My husband, Bob, and I run a design/build remodeling company in California's Silicon Valley. Many of our customers are engineers, so they expect cabinets to be highly functional and designed to fit their specific needs, in addition to being beautiful. Our in-house designers work closely with local cabinet shops to produce a tailored product. By rethinking standard configurations, they're able to create unusual storage solutions and make use of space that normally goes to waste.

Leftover Inches Put to Good Use


What can you do with an extra 6 inches in a run of cabinets?


With custom cabinets, you can turn extra inches into specialized storage that's tailored to your clients' needs. In this kitchen, storage was added by turning decorative pilasters into pullouts for cooking supplies (left).

The same idea was used in the upper cabinets, where spaces that were too narrow for standard cabinet boxes were turned into pullout spice racks on either side of the stove. In another kitchen, drawers added between the dishwasher and sink are just big enough to hold foil or wrap and are close to the workspace where they'll be used. The space they occupy is so narrow that it would be hard to use it for anything else.

Bathroom vanities, too, often lay out with just a little extra space — and aren't there always a bunch of small items that clutter up the counters?

We use the extra space by building tiny drawers for articles such as makeup, hair accessories, and medicine bottles. The bottom drawer is narrow but deep enough for extra shampoo bottles or bathroom cleaner.