Place is one of my favorite words. Everything belongs somewhere. A system works harmoniously when its constituent elements can perform their functions. Whether designing forest gardens or kitchen gadget storage, we achieve harmony by placing each element where it belongs. And keeping it there.
Having applied the ecological principle to kitchen design, I thought I had stumbled on a great discovery. Turns out, generations of chefs have followed the mise-en-place practice of kitchen organization. Still, we can permaculture guidelines to appreciate how such a practice works.
1. Activate the vertical layer.
Magnets on the inside of cabinet walls reduce competition for space in drawers. Avoiding clutter in drawers avoids systemic stress.
2. Stack functions.
It’s not just a cabinet door, it’s a hangout for easy-to-see tools.
3. Space elements appropriately.
Avoid placing objects in front of each other unless they perform the same function. Every element should be seen without needing to move something out of the way.
I like to think of it as harmonic system design inspired by ecological theory. For me, it makes ordinary kitchen tasks feel more purposeful, and a bit more enchanted.