Monday, August 8, 2011

How I Doubled My Counter Space in a Rental

My apartment has 24 inches/60 cm of usable counter space for food prep. Pathetic! I don't know how I didn't notice the lack of kitchen storage and lack of counter space when we came for a viewing...

When we first moved in, I wanted to get a counter height kitchen table, which would have doubled as extra counter space. I scoured Craigslist for one, but the best value and best designed one I found was the UTBY table from Ikea. 
Kevin was not into that idea at all. He wanted a more traditional table (re: 30inches high or so with regular height chairs) so my UTBY table was scrapped. We ended up with a "regular" four person solid wood espresso table that we NEVER use... am I bitter I didn't get my UTBY? Just a bit!!


I still needed extra counter space, and one day I noticed that my baking sheet rests perfectly in our single sink and my cutting board rests perfectly in my baking sheet. It doesn't make for the most stable surface (re: don't use it for cutting hard vegetables!), but it added about an extra foot of space. I mostly just used it to rest food on.

I also bought the NORBO wall-mounted drop-leaf table from Craigslist for $10 and added that to the end of the counter.
It's a little deeper than my counter, so I asked my Dad to cut it to size. Ultimately, we ended up just leaving it as is - this way we can bring it to the condo with us and use it there as a laundry folding surface or something. The one I bought came in black-brown, but it's no longer listed on the Canadian Ikea website.

With the baking tray/cutting board and the folding table extended, my total counter space adds up to 66in/167cm...that's 42in/106cm more than I had before! 

And it's all easily removable :-)

When we move, we'll have to fill in a couple holes at the side of the counter, but that's easy to do. I admit it's not the most elegant looking solution, but it's pretty functional, can fold away out of site, and I can take it with me! That's the most important part when it comes to rentals: Don't spend money on items you can't take with you.

Do you have any creative ways to add counter space? Or do you already have huge counters? In which case I'm jealous!

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