Kitchen Considerations: Appliance Garages

Kitchen Extras: Part III

Appliance Garages 

By. Vivi Kirsch

Appliance garages are a great way to preserve the lines in your kitchen by minimizing what is seen on your countertops while maximizing the number of small appliances you have easy access to. These intentional storage spaces keep all your small kitchen appliances in one organized cabinetry space that can easily close when not in use.  Appliance garages can be designed with doors that swing out, pop up, retract into the cabinetry, roll up, or tilt back. When planning your appliance garage, you will want to take stock of what appliances you’d like to house and their measurements to ensure there is dedicated space for all your gadgets be it a tall juicer or wide toaster oven. You will also want to plan for enough countertop space in from of your appliance garage so that you can pull certain appliances out from the cabinetry while they are in use – this is especially important if you plan to store appliances that get really hot or release steam while they’re on. 

Large Appliance Garage with Accordion Doors. Project by: MAK Design + Build. Photo by JLP Photography
Magic Corner and Appliance Garage with Retracting Door. Project by: MAK Design + Build. Photo By: JLP Photography

Can I have more than one appliance garage?

Absolutely! These counter-level storage solutions are extremely versatile and depending on how many small household appliances you have; you may want more than one, in order to group and store appliances that are often used together in separate spaces.

For instance, some clients with a caffeine habit choose to create a customized coffee and tea nook within an appliance garage. This could be a section of open shelving and counter space dedicated to displaying favorite blends, equipment, and mugs. Another consideration is what other items you might want to keep in the appliance garage: tea bags, sugar, a space for your mugs, etc. With thoughtful planning an appliance garage can create an intentional space for these items you grab most and streamline your morning routine – then when you’re done, it’s out of sight, out of mind!

Smoothie and Baking Appliance Garage open. Project by: MAK Design + Build. Photo by: JLP Photography
Smoothie and Baking Appliance Garage closed. Project by: MAK Design + Build. Photo by: JLP Photography

So you have your caffeine station already, what would you use a second appliance garage for? Perhaps your drink station is in one appliance garage near your sink so that you are close to a water source but your partner is an avid baker with a lot of small appliances they use regularly. This is where a separate appliance garage housing the stand mixer, scale, and food processer may come in handy. With effective design planning, you could build this appliance garage near the pantry to minimize the need to lug flour or other dry goods across the kitchen to the baking gadgets. Or maybe you have a small appliance garage that solely stores your microwave. Hiding a microwave in an appliance garage is a fantastic option as it allows you to reclaim valuable countertop space that would otherwise have been eaten up by such a bulky appliance. It’s also safest to have the hot items you pull out of the microwave at counter level and with an appliance garage, they already are! Also, let’s be real, hardworking microwaves are not always the most attractive items, so there is no need to look at them all the time. When designing your microwave appliance garage you will need to know the dimensions of the microwave to ensure it fits in its new home, and it’s also important to plan for enough space to allow the microwave to properly vent – with thoughtful planning this is easy to do!

Hidden Microwave Appliance Garage with Verticle Lift Door. Project by: MAK Design + Build. Photo by: JLP Photography


Won’t having more than one appliance garage look strange?

Depending on what type of doors you choose, appliance garages can be a visual design feature or completely discrete, blending in entirely with the rest of your cabinetry, so don’t worry about how it will look if you have more than one.

Whether it is a visible feature or hidden in an appliance garage, when designing a coffee nook, it is important to plan for the number of appliances involved to ensure that there will be enough counter space and outlets in your nook to accommodate everything working at once. Appliance garages are a wonderful option if you don’t want to sacrifice form for function; with them, you can use all your beloved countertop appliances regularly, while also enjoying a clear countertop!


Ask the Expert 2022 – Matt K.

MAK's own Matt K. was featured this year as SacTown magazine's construction expert. Read an extended version of his expert advice here!

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