I've been asking friends and family what to do about my dining room storage situation and the answer is pretty much unanimous at "wall of cabinetry". But just plain ol' kitchen cabinets weren't the right solution. I need low rise drawers, and lots of them, for tools and craft things. Bigger drawers for paper, smaller drawers for screwdrivers and brushes. "Map drawers" are my ideal, but they're a little too specific and just won't fit or function.
Before I became lousy with illness, I'd received a Home Decorator's catalog. The cover had the craft hutch I've been looking for lo these many years. I really dug the green color (which, in its defense, matches my couch), but it's going in a line of otherwise white cabinetry, so I had to go with white. I suppose I could always gunk it up with color later. It's Martha Stewart, if you can believe that, and it's wonderful. It's in two pieces - the image on the right below. A sewing machine fits in the lower right, and paper or fabric on the lower left, then all kinds of crapola in the upper hutch.
If you click though to polyvore (the first link after the picture as I accidentally deleted the link to the pic and don't have the patience to restore it) then click on the hutch, then (yeah, right) look at the alternate images, it will show you the thing loaded up for the catalog, and why I love it already. I ordered it last night.
I also ordered 2 3-drawer filing cabinets and a 6+2 drawer that I'll get to use for tools inside (finally!) as well as pens and brushes and whatnot. They're both 41" high, and leave just enough width that I can cram in a shelf to hold my stereo (but not the speakers) and some 12-packs of soda (which don't quite fit under the sink anymore). And it will be beautiful and work great.
Dining room Storage by CrankyOtter on Polyvore.com
New cabinetry for dining room wall - while I like the curio cabinet (up left) the rest of the stuff is what I actually got. I totally would have gone for the hutch in green, except I had to go with white to not make the space look insane. I think the tall 6+2 drawer set will be good for both screwdriver type tools and pens and brushes.
The only decision left is what to do for upper cabinetry to hold my cookbooks (and whatever else). Options are 2 rows of open, white shelves, a closed "Varde" cabinet from IKEA, or closed IKEA Adel cabinets that match my existing (but with no glass inserts) in either 36 or 66 inches wide (1 lg vs 2 small + 1 lg).
I'm so excited I'm just burning up!