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Kitchen counter cabinets provide clutter relief and functionality

by Susanne Clemenz

You've got a food processor, a bread machine, and a stand-mounted food mixer, but instead of using them, you reach for a knife, supermarket bread, and your hand mixer. The effort needed to dig heavy appliances from their hiding places seems like more work than using more time-consuming food prep methods. You store these appliances out of sight to limit countertop clutter, and because cleaning kitchen grime off them and their surroundings is aggravating. COunter cabinets, otherwise known as appliance garages can help with this clutter.

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How do counter cabinets work?

There are straight and corner appliance garages, in varying styles like tambour and tilting doors. Straight counter cabinets are usually about 12 inches deep--the same as your overhead kitchen cabinets. Corner cabinets snuggle into counter top corners and fill the space between standard height countertop and upper cabinets, so even your tall blender and coffee maker can be stored at their ready-to-use height. Appliance garage doors are usually tambour style, like a miniature roll-top desk cover, which glides up and recesses easily when an appliance is in use. Solid doors tilt up, hugging the garage top. Garage backs are usually open for electrical outlets, too.

What options are available?

  1. Kits, partially assembled, and fully assembled are available. Assembly isn't difficult.
  2. Finishes may be unfinished, a variety of stains, or Euro-style.
  3. The face frames may be laminate, oak, maple, cherry, hickory, alder, Euro-style and more.

Appliance garage prices

Unfinished kit prices start at around $100 for an 18-inch wide straight garage in veneered oak, maple or hickory, to about $175 for a 30-inch wide garage in solid wood cherry or alder. Your home building supplier can quote prices on assembled or partially-assembled counter cabinets.

About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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