When you really think about it, your countertops may be the most used but most overlooked area in your kitchen. They hold up essential appliances like your trusty coffeemaker, offer a home to items that donâ€™t fit in cabinets and drawers, endure spills and knife slices, and offer a sturdy surface on which you can toss just about anything you need to keep easily within reach. So, itâ€™s no wonder that the clutter can pile up on kitchen counters more easily than nearly any other space in the house. Itâ€™s unavoidableâ€¦ right?
Not quite, says designer Nate Berkus. He says that a simple shift in perspective â€” and a few easy-to-implement guidelines â€” are all you need to avoid that cluttered look.
First, stop approaching your kitchen countertops like an afterthought and give them the attention they deserve.
â€œThink of your kitchen countertops as a way of displaying the things that you use every day instead of just having them filled with junk,â€ Berkus says. â€œTo do that, all you have to do is pay attention to what you put stuff in or what you put stuff on.â€
For example, place fruit in a nice bowl or store kitchen utensils in a wooden vase. You should even consider itemsâ€™ original, dull containers for those that look cleaner and more attractive.
â€œIf you bake and have flours, baking things like that, find pretty containers like [a] tin one. Theyâ€™re very easy to find and they keep things looking very neat and very organized,â€ Berkus says. â€œAlso, spicesâ€¦ Put them in little containers from an organizational store.â€
The benefit to paying more attention to your kitchen counters, he adds, is twofold.
â€œThat way, you have everything at your fingertips, but your kitchen looks just as beautiful as the rest of the house,â€ Berkus says.
Bonus tip: Make cooking much easier by imagining your main prep area in your kitchen as a triangle â€” between the oven, sink and refrigerator â€” and keep your most-often used items within that space.
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