Architect Claudia Skylar's kitchen-renovating tricks of the trade offer creative and clever storage solutions that will help you stick to a budget and have a great-looking kitchen too.
Recess a Standard Refrigerator
A money-saving alternative to purchasing a costly built-in refrigerator is to recess a standard refrigerator in a niche. Removing a back staircase in an old kitchen may leave an opening perfect for recessing a standard 3'-deep refrigerator.
Use Standard Cabinetry in Nonstandard Ways
Don't be limited by standard cabinet sizing in your cabinet and countertop design. Although the standard depth of lower cabinets is 2', the countertop can be made wider as desired, with the cabinet fronts aligned with the countertop. A countertop 2' 8" deep allows for more storage space at the back of the sink. You can even have a ledge built in for storing appliances or cookbooks.
Where space considerations don't permit standard 2' floor cabinets, use standard 1' upper cabinets instead. A 1' upper cabinet provides extra countertop workspace and is just the right depth for serving buffet dinners.
Add Custom Features to Standard Cabinets
Achieve a custom look with reasonably priced standard cabinets by arranging them in interesting combinations and employing a woodworker to add custom features.
Glass doors can replace laminate doors on standard cabinets. Handy built-ins, such as wine racks and mail slots, expand the functionality of a space.