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March 2018

Kitchen & Bath Insider #208 Streamlining Your Kitchen Stuff

By Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D., C.R.


As the years go by, we tend to accumulate as much ‘stuff’ as we possibly can, fitting it into every nook and cranny that our home has to offer. Just take a look in your attic, your garage and especially your kitchen to see what I’m talking about. When is the last time you needed that big pot that your sister left at your house ten years ago?  Or what about the fifty packets of duck sauce that you’ve saved, just in case they forget to include it with your next order of spare ribs!


Whether you’re creating a new dream kitchen from scratch, refacing your existing cabinets or just modernizing your existing domicile, there are many companies that offer cabinet accessories to ease our over-stressed existences. Think of the contentment that you would derive if everything in the kitchen did have an actual place.


Rev-A-Shelf (http://www.rev-a-shelf.com/) and Knape & Vogt (https://www.knapeandvogt.com/) are the two biggest suppliers of accessories for both new cabinets and aftermarket needs. Assuming you have access to the Internet, visit their web-sites. Rev-A-Shelf refers to these products as “necessaries” which are “accessories that are considered necessary for the organization and function of your kitchen”. Both companies manufacture shelving units, garbage pull-outs and the ubiquitous lazy Susan.


On a historical note, the “Lazy Susan” was first written about in Vanity Fair magazine in 1917. However, these revolving serving trays have been around since the 1700s and were originally referred to as “dumb-waiters.” (Today, in America, the term dumbwaiter refers to a small elevator, although in England, [where they still insist on using the metric system], lazy Susans are still called dumbwaiters; and cooktops are called hobs). Go figure! Perhaps after leaving the EU they’ll get their act together.

Many linguists believe that “Susan” was simply a common maid’s name, and that the term “lazy Susan” was a derogatory reference to a lethargic servant, who walked around in circles. More likely, the source for the term was a brilliant copywriter, using the repetition of the “z” sound in “Lazy” and the “s” in “Susan”, to invent a memorable term for a clever appliance.


Meanwhile, back on point, roll-out trays are one of the best solutions to increase the efficiency of base (lower) and pantry cabinets. By making items easier to reach, it’s easier to keep them organized. And as we approach Social Security, even if there won’t be any money to collect, we’ll still appreciate not having to bend over, if we don’t have to.


There are also a variety of shelves and racks that can be attached to the doors of the wall (upper) cabinets. (In a retrofit, you may have to trim the depth of the shelves for these to fit). Spices, among other items, can be removed from your counters and finally be put away. If you are creative, you can end up with a place for everything, thus making your cupboards beautiful, both inside and out. And, fortunately, American industry has recognized that we’re not going to get rid of our ‘stuff’ so they will keep developing new organizers to manage all that we now have and what we’ll accumulate tomorrow.


Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D., C.R., is president of DreamWork Kitchens, Inc. located in Mamaroneck, New York. A Master of Design (Pratt Institute), and E.P.A. Certified Remodeler, he serves on the Advisory Panel of Remodeling Magazine. A member of the National Kitchen & Bath Assoc., he is also a contributor to eZine and Do It Yourself magazine. He can be reached for questions at 914-777-0437 or www.dreamworkkitchens.com.