22 July 2008


I multi-task all the time. You probably do, too. So why shouldn't your kitchen? It's already the busiest room in your home. Here are four multi-tasking tools to make "family central" live larger, work smarter and store more.


This handy unit, shown here, from U-Line, is the ideal party zone appliance. It can make ice, keep frozen treats frozen and store your cold drinks in the same 24" space a standard beverage fridge would normally occupy.


If your microwave is only reheating left-overs and making frozen vegetables, consider it an under-performer. In the same space, whether built-in or over-the-range, you can add a second oven to your kitchen by upgrading to a microwave-convection combo, and even a microwave-convection oven-warming 'drawer' unit. Most of the major manufacturers are adding these capabilities to their offerings and they're well worth considering, especially at holiday time when turkeys, side dishes and pies are all vying for the same cooking space! One combo unit that I've specified for numerous happy clients trading up from a standard micro is the GE Profile Advantium.


Sure, your backsplash looks really pretty with all the decorative tile you've got on it now, but those 18 typical vertical inches between your countertops and your wall cabinets are sure under-worked! Put them to work, too, with a backsplash organizing system that can free up countless square feet of drawer space. It also puts added storage exactly where you need it most. For example, place a spice shelf above the space where you prep your food for cooking. Or hang a utensil rack near your cooktop, where you can reach a spatula when you need one. Hafele is a good source for these organizers. Home centers carry them from time to time, too.


Just like your backsplash, your ceiling is sorely under-tasked. Sure, it's providing a space for your lights and maybe a ceiling fan and vent. Put it to better use with a lighted pot rack. This will take some stress off your overworked base cabinets and make it easier to find the pots you use most often. It will also provide some focused task lighting on your island or peninsula, if you have one. (If you don't, please skip this option so no one hits their head!)

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