Consider including a paper shredder in kitchen desk drawers. In two recent projects, Ethan Landis, principal at Landis Construction,, in Washington, D.C., installed a shredder in a desk drawer near where clients sort mail.

Ty Melton, owner of Melton Design Build, in Boulder, Colo., removed the desk area from his own kitchen but came to regret it because now mail collects on his kitchen island. The company included a desk area paper shredder in one of the kitchens it featured on a remodeled-home tour as an unusual, practical detail to spark interest.

Paper Trail

The designer at Melton Design Build requested a few modifications from its semi-custom cabinetry manufacturer to create this desk area, which is tailored to suit the homeowners. The shredder fits in the cabinetry line’s pull-out trash cabinet. Though there are other trash cans in the kitchen, the homeowners also wanted one in the drawer in the desk where they sort mail. There is minimal counter space, and cabinet doors hide clutter.

Ready, Set, Shred

Though this desk, like those in most of Landis Construction’s kitchen remodels, is custom cabinetry, Ethan Landis says that you can create the same detail with a standard 18-, 21-, or 24-inch–wide base cabinet drawer (based on the shredder width). An extension cord plugs into a dedicated outlet in the wall and stretches out when the drawer is open.

Take Charge

Besides mail, homeowners today also want to organize their phone and mobile devices. To hide the wires in this charging area, Lori Leistico, project and design manager at Bella Domicile, in Madison, Wis., reduced the base cabinet depth and ran wiring in the gap from a wall outlet to the ledge. She used two pieces of 6-inch–wide cabinet filler to create the ledge.

—Nina Patel is a senior editor at REMODELING. Find her on Twitter at @SilverNina or @RemodelingMag.