August 13, 2010

Martha Stewart's 50 Top Kitchen Tips

Martha Stewart Living's latest is the Home Issue. I thought I'd share "Martha's 50 Top Kitchen Tips" with you as we are always interested in efficient yet beautiful kitchen design. Rather than listing all 50, here are some highlights:
(Click images to enlarge and read each tip in detail)
1. It's all in the details. Notice the supports that Martha chose for her shelves. This bird's beak support avoids holes and hardware so the look is very streamlined.
2. Open up and use every inch. Martha's open shelves are easily accessible and they were built almost to the ceiling. Why waste space?
3. Create stations. Notice how she has a coffee station to her left. Keep everything you need to make a great cup of espresso right there...cups, coffee in the drawer below, electric grinder catch the drift.
4. Islands, Two are better than one. By pairing marble-topped islands, she creates one for prep work and the other for informal dining. I love this --- one island is on casters, so when Martha has a large party, she can move the rolling island to the stationary one to create a large buffet. Here's a good tip: "An island must be at least 4' long and 2.5' wide; clearance of at least 3 feet all around is essential."
5. Hang up the pots. By hanging your cookware above the island you save quite a bit of undercounter cabinet space.
6. Customize storage. "Decide what you want to keep in the islands, and plan the space accordingly."
7. Add baskets and bins. These baskets add warmth and texture to the room. Martha suggests adding adhesive pads on the bottom so they slide smoothly.
8. Protect surfaces. A large commercial cutting board always sit on the countertop so you always have a safe place to chop vegetables.
9. Keep a towel handy. Mount hooks on the side of the island for dish towels.
10. Plug it in. Martha suggests having electrical outlets near the top of your island so you can use that food processor or other small appliances without the cord being in the way.
11. Display, but don't clutter. Be sure not to overdecorate your kitchen (i.e. fill your counters with decorative jars and plates). Be sure to keep things you love that are kitchen appropriate but keep plenty of workspace for yourself to actually cook!
It kind of kills me how organized she is. I'm not recommending this page! The highlight: Plan for lots of drawers and use small bins to keep similar items together. 
30. Enjoy the view. Make it a priority to have a window over the sink. It makes washing dishes a lot more fun!
32. Get into the groove. Consider adding slightly angled grooves to the draining-board counter beside your sink. Water will drain run back into the sink. I also like how this looks!
33. Focus on the faucet. Circa designers like this gooseneck bridge faucet look in polished nickel.

36. Get an edge. Notice the marble bracket at the end of the counter in the photo below. This is great for high traffic areas (like beside a door) to keep items from being knocked off. By using a graceful silhouette design it also adds added design value to your kitchen.
40. Let the sunshine in. Tall windows in the kitchen are great to bring the outdoors in as well as give you extra natural light.
43. Keep spoons and spatulas handy by the stove. Use good-looking containers for this!
You know that we love dogs around here! Martha's tips # 47-50 involve keeping your pet organized. Keep baskets for their leaches and collars so they are always easily accessible. Keep dog food in smaller containers so you don't have to lift a huge bag of dog food each time. Clear plastic bins work great for this. 
Lastly, I really liked how they line shelves with custom cut sheets of 24-gauge brushed stainless steel. (You can order this from It looks great and is easy to wipe clean.

SO there is no need to feel like your kitchen needs to be an organized workhorse like this one! BUT...these tips are helpful when thinking about your kitchen's design. Keep your needs in mind first and foremost...kitchens should be efficient. You don't want it to seem cold and unfriendly so we like to warm up these spaces with rugs and fabrics on breakfast room chairs, drapes, or leather barstools.

Oh, and one more thing...In case you like Martha's paint color, it is Martha Stewart Living Paint (of course!) Bedford Gray on the cabinetry and woodwork with Flagstone on the walls.


  1. Do you know a resource for Bird's Beak shelving? I just thought I'd Google. All I got was 'wood jock's' comments about making the shelves. I can insert a screw in the wall, and that is why the instant appeal of BB shelving. Claire

  2. I just bought something similar made by Woodcraft and available through Amazon. It has uprights cut in a sawtooth pattern but they don't extend all the way across, just one in each corner. It's not as elegant but would collect less dust. I wanted something for an old farm cupboard that i am refinishing. The one I bought is called a sawtooth shelf system.

  3. Great tips! Thanks for taking time to post this.