When I am not strumming on my old banjo (which is totally not something I do) I like to cook. And I like to eat. So a well-designed and -equipped kitchen was tops on the list of what DH and I wanted in the laneway home. Some laneways have tiny galley kitchens, but we wanted one with all the bells and whistles.
And we got it!
The appliances are small but they are efficient and the design has made us more efficient.
It was while I was unloading our adorable little drawer dishwasher by Fisher and Paykel that I realized it wasn’t just its size and efficiency I loved — it was also its location.
When it came to the under-counter storage I knew I wanted drawers for storing my dishes and cooking utensils rather than cupboards. Drawers give you access to the complete space, pulled out into the light. No more rooting around in dark corners — everything is right there. And when I am unloading the dishwasher, having the dish storage just beside it makes putting everything away a dream. Or at least less of a nightmare.
It also helps that the dishwasher is placed just under the counter, so there’s less bending and stooping.
It takes a few minutes to unload the dishwasher and then it’s ready to hold the next meal’s worth of plates, etc. There are never any dishes sitting on the counter waiting to be cleaned or put away. And it’s changed our lives!
Because here’s the funny part — in our old home we hardly ever used the dishwasher. DH hates to have dirty dishes sitting all day waiting for the machine to be filled up so it can be run (he can hear the germs multiplying) so he washed them up after every meal (note: I did not wash them, he did.) But then we had dishes sitting in the rack on our counter all day. The smaller size of our new dishwasher means we do smaller loads more frequently — perfect for the life we lead.
In her blog Nesting Place the Nester talks about her battle with the dishwasher —
For some reason unloading the dishwasher is a dreaded chore in our house.
It’s a pain to dread something that needs to be done daily.
When I dread something that needs to be done daily, it’s a red flag. It’s an opportunity to evaluate if I’m helping or hurting the situation just by something simple that I can change.
So she reorganized her kitchen so the dish storage was next to the dishwasher and voila! The chore that everyone was dreading a lot became just another small thing to be done.
Dishwasher unloading takes about 90 seconds and even the 16-year-old thanked me for planning out the kitchen to make unloading the dishwasher super fast and non-dread-inducing.
Do read the whole post at her blog. And when designing a space — whether it’s your kitchen or your bath or your foyer — remember to design around how you want it to work, not just how you want it to look.
I can so relate! In our current space there isn’t any extra counter space so we are constantly hand washing dishes and for the most part I don’t mind it. I’m quite happy about the mini dishwasher though – ours is an 18″ (rather than standard 24″ one) so that it won’t take a whole week to fill up. It seemed a much more economical choice than the drawer option. One thing I realize I may have missed on the design though is making sure that the plate, bowl and cup cupboards are close by. They’re sort of close. More important to me in the design stage was making sure it was accessible from both sides because in one of our homes there was about 10″ between it and the super sticky outy fridge on one side and 6″ between the dishwasher and the counter on the other. It was cramped enough for one person to unload and all but impossible to make into a two-person job!
There’s always some compromise, isn’t there? It wasn’t until I’d read the article on Houzz that I realized what a happy arrangement we have. I hadn’t really noticed that the new dishwasher unloaded so easily and how convenient everything was. I think that’s what good design means, things just work and you don’t see why they work so well.