What would you do for more counter top space? When we bought this house, it only had 8 square feet of counter space. That’s 50″ x 23.5″!! That’s not a lot of counter top space and when I look back at the townhouse kitchen and my old apartment, I realize that I’ve always lived in counter top space-challenged homes.
Well not anymore!…says the lady with the lime green kitchen;)
How I found more kitchen counter space.
Here is what the kitchen set-up looked like when we moved in this past August.
Now, this kitchen has an odd layout, kind of like a zig-zag and because of that, there were some unused areas that I honestly don’t think anyone bothered to try and make work. I like a good space and storage challenge so, after some consideration, I was pretty sure I could create more kitchen counter space if I moved some of the components around a little.
Ideally, I want a dishwasher, but that’s in the future, so for now I wanted to target the area where I thought the future dishwasher should go. My sites were set on the spot where the fridge was currently standing which is right next to the sink.
I measured the fridge area and then hit several thrift stores to find a piece of used furniture that would fit into that space.
I lucked out with a 1990’s book case selling for $11.00, that although covered in veneer, it was solid wood underneath and quite sturdy.
I asked Ken to cut the bottom off the book case off, and of course he did, very reluctantly. He wasn’t going for my “let’s add more counter top space” idea at all. The man simply does not like change, but then again, my sister thought it was a bad idea, too. (We pretty much tell it like it is on our family.)
Moving right along, once the book case was cut down, I asked Ken to add a piece of wood on top that would fit to measurements of the space. He found a piece of Aspen for $20.00 at Menards that had a butcher-blocky look to it, so that is what he used.
He measured what the counter top size should be (with a little wiggle room), and the cut the board and attached it with screws from underneath the cabinet top. He also lined the wood top up with the front of the cabinet, so the cabinet would be flush with the other kitchen cabinets. He was left with a few inches of overhang off the back side of the cabinet.
This works out well, because the unit can be turned into a small kitchen island at a later date with a few more adjustments.
Next I moved the fridge to the opposite wall while Ken was working one Saturday afternoon.
We don’t have an outlet in that area, yet, so I used a good quality extension cord with the idea that if and when we are satisfied that this new arrangement is a keeper, we can put a new outlet behind the fridge.
Finally we placed the book case cabinet turned “more kitchen counter top space cabinet” into place where the fridge used to be.
We now have 5 additional square feet of counter top space to bring us to a total of 13 square feet of space. Not quite double, but more than half of what it used to be. I feel like I can call that a success!
On the other side of the wall, the refrigerator is working very well in it’s new location. The IKEA hack potato bin is snuggled right next to it as a handy little place to put items down that are either going into the fridge or coming out of the fridge.
This is just a start of things to come for updating the kitchen. The next step will be to stain, paint and seal the whole cabinet, but for the time being, I’ve covered the top with a vinyl table cloth. Pretty fancy, right?
I’m still playing around with ideas for the zag part of this zig-zag kitchen, but other plans include painting walls and cabinets, changing the lighting and finding ways to create even more space.
Have you been wishing for more counter top space in your kitchen, or is your counter top situation a-okay?
Don’t be afraid to envision something new and try it out. If it doesn’t seem to be working, you can always put it back the way it was. That’s at least the approach I like to take.
PS: Please excuse the dirty dishes in a few of these pics, like I said, I’m really hoping for a dishwasher one of these days.
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~ xo Amy