Many of the most popular kitchen photos of 2015 once again were storage-centric. Some trends from the most popular storage solutions of 2014 and 2013 — wine bar cabinets, pullouts and integrated cabinet spice racks, for example — still reigned. Meanwhile, smart solutions like handy areas for small appliances, extra counter space that can be tucked away and built-in charging stations continued to evolve, leaving homeowners with more workspace and less clutter. As a bonus, the storage solutions added big style points to these great kitchens.
Island paint color: Split Pea, Benjamin Moore; flooring: walnut planks in Delphine, EuroCraftsman Collection, Richard Marshall Custom Designed Flooring
Pricey personal electronics, the wires and plugs they need, and countertop workspace are a terrible mix. No one wants to splash a smartphone with water or get flour on an iPad. They also add clutter and hog outlets. Despite these problems, the kitchen often winds up being the spot where we want to charge our devices.In this busy family’s kitchen, interior designer Harmony Weihs incorporated a rolling cabinet with outlets integrated into the drawers for charging phones, tablets and laptops. The butcher block top adds an extra work surface, and the casters mean the family can move it to another room if they wish or take it with them if they move.
Learn more about this custom charging station
Pantries with barn doors. These clever doors provide a charming architectural element and prevent swinging ones from intruding into the kitchen or a small pantry. In this example, the hefty door pull and pull plate match the scale of the track hardware, and the paint color contrasts nicely with the kitchen.
Wall color: Silver Fox, Valspar; door hardware kit: Real Sliding Hardware; brass Wilshire pull and brass Knoxville pull plate: Emtek
Note that barn doors aren’t just for walk-in pantries. In this room, twin doors add texture and a spot for chalkboards at one end of the kitchen. Baker’s racks are a clean commercial kitchen detail.
Barn doors: custom, Etsy seller RusticLuxeBoutique; door hardware: Etsy seller NWArtisanHardware; wall color: Gray Owl, Benjamin Moore
Wine cabinets. Wineglass and bottle racks are great and handy space-savers, but they can leave you having to dust everything before a party. By organizing them behind cabinet doors, everything stays neat and clean.
Wine cabinet: Mission collection with Stone finish, Shenandoah Cabinetry, Lowe’s; countertops: Lyra, Silestone
Cabinets that extend to the ceiling. You may not ever make it up there, and if so, trust me, the area between the tops of your upper cabinets and the ceiling is probably the dirtiest, dustiest spot in your home. Extending cabinets all the way to the ceiling is cleaner and offers extra storage space.
These upper-uppers are usually an additional row atop the upper cabinets, which have more pleasing proportions than super tall upper cabinets would. They also provide an opportunity to put glass-fronted cabinets up top for displaying items and a lighter look.
Island: Downsview in Downsview Blue, Astro Design Centre; island countertops: Caesarstone and solid walnut
Pullout shelves large enough to stash small appliances. Cleared-off counters free up workspace and present a pleasing uncluttered look. But having to bend down and dig around messy lower cabinets makes storing appliances there not worth the hassle. Solutions like this are starting to overtake appliance garages, a favorite from last year.
As Houzz contributor Sam Ferris pointed out, a system like this where heavy items can be accessible at a back-friendly height is good for an aging-in-place strategy. The chalkboard labels are an especially useful detail in this design.
Chalkboard labels (similar): The Container Store
Hardworking tall pantry cabinets. Those of us without the luxury of a walk-in pantry need to make the most of the kitchen space we do have. By outfitting pantry cabinets with smart storage, there’s room for food, small appliances, even table linens. Painting the pantry cabinet a different color from the rest of the cabinetry gives it more of a freestanding furniture look. If you prefer a piece that stands out even further, consider using different hardware from what you have in the rest of the kitchen.
Cabinet color: Leadenhall, No. 118, Mylands; cabinetry: Smallbone of Devizes
Cabinet-mounted spice racks. Also a favorite last year, these organizers allow easy access to your herbs and spices, yet keep them hidden and out of the sunlight. Another popular 2015 storage move seen in this photo is a tucked-away microwave. Designers report that homeowners are opting to put microwaves in pantries, specialty cabinets or drawers.
Hardware: Longford; colorful storage jars: Orla Kiely
Specialized narrow pullout cabinets. It’s inconvenient to have to reach for utensils jumbled in drawers or for oils buried deep in a pantry. These skinny units take advantage of the cabinetry’s depth and make items easy to locate.
Cabinets: custom; hardware: Restoration Hardware; utensil containers (similar): Bain Marie pots
Open storage components in the island. Cookbooks and wine bottles have found their way to into kitchen islands, and Houzzers liked seeing them there. Another favorite move for oenophiles was to tuck a wine refrigerator next to the bottle racks in the island.
Cabinetry with room for dogs. Most dogs love to hang out wherever you are, so why not give them their own spot in the kitchen where they won’t constantly be underfoot?
Dedicated “all things pet” drawers are a smart move in this area too. Food, leashes, toys and other supplies corralled in one space make them a cinch to find.
Utensil rods. The simple bar-and-hook system keeps everything you need to stir, whisk and scoop right at hand. It’s a great way to utilize wall space in a tight kitchen.
Range: CDA Appliances