Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Designing the Right Trash Bin Makes All the Difference.

The most important part of the design process is understanding the needs and expectations of the homeowner.  As a kitchen designer, certified through the National Kitchen and Bath Association, I know all the technical ins and outs of  kitchen and bath design but what I don't know at the start is how my client likes to use her/his kitchen.  Interviews and conversations are a critical step in the design process because they supply that unknown.  It is the combination of technical knowledge mingled with an understanding of how a client works in the kitchen that insures a successful design. So, when my client talks, I listen. 

In a recent kitchen remodel designed with a semi-custom cabinet manufacturer I modified a three drawer base cabinet to function as a trash bins cabinet instead.  If you are designing a custom kitchen then you specify the cabinet you need in that space but with a semi-custom line you have certain options or you have to rebuild the cabinet.

Part of this remodel was to redesign her island so that she could get more use out of it,  I was able to include an 15" trash container cabinet at the end of the island putting it in close proximity to the refrigerator as well as the sink. But I could not use the trash bin cabinet from the manufacturer, nor could I find one from an outside vendor such as Rev-a-shelf.  In the world of cabinets for trash bins you have allot of options.  There is a top mount which I often advise because it is very sturdy and there is also the bottom mount.   You can have one that is connected to the door so it pulls out when you open the cabinet or you can have one where you open the cabinet door then pull out the bins.  There are many choices to choose from, however, the trash bin itself is basically the same size, usually 27-30Qt . For this project that size was an issue. 

My client was an older woman who uses small trash bins because they are easy to carry and just the right size for her disposal needs. Because of her lifestyle it would take her about a month to full a 30qt. trash bin, so I needed to come up with an alternative.

The pictures to the right show you what I did.  I included a 15" three drawer cabinet. I asked my installer to modify the cabinet so that instead of three drawers it will have top small drawer and a pull out door attached to the bottom drawer to hold trash bins.  As you can see he had already taken off the drawer fronts and attached the door that I had ordered separately to the cabinet in the top picture.  In the second picture you can see where he took out the middle rail that once was needed for the middle drawer and attached side bars to support the door. The last pictures shows how the cabinet pulls out with her trash bins in place.

There is a certain amount of problem solving with every project.  It's part of what we do as designers to meet the needs of the client.  And it's all about meeting the needs and expectations of our clients.

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