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  • Writer's pictureMike Roberts

What to Do With My Kitchen Desk Area?

Some older kitchens included a desk area, slightly lower than countertop height, for sitting down to pay bills or organize files. While a great idea at the time, most people now have a home office space. If you’re wondering what to do with my kitchen desk area, here are some modern suggestions.

Repurpose it as a beverage bar

If you enjoy an after-work cocktail at home but don’t have a designated space, try converting your kitchen desk area. Many of these desks featured a lowered surface so that the desk could be used with a standard dining-height chair. If you can, raise or replace the desktop so it’s at the same level as the surrounding counter. The empty place underneath the former desk can house a built-in wine fridge for storing beverages.

Place supplies or non-perishable ingredients in the lower cabinets. Which ingredients don’t need refrigeration? Spirits such as whiskey, rum, vodka and gin: the alcohol acts as a preservative. A general rule of thumb is that anything with less than 15 percent alcohol, or a wine base, should go in the fridge.

Place an empty ice bucket on the counter for when it’s needed, and store glassware in the upper cabinets. For a more open look, replace solid cabinet doors with glass or remove them altogether and paint.

Transform it into a coffee station

Many homeowners have a Keurig or other coffee machine taking up valuable countertop space. That kitchen desk area can become a coffee station for making your favorite hot beverage. The desk drawers can house necessary utensils and napkins, while the lower cabinets can store your supplies, K-cups and coffee beans.

Contrary to popular belief, coffee beans actually should be stored at room temperature, not in the freezer. When they thaw, the beans absorb the frozen moisture, diluting the flavor and weakening the strength of your coffee. Additionally, frozen beans will absorb the flavors of other foods in the freezer, which could lead to some interesting-tasting coffee. If you still choose to freeze, it’s best to separate the beans into weekly portions and double-wrap them before freezing to protect them. Thaw once and use as quickly as possible. Do not refreeze.

If you don’t have upper cabinets above the kitchen desk, install some shelving for storage purposes. Coffee mugs look stylish – and are easily accessible – when hung from hooks underneath a shelf. That leaves the top of the shelf open for additional storage, giving you double the function in one piece.

Convert the it into a baking station

That lowered kitchen desk countertop can make an ideal baking station, especially if you enjoy making breads and other baked goods. The extra-low counter provides additional leverage when rolling or kneading dough. Most desk areas sit a little off to the side, out of the way, making them ideal for this purpose. If you can, replace the desktop with a marble remnant: The cool, hard (and easily cleanable) material makes the best surface for working with dough.

Use the lower cabinets for storing mixers, canisters and bowls, and consider installing shelving in the empty chair space. Place a utensil holder on the counter for easy reach and use the drawer for measuring spoons and cups, cookie cutters and rolling pins. Keeping your baking pans and cooling racks in this area will make transferring from the counter or bowls easier.

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