I just wanted to share some pictures of our not-award-winning kitchen design which I L-O-V-E for it's practicality in preparing food for six people, most of whom eat at home all day. These industrial-strength shelves used to be in our garage (when we had a garage!). Our new kitchen is about the same size as our old kitchen, but missing the wall of cabinets we put in when we moved in. Adding these shelves made it nearly equivalent to our old kitchen storage space. All the tall things go on top (it's nice to be tall!!), home-canned goods on one shelf (but I do want to switch those to one of the darker shelves; they last better if not exposed to much light), two shelves for meat dishes, two shelves for pareve dishes, and two shelves for dairy dishes. My baking stuff is in a kitchen cabinet near the stove, as are all the pareve and dairy plates, silverware, and glasses. All the meat plates and serving dishes are in the china cabinet in the dining room.
Underneath the shelving are the barrels that hold our bulk grains, beans, and flours. I love having them handy right in the kitchen. I don't need to keep extra containers of the bulk stuff now; I can just take it directly from the barrel.
I also really love our ancient brown floor. No dirt shows on it at all. Nothing marks it up. Which is saying a lot with twelve feet constantly trampling across it (unless mama's cooking!!).
One other thing I would really like to add is a rim of metal shelving all around the kitchen about a foot below the ceiling to hold all of my waiting-to-be filled canning jars. I'd also like to figure out a way to make a pull out table from the shelving so I could have extra counter space when needed. The counter space I do have is pretty small, especially since it's shared with the mixer, blender, coffee bean roaster, and food processor. What I do really like about it is that I am forced to clean up right away every time I do anything, and it only takes about three minutes!
Next to the shelving I squeezed in both of our refrigerators. I had the extra one out on the back porch, but started thinking that it would probably get pretty expensive to keep it running over the late spring/summer/early fall. So in it came! I still need to assign parts of the refrigerator to different food items so we're not looking all through both refrigerators for a particular item, but I should get to that soon. On top I store fruits. In the bottom of our little pantry closet (about the size of a door, and about 14 inches deep), I was able to put in the remaining vegetable racks to hold potatoes, onions, etc., our recycling bin, and our quarts of grape juice.
So, I'm really enjoying our restaurant-style kitchen! And I drool every time I drive by the restaurant-supply shop on the way to pick up Dean at work. We'll have to check it out some time.