When you have beautiful countertops, you want them clear and gleaming on display. But keeping countertops clear is a constant battle in any active household. People and things move through the kitchen constantly, and junk can pile up. The more cooking you do, the more likely cooking utensils, spices, or regularly used tools will be left out and small appliances will demand counter space. But all is not lost.
Anyone can have clear countertops if they first use a few design tricks to help conquer the clutter. It's true that a perfectly pristine kitchen is tough to keep clear - but only because there's nowhere to put all the little things you use each day. Today, we're here to talk about clear, beautiful countertops and how to maintain that in a busy household routine.
1. Mount a Wire Folder Basket for Your Cutting Boards
You need your cutting boards all the time. You need to rinse and dry and use them again. You don't want to constantly open a cabinet or reach around other things to get your cutting boards, so they often wind up stored clean and drying on the counter. No more.
Hang a vertical file folder organizer - the plastic-sheathed wire kind - against the side of an upper cabinet near the sink or your favorite chopping spot. Your cutting boards can air dry and are stored vertically off the countertop for an elegant, at-hand solution.
2. Make Use of Dual-Basin Sink Accessories
If you have a large farmhouse sink, perhaps with two basins, use that space with trays and covers over the top. A spacious sink can serve several purposes both in the sink and by covering over the top of your sink create yet another workspace.
Hang a draining rack over the sink for rinsed and hand washed dishes. Fit a cutting board or colander over one-half of your sink for a fast vegetable preparation routine.
3. Place a Tray for Active and Frequent Cooking Accessories
The things you cook with most often wind up scattered over or dominating your countertops. Give them all an active-use place with a special tray near the stove where utensils, spices, and other common-use items can rest for every recipe.
4. Hang a Paper Towel Dispenser from Below the Upper Cabinets
Upright paper towel holders should be a thing of the past. You want a paper towel holder that hangs down from above, preferably right underneath your upper cabinets. This allows the paper towels to be pulled evenly - due to the horizontal mounting - and stay 100% off the countertops.
5. Place Floating Shelves and Hooks Everywhere
Floating shelves of every width and length can be used to add storage where there wasn't storage before. Combine floating shelves with hooks and you can add all sorts of aesthetic and handy vertical storage to your kitchen. Put hooks on the inside of cabinet doors and hang open floating shelves along the sides of upper cabinets. Hook a scrub-brush basket over the side of the sink and line your nearby kitchen walls with open floating shelves.
6. Magnetic Knife Block
Magnets are fantastic in the kitchen, from the fridge to the magnetic knife block. Get rid of that old block of wood - it can dull your knives and even become a mold-house. Instead, keep your beautiful, shiny cooking knives on a magnetic block running just above your countertop's mini backsplash. Secure the knives so the tips are just an inch or two above the countertop for easy cleaning.
From there, go crazy with magnets. Find every ferrous surface in the kitchen and use strong magnets to mount hooks, shelves, and trays that can be just as easily removed or re-arranged.
7. Design a Roll-out Cutting Board Surface
One way to keep even your active cutting board off your beautiful stone counter is a roll-out cutting board surface. The lower surface may be more comfortable to chop, more accessible to children, and provide a handy hidden board storage location. Make the cutting boards removable for easy cleaning and interchangeable replacements.
Bonus Tip: Place the Roll-Out Trash Bin Underneath
Want to clean up your trimmings easy? Place your hidden trashcan just under the roll-out cutting board at a slight offset to easily scoop trimmings into the bin.
8. Give Your Bread a Home
Bread often winds up living on the counter, but it doesn't have to. Make a home for your bread products and keep it there. Some create a vertical drawer in the cabinet, some use the top of the fridge. Heck, you can hang baskets for bread from the ceiling or mount a bread box to the wall.
9. Establish a Mail Inbox Elsewhere
The mail is another thing that winds up stacked or scattered on the kitchen counter. Keep mail rounded up and off your counter by establishing a mail sorting area elsewhere. A single inbox on the breakfast table or in the living room can help direct mail and its clutter out of the kitchen.
10. Stack an Appliance Garage
Small appliances have become a staple of modern kitchens. The coffee maker, toaster, air fryer, blender, juicer, mixer, toaster oven, microwave, or the easy bake oven; whatever your family uses often winds up permanently plugged in on the counter - but there just isn't enough counter space. One solution is to mount your essentials like a mounted microwave or wall oven. Another is to offload appliances to separate prep stations. A third is an appliance garage - a type of vertical cabinet for multiple appliances to be tucked away and used one at a time.
11. Use Hanging Fruit Baskets
Hanging fruit baskets are a great way to get that classic bowl of fruit off the counter in a fun and decorative way. These baskets can help to reduce fruit bruising before eating. We favor the three-tiered fruit baskets, using the different bowls to separate light and heavy fruit to reduce pressure in the bowl.
12. Bring In a DIY Island
You're also not limited just to your built-in benchtop space. You can bring in an extra table or rolling cart to act as your island. A good island has both a top to work with and a lot of cargo underneath, which is why drink carts are often favored. DIY yourself an island by finding or even designing and upcycling the pieces you need into an extra prep surface and storage space within your kitchen.
Having beautiful countertops should greet you with a breath of fresh air every time you enter the kitchen, but clutter and stress can get in the way. These twelve strategies can help you keep your countertops clear, clean, and gleaming while the rest of your kitchen gets more organized with every neat trick you implement. For more inspirational kitchen design ideas or to find the perfect farmhouse sink for your custom kitchen design, contact us today.