Erika Ward’s Brilliant Kitchen Organization Tips
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Maintaining an organized home just makes life easier. When everything is in its place, you can move through your day with ease. Who wouldn’t want that? That’s why we’re taking you inside some of the most organized — and stylish — spaces crafted by some of our favorite design influencers and tastemakers. Get ready to take inspiration from the Organization Chronicles.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and when you’re a mom of five, this is even more true. Consider the case of Atlanta-based interior designer Erika Ward, who admits it was imperative for her recent kitchen renovation to be conducive to her active lifestyle, especially now that she and her husband are working more from home.
Ward craved a comfortable yet stylish cooking space that would make it easy to prepare meals but also encourage her kids to assist with the clean-up afterwards (a.k.a. every parent’s dream). “My main concerns were how to control the clutter so the kids can help, how to make the surfaces easy to clean, and how to make it look pretty,” Ward says of her practical design vision.
Ward got her wish, thanks to a timeless design scheme with brilliant storage solutions. Here’s how she created her well-organized kitchen:
Maximize Cabinet Space
Rather than replacing the kitchen cabinets, Ward took the sustainable route and opted to salvage them. She enlisted a professional to give them a new look with a hard coat finish that complemented the overall design scheme, which Ward says “takes inspiration from the Caribbean” with its watery blue backsplash. Once the aesthetic part of the job was handled, pull-out drawer systems to store large pots and pans were installed in the kitchen’s lower cabinets. Concealing them in drawers was also a simple way to free up visual space in her kitchen.
Make Use of Under-the-Sink Storage
Under Ward’s sink is a drip tray to protect the cabinets from leaks and spills, as well as a pull-out drawer for garbage and recycling. A trash system of this nature is especially great for kids who are beginning to learn the value of self-reliance and accountability. “As you are encouraging your children to take on more responsibility at home and help out with chores, having this organization system helps them to know where things go,” Ward says.
Minimal Floating Shelves
There’s more than enough cabinetry in Ward’s kitchen, but there are a select number of frequently used items that made sense to keep within reach. The perfect solution? A pair of open shelves on either side of the range hood for a canister of lemons, a few of her favorite cookbooks, and a collection of dishes. But this sleek shelving solution doesn’t just serve a functional purpose—introducing this form of symmetry in the design scheme is visually appealing, too.
A Mounted Spice Rack
Regardless of your design aesthetic, mounting your spice rack might work well for your kitchen setup. Ward loves nothing more than experimenting with recipes and testing different spices, so she made the decision to mount her assortment right on a cabinet door. “When you don’t take advantage of that interior door space—especially if you are lacking storage—it is a missed opportunity,” she says.
Having a well-organized kitchen can not only help you to make the most of your space—it’s also a great way to include the entire family in maintaining it and find more joy in cooking, even if you consider yourself an amateur chef.
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