Interior Design on Your Own Time

Posts Tagged ‘kitchen design

I bet you thought that cabinet knobs were only good for opening cabinets, right?  Or that soap dishes can be used only in the bathroom.  But what if you discovered that you could use some of your favorite cabinet hardware and home accessories for alternate uses that can improve both the look and efficiency of your space?  I happen to love reading Real Simple magazine, and they have a section called New Uses for Old Things.  In there, they offer incredibly creative ideas about how to use things that you’d find in your house for new purposes.  In tribute to Real Simple, I’d like to offer a few ways you can use kitchen cabinet hardware to improve the way your home functions (beautifully, of course).

1-  Cabinet knobs.

Old Use: opening cabinet doors and drawers.

New Use: hanging kitchen linens.

There’s no question that cabinet knobs are generally used for opening cabinetry.  But homeowners can also use cabinet knobs as towel hooks, or places to hang potholders.  Of course, I wouldn’t advocate hanging something off of every cabinet knob that you own, but there’s definitely no harm in using one or two to get some of your kitchen linens off of the countertop.  Why have a cluttered counter or risk dirtying your linens with spills, when you can keep your things easily within reach and safely away from your workspace?

2-  Appliance Pulls

Old Use: opening refrigerators or dishwashers with heavy doors.

New Use: as a convenient towel rack.

The goal of a towel rack is to keep your towels close at hand.  And while many homeowners prefer to store their kitchen towels tucked inside a cabinet, towels that are hidden away may be difficult to reach when hands are dirty or wet.  Instead, homeowners use appliance pulls as external towel racks in the kitchen.  Choose an appliance pull or appliance handle that matches your existing cabinet hardware, and mount it on the side of your kitchen island to create an instantly accessible (and classy) kitchen towel rack.

3- Wall mounted soap dish

Old Use: holding your soap in the shower.

New Use: housing your sponge in the kitchen.

Homeowners who have kitchen sinks that are against a backsplash (as opposed to on an island, for example) can find a permanent home for their sponge on a soap dish mounted directly into the backsplash.  This solution is ideal for those who don’t have drawers for their sponges and those who are tired of constantly finding their sponge floating in a pool of dirty water.  No need for suction cup sponge holders that constantly lose their grip or sponge holders that create clutter on the counter.  Bathroom soap dishes are available in endless finishes and styles- find one that matches your kitchen décor and enjoy a more organized sink area immediately.

4-  Pull out laundry hampers

Old Use: keeping laundry off the bathroom floor.

New Use: keeping kitchen linens out of sight.

Although many people complain that they don’t have enough cabinet space in their kitchen, many also complain that the look of their kitchen is constantly sullied with wet or dirty rags, towels and aprons. Installing pull out laundry hampers in a kitchen cabinet is a great way to keep your kitchen clean without having wet rags piled up in every corner.  Clean out a cabinet by getting rid of items you don’t need and moving some items from lower cabinets into higher ones.  Then, install a pull out laundry hamper in a bottom cabinet.  Choose a model with air vents to prevent your kitchen towels from getting moldy in the event that you forget to empty the wet linens.  This creative system will prevent you from having to run constantly to the laundry room- and will make it easier to stash used linen napkins and tablecloths too!


I just heard about a great new contest that can be great for homeowners looking for kitchen design ideas and those who have just redone their kitchens.  Kitchen Cabinet Hardware is offering a $100 to their website (and other home décor sites parented by the same company) as a prize in their new kitchen design contest.  Applicants should sent in a 2 pictures of their kitchen- one from “before”, and one from “after”, to show the world how their new kitchen cabinet hardware impacted their space.  Submissions should include a list of all new cabinet hardware used in the kitchen design, and any other relevant information.

Good news for homeowners is that the contest is open to both homeowners and professional contractors, so consumers looking for free kitchen design ideas can hopefully get an eyeful from the submissions.  Even better news is that the contest has no purchase necessary- you can enter the contest even if you didn’t purchase your supplies from Kitchen Cabinet Hardware.  I know that I’ll be monitoring the contest to see all the great ideas out there- I can’t wait to see yours!  For a full set of rules or to enter, go to:  To hear about more online contests, check out Grandma Jam, a great source for online contests.  You can also check out Super Blog Directory for some other blogs that may discuss contests.  It’s kinda like the lotto- hey, you never know!

People with small kitchens often wish that they could have a larger workspace, more cabinet space, or simply just a more luxurious kitchen.  Unfortunately, this is not always possible due to space constraints, permit problems or budgetary restrictions.  Still, there are many ways through which we can maximize the efficiency and beauty of any small kitchen.  The following small kitchen ideas will yield big results- and will enable you to love your small kitchen instead of cursing it.

– Install cabinetry up to the ceiling.  If you are lacking storage space, a great way to take full advantage of even the smallest kitchen is to put double cabinetry on top, so that you utilize every inch of available space for storage.  What’s more, double cabinetry is not only useful, but it’s also beautiful.  Of course, my favorite benefit of having cabinets up to the ceiling is that you eliminate the need for dusting above your cabinets…

– Optimize your corner cabinetry.  If your corner cabinets are a mess, implementing a more efficient system will improve the entire look and feel of your small kitchen.  Ideas for making this happen include installing blind corner cabinets or a large lazy Susan that can make it easy to find what you’re looking for without rummaging through the entire corner cabinet.  While lazy Susans are definitely a more affordable option, there’s no question that blind corner cabinets offer optimal efficiency and can completely revolutionize any corner cabinet.

Rev-A-Shelf Blind Corner Cabinet

Rev-A-Shelf Blind Corner Cabinet

– Paint your kitchen with a light color.  Small kitchens often feel even smaller because they are painted with dark colors which will make the space feel closed.  Choosing a light and warm color such as cream, warm yellow or beige can make a big difference in the way the room feels, and can make the room feel instantly larger.

Take things off the countertops.  If you find that your kitchen countertops are cluttered with accessories, get rid of them.  Instead of having a counter-mounted paper towel holder, install a hanging paper towel holder under your cabinetry.  Instead of keeping your bread box on the counter, hide your bread in a bread drawer organizer.  Instead of keeping your mixer on the counter, stash it in your cabinet on an appliance lift, which will prevent the mixer from ever taking up space on your countertop again.

–  Use long cabinet pulls to create an elongated look. Oversized cabinet pulls are a great way to trick the eye into thinking that a space is larger and longer than it is.  Replace your old cabinet hardware with cabinet handles that are at least 8 inches in length.  Place the handles horizontally on drawers and vertically on cabinet doors to make the most of the look.

Sati Nickel Bar Pull by Top Knobs

Sati Nickel Bar Pull by Top Knobs

Whether you try just one of these small kitchen ideas or implement them all, you won’t believe how a few small touches can really change the feel of your kitchen.

My mother is one of my biggest interior design inspirations. She’s not a professional designer, but she has GREAT taste. Everything that she updates in her home has a look that is unique without being overdone. What’s more, my mother has the unique ability to create fabulous looks without spending a fortune (gee, I wonder where I get that from). Since I am currently visiting her, I wanted to share 3 free kitchen design ideas that can add enjoyment and value to your home without breaking the bank.

1- Over time, the side of my mother’s kitchen island became scratched, dirty and even cracked (as often happens with formica). Unfortunately, replacing formica is expensive, and there’s no guarantee that it won’t scratch or crack in the future. And so, my creative mother had another great idea- to replace the dingy sides of her kitchen island with a decorative tile pattern. The tiles won’t scratch like formica does when someone bangs into it, and the unique design is one that gets noticed instantly. Fortunately, the sides of my kitchen island are relatively new- but I think I’d love to implement this kitchen design idea one day in the future!

Great tiling on the side of this kitchen island transforms it from boring to beautiful.

Great tiling on the side of this kitchen island transforms it from boring to beautiful.

2- Replacing your kitchen furniture is another great way to update the look of your kitchen without overspending on a complete kitchen renovation. Changing your furniture quickly changes your entire kitchen design, especially if the room has a neutral color scheme. Consider replacing your wooden table with a metal and glass kitchen table for a more modern look, or swap your old kitchen chairs with sleeker kitchen stools.

3- Since you already know how much I love cabinet hardware, I feel it important to say what a shocking difference new cabinet hardware can make in an older kitchen. Replacing outdated or dulled kitchen cabinet hardware with shiny and stylish pieces is an easy way to rejuvenate your kitchen design. If you don’t believe me, order free samples and see for yourself!

The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in the home, and I’m a big fan of having a great kitchen. I hope that these free kitchen design ideas can help you improve your home affordably, or can inspire you to find the change that you’ve been looking for.