pullout (shown below):

Ensure that the front is properly connected by trying to lift the front. If it stays put, you’re good to go!

Then you can start loading things in.

Verdict on the Pullouts

After testing out the pullouts for a while, we decided that we weren’t fond of using them in the lower cabinets. Things kept getting knocked over because they were too shallow. We also didn’t like having to open things twice: the doors and then the pull-outs. We made the decision to replace the doors on the next set of lower cabinets with pot drawers instead, as you’ll see later.

Having said that, the one place we absolutely loved using pullouts was in the pantry.

The Pantry

Like the first set of lower cabinets, we switched out the shelves for pull-outs. To install them, you have to plan ahead by gathering the items you want to store in the pantry. That’s so you’ll know exactly where to set the height of each pullout. We started by installing the bottom one and placing the items into it, leaving adequate space above the tallest item and marking the approximate height of the next one.

Now, perhaps there’s another way, but I developed a great little trick for installing the rest of the glides. For the next pullout, I inserted shelf pins closest to the height marked and temporarily reinstalled a stationary shelf. Since the shelf was level, I rested the glide hardware right on top of it while I marked the placement so we could drill (shown below). Easy peasy!

We continued in the same fashion until we reached the uppermost pullout.

The pullouts didn’t necessarily give us more storage space, but it sure was a convenience to be able to slide a shelf out to get to our canned goods and appliances at the very back! We would absolutely recommend pullouts for a pantry!

Pot Drawers

For the rest of the lower cabinets, we removed the doors and shelves. Then we installed two pot drawers in each section for a total of four new drawers.

With all the practice on the pullouts, the pot drawers were just as easy to install. They’re really just a deeper box with a drawer face on the front!

Coordinate the Hardware

We replaced the door knobs that were on the old doors with the matching cup handles that were already on the upper drawers. We debated about whether to centre the handles on the drawer additions, but ultimately decided to position them near the top.

The large, deep pot drawers we swapped out are just the ticket for storing pots and pans!

Finally Tons of Storage – Yay!

In the two wide drawers, we were able to store Hubs’ entire collection of Paderno cookware.

And no kitchen would be without a variety of non-stick pots and pans. Can you imagine what a mess this would be if we had to stack ALL OF THIS into a cupboard?

The pot drawers we added to the narrower bank of cupboards are great for storing glassware and a few other utensils.

You really can’t beat pot drawers for being able to easily retrieve items.

Inside the Drawers

Shallow drawers are perfect for storing spices. Don’t forget about drawer organizers for inside the drawers! Although our spice drawer already had an Ikea insert, it still looked disorganized (it suffered from ‘square peg/round hole’ syndrome).

In contrast, I designed and printed spice labels then transferred our spices to the same-sized round jars (again, from Ikea) which made a big difference. The lack of visual clutter really helps and keeps all our spices at our fingertips!

The Transformation

The next three photos will show the transition from before to during and finally after. Sadly, here’s how our kitchen looked before:

Here is the kitchen as were were about to get started on the pot drawers:

Overall, the upgraded kitchen is not only beautiful, but it’s super functional because of the addition of practical storage in the form of pullouts and pot drawers!

Even we didn’t expect the plot twist at the end of our last post – when we decided to stay after our kitchen was specifically renovated to put it on the market. The improvements we made helped solidify our decision to stay!

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Amara Blog Awards – Voting to End Soon!!

Time flies at Birdz of a Feather when you’ve been nominated for an Amara Blog Award! I can’t believe there’s less than 1 day left to vote! Voting ends tomorrow at 12:00 noon BST – that’s 7:00 am eastern standard time! UPDATE: VOTING IS NOW CLOSED.

In progress!! These stripes to be unleashed soon on Birdz of a Feather.

Until we unveil these stripes on our blog, please spare a few minutes to vote for us and also our fellow nominees, The Navage Patch, here:

http://bit.ly/Vote4BirdzofaFeather
http://bit.ly/Vote4TheNavagePatch

Amara Interior Blog Awards are giving away a Leica camera to one lucky voter. Vote to be entered into the giveaway!

Sincere thanks to those who have already voted for us!!

Kitchen Renovation to Sell a Home

Without a doubt, kitchens and bathrooms sell houses so when we were thinking of selling our house a kitchen renovation was a must! Unfortunately, the previous owner of our house didn’t think that way. Below is the actual real estate picture of how the kitchen looked before I bought the house!

The kitchen sported the original 80’s builder cabinets with some improvisation on the part of the previous owner. For instance, see that cabinet holding the toaster oven? It looked like something that had been dragged in from the curb. Not that there’s anything wrong with upcyling (it’s what Birdz of a Feather thrive on!), but it didn’t even have a proper countertop – just a grungy piece of painted plywood.

The counter space was about the size of a postage stamp (between the sink and stove and beside the fridge). It was hardly a kitchen you’d enjoy cooking in!

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Vintage Ink Stamp Holder Upcycle

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with that one last bloom from the garden as Fall sets in, grab an ink stamp holder the next time you’re out hunting for those vintage treasures. I can promise this will be the fastest, easiest and cutest 5 minute project you’ll ever do!

We were on the way back from a rare Saturday appointment when we stopped in at our favourite antique market much later than we would usually go. When you snooze you lose, but in this instance the timing was perfect because we probably would have overlooked this piece had we gotten there earlier!

I didn’t know what I was going to do with the ink stamp stand until about 2 seconds after I purchased it. Inspiration didn’t take long to hit!

Upcycle a vintage stamp holder into a one-of-a-kind DIY centrepiece!  Stamp holder | |centerpieces DIY | stamp holder vintage | stamp holder repurpose | stamp holder ideas | stamp holder antiques | stamp holder decor | stamp holder vintage retro | stamp carousel |stamp carousel vintage | Vintage Standard Rubber Stamp Holder | vintage rubber stamp holder | antique rubber stamp holder | Birdz of a Feather | birdzofafeather.ca #inkstamp #inkstampholder #stampcarousel #centerpieces #centerpiecesdiy

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Guitar Planter

With the weather transitioning, our guitar planter can be displayed outdoors while the weather is still nice and then brought inside to enjoy until next Spring! We first saw a guitar planter in 2012 while vacationing in Florida when we visited the botanical gardens in Naples. It was like any traditional botanical garden until we came upon a stunning vignette in the Smith Children’s Garden. It featured planters made of items from garage sales, thrift stores and donations to show that expensive flower pots and a lot of space is not needed to have a garden.

This was very much up our alley: repurposing items into planters to save them from going to a landfill! The guitar planter left a lasting impression on both of us. Thinking back, it’s probably where my adoration for succulents started to turn into more of an obsession!

Roadside Rescue

Recently Hubs came across this abandoned guitar. He’s the best ‘Partner in Grime’ a girl could ever ask for: always bringing me other people’s discarded items!

This guitar was beyond saving as an instrument but absolutely perfect to use as our first victim (I intend to make another one after working out some of the kinks on this one).

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Retro Filing Cabinet Makeover

In a previous iteration of this retro filing cabinet, I had fun turning it into a planter. There’s nothing I won’t turn into a planter, as our phone booth and bathroom light fixture planter projects will attest. Today’s post is a quick one to show you how Hubs made over the filing cabinet for his mancave.

Retro Filing Cabinet Find

We often upcycle roadside rescues, but It’s amazing what you can find left behind inside a rented or newly purchased house. My brother-in-law used to sublet parts of his house and over the years many people came and went…. and abandoned their stuff in various rooms. When he finally moved out of the house himself, he wanted to leave a clean slate which meant completely clearing it of years of accumulation from past renters. Hubs jumped at the opportunity to reclaim this old filing cabinet before it would have hit the curb on moving day. He didn’t know at the time where we’d ever have room for it but he grabbed it anyway.

Filing Cabinet_before_bof.jpg

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Teak Chairs: the Makeunder

We thought these teak chairs were beautiful as they were so instead of making them over, we gave them a ‘makeunder’!

You know, the funny thing about DIY projects is that they somehow beget another one – often right on the heels of the project you’re working on. After Hubs banished me from the house while he was stripping our staircase, I took a walk around the neighbourhood and stumbled on these teak beauties in the GARBAGE!

Stairs and Stripping 031_bof.jpg

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Window Dressing Dilemma

Have you ever had a window dressing dilemma? We’ve had several – and all with the same window! This is how the window coverings looked in the bay window at the back of the house when I first moved in; tattered and worn. The house needed so much work that window dressings fell to the bottom of the priority list.

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Retro Bathroom Scale Makeovers – Step It Up!

Hubs had a thing for vintage metal pieces even before he met me, so when he came across a vintage display holder for a retro bathroom scale he stepped right up and bought it. I’m a Star Trek fan, so I instantly loved the ‘Borg’ reference! Once we were married and started frequenting antique markets together, we kept coming across scales. It wasn’t long before he found a Borg scale to accessorize it at our favourite antique market in Aberfoyle!

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Birdz of a Feather News

Birdz of a Feather is all aflutter! We’re excited to share that we’ve been nominated for an Amara Award in the Best DIY & Home Improvement (International) category. Voting opens today (August 15th) at 5:00 am and goes until September 19th.

Amara Interior Blog Awards are giving away a Leica camera to one lucky voter. Show us some ❤ and vote for Birdz of a Feather to be entered into the giveaway! Your vote will help get us to the shortlist 🙂 1 2

Birdz of a Feather nominated for Amara award!

We’ll resume our usual blogging schedule as soon as we’ve flown down from cloud nine. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this little tease:

Up ahead is a makeover of this curbside find. Think about how we might upcycle it, then stay tuned to see if you were right! All I’ll divulge now is that you’ve likely never seen a tutorial for it 🙂

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Front Paver Walkway Makeover

I had yet to install a paver walkway, despite owning and renovating two houses before this one. Hubs came into the picture shortly after I bought this house so it was great timing for me; maybe not so much for him! Faced with rows of underwhelming builder slabs that the previous owner lived with for over 20 years, the perfect opportunity presented itself for both of us to learn a new skillset!

Here’s an idea of how the walkway looked before (but you’ll have to imagine it without the pond because we installed that ourselves)!

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