By ccbu. Kitchen. At Thursday, December 21st 2017, 05:42:30 AM.
In the pantry, install a counter with 4 electric outlets. This is where the coffee maker, toaster, electric can openers, etc are to be permanently located. It keeps them off your kitchen countertops, but they are always available to use. No need to store them in your cabinets and no need for appliance garage cabinets. This leaves your main kitchen countertops \"clean\" (nothing on them) and more open for the food prep you need to do.
Put an upper counter 8\" above your countertops (i.e. 6\" wall, 2\" thick upper counter). In an \"open floor plan\" concept, this 8\" of height hides a \"messy\" kitchen counter from view to the other rooms. It also gives you plenty of room for multiple electric outlets in the in the 6\" wall areas. The 6\" tall wall is the right height for 6\" ceramic wall tile. The upper counter is 44\" (elbow height) a perfect height for \"leaning\". This allows your guests to \"lean\" on the counter (out of the kitchen) and talk with you while you're preparing food (in the kitchen). It's also a good height for serving food or for tall stools as a breakfast bar. Not all of the upper counters have to be the some width. Some sections may be 9\" wide (just a top to the kitchen partition, while other sections of the upper counter can be 24'' wide, for serving food or as a breakfast bar.
Go to shows! I've worked in the kitchen industry for years and yet, nearly every show I go to shows me some new kitchen innovation that I had never previously imagined. Many of the people we speak to talk of having viewed a kitchen showroom, picking a really nice kitchen to have installed, only to see their dream kitchen at the same or lesser price elsewhere. Shopping around and doing your research is important; new innovations appear first at shows, i.e. the Ideal Home Exhibition, 100% Design and the Grand Designs road show. When they do, it takes a while before they are widely publicised and so going to shows is the best way to find out about new kitchen innovations. This is also particularly good, because many exhibitors will sell off their display items for less than the retail price to avoid carting them back to their warehouses and many others provide discounts to people who wish to get quotes from their stands.