The small desk area in your kitchen is valuable space: It can accommodate menu planning, homework, bill-paying, general organization, and more, keeping the central work area of your kitchen clear of clutter. In the slides that follow, get ideas for outfitting a typical kitchen workstation (a 36-inch length of counter space) to fit your personality and needs.
This kitchen workstation is perfect for a cooking enthusiast. The workstation has been transformed into a personal prep area where you can go through recipes, organize a grocery-shopping list, and effectively plan menus for the week.
A standard 30-inch wall cabinet houses a sizable collection of cookbooks, keeping them off the desk area. To create a cookbook library in your own kitchen, just remove the doors from the wall cabinets above the workstation. Just below the cabinet, hanging wire baskets hold spiral-bound cookbooks, small recipe pamphlets, and a stash of empty recipe cards.
Metal muffin tins with magnetic qualities make a clever kitchen memo board, perfect for holding recipes for the week's planned dinners. Make holes in muffin tins using a metal drill bit and screw a couple to the wall.
This workstation is simple, smart, and stylish, providing everything you need to manage your home with ease. An open wall cabinet above the counter desk has a shelf that adjusts to the varied sizes of binders and boxes. These color-coordinated storage helpers hold important documents and give old-style filing systems a new, fresh look. These binders and boxes (available at office-supply stores) come in a wide variety of colors, so it's easy to find a color scheme to fit your kitchen.
The bottom shelf of the wall cabinet organizes the constant flow of paperwork that comes through the door. Labels make it easy for anyone to participate in the filing system. A helpful message board covers the wall right below the cabinet, and pushpins keep contacts, coupons, and reminders out in the open for easy access. A convenient task light illuminates the workstation.
Put your workstation wall to work as a message board by installing corkboard panels. Available at office-supply stores, 6x18-inch panels come framed and ready to hang on the wall with small nails or screws. Mount them horizontally or vertically to fill the wall, or combine cork panels with other kinds of boards, such as a magnetic dry- or wet-erase panels (also available at office-supply stores).
If you always need to be wired in, this kitchen workstation can easily accommodate your tech-savvy lifestyle. A doorless wall cabinet holds a television on a swiveling stand, a phone-charging stand, and a portable printer. Small transparent office storage containers stack freely on the top shelf, keeping writing utensils and other office supplies in order.
The workstation houses all the electronics you need to work in the comfort of your kitchen. The wall cabinet keeps the desk area free of clutter, leaving plenty of room for a laptop and an MP3 player. A small, magnetic dry-erase board offers space to leave a quick message, and magnets hold important notes.
Metal place mats serve as chic memo boards and hide outlets and electrical wires. Magnets hold important business cards and phone numbers, and screw-top containers with transparent lids hold other office essentials.
This kid-friendly workstation can serve a variety of purposes. Having a desk for children in the kitchen allows you to monitor their work and avoids distractions in other parts of the house. Also, this kitchen desk could be a gathering spot for busy kids who need a start-and-stop organizing point before and after school.
This clever and colorful workstation fuses elements of school and home. A 15-inch bridge cabinet, with doors outfitted in chalkboard paint, hides lunch boxes and A+ school papers. The chalkboard paint offers a fun way for kids to personalize the space. A magnetic ruler on the wall holds screw-top containers that store small school supplies. A framed 20x26-inch classroom calendar marks important days, giving kids a sense of time and place.
Give your kids' workstation the schedule and structure they'd find in the classroom. Purchase inexpensive classroom calendars, one for every month of the year, and a frame kit that fits the calendars. Assemble the bottom and sides of the frame and slip the first month into the frame before fastening the screws on the frame top. Use markers to highlight important days and events. At the end of each month, remove the frame top and the old month, slip in a new month, and refasten.