<h2 style="margin: 10pt 0in 0pt"><font size="3" color="#990000">Not all kitchens are created equal, give yours an edge</font></h2><p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">(ARA) – A place for everything and everything in its place. This seems like a lofty goal for many homeowners, but with a few kitchen storage accessories and some insightful tips, this goal is easy to achieve.</span></p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt"><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">’Ingenious storage solutions can add function as well as convenience to any area of the kitchen,’ says Paul Radoy, manager of design services for Merillat. "With a little planning, any homeowner can create a clutter-free space, even in today’s cluttered lifestyle."</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">According to Radoy, the best way to approach kitchen organization and storage is to look at the room in sections. All kitchens have a cooking zone and a cleanup zone, and some kitchens may have an island or pantry. Each of these areas lend themselves to various storage opportunities.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Cooking zone storage</strong></p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Food preparation and cooking are the primary functions of a kitchen, which is why keeping cooking items organized and within easy reach is key. Storage solutions could include a spice drawer organizer next to the cooktop or a drawer organizer kit that accommodates everything from tableware to larger cooking utensils, adapting to any homeowner’s specific needs.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">"Another storage option is a top hinged wall cabinet," says Radoy. "The hinge mechanism can be locked into position so contents can be easily removed while cooking."</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Extra wide or deep drawers are a perfect storage solution when installed under a cooktop. A deep drawer organizer, which features solid hardwood pegs, is ideal for storing bulky items like pots, pans and mixing bowls. In addition, extra wide pull-out trays make retrieving large pots and pans effortless. Awkward items can also be stored on a lazy Susan or a swing-out base cabinet, both of which take advantage of a tricky blind corner situation. The swing-out base cabinet allows full access to the entire cabinet with its two adjustable roll-out trays.<span>  </span></p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Another option is to install a utensil hanging system on the backsplash, or a pull-down knife rack under the wall cabinet next to the cooktop. Having these items close at hand saves time digging through drawers. Plus, grouping all these organizational conveniences near the cooktop provides a space for easy prep work.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Cleanup zone storage</strong></p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Organizing the cleanup zone can minimize clutter and make cleanup easier. From the location of the sink and dishwasher to various organizational accessories, any cleanup zone can shine.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Things like a tilt-out sink tray, which keeps soaps and sponges out of sight, an under-sink tote and a base wastebasket help to keep things well organized. Also, a cutting board kit close to the sink makes for easy cleanup during food prep.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Kitchen island storage</strong></p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Kitchen islands offer much more than visual appeal. They lend themselves to multiple functions including storage, convenience and additional workspace.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">According to Radoy, "An island with a great focal point like a wine storage and serving base is classy and yet very practical. Adding spice drawers to hold napkins or small utensils like corkscrews is another great idea."</p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"> </p><div style="text-align: center"><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="282"><param name="movie" value="../images/banners/2b.swf" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="../images/banners/2b.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="282"></embed></object></div>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">The island workspace can become even more streamlined when essentials such as sinks, cooktops or dishwashers are incorporated into the design. Also, open shelves in an island allow for space to store functional items like cookbooks or display decorative touches.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><strong>Pantry storage</strong></p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">"The pantry is one of the most popular kitchen features and one of the first things on a homeowner’s wish list for their kitchen," says Radoy. "It’s no wonder; the pantry is a great storage solution."</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">A pantry or utility cabinet lets people store many different items in one central location and at different levels, making some things more accessible or inaccessible for children. Flanking the refrigerator with two pantries can add storage in a convenient location. Also, pantries can be perfect for storing seasonal items and other large pieces that are not used as frequently.</p>  <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal">"People today are using their kitchens for everything from cooking to crafting, and this means there are going to be a lot more items in the kitchen to accommodate all those tasks," says Radoy.<span>  </span>"While all these items can lead to chaos, smart storage solutions can bring order not only to the kitchen but to your life." To learn more about organizational solutions, visit Merillat.com.</p>  <p><span style="line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt; font-size: 10pt">Courtesy of ARAcontent</span></p></span>