Quite possibly the two most-used rooms in a house, proper storage is a must in our kitchen and dining room. With the right planning, you can keep months’ worth of bulk food products close by – in deep pantries and cupboards, under sinks, and on built-in shelves. Cooking utensils, pots, pans, and baking supplies should also be stored in areas where they will be most handy.
Unused kitchen wall space, even an area just a few feet wide, can accommodate a mini-office equipped with shelving for cookbooks, a desktop, and drawers. Under a window or along an unused wall, a small wall unit can expand available display and storage area.
An armoire, hutch, or other freestanding cupboard or cabinet with glass or solid doors provides plenty of space for china and glassware and also helps keep them dust-free. Built-in units that include drawers, adjustable shelves, and cabinets are also good organizers. Stacks of dishes can be very heavy, so be sure shelves are strong and well supported.
There are few more useful additions to a dining room than a wall system featuring deep cabinets, drawers, and shelves to hold dishes, glassware, serving pieces, and even tablecloths. You may choose the more traditional alternative of a china cabinet. There is also the option of adding an armoire or a hutch to your dining room for items such as fancy tablecloths, linens, and napkins. For greater efficiency, you can even combine units with a countertop to create a functional buffet-style serving area.
Where space is at a premium, a dining room that’s used only part-time for dining can serve other roles as well. A wall system outfitted with a fold-down desk, file drawers, and cabinets can provide efficient office space that’s easily camouflaged when company arrives. Or how about a cabinet filled with audio equipment wired to speakers throughout the house?
If your dining area is part of a large kitchen or an extension of your living room, a wall system, whether it reaches to the ceiling or is just waist high, can effectively divide the space and create the effect of a separate dining room. Shelves, hutches, and bins can supply both storage space, and a place to display family pictures, keepsakes, and other items.
For dish and glassware display, consider a single shelf that runs along a wall at eye level or just above head height – perhaps at the same height as the tops of windows. For a few dollars, interior lighting in china cabinets with glass shelves can highlight prized possessions such as fine china heirlooms.
If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, choose dining room cabinets and display cases with doors that can be locked or latched closed.