Townhouse living has it’s perks, but there are a few downsides that have required me to get creative. Overall, the house is built incredibly efficiently and every space is designed to maximize functionality…but with a house that’s built vertically, a spacious kitchen just isn’t in the cards. We have a large island, but the actual along-the-wall kitchen counter space leaves much to be desired. Continue reading to see why this $50 Amazon bamboo over the stove shelf has been the biggest game-changer in our kitchen!
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Over Stove Shelf for Small Kitchen
I can’t just leave my coffee maker, cooking utensil crock, and other necessities on the island because it wouldn’t be practical or make much sense, so all of those keep-out-all-the-time items have to fit within one foot of space on either side of the stove. I also consider a lamp in the kitchen a necessity…so how was I going to fit it all and make it look good too?! This question stumped me for months until I saw a shelf built into a backsplash over a stove in a design book. This got me thinking…how can I replicate this in a simple and practical way? I decided to head to Amazon and searched for “over stove shelf” and this bamboo shelf made for using over a stove turned up…and let me tell you, it is AMAZING!
The 30″ size fits our stove perfectly, and it’s high enough so that the things on the stove don’t get hot. There is a lip on either side so things can’t slip off, and it’s the perfect spot for those frequently used things like salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar. Since the olive oil and balsamic vinegar are on display now I decided to buy pretty glass dispensers. They come as a set of 2 with lots of different labels so you can customize the bottle. (We go through olive oil really quickly, so I’m not concerned about it being in a clear glass dispenser.)
Additional things I keep on the shelf because they’re used so often: butter in a white butter crock (a must if you like soft butter), salt cellar with sea salt, sugar for my morning coffee, a small potted plant, tooth picks (the funny holder is a wood carving I bought in Germany as a teenager), herbs de Provence, Italian herbs, truffle oil, crushed red pepper (gold topped shaker was a thrift store find), and seagrass wrapped salt and pepper shakers.
In order to free up space on the counter I also keep our Alexa on this outlet shelf, which is super easy to install. (I use a second one to keep tablets and phones off the counter on the side of the island. That blog post can be found here.)
We switched to a slim Keurig when we moved here, and I like that it is white so it doesn’t stand out too much in our white kitchen. It does splatter a bit which is annoying, but I just wipe it up with a sponge and overall I’m happy with it. I use these reusable K-Cups.
We’ve had our Wustof Knife Set for close to 10 years and I love them. They’re high quality, wash well in the dishwasher, and are easy to keep sharp. (This narrow set with the same knives would be an even better option if you’re tight on space.)
The pan that we use practically daily is our Our Place Always Pan. I love that the spoon fits on the handle, and the pretty color options is another perk since we keep it out all the time. It comes with a handy steamer basket too, which I use for vegetables and steaming potstickers. The cutting board on the left side is old from Pier 1.
The utensil crock was an Anthropologie sale find from a few years back, and the lamp was thrifted. When we moved in I swapped out all of the hardware for champagne bronze pulls we have on all of the drawers and cabinets. We have Amerock hardware all over our house and they have a great weight to them and they are affordable too. Highly recommend!
Another space saving solution for our narrow kitchen is this maple upright plate rack. The upper cabinets are (irritatingly) too narrow for our dinner plates to fit while stacked traditionally, so this upright rack is the perfect solution. I actually now prefer it over stacked plates because they’re so easy to grab! I looked at cheaper versions on Amazon but they were all more than one piece where you have to screw in the rungs (for lack of a better word) which seemed like they may be less stable than the single piece $10.99 Container Store version. We also use a second one in our lower cabinets to keep platters, cutting boards, and cooling racks. I secured them to the cabinet using 3M sticky tabs so that they don’t slide around.
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