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Fruit/Veggie storage in small home: Hack my kitchen layout please . . .

I live in a one bedroom condo in the city. Below are the pictures of my kitchen and dining room table.

I recently went on the Paleo diet and am now eating lots of veggies, fruits, meat & fish (most of my food cooked at home).

Consequently, the little fruit bowl on my dining room table no longer fits my needs.

Obviously, I could clear off the top of the fridge and store fruits & veggies there, but that doesn't seem ideal from a viewing & reaching perspective.

Since eating healthy is now a big part of my life, I'm open to making that the center-piece of my dining room table.

Can anyone suggest a good way to store/display my fruits and veggies on my dining room table? Though I'm open to 2 "fruit bowls", I'd love to get something cool that is one piece, bigger/longer.

Alternatively, if anyone has a clever idea or tips on storing veggies/fruits on top of the fridge, please share that as well.

Thanks for any tips,
Mike

 
 
 
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  1. Oh, I forgot the last photo which is the wall to the left of the fridge:

    I'm considering a big investment and building a custom piece of furniture on this wall for additional prep area and cooking gear storage.

    I'd love to have more counter space and prep area with a dedicated spot for my vitamix. Last year, I would have wanted a dedicated spot for my bread machine but that's now gathering dust in my closet.

    Thanks for any thoughts,
    Mike

    PS: I just realized that today is the last day for the Philadelphia home show. I'm going to walk down there later this morning and try and get inspired.

     
    7 Replies
    1. re: mike2401

      I'd move the hutch to the dining room wall and put 2 stainless work tables where the hutch is now. You'd gain counter space and storage from the lower shelf. Unless you want to bring in a construction crew and build a wing of upper and lower cabinets with counter.

      1. re: rasputina

        no real room for anything else in the living room. I'm resigned to giving away the existing piece.

        Per the picture I just posted, I do want to fully utilize the space (floor to ceiling)

        Thx
        Mike

      2. re: mike2401

        Considering your interest in modifying your kitchen and possibly new cabinets to replace the hutch I would suggest taking your questions to GardenWebs kitchen forum.

        http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/kitch...

        The people there can work within any budget and provide lots of guidance.

          1. re: ksbikecommuter

            I'm signing up for an account as we speak!
            Thanks for the tip!

            1. re: ksbikecommuter

              OMG: I'm in kitchen remodeling heaven!

              I received lots of help and great suggestions for cabinet configurations, color choice, and if the quote I got for $200/square foot for Cabria quartz counters was a total rip-off.

              I'm letting the wisdom of the crowd help me pick the counter color, etc:

              http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/...

              Thanks again!
              Mike

              1. re: mike2401

                Thanks for sharing that. I've intended to visit that site so this was a good reminder. BTW, I think the advice to get rid of the stuff on your fridge is ridiculous. You're not doing a designer showhouse. You LIVE there. I like having all sorts of pix on my fridge.

          2. I'm not sure if it will do what you want, but what about a tiered basket for the produce. I have seen some nice ones at various spots, including Costco. I am thinking of this style, although they come plain and fancy.

            Also, just wondering why the inside of the fridge isn't part of the equation?

             
            4 Replies
            1. re: CanadaGirl

              The basket is the first thing I thought of too.
              I think the heat on top of the fridge would make for poor produce storage.

              1. re: calliope_nh

                Great point about heat on top of fridge; that never would have occurred to me.

                Thanks!

              2. re: CanadaGirl

                Though I can't hang one of theses anywhere, a multi-level fruit/veggie thing on the table might work.

                If anyone saw a cool one, please let me know.

                Thanks!

                1. re: CanadaGirl

                  "...inside the fridge..."

                  Indeed. And also a facsimile of a stillroom or unheated butler's pantry.

                2. If it's within your budget and the space is wide enough (not clear from the pictures), I'd place a "microwave" cart on the open wall, adjacent to the free-standing cupboard. Place one bowl of fruit there and the other on your dining room table.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: masha

                    I like your idea of storing some of the veggies on that wall, and some on the dining room table.

                    Actually, the more I'm thinking about it, I'm going to do a major kitchen improvement project and do either custom cabinets if I can't find exactly what I'm looking for.

                    I'd like to fully utilize the wall: 20"-24" deep by 6'-7' wide, floor to ceiling: 8' high.

                    Mike

                    1. re: mike2401

                      It looks like you have a free wall to put cabinets with a counter. You don`t seem to have much workspace on your present counter.

                      1. re: Ruthie789

                        Though adding a counter and upper & lower cabinets will make my already narrow kitchen even more narrow, I'm totally convinced I want more counter space.

                        I tend to do heavy paleo cooking in the morning. A few days ago, I was making pressure cooker chicken & chicken soup, making scrambled eggs, boiling water and trying to assemble lunch, etc. It was madness!!!!

                    2. If you like the industrial look you might consider NSF certified chrome shelving, and wood crates. I have them in my kitchen, and pantry to store my cookware, small appliances, and "collection" of serve wear.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: letsindulge

                        Is that like the big, shelving unit that Costco sells? I have one of those and LOVE it. It IS my pantry and I like the idea of crates for certain things. I have a huge wooden bowl on it with produce that doesn't require refrigeration. BTW, once bananas are ripe, they can go in the fridge. The peels turn dark but the fruit is fine.

                        1. re: letsindulge

                          Those are nice too, I have 3 of them in a spare room with cookware on them.

                          1. re: letsindulge

                            because the other half of my kitchen is white/wood cabinets, I'm leaning more towards something similar (though I love funky modern). If I come across a picture of that, it might sway me.

                            Mike

                            1. re: letsindulge

                              can you share a picture of your setup?

                            2. For an easy quick fix you can just install a stainless work table with lower shelf, they sell them at Sam's Club for 100 dollars. I have 2 of them in my eat in kitchen that basically extend the counter. You get counter and storage in one. And it's cheap, easy and quick to set up. They are pretty versatile too, great in the kitchen, garage, on the patio by the BBQs.

                              http://www.samsclub.com/sams/work-tab...

                              For fruits and veggies that should be stored at room temp I use a dessert stand similar to this

                              http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Home-W...

                              They come in lots of styles.