Kitchen & dining

RL Makeovers: A Clean and Clutter-Free Kitchen

The designer transforms a shared space with cheerful colors and organizing solutions

Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Pictorial Direction: Gwyn Guanzon

Passion is evident in every area of Jason and  Maui Drilon's home. There's the crafts room for her crocheted creations, the balcony for his organic farming stuff, the living room for their shelves and boxes of comic books, DVDs, and toys. And the kitchen is laden with paraphernalia for their chosen specialties -- Jason is into cooking comfort food, while Maui is a whiz in baking.

Though their kitchen is sizeable, the area grew cluttered and disorganized over the years, what with their combined inventory of ingredients, cookbooks, and a multitude of utensils. To improve things, the designer had to come up with solutions that would make the area more efficient. 

After assigning a new color scheme and applying fresh coats of paint, the next step was to make sure each kitchen task -- be it cooking, baking, cleaning or washing -- can be done with minimum movement to avoid bumps and spills (this was crucial since it is just a condo kitchen). The existing kitchen storage system was also evaluated, including the adjacent small room that serves as extra storage (and soon-to-be maid's room).

Read the original article ("Kitchen Wars (No More!)") in the June 2011 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

Since the couple already has an existing island kitchen counter, the space above was used for hanging storage.  Now this area is becoming an interesting centerpiece to the kitchen as a whole.  It is being used for hanging the pots and pans, utensils, etc.

Small yet big-impact additions were also implemented. In keeping with the kitchen's new soothing color, the existing mono-block bar stools were refinished in blue paint. Also, the new lights from Philips definitely helped in brightening and giving the area a wholly fresh vibe.  

Since this couple is an advocate of organic produce, a couple of herbal potted hanging plants - peppermint and parsley, were used to frame the kitchen window.  The hanging plants make the kitchen look warmer and prettier as well!

To prevent clutter from loose papers and leaflets, the top cabinet doors were finished in cork board panels, which they can use for posting a multitude of things-reminders, food delivery flyers, food photographs, etc.

Spice racks and baskets were mounted on a wall to free up counter space and to create a neater look. Wall fans and hooks were also installed.

The couple has a lot of cookbooks and recipe clippings from magazines and food blogs. Individual bookcases were added for books and other belongings.

If your current kitchen cabinet is bursting at the seams, fret not.  Invest in storage and shelving units! Edit out kitchen gadgets and utensils that are rarely used from the cabinets, and place them in storage must-haves. Other shelving spaces were used for dry goods storage, etc.  Grouping everything really helps greatly in organizing the kitchen. 


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