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05 November 2010


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I'm sure if I had that much counter space I would clutter it all up, too. But that shelf full of stacked up books is cracking me up! You need some bookends!


Kelly: Those are my frequently-accessed cookbooks. Trust me, stacks are MUCH better than bookends, given the location. (Admittedly, it looks better when the stacks are tidy.) I can retrieve a book from the stack without toppling other books onto the counter much more easily than I could do it when I had bookends -- books tend to tip over and knock the bookends off the shelf, and (because I'm so short) it was next to impossible for me to retrieve a book from the middle of the shelf over the peninsula. With one stack on each end of the shelf, there aren't any books in the "middle," only stacks that can be accessed from either side of the peninsula.

If only I could cure our family of sticking random objects on the shelf it would look very nice more often. I finally gave in and put an inbox rack for the mail there, at my husband's request, but I would really rather the shelf be all cookbooks.


The inbox rack was what made it look even more tipsy at first glance. I thought you must have one really long book midstack, with two stacks on top of it. Then, I wondered who you managed to stack books UNDER the shelf. Finally I figured out that it was an undershelf rack.

Barbara C.

I have a peninsula, but unfortunately it's become a "hot spot" for mail, papers, and all sorts of assorted junk. I really need to get around to clearing that up.


Yeah, Barbara, that's why I got the inbox rack. Notice, though, that magazines still wind up on my peninsula.


Oh, and I would just like to add: beware of blog posts that require you to type "peninsula" many, many times.

Margaret in Minnesota

This post is very helpful! I am not an engineer (as you WELL know) and as such, do not think like one.

I am, however, trainable.



Thanks - this was very helpful - and very timely! Our new gas stove/double oven should arrive in a week or so and I am trying to figure out how I will do without that ever so convenient glass cook top/ "most often used counter space" as well as my under the oven storage (since that will now be a second oven). I figured the benefits outweighed the losses with the choice of gas - and I'd have to better utilize my other counter space. But, you've given me something to think about. I need to not only find the other space - but to sort of rethink all my counter space for maximum convenience.

And...our table looks directly into our kitchen too....as well as our family room where we have our guests 90% of the time. We loved it when we bought the house since the kids could be within site while I was cooking...but maybe a wall to separate the two wouldn't be so bad :)


You crack me up. Really, you should get a job writing for Cook's magazine. Their articles always have some title like, "Rethinking Souffle"--as though I'd ever thought about it before, and then to work they go in their test kitchen, rethinking souffle.


Ah yes, Cook's Illustrated! I had a subscription for about three years and collected some wonderful recipes before it started to get repetitive.


I got a year's worth of Cook's Illustrated. About four years later, I use four recipes from those twelve magazines. The four recipes are great ones that I turn to time and again, but I don't know if all their tinkering on other stuff really saved me any time.

This is a timely post for me as we're looking at kitchens in different houses and weighing merits and thinking about renovations.

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