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  • Lauren Vallario Designs

Kitchen Organization

I’d like to think that in some small way what I do improves my clients’ lives. I guess that might be a bit ambitious but a girl can dream.  For those of you who don’t know me, my first degree was actually in Psychology. I had set out with big dreams of becoming a psychologist and helping people. Long story short, life had a different plan for me. Yes, I did earn a Bachelors in Psychology but no I am not a Psychologist. I do think I use my degree in what I do today but in a much different way than I had intended. You see, I realized at a young age that my mood was very much affected by my environment. That sounds way more pretty dramatic, but it’s so true.  I realized that when the space I was in was cluttered or disorganized, so was my brain. If my room was messy, I couldn’t study or even worse, I couldn’t rest. Without rest, your body cannot recharge which means you cannot function at your best! Sounds silly because there are many people out there that are the complete opposite, they function extremely well in chaos or chaotic settings. For them, there could be piles of clothing covering every inch of space, dirty dishes in stacks on the countertops and not a single spot to place something down and some people are totally cool with it. Me on the other hand, I would probably be sent into a full-blown panic attack!  Just thinking about it now has my back tensing up. My point in telling you all of this is that my visceral reaction to disorganization has to a lot to do with why I do what I do. Yes I love creating beautiful spaces, but creating beautiful spaces that function really well, and improve peoples day to day living, now that is exciting to me!

So today I want to focus on what I view as one of, if not the most important space in your home, the Kitchen. The kitchen is truly the heart of the home. I don’t care if you even cook, the kitchen is still the place that you are guaranteed to spend a large amount of time in. For many of us, it’s where life happens so it needs to work as hard for us as we do in it.

When I work with a client on a kitchen project I always start with two questions, what’s working for you? And more importantly, what’s NOT working for you? More often than not, that later is answered by a slew of things and they usually boil down to how the space has been organized or not.  There are so many aspects to kitchen organization so I am going to take my time with this topic and cover each aspect one at a time. In this post, I am going to focus on small appliances and my favorite ways to store them in an organized way in our kitchen.

We all tend to collect gadgets in a kitchen. There is always something new that promises to make you a gourmet chef or cut your cooking time in half.  And these usually come in the form of small appliances like food processors, blenders, magic bullets and my latest favorite the vegetti. While their intent is to make our lives easier, storing them in a way that makes them easy to use can be challenging.  One of my goals in any kitchen I design to create places where my clients can store small appliances and limit what is on their countertop to at most three appliances. The most common are the coffee maker, toaster and stand mixer. While the stand mixer may not be as commonly used, they are cool looking and because they are so heavy, leaving them out increases the likelihood that they will be used.  So you’re probably wondering where I am hiding all of the other small appliances. Well, here are some clever ways to keep them at arms reach without having them staring you in the face.

Appliance garages or “hide-a-ways” – call it what you want but these cabinets serve one purpose, to hide your small appliances in a usable space. To me, the most critical part of the functionality of this cabinet is that it opens up to the countertop. Why is that so important? You can work with that appliance right there and not have to relocate it to another part of the kitchen. Brilliant, right??!

In this kitchen, we stored the microwave at a comfortable level (approximately 56” from the floor) and below it on the countertop, the toaster oven was in a place that was safe to use but also tucked away. When the pocket doors are open, everything is easily accessible and ready to use. And when the morning rush is over…




Here are a few other great ways to approach hiding small appliances


Now you’re probably thinking, this is great but I don’t have one of those. The good news is, this isn’t the only solution. Most kitchens have either a corner lazy susan cabinet or a blind corner cabinet in them. They both serve the purpose of utilizing corner spaces in the kitchen. Most people get frustrated with them because if they don’t have a good functioning insert in them, they are annoying to use. I suggest investing in a good quality insert. There are many out there but this lazy susan insert by Omega is genius in my opinion. Not only does it spin, but the middle is actually a drawer that pulls out. Your small appliances will be easily visible and accessible with an insert like this.



Not every solution has to be custom. There are lots of ways that you can transform your space so that it works for you. Stay tuned as I continue to explore other ways we can organize your kitchen and de-clutter your life!

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Mohegan Lake, NY 10547 

 (914) 522-4527

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