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What is in your kitchen counters?

10 years ago

I am trying to declutter and accessorize my kitchen to match my new stainless steel appliances. My utensil holder etc needs to be changed. Can I please see pics of what you have on your counters. Thanks!!

ETA - it should read "on" your kitchen counter. If anyone knows how to edit a title please let me know.

This post was edited by zoey75 on Tue, Jul 30, 13 at 23:08

Comments (44)

  • 10 years ago

    Old kitchen, U-shape:

    paper towel holder
    canisters - hardly used
    2 knife blocks
    cookie jar
    spaghetti canister
    battery charger
    cell phone chargers

    One of my goals in the new kitchen (in progress) is to get rid of counter clutter. So I'll have a knife drawer instead of blocks; canisters have gone away; charging station in a cabinet.

    New kitchen counters (I hope):
    toaster (it's a 1953 model)
    small corner microwave
    The cookie jar may or may not stay out - we rarely have cookies.

  • 10 years ago

    I wanted to add a bit of color and sparkle on the counter so instead of using the stainless steel container that came with the utensils, I bought a teal vase in heavy glass with a clear bottom about 1.5" thick. I think it looks nice because the stainless sparkles behind the glass.

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    All our counters are 39" high (bathrooms and kitchen.) We're tall (at 5'11" I'm the shortest in my family), but even our shorter guests really like it. (I think the 36" standard was set a couple of generations ago when people were mostly shorter. Our old master bath had 33" counters which were ridiculous - I felt like I had to bend down to my knees to wash my face.) I used to get a sore back when working in the kitchen a long time when our counters were lower; higher is just more comfortable for me. Added bonus: our cabinets are taller so we get more storage. (They were custom; we didn't just add a taller toe kick or trim under the counter.) You might want to read up on ergonomics and counter height. There's something about bending your elbow 90 degrees, and a comfortable counter height is a couple inches below that. (Can't remember exactly.) This is tricky of course if your spouse is significantly shorter or taller. You might want to try using a thick butcher block (or stack a couple) on top of your current counters to see what it's like to work on a taller counter and whether you like it. (In general, more time is spent on meal prep than clean up.) If you live near Chicago, you can come over and make a meal for me... oops I mean come over and see if you like the counter height. :) Also, you might like higher toilets. We went with Kohler 'comfort height' in our 4 bathrooms on the 1st and 2nd floors. I know that sounds like something for old folks, but they're so much nicer for knees and backs (I run frequently and my knees get crabby.) When I use the guest bath in our basement (regular height toilet) I feel like I'm in preschool. As for resale: I plan to stay here as long as possible, and I'm not going to worry about the height of future buyers. If my kids are any indication, the next generation will be taller than me anyway. And in this neighborhood, buyers would likely customize anyway, no matter how nice I think my kitchen is. :)
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  • 10 years ago

    2utensil holders( from ikea), knife block, SS toaster, paper towel holder, napkin holder, fruit bowl, coffee maker, clear plastic drainboard. Probably too much since its a smallish galley...but we use almost all of them daily.

  • 10 years ago

    Let's see:

    Old kitchen with white-painted cabinets; white tile backsplash and counters, white appliances ....

    1) Prep area by the left-hand side of the stove:

    -larger plastic cutting board
    -two knife blocks
    -very old cutlery basket that holds oils, vinegars, mortar and pestle, salt and pepper grinders
    -old bean crock that holds kosher salt
    -old bean crock that holds tea bags
    -plus an old flat-bottomed round basket that holds a tall glass canister with angel-hair pasta; old glass jars that holds current herbs and spices
    -another (yes, I have three) old bean crock that holds packets of Splenda

    2) On the other side of the stove:

    -paper towel holder

    3) On the left-hand side of the sinks:
    -white electric kettle
    -old teapot

    4) On the right-hand side of the sink (tucked under the overhanging breakfast bar)

    -- a small electric salt lamp and a green box that holds car keys and chargers

    4) Across the kitchen -- by the fridge:

    -a round wood cutting board that holds a large white pottery bowl with fruit
    -a white coffee maker
    -a white Bose radio
    -another small white pottery bowl currently holding my small tomatoes from my tomatoes bushes by the front door ...

    6) On the main shelf of the black Welsh-style cabinet:

    -a very old black-painted scale, a clock and a couple of old wood bowls that hold potatoes and onions .....

    ....yes .... it does sound cluttered but the "clutter" is contained in groups and in baskets and that system seems to work well for both prep areas and "out front" storage for "in use-and-in-sight" fruits and vegetables ...

    Plus I didn't mention my old copper lamps (look like old lanterns) and came from my mum the each of the far corners of the counters ....LOL!

  • 10 years ago

    My kitchen isn't totally finished but what is there now is my Keurig, salt and pepper shakers, canister set, a crystal biscuit jar, and last but not least my wire egg basket that I use when gathering eggs.

  • 10 years ago

    Coffee pot,paper towel holder,dish soap dispenser.

  • 10 years ago

    This topic makes me want to cry. lol. After searching for over a year for the perfect ceramic rooster to put on my counter, I finally found one. It was the prettiest I've ever seen. The rooster arrived yesterday shattered into a million pieces. Wahhhh. And it wasn't the fault of UPS, it was the way it was packaged.

    But right now there's a lot of veggies from the garden that needs to be dealt with, coffee maker, large wood cutting board next to the stove, silver tray holding hand soap next to the sink, mirrored tray holding a small lamp and an apothecary jar with lemons.

    Anyone want some veggies? ;)

  • 10 years ago

    I don't like to have a lot of stuff on my counters, but here's what I have:

    Toaster oven.
    A tray containing my utensil jar, which is an antique jar from Portobello Rd flea market in London, salt and pepper, and containers of tea. Everything corraled in the tray.

    We have a pass-thru area with counter/cabinets between the kitchen and dining room, with a small bar sink. On that counter: two coffee makers, a felted bowl containing sweetener packets, basket containing coffee pods for the Keurig, vitamins, and the counter opposite that is my catch-all spot for paperwork that has to be dealt with, open bottles of wine, etc.

    On the island, where kitchen sink is: hand lotion, and a drying "pad" for dishes.

  • 10 years ago

    Lots of stuff on my counter but all spaced out....where I have lots of little stuff (like salt & pepper and evoo and worchestershire and soy etc.) it's all grouped on a tray so it looks intentional. Utensil holder, paper towel holder, cannister set, toaster oven, can opener, mug full of measuring spoons, composting cannister, hot shot, coffee maker, sugar bowl, basket full of napkins and a wood board on either side of the cooktop.

  • 10 years ago

    I have a fairly large peninsula that is kept clean and is used for food prep. There's a small flat screen TV in the corner where it meets the wall. Along that wall:

    Fruit basket
    Paper towels
    Built in soap dispenser
    Toaster oven

    In the corner there's a framed piece of ODS's artwork from preschool on an easel.

    On that counter:
    Copper pot with utensils
    Glass dish with salt

    On the other side of the kitchen there's a small run of cabinets in the corner. That counter holds:

    Small cachepot with a plant
    Keurig coffee maker
    In the corner there's a candle in a clear glass hurricane
    Kitchen Aid stand mixer
    There's also usually a stack of papers that accumulates in this area. ;)

  • 10 years ago

    Aside from a about 20 jars of pickles and a few stray cucumbers, the permenant things (small kitchen, U=shaped, moving from left to right):

    old copper new potato steamer holding utensils
    salt pig
    pepper grinder
    copper tea kettle on range
    small apple plaque that DM painted
    hammered copper stock pot
    herb box that I painted
    white tray for dirty dishes
    canister jars


  • 10 years ago

    On my counters....

    ceramic crock with utensils
    small pouring bottles of EVOO and balsamic
    cutting board

    small bowl with magic eraser, scraping tool, etc
    decorative bottle with Dawn inside
    hand soap

    small ceramic crock with Equal inside
    tea pot on bamboo trivet

    That's it. I like clear counters and stash all the appliances when not in use.

  • 10 years ago

    My counters are overrun and none of it is really decorative. :( We have a vitamix, toaster oven, toaster, juicer, 2 big baskets of fruit a small basket of tomatoes, a pretty large cutting board, and a small basket of mail and a small basket of wash rags.

    We use all daily except the toaster oven so It is a pain to put them away ever day so we leave them out.

  • 10 years ago

    We do not have a lot of counter space. The wicker box above the MW stores foil, clear wrap, and plastic storage bags. You can see the can opener and my WW food scale to the right of the sink.

    I also keep the KA mixer out on the counter near the coffee maker. The smiley face stores Splenda (which I don't use any more). It used to be DH's cookie jar when he was little.

  • 10 years ago

    Another who doesn't like alot on the counters:

    -basket w/napkins
    vintage canister

    -vintage platter on stand
    egg cup
    crock filled with utensils

    on the two largest counters/prep areas

    -basket (puppy treats!)

    -small tv
    large glass canister with snacks

    Our pantry is located in our kitchen so oils/baking goods/tea, etc. is kept there. Coffee (rarely used) in freezer. Paper towels on holder inside pantry door.

  • 10 years ago

    I leave out the things we use everyday or nearly everyday. So the microwave(the one over the stove is to high for the kids) kitchenAid, toaster ,coffeepot. A bowl at the end of the counter for phones and keys because my husband cann,t seem to hang them on thier hook directly above the bowl. I have metal bowls on my kitchen window which collect everything ,small a vace with pencils pens another vase with paint brushs and a change jar. I keep the island top clean and have a freestanding fruit veggie three tiered stand.

  • 10 years ago

    Paper towel holder
    coffee maker
    stand mixer
    knife block
    small ice cream maker (we make ice cream all the time)
    bowl for fresh fruit and tomatoes
    kitchen timer
    on the far corner-old silver bowl for DH's pocket stuff
    old silver julep cup for pens and notepads

  • 10 years ago

    I'm prone to clutter so I keep the counters almost bare.

    My kitchen is small so even though things like the toaster, that are used everyday, are put away it only takes a second to pull them out. All the cooking utensils are in a drawer next to the range and the cooking oils and spices are in a cupboard right by the range. So, easy to access yet not in sight on a daily basis.

    Dish soap and Scrubber in a teacup by the sink
    Blender in the corner
    Butter dish
    Juice pitcher (haven't found the perfect spot for it yet)
    Egg gathering basket

    I also have two plants on the kitchen windowsill.

  • 10 years ago

    On the L:
    Utensil crock- Fiesta plum (It is really a cookie jar cuz their utensil crock was too small)
    Longaberger recipe box
    Garlic Jar from Etsy
    Toaster oven
    Dish drying pad
    Small Bowl with scrubbie sponges
    Fruit bowl
    Paper Towel Holder

    Hutch counter:
    Mini Keurig
    Jar of sweeteners
    Glass of straws
    Candy dish

  • 10 years ago

    No high end granite or finishes in my new-to-me kitchen but it's bright, lots of room, tons of cabinetry (white). Counters on either side of the glass cook top have a pottery utensil holder, a wooden cutting board and trivet, stove-side S&P set, so not a lot there. I was used to cooking in a kitchen with three pull out bread boards this kitchen doesn't have, and needed places to sit a hot pan, thus the cutting board close to the cooktop.

    The counter extension that divides the breakfast area from the work area I try to keep clear, it does have the base set/answering machine (quite small) to my cordless phone system plugged in there. I suppose that area does have my elbows on it a lot if that counts, as I stand in the work area and talk to people seated at the table :)

    To the right of the sink, my Keurig, charger holding the elec wine opener, a red metal bread box, toaster, food processor because its too heavy to take in and out of a cupboard, a pottery bowl for fruit.

    My window holds a prayer plant, and right now envelopes of seeds I've been collecting, a Strongwater ring holder I splurged on since I'm slipping off jewelry in my kitchen often...not that I have a lot :)

    One thing this kitchen does not have is a great place for my kitchen aid mixer, it's 1/4" too high to slide back under an upper cupboard. I've got the countertop space, but not the height. So it's on a small rolling butchers block table on the other side of a door into the laundry room. I don't use it daily and wheel it in those days I do want it.

  • 10 years ago

    I like clear counters, but beside the cook top, I have a stainless steel utensil holder and a stainless steel knife block. I've linked the knife block below because I have a collection of different brands of knives and I've found this kind of knife block to work really well.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Knife Block

  • 10 years ago

    I'm pretty clutter free.

    Knife block
    Paper towel holder
    Fiestaware Utensil Crock
    VW Bus Cookie Jar with no cookies
    Large enamel popcorn bowl to fill dogs water bowl

  • 10 years ago

    I should play along in my own post...

    plastic cups
    baby wipes

    utensil crock
    cutting board (leaning behind utensil crock)
    two tier basket
    knife block

    soap dispenser
    dish drying rack

    digital picture frame

    ~on island~ white fruit basket

  • 10 years ago

    When I designed our new kitchen about 6 years ago, I had it done in neutral tones so that any color of accessories would work well there. I love the bright colors of Old Mexico and so most of the year, it look like this:

    Behind our corner sink:

    To one side of my sink, I have a pottery bird planter to hold my dishtowel.

    In the middle of my counter under the windows, I keep a cookbook stand and a storyteller statue. This is an old pic, as I see the outlet covers hadn't arrived yet. It still looks basically the same now, though:

    Down to the left more, where the counter makes a turn and becomes the eating bar, I keep an old clock, a phone, and a framed little painting on an small stand:

    To one side of my cooktop, I keep our coffeemaker and toaster. This is the best pic I have of that area. Sorry.

    In this bar area of the kitchen I now have a large Talavera jar that I keep the dogs treats in and another small pic on an easel.


  • 10 years ago

    Everything plus the kitchen sink! Hardy har har!

    Seriously, I keep everything on the counter top. I cook and use my small appliances almost everyday and hate having to pull things out all the time. I suppose to some it might be cluttered but I'm all about how the space functions and that's why I have miles of counter top space. Plenty of room to work and for all my junk!

  • 10 years ago

    I cannot stand counter clutter and am dreaming about the day we remodel our kitchen so I can be rid of most of it. In all honesty, it's not too bad in terms of things that are on the counter b/c I want them there, but it's the things my family accumulates on the counter that drive me nuts.

    On my u-shaped counters w/one side as peninsula:
    Toaster oven to the left of my range. To the right of my range, canister w/utensils, decorative olive oil w/spout for cooking, clear glass sugar/flour canisters and knife block. In the corner (bottom of U), Kitchenaid mixer and then to its right, next to/left of my sink is a small single serve coffee machine. To the right of my sink, nothing. On the peninsula, up against the wall is where all our paper/mail/etc accumulates. I HATE THIS AREA! I desperately need a separate command center away from my counter. And then on the open edge of my peninsula, a large bowl of garden vegetables (I keep a large bowl of fruit in the center of my kitchen table).

    Now, aside from the paper clutter, the countertop does not really appear cluttered, even though it sounds like a lot is on it. But what drives me batty is that with four kids, I always have cups all over the counter to the right of my sink. Try as I might to limit my kids to ONE CUP per day, it's inevitable that there are usually a bunch of glasses there. But even if they each only have one, the visual clutter of the four glasses drives me bonkers. Top that with their personal stuff that they always leave on the peninsula, well, drives me insane. I cannot cook without having my counters completely clear, so it's so frustrating having crap on the peninsula - I usually end up prepping in the tiny space in b/w my range and sink.

    Sigh. dreaming of a new kitchen with separate command center AND a spot by the fridge where kids can leave their daily cup when not in use but out of sight. I should point out that my sink is visible from the front door so the cups on the counter can be seen immediately upon entering my house which is partially why it drives me nuts!

  • 10 years ago

    since we had people over yesterday, my counters are about as uncluttered as they get right now.

    I know that most people don't have an electric pencil sharpener on their counters, but my kids do their homework at our island, so it is frequently used.

  • 10 years ago

    Thank you all so much! I especially love the photos of the counters.

    And oakleyok so sorry about your rooster :(

    This post was edited by zoey75 on Wed, Jul 31, 13 at 18:23

  • 10 years ago

    I love how many (ha!) people posted pictures with their descriptions :) I did not cheat and purposefully clean up but looked tonight and thought, well it's not too bad....

    It's not so much the counters but the island that gets cluttered. Give DH a horizontal surface and sheesh....! Though actually, most of the clutter is mine. Two WSJ's (haven't looked at yet), ceramic basket recently regifted by DD-exMIL (she deserves two dear dears :)), and misc. mail.

    Best, oldbat2be

  • 10 years ago

    oldbat2be, I love the soft lighting in your kitchen.

  • 10 years ago

    There was a similar recent thread on the kitchen forum that I've linked below.

    Our list is similar to everyone else's. These items are usually out on the counter:
    Coffee machine
    Knife block
    Salt & pepper
    Utensil jug
    Tea kettle
    Roll of paper towels
    End grain cutting board
    Fruit bowl
    Towel next to clean clean up sink with items drying

    I don't think it looks too cluttered:

    Toaster oven is in an appliance garage which is open 90% of the time since we use it daily.

    Here is a link that might be useful: On your counters

  • 10 years ago

    I love looking at everyone's kitchens! So pretty and each so unique. Cluttered kitchens don't bother me . . . as long as it's not my kitchen (LOL).
    I was laid up with a injured knee yesterday and didn't want to get up to take any new pics for this thread. But, I did take one this morning of the bar area the way it is now. The lidded jar is Talavera from Mexico. I store the dogs' treats, vitamins and any meds they might be taking in it.


  • 10 years ago

    Thanks pps7...going over to take a look. Beautiful kitchen pictures.

  • 10 years ago

    Thanks dbfirewife! I do like the kitchen at night. Lighting, we have a ton of..... horribly planned but all on dimmers. The light switch locations I'd thought we'd use regularly, we don't. To get the lighting right, it's a flick and dim here, then walk over there, do the same, then walk to the other side of the room.....Oh well.

    At the far edge of the island, we have pendants hanging down from the sky light dormer, which illuminate the prep area. (That took a good three different types of lights before we found what we liked). We also continued the UCL lighting along the length of the front (interior) of the hood, otherwise that area would be dark(er) than the rest of the backsplash.

  • 10 years ago

    Lynn, I never tire of looking at your kitchen, especially those windows!

    Today my rooster arrived, two days after the first one came broken into smithereens.

    It's funny because when we remodeled the kitchen I was going for a retro look, checked floors and all. But it never felt retro and after doing a lot of "research" and looking at friend's homes, I noticed my kitchen was more french country than anything. I'm having a ball accessorizing!

    Once again everything appears to look so small from my camera. The rooster and tray are a good size.

    It will be my last rooster, because I have this one on the DR wall. I love how the colors match.

  • 10 years ago

    oldbat2be - I am in love with your kitchen and backsplash. Gorgeous!

  • 10 years ago

    It is still new, so the following is on the counters -- except for an occasional phone charger or snack box, nothing else has taken up permanent residence:
    Container for dog stuff
    Container for dog stuff
    Container for coffee capsules
    Coffee Maker
    Soap Dispenser
    Towel holder
    Small box for fleur de sel
    Ginger Jar (currently empty)
    Vase on ledge
    Banana Hammock (put away when we have no bananas...)
    Soap Dispenser on Island

    In addition, the nearby table has a fruit bowl and piggy salt & pepper shakers.

    I would have liked to get rid of one of the coffee makers, as they are the bulkiest items. But items used daily had to stay on the counters, because I've found they tend to be left out. The plugs were designed so they could live low against the counters, so that the permanent appliances would hide the outlet covers.

    I didn't have time to snap a new picture of the counters only this morning, but here is a representative montage.

  • 10 years ago

    Things are still shaking out post-remodel (well, nearly), but at the moment:

    Coffee maker
    Soda stream
    Toaster oven
    Salt/pepper grinders
    Olive oil bottle
    Paper towels
    Garlic keeper
    And by the sink is assorted scrubbers on a tray and a bottle of Dawn Direct (which we found by accident, but it is fantastic stuff!)

    And any day now I have a hive shaped large honey pot coming from an Etsy vendor, can't wait to add that! It holds about 12 ounces, so should be nice for cooking as we use it for stir fry sauces.

  • 10 years ago

    I'm an avid cook, and I don't see the tools in my "laboratory" as clutter. Those things that I use frequently are kept out and accessible. I cook every day, and we entertain frequently.

  • 10 years ago

    oldbat2be - Would you mind telling me the name and finish of your kitchen cabinets?

    Here's my kitchen

  • 10 years ago

    I tried to use stainless steel, silver and oil rubbed bronze with my decorating.

    This post was edited by newhomebuilder on Fri, Aug 2, 13 at 15:14

  • 10 years ago

    Sorry...don't know why it posted multiple photos.

    This post was edited by newhomebuilder on Fri, Aug 2, 13 at 15:15

  • 10 years ago


    This post was edited by newhomebuilder on Fri, Aug 2, 13 at 15:09

  • 10 years ago

    Last one deleted. So sorry!

    This post was edited by newhomebuilder on Fri, Aug 2, 13 at 15:10

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