I love my small appliances: a mixer for baking, blender for smoothies, sandwich toaster, rice cooker… the list goes on. But the truth is I often struggle to find a place to store them in the kitchen, and many of my clients come to me with the same problem.
When kitchen gadgets are scattered around or shoved in any old nook or cranny, they can end up neglected and under-used because it’s just too hard to get them out. My husband has tried to enforce a ‘one in, one out’ rule, but that didn’t go so well (I need them all in my life!). The trick, I’ve come to realise, is in finding spots where they can be kept out of the way (and even out of sight), but always accessible. These clever storage ideas for small appliances will hopefully make it easier for you to grab them on the run.
Try a tea station
One of the most practical storage places for the most regularly used small appliances in your kitchen, such as your kettle and coffee machine, is a cabinet (with doors and shelves) built over a worktop, especially at the wall end or in a corner of your kitchen. This allows you easy access to your appliances, but keeps them out of sight when they’re not in use.
TIP Have power points installed at the back of the cabinet so you can leave the appliances plugged in and ready for use at a moment’s notice.
Select a sliding door
The cupboard seen here houses a coffee machine concealed behind a roller door. As the door slides up and away into the cavity it virtually disappears, allowing the cabinet to be left open without causing any obstruction. This is perfect for smaller kitchen cabinets installed on the worktop.
TIP Fix a small shelf above your appliances so you can keep a tea caddy and ground coffee within easy reach – a convenience you’ll no doubt appreciate on early morning dashes around the kitchen before work.
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Install an appliance centre
If you have enough space in your kitchen, it may be possible to create a separate, designated appliance centre (with numerous power points) where all your small gadgets can be lined up along a worktop, yet remain hidden behind closed doors.
The appliance centre can be hidden behind a sliding door or, if it’s a fairly wide space, behind bi-folding doors as seen here. This is understandably more costly than a conventional shelf, but it’s extremely neat and convenient. Just open the doors and use the appliances where they stand – a far better option, I think you’ll agree, than allowing your kitchen whizzes to gather dust at the back of a cupboard.
TIP If you regularly bake or make juices and smoothies quite often, keep your mixers and blenders plugged in (but switched off at the socket) and ready to use at any time.
Sort a slide-out shelf
If you decide to store your small appliances plugged in and inside a cabinet on the worktop, it’s best to pull them out of the cabinet when you switch them on. This is particularly important for coffee machines, kettles and toasters. It avoids the build up of heat and steam inside the cabinet, which can cause damage to your appliances, surfaces and joinery.
Pulling appliances out of the cabinet is made easier by sitting the gadgets on a slide-out shelf. Just push them back in when you’re finished.
Consider corner cabinets
If the internal space of a corner cabinet is planned carefully and put to good use, it can be one of the best places in which to store small appliances. Shown here, a shelf extension has been fitted inside the cabinet. This mechanism can be pulled right out, allowing the user to gain easy access to the items stored inside.
TIP Pulling the shelf out of the cabinet also makes it easier to quickly lift an appliance up onto the worktop.
Dig deep with your drawers
If you don’t have space in your kitchen to create a designated appliance centre or worktop cabinet, consider storing your gadgets in a deep under-worktop pull-out drawer.
TIP Ensure your drawer is designed to carry a reasonable amount of weight before you load it up with heavy mixers and blenders. Check with your kitchen planner or the cabinet maker what the maximum load capacity is of each kitchen drawer.
Opt for an appliance lift
This clever little contraption makes lifting stored appliances out from lower cabinets all the more easier. It is such a simple concept, but it works so well.
An appliance lift allows you to conveniently store heavy small appliances in lower cabinets, while eliminating the need to bend down to take them out. The lift simply elevates when you open the cabinet door.
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Welcome a walk-in pantry
We all crave a big kitchen with a large walk-in pantry. If you’re lucky enough to have the space to incorporate a separate one into your kitchen plan, then this could be the perfect place to house all your small appliances.
At the design stage, devote an area inside the pantry for a worktop and make sure it’s deep enough to hold your appliances, lined up and plugged in. Perhaps you can create a baking centre, where everything you need to whip up some yummy muffins, from mixer to tin, is all in one place.
Go for an appliance shelf
You might not have space for a walk-in pantry, but you could still squeeze an appliance shelf into a regular cupboard pantry. Choose the shelf that’s positioned around waist level as the one on which you’ll store some of your small appliances. This eliminates the need to bend down or reach up too high. It also means that you can open your pantry doors and easily find the appliance you need without having to rummage around for it.
TIP You could also consider having the appliances stored in a pull-out drawer fitted inside the cupboard. Again, check the weight capacity of the drawers first before loading them up.
Let it pop up
This automated unit takes small appliance storage to another level. It completely hides your gadgets below your worktop. Then, at the touch of a button, a lift mechanism raises the appliance storage unit up to worktop level. When you’re finished using them, your appliances can be lowered back down, leaving you with a clean and empty worktop.
Some appliances are simply too pretty to hide away, like the yellow mixer seen here. If you don’t have any space to store an appliance like this, then why not take advantage of its good looks and display it to brighten up a dull corner of your kitchen.
Where and how do you store your small appliances? Share your ideas for clever storage solutions in the Comments section.