Get Your Kitchen ‘Bake Off’ Ready
Make it easy to whip up a cake or a batch of cookies with these tips for organizing your space
For fans of The Great British Bake Off in the U.K., a new season of Victoria sponges and meringue pavlovas has begun. (U.S. viewers will have to wait a bit for the latest episodes to air on PBS under the title The Great British Baking Show.) If you’re feeling inspired to create your own baking extravaganzas, you’ll want a kitchen that makes it easy to store ingredients and tools, prepare your recipes and, of course, share your delicious creations. Check out these ideas for a show-stopping baking space.
Go back to basics with vintage accessories. If you’re not a fan of modern gadgets and bowls, you could hunt down vintage alternatives instead. The retro scales in this kitchen look great on display and the colorful bowls and tins add to the theme.
The vintage-style storage consists of a free-standing island with a distressed cabinet perched on top. It’s a great mix of old and new, which gives the kitchen a quirky feel, perfect for getting the creative juices flowing.
Plan a pantry. For a completely organized kitchen, a pantry area is invaluable. The corner shelves here provide the perfect space for ingredients and cookbooks. The jars, canisters and baskets have been organized in uniform lines to keep the area looking tidy, but, to add interest, the owners have chosen a variety of styles and sizes. To make things even more organized, add labels in tag or sticker form.
Turn utensils into a design feature. If you lack cabinet space for your baking equipment and decorating supplies, think about items you’d be happy to have on display. Then you can devise some handy wall storage to keep them neatly off the counters.
Here, the side of a cabinet has been covered with magnetic hooks for hanging small items, such as cookie cutters and whisks. A neat shelf on the left is perfect for little jars, and the S-hook bar beneath looks pretty with a collection of mint green utensils hanging off it.
When planning your kitchen, pay attention to the countertop material you choose. Baking enthusiasts should opt for something hard-wearing and non-porous. Quartz and granite are good options because they’re resistant to stains and won’t be scratched by knives. They’re also heat-resistant, so they can handle a hot cake pan and they stay relatively cool when you want to roll out pastry.
Store your pans and trays. Cake pans, cookie sheets and mixing bowls are pretty cumbersome, and it can be tricky to find them a home. Wide drawers like these are often a better option than a cupboard, as the items can be stacked neatly and accessed easily. This one has useful pullout sections at the top that are perfect for sheets and trays.
When planning storage, it’s a good idea to make a list of all the items you own, how often you’ll need to get to them and where it would be best to locate them.
Allocate room for cookbooks. If you’re serious about baking, you’ve probably got an array of cookbooks for inspiration. Keep them off the counters to avoid damage from splashes and spills, but place them somewhere you can get to them easily.
Recessed shelves are one good idea for keeping them neatly tucked away. By using your imagination, you can fit books in any number of places. This island contains a slew of them to peruse while enjoying a cup of coffee at the table.
If you get most of your recipes online, look for holders for your tablet that you can attach to a wall.
Park your cutting boards. An essential item for baking is a cutting board, and it’s useful to have a few in different sizes and materials. Avoid leaning them precariously against a wall and instead design some dedicated storage for them. Gaps in the corner of this cabinet are one example.
If you can’t fit a storage spot like this in a base cabinet, try separating a section of a wall shelf with some wooden partitions.
Invest in a warming drawer. For serious bread bakers, a warming drawer is a wonderful thing to have. It’s essentially a drawer that fits into your space like an integrated oven. Alternatively, you’ll find them built into traditional range ovens.
The warm spaces are perfect for proofing bread — and they can also be used to defrost food and heat up plates.
Hide your equipment. If you use your mixer a lot but don’t want to keep it out on view, why not store it in an appliance garage? Install a cabinet to fit directly on top of the work surface, with electrical outlets inside. Then you can open the cabinet and use your gadgets without moving them. When you’ve finished, everything can be hidden away behind the doors.
Collect some servingware. Once you’ve baked your delicious cakes, you’ll need gorgeous dishes on which to serve them. Start a collection of plates, jugs and bowls so you’ll have the perfect item for every type of dessert.
Not everything has to match: An eclectic collection is more interesting and means you can add to it whenever you find something you like. For a thread of continuity, you could hunt out pieces in a similar color scheme. This cabinet full of mismatched china is brought together by the repetition of blue, white and green.
original photo on houzz
Create space for eating. Don’t forget to make room for enjoying your baked delights. Even if your kitchen is tiny, it’s often possible to fit in a table. This small space has made use of stools and a console table, which is just large enough for a couple of friends to sit and enjoy a slice of cake and a cup of coffee.
For a bigger table, look for drop-leaf versions that can be folded away, then extended when people drop by. Gingham cover optional.