Enthusiasm for cooking can sometimes come with a price- an unruly mess! These tips will help keep your kitchen looking tidy no matter what your cooking style is, but especially if you are not the clean-as-you-go type!
1. Block the view. If you can't avoid making a mess while you cook, you can at least shield it from guests. A two-tier island or peninsula, with the back higher than the front, screens flotsam from those seated opposite the cook.
2. Build in trash receptacles. Having a spot where you can sweep away waste and compost as you go is a huge part of keeping counters tidy. You can install trash bins in your cabinetry to keep an unsightly trash can out of site.
3. Choose an extra-large sink. As cooking progresses, dirty dishes mount. An oversize sink can keep them below eye level. Apron-front and single-bowl models work especially well. If you like the industrial look, you could even choose a freestanding, stainless steel restaurant-style sink.
4. Build in a prep sink. If your kitchen has the space, try a dedicated prep sink to keep eggshells, vegetable peelings and more out of the main cooking area.
5. Add baskets galore. Jars and boxes don't always get returned to their proper homes right away. Having a row of baskets to toss things into helps to keep the kitchen neat. You can put them in a pantry, on open counter space, or on built-in or freestanding shelves.
6. Store utensils in crocks. Not only do crocks keep wooden spoons, tongs and spatulas tidy, but they also keep tools close at hand so they're a cinch to grab when you need them. Of course, you could always take it one step further: built-in receptacles in a pullout drawer.
7. Double up on dishwashers. Ample dishwasher space means you can tuck dirty dishes in as you go. Modular and flexible, dishwasher drawers work well near the main sink or prep sink.
8. Slip in a portable island. Messy cooks often lack enough counter space for spreading out. A small island on casters can be amazingly effective at extending the work area.