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October 2, 2012

Kitchen of the Month: Creative use of cabinets, storage space for modern upgrade

by Sarah Day, San Luis Kitchen Co.

slo locals slo kitchen co

[Editor's Note: We are pleased to welcome San Luis Kitchen Co. as the latest addition to the "Home Maintenance" section of the SLO County Locals team! They will be putting together posts at the beginning of each month, profiling "before" and "after" shots of some of their expert kitchen re-designs. For more, give them a call at 805-541-7117 or check out their website –]

Recently, a lovely retired couple came to us at San Luis Kitchen Co. wanting to update their kitchen. They had attended several of our kitchen design seminars (offered semi-monthly free to all) and were now ready to get the ball rolling on their project. Owners of a moderately sized home just off of Johnson St. here in SLO, they were desperately in need of organization and functional storage space. They also preferred a modern style for their home and the old-fashioned oak kitchen cabinets just had to go!


The homeowners are avid cooks who enjoy using a wide variety of spices, exotic oils, local wines and other interesting ingredients to prepare their everyday meals. Thus, without good storage options, a lot of bottles and canisters were left to pile on the countertops. They had converted a built-in desk to house their small appliances and removed the doors from the upper cabinets to squeeze out extra space for pantry storage and dish storage.


There were some things the homeowners did not want to change in the kitchen. The first was the wood floor. As the floor was a relatively new acquisition and extended through the kitchen and into both the living and dining rooms it was destined to stay. Also remaining unchanged was the pass-thru window and the location of the range-top & hood. The kitchen already boasted a large skylight and intriguing soffit & ceiling details – these would also stay as they would contribute nicely to the new modern styling.  The double wall oven and refrigerator were updated to new models but remained in essentially the same place.



So, now having established a wish list (storage, functionality & pizzazz) and identified the parameters of change desired (what stays/what goes), it was time to pick a new style!  What shape cabinet doors would they like? What colors and materials would we focus on?  What was the “feel” that the homeowners wanted for their kitchen?

Working with San Luis Kitchen, they homeowners picked out a sleek contemporary door style, Wood-Mode European construction cabinetry for maximum usable storage space, and a modern color scheme using two reddish stains on Maple and Cherry woods with a graphite black quartz counter. Thanks to interior designer Gail Congdon, for assisting the client in color and material choices.





Sticking to the existing footprint of the kitchen (to save the wood floor) we added a “garage” cabinet to the right of the range-top (below) as a place to organize and conceal the counter clutter (spices, oils and such).

(AFTER 5: “Garage” Cabinet)

We also added wall cabinets (below) either side of the pass-thru for dish storage – patterned glass inserts give visual interest while still obscuring the contents (hiding potential mess).

(AFTER 6: Wall Cabinets)


We also added storage behind the peninsula complete with hidden wine rack, a San Luis Kitchen Chef’s Pantry, another pantry with roll-out shelves, and lots of tray dividers all along the top of the refrigerator wall.  This new storage allows the homeowners to organize and contain their small appliances, packaged and canned food items, and more!

Near the sink we added a lazy susan for pots and pans, dedicated spice storage column, double pull-out trash cabinet for convenience and recycling, and a specially designed bank of drawers with a pull-out bread board just for the man of the house.

At the conclusion of the remodel, the happy homeowners had a brand new contemporary kitchen with everything in its place and San Luis Kitchen gained another satisfied customer.  Come see our extensive showroom at 3598 Broad St, SLO (805-541-7117) or check out our website –  We will be back next month with another remodeling story in “The Kitchen of the Month”.

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