There is more than meets the eye in today’s most stylish kitchens. A peek into cabinets and drawers reveals an ingenious array of smart accessories that make staying organized a cinch. You’ll never have to wonder again…where you put the colander.
A great kitchen functions as beautifully as it looks: there is ample storage, everything is easy to find, and all within an arm’s reach. In this euphoric dream kitchen, there are no dead-end cabinets, shelves so deep that things disappear for eternity, and tiny overhead spaces accessible only by stepstool. Good kitchen designers have always known how to avoid these pitfalls. Now, with the help of an amazing array of custom accessories, they are taking kitchen organization and efficiency to a whole new level.
“Customers are showing a strong preference for clean lines,” explains Clay Cox, managing owner of Kitchens by Clay in Naples. “They like a sleek, although not necessarily contemporary, look, and that carries over to how the kitchen functions. They want to get as much use of space as possible and not have everything out on the countertops. They are looking for organization and integration.”
The trend started years ago, according to Cox, with pullout waste cans and recycling centers. From there, self-closing drawers and integrated appliances came into play. Now, new storage solutions and accessories are entering the market at a record pace. Many have evolved from products for aging or special needs customers, although their appeal is quite universal.
One of the most prominent trends is using drawers for storage instead of cabinets and shelves. Most drawers are equipped with self-closing undermount slides and a flexible peg system that allows the space to be divided as necessary. Keeping dishes in a drawer offers a compact storage solution, with the added benefit of minimized lifting. It is easy to see the contents and there is no need to move things around to discover what is there. Pots and pans are also finding their way into drawers, which can be made deep enough to accommodate lids.
“Customers always ask what they can put in their drawers and cabinets to make their lives easier. They’re delighted when they see all the options,” says Cox, going on to list some of them: dish drawers, spice racks, lazy susans, utensil dividers, multi-tiered dividers, slide out towel bars, integrated cutting boards, pull down shelves, warming, cooling, and dishwasher drawers, wine storage, and more.
Since everyone uses their kitchen differently, Cox works closely with his clients to figure out what is important to them. Once that is determined, building a customized design and putting all the pieces together flows naturally. “Upfront planning is beneficial,” Cox emphasizes, “because when you incorporate these accessories early in the design process, the cost is very reasonable.”
He continues, “It’s very satisfying to hear from clients that they love their kitchens – not just for the way they look, but for how they work,” says Cox. “It’s amazing how these custom accessories make people happy and their lives easier. Now you don’t have to be an organized person to be organized.”
Kitchens By Clay
300 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 113
Naples, Florida 34102
and the second location:
7935 Airport Road, Suite #5
Naples, Florida 34109
Written by Sarah Adams