Saturday, March 30, 2013

Foodie Faves: Storage Solutions

A garage is a place for storage. Cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles. Also (in my case) rakes, lawn mowers, grass seed spreaders, brooms, saws, and various jars with different sizes of screws. And trash cans, the chair that one day I thought I’d recover, the sewing machine my mother-in-law gave me without knowing how completely inept I am with any needle and thread, and a big box of tiles from when we re-did the bathroom. And so it likely is with you. Just about anything you keep but don’t necessarily want to have on display, you put in the garage.

That’s sort of how my appliance garage works. I have various appliances that I use frequently, but I don’t have the sort of kitchen where I can let these things just sit out all the time on the counter. It’s one of those “open architecture” kitchens that essentially shares its space with the dining room. The  rooms are separate, but not distinct – the architectural equivalent of Siamese twins.

In order to keep the kitchen from looking, well, “kitchen-y,” I employ a number of tricks. For instance, I have no upper cabinets; I use a drawer microwave that’s below the counter in the island; and I hide the ovens in the pantry. I also have to keep the counters as free as possible from clutter, which if you know me is quite a feat. That’s where my appliance garage comes in.

IKEA AVSIKT Roll-front Cabinet
I found it at IKEA, where they call it the AVSIKT Roll-front Cabinet. My builder installed it in the space between wall studs at the end of my counter. I must confess I’ve only just now realized that the carpenter dismantled the IKEA piece to use only the roll-front door and simply framed out the space inside. He also added a shelf about two-thirds of the way up from the bottom to give me extra storage, and an electrical outlet so the appliances in the lower area stay plugged in. I’m sure any other clever carpenter could do the same, though you probably have to call an electrician for the outlet. Or you could install the cabinet as is.

Now you see them...

As you can see, the space holds my Cuisinart food processor and KitchenAid mixer very nicely. On the shelf above them, I have my blender and food scale. The food processor and mixer sit on small plastic cutting boards to which I attached self-adhesive Magic Slider furniture glides, which allows me to slide the appliances smoothly in and out of the cabinet. What a difference it makes from the days when I either left them out on the counter or lugged them around the kitchen!

Now you don't!

So what’s your best storage secret?

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