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The Heartbeat
of the Home

It’s probably safe to say that whatever design style your kitchen is, it’s the center of your home’s universe. Kitchens are the gathering place, the homework place, the bake-an-apple-pie-when-you’re-sad kind of place, the twirl-until-you’re-dizzy kind of place, and the place where all the stories start. Here are a few principles of kitchen design.

Kitchens come with lots of stuff. There are pots and pans and mixers and measuring cups and blenders. The key to falling in love with your kitchen is to find a place for everything and keep everything in its place. Keep your kitchen organized in style with simple organizing tips like these: Simplify drawers with organizers. Place pod lids on a kitchen organizer that hangs on the cupboard door. Fill baskets with plastic plates and cups and napkins for unexpected guests. Stack spices in the cabinets on risers. Create an entire family command center on the back side of a cabinet door with peel-and-stick chalkboards and calendars.

Kitchen Triangle:
During a kitchen remodel or when updating appliances, it’s important to keep the kitchen triangle in mind to maximize efficiency in space. Typically, there are three work centers in a kitchen: the stove, the refrigerator, and the sink. Place each of these elements in the space so that they form a triangle. This allows the cook to easily travel from one area of the space to another in the most efficient manner when preparing a meal.

Kitchen Zones:
Because the kitchen is the center of the home, many different activities take place in this space. Each activity takes place in a specific zone. Homework is zoned for the kitchen bar area. The main kitchen triangle is used to prepare meals, and bar stools are added to the island for a quick snack.

One simple way to reduce chaos in the kitchen is to use labels. Design specific labels for your kitchen, print them out, and use them to help organize your space.

Pantry Organization:
The pantry can be either the kitchen’s best friend or its worst nightmare. If the pantry is happy, then everyone is happy. I use baskets with labels in my pantry to maximize space and sort food into categories. Add additional storage space with vertical storage on the doors and hanging baskets that slide onto shelves. c



KariAnne Wood writes the award-winning lifestyle blog Thistlewood Farms. She also photographs and styles for several national magazines including Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas, Country Women, and Flea Market Décor.

Thistlewood Farms


Let Your Style Shine

KariAnne Wood could tell you a lot about decorating. After all, she’s an expert. But this book isn’t about her.

It’s about you.

It’s about the colors, textures, and patterns that make your heart sing. It’s about the creative ideas you can’t wait to try in your own home. It’s about finding your one-of-a-kind style and then just going for it. And KariAnne is here to help you.

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