The kitchen workspace dilemma

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It’s efficient and it’s attractive. Well. It was when it was empty — when you moved in. But in time you realized your kitchen had so little counter space that you found yourself using your breakfast table for overflow workspace. This will simply not do.

The Wall Street Journal's Maria Neuman says if you regularly face the chaos of cords, coffee machines, and cutting boards—before you even start cooking, it’s time to rethink how you use your kitchen. “Think over, under, and up,” she says. “Examine your counter detritus mercilessly and reserve space for everyday essentials only.” That means placing things out of the way but close at hand at the same time.

The first thing Neuman recommends is the idea of open shelving if any extra wall space exists. “In some tiny cook spaces, open shelving beats cabinets by getting stuff off counters but within easy reach.” She tells the story of Anastasia Casey, a designer who, when visiting her sister in San Francisco, jettisoned the upper cabinets of her sister’s 1917 kitchen. She floated walnut shelves, keeping canisters, bowls, and everyday spices on the lower ones. Retailers like West Elm also sell wood risers, which sit on the counter and add a shelf with no need to drill holes. Shallow ones hold spices nicely.

You can also transform your sink into a work surface. “Just plop an oversized chopping block over half of it,” says Neuman. Or opt for a workstation sink, which has multiple accessories like cutting boards, strainers, and drying racks built in made by companies like Kohler and Ruvati. Anything that can do double duty will help. Wall-mounted taps free up space behind the sink, and backsplash-mounted suction-cupped kitchen caddie can hold scrubbers and sponges. Inventive is the name of the game.

For that matter, backsplashes may be overrated. How about a pegboard, from which cutting boards and utensils hang on hooks, freeing up counter space from that tool-storage crock on the counter? Shallow custom doorless cabinets can hold spices. And hooks help too. Then ditch the space-hogging knife block by housing your sharp objects on a wall-mounted magnetic strip.

What about mixers and toaster ovens? Turn any cabinet into an appliance garage by adding electrical outlets at the rear. Add appliance lifts for heavy items. These seamlessly pull out of a cabinet and elevate to counter height, bringing your device along on its own little shelf. And spirit away paper towels with a wall-mounted holder.

Neuman concludes that for both practical and aesthetic reasons, puny kitchens require choice materials. Small kitchens are easily uplifted if the surfaces are streamlined and even. Good choices are quartz, porcelain, or quartzite. Carrera marble is gorgeous, but it’s porous, requiring upkeep.

WSJ, TBWS


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Alpha Loan Group- Alterra Home Loans

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J.C. Mier The Mortgage GOAT

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Branch Manager/ Loan Officer

NMLS: 258527

Cell: 469-628-4544


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