Tim Barber House & Home | Blog | Organizing Your Kitchen | Our Kitchens should be like a Mac, easy to use, intuitive and streamlined. However, more than any other room in the house, the Kitchen can suffer...

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Organizing Your Kitchen

Our Kitchens should be like a Mac, easy to use, intuitive and streamlined. However, more than any other room in the house, the Kitchen can suffer from organizational degeneracy faster than a high school group project. Let us help you think through the process of organizing your kitchen.  

Food For Thought

Cluttering your counters with small appliances looks messy and steals much-needed space. Think about how often you use each appliance. If you start the day with a power shake, you need your blender readily accessible. Toasters or toaster ovens are an everyday appliance for some people. However, if you only use appliances like a food processor or crock pot once in awhile, find a good place in the pantry for those items. As a rule of thumb, anything you use daily or weekly warrants dedicated counter space, while if you only use an appliance a few times a month, it can be tucked out of sight.

Kitchen Organization

(Photo credits: Butler's Pantry courtesy of Karyn Millet Photography)


A “coffee station” is a great idea if you have the space. It should include a counter for the coffee maker, cabinets above for mugs and sugar options and a drawer below for spoons. If it is close enough to the refrigerator to easily access creamer, you will have everything you need to make a good cup of joe.

If you want your children to be independent and get their own breakfasts or help set the table, consider storing your dishes in a cabinet where they can be easily reached.  Tuck a stool in the corner of the room for your little chef to help reach the counters.  

Kitchen Organization

Baby proofing is a challenge in Kitchen design. When preparing a meal, you are working at record speeds. Having to fiddle with a baby lock to access every lower cabinet can be a real pain. Think about using most of your lower cabinets to store things that won’t harm little chefs-in-training like Tupperware, smaller pots and pans, mixing bowls, baking pans and the like. Then you only have to lock the cabinets that are unsafe, like the one where you store all the cleaning products. 

Ventilation is an important consideration. No one wants the Kitchen and, subsequently, most of the downstairs smelling like the fish Dad’s cooking. Investing in the strongest ventilation hood or fan is worth the money. If you’ve ever set the fire alarm off by broiling a steak you know what we mean. As a rule of thumb, ventilation hoods should be 6” wider than the width of your range. Hoods and fans should be between 36”-42” above the stove top to do their job effectively. A vent hood is often the focal point of the Kitchen so don’t be afraid to go all out with your vent hood, let it make an aesthetic statement! For more info on choosing the right range hood, see our A Range of Options post.

Kitchen Organization

(Photo credits: Kitchen courtesy of Yvonne Yang | Pet zone courtesy of Charles-Ryan Barber Photography)



People love their pets. However, they often forget to incorporate their needs into the kitchen design. How often have you kicked over a food or water bowl lying on the floor in someone’s kitchen? There are lots of clever ways to give your dog or cat their own feeding station. They can be stored in a cabinet and slide out at feeding time or tucked behind a cleverly placed appliance garage. TBH&H loves your furry friends. That’s why pet zones are an option for most TBH&H house plans.

When designing your Kitchen Pantry, think of who needs to get to what. If you want your eight-year-old to get his own breakfast, place the cereal and other staples on lower shelves and save the upper shelves for appliances you use infrequently. Likewise, if you don’t want you two-year-old playing in the flour, put harmless things like Tupperware on the bottom shelf and keep everything else she might get into up high. Store a foot stool that's tall enough to comfortably allow you to reach the highest shelf. A good old-fashioned library stool works perfectly. It rolls around on casters so you can easily slide it out from beneath the bottom shelf when you need it.

Pantry and Kitchen Organization

(Photo credits: Pantry and Corner Cabinet courtesy of Karyn Millet Photography)

Pantry shelves needn’t be deep. Actually shallow shelves are ideal for storing staples. Consider designing your pantry so there are deeper shelves up top to fit the food processor, Dutch oven or lobster pot and keep the food-stuff at eye level.