Kitchen Storage Space That Hides
The Humble toe kick is an often-overlooked design detail, and maybe for good reason: It stands practically underfoot, serving in fact only to give our feet a place to rest while we’re working at the counters and cupboards above. However, whether in the kitchen, bathroom or elsewhere, there is much you can do with a toe kick, so it’s worth taking a moment to think about this small design detail. Here are a few helpful design tips for the last place you’d ever think about looking.
Toe kicks are, as a rule, typically 3 to 4 inches high, and recessed 3 inches underneath a cabinet. This gives you room for your feet — or your toes, anyway — while you’re standing at the counter without wasting cabinet space or creating a pocket that’s too deep to clean. However a toe kick doesn’t have to be wasted space. Drawers for extra storage are the perfect use for this overlooked space.
- They work great for wide, flat items, like specialty pans you don’t use every day … or a stepladder for when you need to reach those tall upper cabinets. A toe-kick drawer can also house your pet food if you prefer to keep it out of the way between meals — or if your pet is a bit of an overeater!
- Get a clean, classic look by matching the cabinets to avoid a visual break (especially perfect with statement wood floors). For a richer, traditional look, add faux feet to the cabinet fronts to give built-ins a furniture-inspired feel. Stainless steel (especially with stainless steel appliances) will let your toe kicks make a subtly modern statement. Or you can use a hint of color or repeat a beautiful tile — both work great in darker spaces to add some life.
- Underlighting isn’t just for cabinets. Glowing toe kicks look great in a space with other modern LED light sources (like in a ceiling alcove). To make toe kicks disappear, try painting them black or using a dark material … or give them a mirrored finish, and your cabinets will appear to float.
- Want other uses for your toe kick? Try a modern central vacuum system. You can incorporate a hidden suction port in the toe kick so crumbs and dust can be swept away without your even bending over. And a toe-kick heat vent will keep you toasty during a meal in your breakfast nook or banquette.
Your guests (and you) will appreciate the extra effort, even if they have no idea that your toe kick packs such a design punch!