The Buffalo BurrowPlanning our Cabinet Layout December 19, 2019 This is a sponsored post by Lowe’s Home Improvement. All opinions are 100% my own. With each kitchen we’ve designed, I always get the most questions about planning out the kitchen cabinets. It can be so hard to decide where to do drawers, shelves, what sizes, etc. And it’s really hard to plan it all out so that it first fits well in your space, but also gives you a place for all the things! When I’m designing a kitchen, the function piece is equally as important as the design choices. But for some reason, planning out the function is harder for me than choosing the colors and finishes. What I started doing several houses ago was to first nail down the major design themes. Then, as I started planning out the physical layout, I did a couple of steps. 1.) First, I write a list of all the categories of things I need a place for down to dish towels and spatulas. 2.) Then, I measure the space and lay out the appliances first. Once those main pieces are laid out, you can see what’s left for cabinets. I love for my stove and sink to be centered on walls, if possible, because I love the focal point that creates. I do a not-to-scale, imperfect sketch just to visualize the area. 3.) Decide where your list of categories fit best. I number my list of categories and then take a look at my sketch and pencil in numbers. Where do I want the pots and pans? Where do I want baking sheets? I do that for every single category! This makes it much easier for me to then choose drawers vs. shelves, etc. because I have certain ways I like to store each thing. 4.) Finalize layout. Once I’ve decided where things are going, if I need drawers or doors and I know the sizes, I’m ready to nail down the final cabinet layout! I think regardless of who is designing or planning your kitchen, it’s a really good idea to at least think through what you want to store where and how. You’re going to be the one cooking in the kitchen not your cabinet maker or designer! But once you have a broad idea of how you’d like it to function, enlisting a professional’s help can be really helpful. This was the easiest kitchen we’ve designed by far because of getting a cabinet expert’s help at Lowe’s like I talked about in yesterday’s post. He took my list of what I thought we wanted and made it all work. He also made so many suggestions that were a lot better than what I’d planned! Planning out these cabinets was really a joint effort and I’m so glad we went this direction. Going with the Diamond Intrigue line was so helpful with the design not just because of the color and paint finish we chose, but also because of the option for more custom sizes. Going with all stock options would’ve caused us to use a lot of spacers, which would’ve made it “fit” technically, but would’ve wasted so much space. And this kitchen isn’t huge! Going with custom sizes allows us to really maximize the storage space. I also love that there are so many storage options like lazy susans, trash pull-outs, etc. like you’ll see in our plan below. Here is the cabinet layout and where I’m planning to store our things: 1.) 30″ 3-DRAWER CABINET: the shallow top drawer will house spices. The deeper middle and bottom drawers will hold all of our pots, pans and lids. For two kitchens now, we’ve stored our pots and pans in deep pull-out drawers vs. inside a door on shelves and it’s awesome! I love sliding out the drawer and there they all are. 2.) 12″ TOP DRAWER WITH CABINET BELOW: This small top drawer will be for hot pads etc. that we want handy right by the stove. We’ll slide all of our baking sheets into the cabinet underneath. 3.) 12″ 3-DRAWER: The top drawer will hold some cooking utensils. I love for most of ours to be out in a crock by the stove, but there are extras that will go here. The bottom drawers can hold things like cheese graters and other small appliances we want handy by the stove. 4.) CORNER CABINET WITH LAZY SUSAN: I love the function of these! And I love storing all kinds of things here. What I’ve done in the past that I’ll do again here is the top rack of the lazy susan will be for glasses we don’t want out on the shelves: smoothie cups, random mugs, etc. The bottom rack will be for the crockpot, extra mixing bowls, etc. 5.) 21″ TRASH PULL-OUT: We’ve had this in the past and weren’t able to fit it into our current kitchen and we missed it! I love having a trash pull out that you can leave open when cooking and then it slides right back in. 6.) 36″ UNDER FARMHOUSE SINK: The farmhouse sink will sit on a cabinet with two doors. This is a great spot to store our stock of extra things: cleaning supplies, paper towels, etc. I also store my vases for flowers that aren’t out and displayed here. 7.) 33″ 4-DRAWER CABINET: This cabinet is right by the dishwasher, so the upper shallow drawer will be for silverware. In the lower drawers, we’ll have a kids’ drawer with dishes and things they need accessible to get out and put away themselves. We’ll also have our Tupperware drawer here. 8.) OVER-FRIDGE CABINET: We’ll have a cabinet going around our refrigerator that will have two doors above it. We’ll need a stool to access this area, so we’ll store things here we don’t need down as often: think Christmas dishes we’ll pull down once a year and then put up. 9.) 24″ BASE CABINET WITH OPEN SHELVING ABOVE: I really wanted a dry pantry somewhere in this kitchen. This is a spot where most of our dry goods are in labeled jars and really accessible. I thought about finding an awesome old piece of furniture for this, but we didn’t have the width. So, instead, we’re going with a base cabinet with doors that will hold baking dishes, pie pans, cake pans, etc. Then the upper three shelves will hold all of our labeled jars ready for use! We’ll put the things we use the most on the lowest shelf and so on. Have y’all seen examples of this? I’m obsessed with the collected feel of it, but even more than that, I absolutely love the function of it. We have some jars of flour and sugars here in our baking area and it gets so much use. I’m going to move a lot of our food into this storage area and the pantry in the butler’s pantry pass-through will house cans and other food. Raw Amanda Think loose leaf tea, flours, sugars, rice, dried beans, spices, nuts, popcorn…it’s a long list. About half of our food or more will be stored this way. My plan is to buy bigger stock of these things we use a lot and then re-fill the jar. Buying in bulk saves so much money. Then I’ll keep a running list of what we’re low on and re-stock the dry pantry goods once a month. In addition to these base cabinets around the room, we’ll have the two upper built-in cabinets on either side of the stove. Ignore the base cabinets in the sketch above. I did this sketch early on and our base cabinets have since changed. These cabinets are 30″ wide, but are 6′ tall. Yes, 6 feet! They’ll go from counter to ceiling. So we’ll have a lot of storage in these! Obviously, it is all open storage, but for us, that goes a long way! Remember the quote from our kitchen inspiration post: So much of our goods are functional, but also beautiful! We’ve been gradually making the switch to that mindset and I’m excited to store things on the built-in shelves and pegs that are not just pretty, but that also get a ton of use. Everything has to have a purpose for it to take up space. It either needs a strong function (meaning we use it often), or it is so beautiful and meaningful that it just sparks all the joy when I see it. And best of both worlds, items that do both of those things! On the shelves, you’ll find all of our dishes, glasses, jars, candles, cookbooks, crocks and mixing bowls, etc. Here are a few “shelfies” that I’m really inspired by for our kitchen shelves. 1 | 2 | 3 On the pegs, we’ll store small pots and pans, oven mitts, dishtowels, tea strainers, candles in wicks, colanders, trivets, the list goes on and on! Here are a few peg situations that are making me extra happy. 1 | 2 | 3 Can you guys envision it? I think this is going to be the most beautiful kitchen we’ve designed, but also by far the most functional! All of these gorgeous textural, but useful treasures against my Escape Gray? And framed with that beautiful blue and white tile? I can’t take it! It’s the stuff of my homemaking dreams. After we’re in and reveal the kitchen, I’m going to do a follow-up post to this one with a video where I walk you through and show you this function I’ve planned in action! I can’t wait to see it all take shape.