Home Bakers/kitchen Size, Etc

Business By kellertur Updated 17 Feb 2009 , 5:31am by jlynnw

kellertur Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 7:25pm
post #1 of 23

Hello,
I'm a home baker (licensed, but I'll accept help from anyone), anyway, I'm working in an inordinately small kitchen. I'm desperately trying to organize my work space and utilize what limited counter space I have. There has to be an easier way than how I'm doing this... I get so frustrated trying to use my mixer and laying out ingredients with so little space. I've thought about bringing in a foldable table, and that may help with weddings. My license only covers my kitchen, so the dining room is out... Remodeling just isn't an option right now.
Thankfully, I do have a freezer in the basement... icon_smile.gif

Is anyone willing to post photos of their home kitchen (counter area?)? (I'm not sure if that is too personal, since it is in our homes and not a shop). If not, can you describe your process? Do you completely empty off your counters of canisters, etc... to make room?
Our kitchen seemed HUGE when we moved in... I have no idea what happened to that thought? icon_confused.gif

Thanks~

22 replies
trumpetmidget Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 2:47am
post #2 of 23

My kitchen is a mess right now, otherwise I would give you a picture. I don't knwo what incredibly tiny would be - but I don't have a big kitchen. I am going to assume you don't have a table in your kitchen? I have an eat-in kitchen, so that is good. What i wonder - your license is for your home, is it not? So, why not use the dining room table to decorate? Anyway, I use a tiny counter that has my mixer on it to make the cakes. I make all my fondant on an island that was bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I decorate on the kitchen table. Sometimes, my dh will bring up my card table and I decorate on that, just because it leaves the kitchen table open a little. I also use my stove to keep my ingredients on when I am baking (I have a glass top). But, if you don't have a glass top, you can still use it on the part around the burners. Also, you could get some wood cut, put little feet on it and place it on the stove to give you an extra counter (make the feet so that the board sits about the burners so it is not resting on the burners). Hopefully this gives you some ideas to work with. I am licensed, also, if that matters for you. Good luck.

LisaR64 Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 2:54am
post #3 of 23

What about using a rolling cart with shelves to store ingredients, etc. It could be stored elsewhere, and rolled into the kitchen when you need it.

peg818 Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 12:50pm
post #4 of 23

Why not clear all the stuff off your counters and place that on the dinningroom table. I have one small counter top that the toaster and coffeepot sit on. The rest of the counter top is free space except for the corner where my kitchen aid sits. Then we ditched the table and bought an island that has a small slide out table for extra room.

kellertur Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 7:56pm
post #5 of 23

Thanks for the ideas. icon_smile.gif

I think we all just have too much stuff... (speaking for myself mostly), and we live rather simply. In a perfect world, I'd live in one giant room (with separators for bedrooms) and NO furniture. icon_rolleyes.gif

Not practical at all, but there would be no dusting, no moving, etc.... I'd vacuum one large floor and have time/room to do what we wanted... icon_razz.gif
Oh well.

costumeczar Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 11:07pm
post #6 of 23

I have a relatively small kitchen, not a galley kitchen or anything, but not one of those large kitchens that are in newer houses. I have one counter that divides the kitchen from the next room, and I use that to do my mixing and decorating, the other counters have the coffeemaker and the toaster oven, and I put the microwave in another area so that it's off the counter. I find that if you have one clear space to use, it feels okay. If that counter gets crowded it makes everything difficult, but I clear everything off and clean it before I start working, and that makes everything easy.

peg818 Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 1:04am
post #7 of 23

I think the best thing we did was move the microwave above the stove, cleared up so much space. That and getting rid of all the small appliances i didn't use.

indydebi Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 1:29am
post #8 of 23

Vertical storage.
http://www.equippers.com/shop/product-detail.aspx?pcid=66&scid=6660&pid=20697&iid=TH0022
If you can put one of these in a corner, and roll it into place when you need it. It's great for when cakes/cookies come out of the oven; you can set the trays in there and use it for storage while working .... a great place to lay your decorating bags and small items to keep them out of the way ... they'll fit all on one tray.

You mention canisters 'n such ..... put them on a tray so all you have to do is pick up the tray and move it to your dining room table when you're ready to work on cakes. (it's odd you mention canisters .... my sister, my daughter and I were talking about how long it's been since we've seen canisters on a kitchen counter anymore. I'll have to tell the both of them that yes, they are still out there! thumbs_up.gif )

When I worked at home, hubby built me some shelves about halfway up the kitchen wall ... between the countertop and the upper cabinet. This was a great place to keep small items, like bottles of vanilla, different flavoring oils, measuring cups, measuring spoons, etc.

Even the Pampered Chef stackable cooling racks are a great storage tool. You'd be amazed how much extra space they create when you can slide things UNDER the rack while you're working. Easy to wipe the counter down, when everything is on a tray or an elevated rack.

kellertur Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 3:19am
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

You mention canisters 'n such ..... put them on a tray so all you have to do is pick up the tray and move it to your dining room table when you're ready to work on cakes. (it's odd you mention canisters .... my sister, my daughter and I were talking about how long it's been since we've seen canisters on a kitchen counter anymore. I'll have to tell the both of them that yes, they are still out there! thumbs_up.gif )




I personally don't have "canisters", more like giant ziplock bags filled with sugar and flour bags. Long story. I'm one of "those people" who keeps (or kept) non-perishables like crackers and cereal in the fridge. Right now my extracts alone are taking over the one cabinet we have reserved for cans, dried fruit, etc. How many times can a woman open a cupboard and get hit in the head with a bottle of extract!!!???

Debi- my husband cracks up everytime I bake (daughter is asleep), because whenever things go awry (every day), he hears me swearing under my breath and AT the ingredients... icon_rolleyes.gif It's a process... icon_biggrin.gif

In the dining room I have two big plastic bins w/lids. One for most of my cake stuff, and the bottom one for my sculpture materials.

We can split the atom, yet we can't design a kitchen that is user friendly for EVERYONE. (I'm short, so my countertop is at rib-height).

I really like these ideas... (What I would give for a H-U-G-E wall-mounted spice rack!!!) I guess I better go "fire up" the table saw....


Thanks everyone. icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 3:52am
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2cakes

We can split the atom, yet we can't design a kitchen that is user friendly for EVERYONE.




Here's hubby's theory on why he HATES a home kitchen. He hates the cabinetry ... thinks it's looks like a bunch of boxes on the wall. It finally hit him.

Kitchens are designed to TRY to be a "living space" in the home, but a kitchen is a "functional" space in the home. You'd never see a home designer try to fit a cute little seating area in the laundry room or the garage/workshop, which are FUNCTIONAL spaces. But for some reason, they try to make the kitchen "pretty" instead of functional. That's why we have dead space corners and insufficient counter space .... "Oh, there room for a microwave and a toaster! Who could need more than that! And doesn't it just look so pretty!" icon_eek.gif

And why do they keep putting the sink under the freakin' window? June Cleaver doesnt' stand at the sink and look out the window at her adorable little kids on the swingset, while she happily hand washes the dishes. I want the stove under the window, so when the bacon starts to smoke, I can open the window and fan the smoke out, instead of having to throw a wet towel over the smoke alarm because it can't tell the difference between a house fire and bacon cooking! (and I cook for a living! Ironic, huh! icon_redface.gif )

So we've resolved that if we ever build another home, the kitchen will be custom designed ... by MY specs, which are on the commercial side. None of this "make it cute for the little woman" crap in my house anymore!

(Geesh, I bet you're sorry you brought THAT up, huh?) icon_lol.gif

mommyle Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 4:12am
post #11 of 23

Well, after hearing all of this, I love my kitchen! I have ONE canister that is currently holding spatulas, spoons, ladels (sp???). I have a toaster oven (gets used at least once a day). My KA. I bought a "tip drawer" from Canadian Tire (32 compartments, 6" deep and about 12" x 12"). I LOVE my island (Islands all the way, baby!!!). Coffee pot and tea kettle get put away when I'm totally stressed. Microwave is above the stove (to vent it, and to save space), and a couple of little knick-knacks. I have a pantry, so I put a spice rack on the door on the inside.

Oh, and I LOVE having doors on my cupboards. It makes it look all put away and tidy, even when it's a day when I've just tossed EVERYTHING into them willy nilly!!!!

Please post a photo of your kitchen, and we can give you a better idea of how to better utilize your space!

kellertur Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 4:29am
post #12 of 23

Debi~ you are always welcome to chime in... icon_smile.gif

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has "mishaps" in the kitchen. Needless to say~ When I put on that apron, I let the explitives fly!!! icon_rolleyes.gif

I'll post a pic tomorrow. It's not an ugly kitchen, as we "sealed the evil" (as I like to call it) when we moved in... (I put up cement board once I bleached the walls, then tiled). There had been mold behind the wallpaper, ants crawling around the sink, etc - hense the cement board. & tile. (You'd be hard pressed to find an ant in this house now, and we don't use chemicals). It looks better, but it's no more practical.

It's just a PITA kitchen... sink under the window, oven to the left, refrig to the left of oven (refrig door opens in wrong direction to this kitchen)... I'm with you Debi... who cares about "cute"?, I want user friendly. thumbs_up.gif

FromScratch Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 3:44pm
post #13 of 23

I have a good sized kitchen. It's not HUGE, but it's workable. I have a penninsula that separates my kitchen from the dining area and that is where I do most of my work. It's a breakfast bar or something like that (we don't have stools for it though). The best thing I did though was to get my ingredients and suuplies out of the cabinets. I have a rolling racks (I bought them at BJ's and they were cheap.. $70 each) and I have everything on them. Pans, bowls, cooling racks, turntable, cake dummies, ingredients, you name it. I can roll them away when I don't need them (they go in my office) and they are very convenient. It keeps the clutter off of my counters and frees up cabinet space. I am going to sew some covers for them when I have time so I can keep them virtually dust free. I found stainless steel buckets at the pet supply store too that I can put utensils in and the racks have hooks on either side so I can hang things from them. I also have my office designated for my cake supplies and I have a desk in there where I do gumpaste work and other business related things.

I'll attach a picture of one of the racks and my kitchen (it's messy today though so please excuse the clutter)..
LL
LL
LL

kellertur Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 6:14pm
post #14 of 23

Now that's a kitchen!!! icon_cool.gif

My grandmother has an awesome (can't believe I just said "awesome") kitchen with an island in the middle and her oven is installed into the wall. (just like it's always been - only she remodeled about 10 yrs ago). I've learned so much from that woman... We definitely want a wall mounted oven one day. (husband bakes really great pies... infact I'm still trying to "bribe" him into doing all my baking for me, now that I've worked out the recipes.) I'm an "out of pockek" kind of gal - no debt for remodeling if we can help it. (we've done all we can do.)

I'd just like a useful "triangle" of appliances where I'm not banging my elbow into the stove hood everytime I need to (stand on a chair) to reach the herbs, etc. icon_rolleyes.gif
Or, my personal favorite~ the mild concussion I received from slamming my head against the OPEN freezer door when I turned around. (Yes, being short has it's little "perks")

My life is an adventure... it's the little things that count. icon_smile.gif

FromScratch Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 6:30pm
post #15 of 23

LMAO... I too am vertically challenged. I'm 5'2" on a good day. I've done the massive whack to the head on the freezer door before... MAN does that smart... and worse yet is when you wake up after being unconscious for 20 minutes to find that your Haagen Dazs has melted. icon_lol.gif

My hubby is 6'7" so in our dream kitchen we will have counters that can accomodate us both. He likes to cook too, but he has to hunch to prep things and it is hard on his back. I have to stand on a stool to knead dough and fondant without hurting my back. icon_rolleyes.gif What can you do though right. I want double wall ovens too, and when we tear this house down and build a new one (the 10 year plan) I will have just that. For now I make due with what I have. Get some racks though if you have the space for them. Getting the supplies out of the way allows you to have a normally functioning kitchen and keep all your cake crap (as it is affectionately called here) neat and organized and easy to reach (unless it's on the top couple shelves icon_lol.gif). I should mention that my fridge is small.. not your standard size so it puts a different perspective on it. It's like an apartment sized fridge (don't even get me started on that). icon_wink.gif

FromScratch Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 6:33pm
post #16 of 23

LMAO... I too am vertically challenged. I'm 5'2" on a good day. I've done the massive whack to the head on the freezer door before... MAN does that smart... and worse yet is when you wake up after being unconscious for 20 minutes to find that your Haagen Dazs has melted. icon_lol.gif

My hubby is 6'7" so in our dream kitchen we will have counters that can accomodate us both. He likes to cook too, but he has to hunch to prep things and it is hard on his back. I have to stand on a stool to knead dough and fondant without hurting my back. icon_rolleyes.gif What can you do though right. I want double wall ovens too, and when we tear this house down and build a new one (the 10 year plan) I will have just that. For now I make due with what I have. Get some racks though if you have the space for them. Getting the supplies out of the way allows you to have a normally functioning kitchen and keep all your cake crap (as it is affectionately called here) neat and organized and easy to reach (unless it's on the top couple shelves icon_lol.gif). I should mention that my fridge is small.. not your standard size so it puts a different perspective on it. It's like an apartment sized fridge (don't even get me started on that). icon_wink.gif

kellertur Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 7:29pm
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

LMAO... I too am vertically challenged. I'm 5'2" on a good day. My hubby is 6'7" so in our dream kitchen we will have counters that can accomodate us both. icon_wink.gif





Glad to be of service... my absurd sense of humor isn't everyone's "cup of tea"... icon_lol.gif I'm waiting for that fated day I "slip on that final banana peel" and end up in traction all in the name of cake. icon_wink.gif

We could be twins, because I'm just under 5', and DH is 6'2"... my gentle giant sure does come in handy. icon_rolleyes.gif See, tall guys DO dig the short gals... no complaints here. icon_cool.gif

FromScratch Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 7:48pm
post #18 of 23

LOL... we'd be a sight going on a double date. icon_lol.gif I have quite an absurd sense of humor too so we're like 2 peas in a (small) pod.

kellertur Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 8:00pm
post #19 of 23

Jeanne, that's very interesting... I bet people comment on how "cute" you two look together too... icon_rolleyes.gificon_smile.gif He's 4 yrs older, but because he shaves his head, from behind he looks much older than me. So when I "get the looks" from people like he's robbing the cradle, I just give him a big kiss!!! Freaks them right out. icon_smile.gif

(daughter just woke up, got to go. icon_smile.gif I think we're at the end of our "nap life-span". She's a great kid anyway ~ LOTS of energy and a really funny sense of humor. )

Have a great day-

indydebi Posted 16 Feb 2009 , 9:16pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

....and worse yet is when you wake up after being unconscious for 20 minutes to find that your Haagen Dazs has melted. icon_lol.gif




Ah, man! Not the Haagen dazs! Anything but that!! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

jlynnw Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 2:12am
post #21 of 23

I have a walking island, my dh, calls it. It is at the height I, and may I repeat, I like it to be. I can do pie, cookies, fondant, etc on it at my comfort. When not in use, it is rolled (walked) out of the kitchen into the office. I store "cake junk" under the counter. I does help the itty bitty kitchen. We also placed a large flush medicine chest on either side of the stove to store spices, seasonings, flavors etc. that is a 4 inch dead space that we use. We have the space behind the sink with sliding doors (not my fav) to hold small cleaning items. We had a minor stove top fire that took out the over the stove micro/vent. The fire was trivial and had it not been for the micro, not damage. The micro melted, smoldered and caused $15,000 in damages. I will never have one above the stove again.

kellertur Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 3:09am
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlynnw

We also placed a large flush medicine chest on either side of the stove to store spices, seasonings, flavors etc. that is a 4 inch dead space that we use.




That is brilliant!!! icon_cool.gif We have a wall that is "dead" space, but since I'm not "decorator material", I left it alone. I'm going to HD this weekend and see what we can find (cheap). icon_rolleyes.gif
I don't plan on ever having an over-head micro (or anything). Life is hard enough trying to get the toothpaste out of the cabinet. icon_lol.gif
(sorry to hear about your fire though... icon_sad.gif )

jlynnw Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 5:31am
post #23 of 23

We wanted to remodle the kitchen anyway, just not for a few years, but thanks.

We cut the sheetrock to the size we wanted and finished the "inside of the wall" with 1 x 4 andfinish the back of the wall and we put up metal ceiling tile stuff. The shelves were 1x4 that were pegged in place like a medicine cabinet. My camera is not up and working at the moment or I would send pics. The project cost under $100 for both cabinets and the sink. We made the doors to match our cabinet doors with matching hardware. We got the idea from house searching. One of the houses had something similar in the garage to conceal hand tools. We loved the idea and dressed it up for the kitchen. It is function and "cute".

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