When I first started this series, one topic that came up was knowing what appliances to keep on your counters. When is having a clear counter more important than the appliance?
Of course, that’s always an individual decision, but I’d like to give you a few things to think about.
Counters Affect the Feel of the Kitchen
Imagine a kitchen with completely clear counters. Now imagine one with clean but cluttered counters. The two images have a very different feel.
Neither is right or wrong. Crowded counters can be done with style and sometimes are necessary when there is very little space.
But you can’t deny that there is a difference in the feeling that the two images communicate. Clear counters can make the kitchen feel clean, open, fresh, and organized. Busy counters can make the kitchen feel homey, welcoming, and help to accent a particular decorating style.
Counters are Work Space
Everyone needs some space to work in their kitchen. You need a place where food preparation can happen, and that is usually on a counter. Having a clear counter space that is ready and open for food prep will make you feel better about working in your kitchen and save you time when it comes time to work.
Counters are Obvious Storage Space
Counters tend to get cluttered because we see the space and naturally think that we have room for that new small appliance. It is open space where something can be stored.
Making a Decision
It’s best to think through what you want your kitchen to look and feel like, as well as how important space and appliances are to you. Decide what your philosophy is, and then make choices based on that.
My philosophy is sort of middle of the road. I really like having clear counters, but since I have a good deal of counter, I’m willing to sacrifice some of my counter space for storage space.
The counter you see at the far end in the photo above is an area where I don’t do any food prep, so I have designated that area as a space where I don’t mind storing items, such as my rather large NuWave oven.
The area to the left of the sink is where I do my food preparation, and I have decided to keep it clear except for the compost bin that I now have right next to the sink.
I used to have a cooking utensil holder to the right of the stove but decided to clean out the small drawer there and move the utensils into that. They are still handy when I am cooking, and I prefer having them off the counter.
I’ve shared my baking center with you before. I like having plenty of open area to work when I am baking, but the counter is large enough that I’m willing to give some of it up for items that are often used or particularly large, like my mixer and electric tea pot. Usually the Magic Bullet sits there too.
When I consider buying something new for the kitchen, I always think first about where it will be stored. Sometimes that means I go through my cabinets and get rid of things I’m not using to make room for storing that new item. If you bring in something new and don’t get rid of anything, then eventually you run out of space.
Deciding ahead of time how much counter space you are willing to give up helps you make buying decisions and helps to keep your counters from overflowing. How do you feel about clear counters versus small appliances?