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Porthos

MIldly Interesting Kitchen Ideas + My Small Contribution

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http://www.stepupnews.com/10-space-efficient-tricks-for-smarter-living/1/

 

As I clicked through this article I realized that having lived for, shall we say, a while there wasn't much new. I remember that the idea of using the inside portion of cabinet doors for lid storage came from watching Ulitmate Kitchen. However, there may be inspiartion for someone else here on egullet.

 

I put the side of our refrigerator to good use. I have spare measuring cups and spoons in a drawer so that when I am finished with cooking/baking that need them, the dirty ones go in the sink and clean ones from the drawer replace them.

 

Fridge_Side.jpg

 

Who needs an iPad and a stand for it if you have printer paper and magnets. And no need for counter space.

 

Range_Hood.jpg

 

 

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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I have SO many metal covered small appliances ... maybe I could just 'paper' the wall with stainless steel and add magnets to the appliances and hang them up (at a height/distance convenient to an electrical outlet so I might not even have to move them to use them!).

 

(a bit silly I know but I am really going nuts right now trying to figure out how to both keep all my small appliances - particularly the heavy/large ones for which I have no real storage and/or which are very hard to keep moving around - out and yet 'neat' and 'available' without too much fuss.)

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2 hours ago, Deryn said:

 

 

(a bit silly I know but I am really going nuts right now trying to figure out how to both keep all my small appliances - particularly the heavy/large ones for which I have no real storage and/or which are very hard to keep moving around - out and yet 'neat' and 'available' without too much fuss.)

 

I recall a thread here where fat Guy discussed using shower caps to cover small appliances to keep the dust and grease film off. I have been playing around with the concept and found two possible solutions, depending on the appliance. I found these shower cap-like cover ups at Smart & Final called CoverMate Stretch To Fit Food Covers, they are relatively small. There are also large bags like the Space Saver bags, ignore the whole vacuum sealing part, think of them as large sturdy plastic bags, I have seen packs of these at Big Lots, really cheap -like a 4 pack for under $6. I am also working on adapting blanket bags -search amazon, the amazon link isn't working for me right now. I think you could just measure, order, then cut one side off and they would rest on the appliance and protect it. Might not be very attractive, but would eliminate a lot of scrubbing. I wind up washing everything weekly, whether I used it or not, and I am tired of it.


Edited by Lisa Shock (log)
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Those are great ideas, Lisa. Thanks.

 

My real problem though goes beyond aesthetics .. it is (lack of) open counter space. I already do have a fitted cover for each of my KA mixers .. but they sit on the floor most of the time. Since they are heavy it is such a nuisance to hoist them up to counter height to use them.

 

Same issue with my ice cream maker (which I lifted up yesterday in preparation to make some Orange Pineapple machine). Whoa is that thing heavy and awkward to get out of its almost floor level cubbyhole - and you have to keep it level because it has a compressor in it. My Thermomix is on the counter but due to its height, I can't keep even the lid on it (so I have to store that and the Varoma piece elsewhere) if it is pushed back to the wall .. and my Vitamix doesn't fit under the top cabinets at all. The wok is on the counter but it takes up almost all of the only really good space I have for cutting things up (so no room left to prep for what needs to go into it). I had to haul in another table to put the IP on .. and now that is also where the toaster and waffle iron sit since I use all of those most often. And there are more .. many more unfortunately that I need to house but also want to use - and will use more frequently if they are already out. I suspect I need a complete kitchen overhaul .. pull down the top cabinets and just extend the countertop run at least 20 feet unobstructed.

 

I was joking when I said I should 'hang' my appliances from the wall though if there were strong enough magnets I might try! ... but perhaps (alternatively to a full kitchen renovation) I need to devise some kind of 'hanging shelf' system with a remote control that would raise and lower individual appliances down to counter height but store them neatly in a line or several lines near the ceiling. :)  Kind of like a parking garage in some cities where they stack the cars and use elevators to bring them up and down.


Edited by Deryn (log)
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1 hour ago, Lisa Shock said:

Do you have a dining room? If so, dump all the furniture and put steel restaurant prep tables around the perimeter.

 

Build a dining area in the back yard, or, put a gazebo in the front yard.

 

If I lived in Phoenix, perhaps I would do just that. We have winter here 10 months of the year and the back yard is where the wind howls to gale force 6 days out of 7 year round, even in summer (which is more like a bad winter day for you down there). I have to tie my chairs down as it is .. but perhaps if I put my appliances on them I could dispense with that task. :) Would be a fun place to have people over for dinner in the middle of a snow storm too.

 

This is not unsolvable though .. given enough time, planning and $. I don't have a 'dining room' per se (it was turned into the master bedroom by the previous owner) - my kitchen, main living area and dining area are all in a single room (about 20 x 20). Doors, windows and radiators however take up a lot of wall space and the previous owner designed this 'open' kitchen as a square with an island that is positioned way too far into the room. Hard to describe but I have been contemplating this issue since I bought the place ... and am now just trying to decide if I wall off a bit to create a walk in pantry with a long counter I can leave all these in out of sight (with loads of plugs) which would make the room less 'square' (not a bad thing I think) or if I will pull out half the kitchen (including the peninsula and island, extend the counter the full length of the room and create a new longer island better positioned closer to the wall making it more of a large galley kitchen. Some days I prefer one option .. the next I think the other would work best.

 

In the meantime, I just go along merrily acquiring more and more small appliances ... it truly is a disease. :)

 

 

 

 


Edited by Deryn (log)
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You can get these.  I had one in my kitchen back in the '70s for the KA 5 qt bowl lift mixer  and I had a second one for my large electric meat grinder.

From Sears

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 8.57.37 PM.png

 

From HOme depot

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 8.56.22 PM.png

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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@Deryn,

 

I don't know what kind of wok you have, but I have a one that needs an outside heat source and isn't very heavy. It's stored upstairs in my spacious linen closet along with my heavy V-rack for roasting whole poultry or prime rib, long-handled fish grilling basket, grills for the barbecue, stash of disposable dinner ware for power outages, 18" perforated pizza pan, and a bunch of other stuff that one would never think of storing in a linen closet. I have kitchen stuff stored in every room of the house including the bedrooms. That doesn't help much with your heavy appliances, except maybe the wok. They take up a lot of space.

 

There is a free-standing pantry cabinet that doesn't look out of place in the foyer which leads into the living room. I keep kitchen linens, spices, novelty serving dishes and stuff in there. I put shelves from the floor almost to the ceiling in the laundry room for canned goods, pasta, and other pantry items.

 

I am like Lisa Shock. I can't stand cleaning that greasy, dusty film off appliances so my blender, toaster, electric can opener, coffee maker and everything else are stored either in cabinets or another room. I don't have any really heavy stuff like you do, though.

5 hours ago, Deryn said:

Some days I prefer one option .. the next I think the other would work best.

 

Something that might add flexibility is a rolling kitchen island. You could move it where you needed it. Some are quite attractive.


Edited by Thanks for the Crepes kaint spel (log)
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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Of course, i was kidding, but, I turned my breakfast nook into a pantry, and my dining room into a cookbook library and equipment storage area. They were all kind of connected in an L shape anyway. My kitchen is an 8'x9' galley kitchen. I managed to fit in a 10' table in the old dining room, and I simply call it the chef's table. I extol the virtues of being seated in the kitchen to guests. But, I try to serve everyone outdoors whenever possible.

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Crate and barrel have some kitchen islands - some on wheels - that I think are attractive.

http://www.crateandbarrel.com/furniture/dining-kitchen-storage/1?a=784&campaignid=346481333&adgroupid=27189255413&targetid=kwd-4074774204&adpos=1t1&creative=97871259653&device=c&matchtype=e&network=g&gclid=CLXCrYqu9c0CFQlahgod8v0Ohg

 

My daughter has the Sheridan in stainless steel. She was living in Princeton NJ, very near the C&B outlet store and got it for less than half price.

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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I had no intention of diverting from Porthos's initial post ... but I thank you all for your contributions towards helping me resolve my kitchen dilemmas.

 

Final note: As an interim solution I have been seriously contemplating using 2 72" long cedar Veg Trugs I have never managed to get set up in my back yard. They are still brand new in the boxes so not 'dirty' yet. I don't have quite enough room to put them end to end along the empty wall next to the kitchen (due to a cabinet that opens onto that space at one end and a radiator too close to the wall at the other) however so I may set them one up along the wall and use the other as an 'island' (which will. for now, have to be positioned under the huge ugly metal 'chandelier' which I bump my head on every time I go to that part of the room if something is not under it to remind me - that is not where I want my dining area but I have to keep a table there for now to prevent permanent concussion). Electricians are scarce around these parts.

 

I cut some birch plywood to fit the top of the trugs a while back as makeshift 'countertops', just in case. I am pretty sure this idea will do the trick for me but it certainly will look a bit eclectic (or is that eccentric?). The good thing about that solution though is that if I go to sell and move some day, the room will essentially be as it was when I bought it - and won't have to be redone too much for the average consumer's taste (other than I will have to repaint because right now I have a very large 'test patch' of deep teal paint on the otherwise blah sage green wall and fully intend to repaint the entire room in that colour soon) .. and I am sure that colour will be a shock to some people's more traditional sense of aesthetics. :) 

 

You are all invited up to help me wrestle the pieces of the trugs out of the boxes and assemble them ... and then we will celebrate with a glass or three and an equally interesting dinner. Bring your winter jackets.


Edited by Deryn (log)
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14 minutes ago, Deryn said:

I had no intention of diverting from Porthos's initial post ... but I thank you all for your contributions towards helping me resolve my kitchen dilemmas.

 

Natural flow of conversation; this one about kitchen storage ideas.

 

 

16 minutes ago, Deryn said:

 ... and then we will celebrate with a glass or three and an equally interesting dinner. Bring your winter jackets.

 

Whereabouts in general do you live? I'm here in Southern California's reclamined desert climate so I have to worry about protecting things from the heat.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Porthos ... I live at the top northeastern corner of Nova Scotia ... probably about 5000 miles from you as the crow flies. Quite a hike - but what an adventure the trip would be. :) It is very close to Cape Breton Island but on the mainland and further east.

 

It is a rare day that I have to protect things from the heat here, especially this summer. This afternoon though I drove 30 miles to the next nearest good sized town (probably about 2 k residents in that area) and it was 10 degrees warmer than here today. You would still think it was cold though I am sure (at 70F). I had heat on till 2 weeks ago (and some days lately when it is humid, one is still tempted to turn it back on) but I don't need air conditioning either.

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@Derynplease post some pictures of your kitchen. I'm having a hard time visualizing

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It is hard to photograph .. will see what I can do about that though. Stand by a day or two, please.

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There's a ton of new storage ideas I found on Pinterest, and I've been forwarding them to my kitchen designer. The most genius one I have her integrating into my kitchen rebuild, is the removal of the fake drawer beneath the sink, and replacing it with a paper towel holder. 

The next one is the root bins I found, in lieu of a standard cabinet, on the island.

Then there was the magazine holder, turned from a vertical position to a horizontal position, and using the slots to store cutting boards. Nail it or attach it to the inside of a cupboard.

Then, there was the plastic or wire file pocket turned horizontally, affixed to the inside of another cabinet door, in which you can vertically store saran wrap, foil and zip-loc boxes. 

And then, (this was so cool!!!), install a spring rod underneath the sink in that cabinet, and hang all the spray bottles of 409, Windex, SScleaner, etc. With all of that stuff suspended on the rod, you have all kinds of space for sponges, clothes, scrubbies, and stuff.

And then...this is great...you know the really really long utensils that don't seem to fit into a drawer? So, install the section separaters DIAGONALLY in the drawer, and you end up with a couple super-long sections for skewers and whatever.

I am driving that poor designer absolutely insane....but, I can't help it.  I feel bad for a little bit after I send her more pics and ideas, but then I'm like- "gosh, I'm paying for this! Why should I be sorry?  She'll probably use it on some other clients!!!"    Some of these things are just too cool to ignore. Pinterest is addicting, but great for ideas.

 

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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This is probably the only thing about my kitchen that is even mildly innovative - but I love it. The faucet is swivel mounted. Cold water only, sadly. It is great for filling canning kettles and pasta pots.  When we built our house the plumbers (who work for my husband) were all "She wants a faucet where?" I am pretty sure (26 years later) that the idea came not from a cooking or interior design magazine but from one of my husband's issues of Plumbing and Mechanical. Now if there was only some way to drain the pots without lifting them off the stove....

 

DSC01403.jpg

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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I periodically entertain myself by designing my "dream kitchen." Mine is moderately serviceable (I have cooked in worse). Stove, small countertop and refrigerator on one wall. Directly across from it, a divider base and hanging cabinets that separate kitchen from den (which, at some point before I moved here, was the back wall of the house). If you're standing at the stove, to your left three steps is the wall with the sink; to your right four steps, past the fridge, is the opening into the dining room. Not a lot of usable counter space, but the real killer for me is the small countertop between stove and fridge (maybe 30 inches) contains the ONLY wall outlet in the kitchen, to which I have fitted a screw-in multiplug.

 

Lined up under the base cabinet on that wall are my KA stand mixer, my big blender, my food processor, my coffee grinder and an electric kettle. The microwave sits on the counter beside the entry to the dining room, and makes use of an outlet that is actually in the dining room, with a power strip run from it that powers the microwave and Keurig. The CSO, when it gets here, will perch on top of the microwave and use the same power strip.

 

There is, at least, a reasonable amount of storage space, including a small pantry, and the next-door laundry room (off the den) has more storage. My Instant Pot and other small electrical appliances live in the cabinet beneath the on-counter appliances, except the Anova, which lives in the laundry room, because that's where I do all my SV cooking.

 

If I could snap my fingers and fix things, I'd add another 8 to 10 feet of counter space in strategic locations, triple the size of the pantry, and add about a dozen outlets. Oh, and the pot filler faucet for the stove, and a MUCH better vent hood.

 

I think, though, I'm going to adopt Porthos' suggestion for the magnetized hooks to hold small things on the side of the fridge. Right now, it holds my instant-read thermometer, several bumper stickers, and grandkids' drawings.


Edited by kayb to close parentheses (log)
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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I love hearing about kitchens. I'll post mine to the kitchen thread when I don't have a full complement of underthings hanging up to dry from the pig hook in the centre though! :D

 

I had my kitchen hand built for me last year (well, started the year before!!). In terms of unusual storage it has a LOT of drawers, far more than the fitters were used to putting in. I did this because I had a full run of drawers for pans etc in my house in Tokyo and loved it. One of the kitchen builders I interviewed when choosing a local company was wheelchair bound and he also said that he found drawers really helpful. Since it's a forever kitchen I thought that was an interesting possibility for forward planning. I love having a lot of stuff in drawers, it makes finding things a piece of cake.

 

Other things I really enjoy are having a full height pantry in two cupboards with pull out shelves and spice / oil racks on the doors (they were supposed to be mesh Hafele units but a measurement accident happened and they ended up being wood - less good in terms of visibility but admittedly very attractive looking). The recycling centre that's built in is pretty useful too. I also have some drawers within drawers which are ideal for flat things like placemats and such like - and a unit next to the sink which has space for wooden spoons, a chopping board and other utensils that's pretty handy. 

 

The other weird thing I asked for was a large metal clad board to be slotted in between the AGA and the wall. This can be pulled out when I actually use the bread oven and used to protect the electric hob as I scrape the ashes out.

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Tere, your kitchen sounds interesting.  Looking forward to your pictures.  I had a tall drawer with four sections put in my kitchen.  I measured the tallest bottle of things like oil and vinegar and made the drawer that high.  I keep all my soya sauce, fish sauce, vinegars, oils in the pull out drawer.  One gets familiar with what they look like from the top.  Beats having them in a cupboard.

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Actually my regular oils (rapeseed, olive, spicy / herby olive that came from infusing olive oil with a dried herb pack I bought in the Languedoc and gets regularly added to with whatever interesting oil gets drained off something) are one of the things I store in the random stuff unit next to the sink. I agree it makes it a lot easier to find :)

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6 hours ago, kayb said:

I think, though, I'm going to adopt Porthos' suggestion for the magnetized hooks to hold small things on the side of the fridge.

 

The hooks are 3M Command hooks. Magnetic hooks can slide around.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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