Category Archives: Clever Kitchen ideas

The Zero Waste Kitchen: 4 Tips for Planning Your New Kitchen with Zero Waste in Mind

Have you heard of a zero waste kitchen? We’ve been seeing a lot of pins and posts about zero waste kitchens, and we got to wondering, “Can zero waste be a goal when planning a new kitchen?” It turns out that yes, it can (and maybe should!) be a goal. Below are four tips we found for creating a kitchen that minimizes waste when you’re planning a new kitchen or doing a kitchen renovation.

1) Put your semi-custom cabinets to use
Designing your new kitchen for ease of use tops our list of favorite tips for a zero waste kitchen, because food waste makes up the majority of the garbage we send to landfills. When you have well-designed cabinets and drawers plus an efficient refrigerator/freezer, you can see what foods you do and don’t have available at a glance. And when you know your kitchen “inventory,” you’re more likely to use what you have on hand before it goes to waste. You could accomplish this with cleverly designed semi-custom cabinets that give you a pantry pullout.

2) Incorporate compost and recycling stations
If your goal is less waste, make room for compost and recycling—because the easier it is, the more likely you are to do it. With semi-custom cabinets, you can create these stations to be out of sight, so you’re going green without going messy.

3) Make room for reusable
Switching to reusable containers over throwaway plastic bags is a big part of a zero waste kitchen. But you have to have somewhere to store them. Allow for some extra cabinet space when designing your cabinets, and take into account you might need a drying station for items like beeswax wrap that can’t go in the dishwasher.

4) Design your kitchen for the long-term
Any kitchen remodel or new kitchen build will make waste because that’s part of the construction process. If you plan your kitchen with a transitional kitchen design and classic cabinets, and you use high-quality semi-custom cabinets that can endure the wear and tear o a busy kitchen, your kitchen will last for many years to come, reducing the waste of a redo somewhere down the road.

If we all had a zero waste kitchen, we could dramatically reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills each year, making for a brighter future for all. And the time to start planning that zero waste kitchen is now!

Beyond Holiday Kitchen Décor: Tips for Prepping Your Kitchen for Holiday Meals

prep your kitchen for holiday cookingIs your kitchen holiday ready? Sure, it’s that time of year when you’re drawn to Pinterest, searching for ways to add holiday kitchen décor to your home. But you’ll enjoy your kitchen more this season if you prepare ahead of time for all the cooking you’ll be doing. And by that, we mean more than the big trip to the grocery store.

Below are several ways to make sure your kitchen is ready for the holidays, so you can prep now for ease later…oh, and have time to set up that holiday kitchen décor along the way!

Take stock
First and foremost, take inventory of what you do and do not have well in advance of when you’ll need it.

  • Linens: Are your tablecloths, placemats and napkins in good shape? Or do you still have that red wine stain from last year’s New Year’s Eve party haunting you?
  • Towels: Should you buy some new kitchen towels before the holiday cooking starts?
  • Dishes, glasses and silverware: Are you missing any pieces? Do you have chips or cracks since last year, meaning you need to buy replacements? What about pieces like platters, bowls and serving spoons: Are you ready?
  • Cookware: Do you have a roasting pan big enough for that turkey, enough pots and pans to get you through the meal prep, and a coffee carafe that is big enough for your expected crowd?
  • Kitchen staples: Make a list of those ingredients you use during the holidays and double check that you have what you need. Remember the unusual ones, such as those roasted chestnuts you use in the stuffing, as well as the basics like flour and butter. How about your spices, herbs and extracts such as vanilla? Do you have what you need? While taking stock, check expiration dates too. It could be you have plenty of thyme but it’s old and “time” to buy more.
  • Kitchen extras: Stock up on non-food items too, such as garbage bags, kitchen towels, plastic bags, dish soap, scrubbing sponges and food storage containers.

Prep for the cooking
Secondly, set yourself up for success in the kitchen by cleaning up and clearing out ahead of time.

  • Clean up: Your kitchen is about to get very busy, and that means messy! Do a thorough cleaning ahead of time, and you won’t notice the buildup. Empty and wipe out the refrigerator. Get the stove and oven extra clean. De-clutter your countertops so you have more room for prep work.
  • Clear out: You want to make room for the foods you’ll be buying for holiday meals, so clean out the fridge and freezer, maybe with a leftover night on a rainy day. Check the pantry too, to make sure you have room there for the holiday staples. You can donate canned and dry goods to the local food bank if you need the room.
  • Ready your utensils: Sharpen your knives, count your wooden spoons, and be ready to cook!

However you celebrate the holidays, food is probably a focal point. Be ready for your holiday cooking this season by preparing your kitchen ahead of time, and you’ll find it’s far easier and less stressful to get all of that cooking (and cleanup) done!

5 Easy (and Instant) Ways to Go Bold in Your New Kitchen, for a Pop of Personality

So your kitchen is done. The lights are on, the walls are painted, the semi custom cabinets installed, the floor newly swept, and the trim in place. You love it! All of your kitchen design choices were spot on. But… but… something is missing. Oh, yes, the personality!

It’s easy to get so caught up in the big buys—the semi custom cabinets, the appliances, the sinks and countertops—that the details get lost in the shuffle. But that’s okay! Your dream kitchen is in! The canvas is laid and only awaits a few details to add the finishing touches and give it a spark of personality.

And that’s easy to do.

If your new kitchen is looking just a tad too new, here are five easy ways to add a big, bold pop of color…that you can easily change out later if you tire of it.

  • A big, bold rug: Oh my, the choices in rugs these days! So much color, so many bold designs, from floral to geometric to subtle to splashy. Throw down a throw rug and see if that doesn’t liven up your new space—plus keep your feet comfy while cleaning up.
  • A big, bold piece of art: Art today is so much more than just a cheap poster as in our college days. You can get a photo of your dog blown up and treated to look like a big canvas painting. You can find huge, beautiful images that are sure to fill an empty wall space and add that touch of flair your new kitchen craves. (A note on art: We advise against hanging any art of real value in your kitchen. The heat and moisture of a typical kitchen will cause damage to a piece of real art.)
  • Big, bold brass pots: Not many people cook with brass, but they make for a showy display hanging from a pot rack or stacked on a shelf!
  • Big, bold furniture: Why settle for boring bar stools when you can look for something totally different? Paint wooden stools a bright color. Choose copper stools, or stools with an outrageous design. Look for wicker bar stools, or choose something elegant. Your goal here is pop and personality, remember!
  • A big, bold surprise: What if you added a huge, vintage cabinet or shelf to your kitchen? Or mounted a deer head to the wall? Or a mirror? Think outside the box, for something that adds pizzazz to your kitchen in a surprising (but attractive) way.

You’re adding details with each choice you make for fixtures and drawer pulls too. A kitchen is made up of many parts! But for the big, bold pop of personality to liven up your new kitchen, go for the big, bold kind of details like those we’ve described here!

(And if your dream kitchen is still in the making, take a look at our semi custom cabinet choices, available in gorgeous stains and finishes, but also in the color of your choice.)

Kitchen Storage Ideas Enable Efficiency and Tidiness in Today’s Busy Kitchens

It has never been easier to have a well-organized, efficient kitchen. In addition to state-of-the-art kitchen appliances that give you the kind of control formerly only available to professional chefs and the convenience of Internet-enabled appliances, storage is now state-of-the-art as well. Kitchen storage ideas can be found all over Pinterest, and even on our website!

From pot lids to dishes to waste bins to liquor bottles, kitchen storage ideas abound for storing just about every imaginable pot, gadget, bowl or small appliance in a way that tucks it out of sight when it is not needed yet makes it easily accessible when it is.

Kitchen storage ideas keep this busy room tidy
In a way, this evolution of kitchen storage ideas makes perfect sense, because kitchens have evolved into multipurpose rooms where we not only cook and clean up, but also eat, socialize, work and relax. We’re also much more creative in the kitchen these days, and we use a lot of tools and equipment to help us get the cooking done.

All of that means the kitchen is a very busy room with a lot of moving parts, and without kitchen storage ideas that keep pieces out of the way until needed, the kitchen could easily become a very messy room at the same time!

Clever kitchen ideas can customize your new kitchen
If you’re designing your dream kitchen, and you’re planning to pull together a kitchen that’s uniquely you, think past the look of your kitchen to consider the storage too. Clever kitchen ideas can play a key part in customizing your new kitchen so it not only looks unique to you but functions that way as well, making it the ultimate in efficiency for how you like to cook.

Only take a quick look at the kitchen storage ideas on the Wellborn Forest website, and you’ll see utensil organizers, skinny pantry pullouts that make use of skinny spaces, dish drawers with adjustable pegs, and even a removable rollout caddy that holds cleaning supplies. All of these components can be combined in the way you want for your ideal kitchen.

Kitchen storage today means no more jumbled drawers one digs through to find the one-third measuring cup, or pulling out the blender so you can reach the waffle iron at the back of the cabinet. (Yes, I’m describing real-life experiences here!) Instead, the clever kitchen ideas thought up by professionals and amateurs alike have led to kitchen storage ideas that can keep our kitchens tidy and clutter-free, while making increasing their efficiency—and ours as well.