It is fall in Portland! The leaves are turning, the clouds and rain have rolled in, and people are beginning to spend more time in their kitchens as we head into the busiest time of the year for baking and cooking. As employees at Craftsman Design and Renovation begin preparing for their own festivities, we asked them to share a list of kitchen essentials to make Thanksgiving and holiday baking a breeze.

#1 – Cabinet Insert Accessories

The number one helpful item is the most customizable addition to any kitchen reno – cabinet inserts! Whether it is creating an organized spice drawer; adding a stand-mixer lift to a lower cabinet; incorporating a knife block inside a drawer; or updating a base pull-out to hold your cooking utensils. There is a plethora of organization hacks to keep everything you need for your holiday cooking and baking within reach.

#2 – Lower Cabinets for Baking Center

Avid bakers know and understand the importance of this feature in a kitchen. When rolling out pastries, cookies, bread, etcetera – a lowered countertop offers a more ergonomic experience than a typical 36” kitchen countertop. A standard kitchen countertop typically lies at 36”, but for baking it’s best to be at a tabletop height of 30” – 32”. This will take stress off your neck and shoulders and allow gravity to do some of the work for you.

#3 – Marble Countertops

When working with buttery pie doughs or chocolate that melts easily, having a cool working surface is essential. Marble maintains its cool temperature throughout the whole process of baking. Whether you have it cover your entire kitchen, or just a worktable / island as pictured above – marble is a baker’s best tool! Pro Tip: most stone yards have remnants that you can purchase for smaller work surfaces.

#4 – Plug-mold Undercabinet Lighting

We’ve all been there – making multiple dishes at once, you need to plug in a small appliance, which requires you to unplug something else in order to get the job done. Likewise, we could always use just a little extra light when we’re putting the finishing touches on something. In comes plug mold lighting to the rescue! Providing undercabinet task lighting and plenty of plugs for countertop appliances, it kills two birds with one stone. This is also a great option if you have a statement tile backsplash that you don’t want to distract from with a bunch of electrical outlets.

#5 – Cookbook Shelf 

Shelving near your workspace is another great way to keep all your tools (or recipes) within reach! Whether it’s an open shelf on the wall or an end cap on a row of cabinets as pictured above. It offers practical storage and a cute styling moment for when your friends and family inevitably come into the kitchen to help with the turkey.

#6 – Wine & Bubbly Storage

Okay, while not exactly essential, a wine bottle cubby can maximize an awkward area. Keeping the wine accessible during your Thanksgiving and holiday get-togethers will ensure that there are never too many cooks in the kitchen and will help make you the host who does the most!

Are you ready to optimize your kitchen for the holidays next year? Send us a message via our Contact Us page. Our team is ready to make your dream kitchen a reality!