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Books in the kitchen

Sheila Byers Sheila Byers
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For those who love to cook, a great cookbook collection can be almost as important as a great kitchen.  But finding place to store your library can be a bit difficult. Often kitchen cabinets are already stuffed full of cooking gadgets. In addition, books are bulky and colourful and simply don't fit into the décor of some kitchens.  In the following pictures, we give you some ideas on how and where to place your cookbooks, whether you want them proudly on display or discretely shelved.

Proudly displayed

If you are lucky enough to have the space, the kitchen counter can be the ideal place to keep your cookbooks.  Here they are always in reach, in case you need to quickly consult a recipe.  A display method like this works best in a casually decorated, bright kitchen, so that you don't need to worry about the colours or designs on the books making the space look too cluttered.

In the doorway

Cream shaker with black granite worktops:  Kitchen by Henley McKay Kitchens
Henley McKay Kitchens

Cream shaker with black granite worktops

Henley McKay Kitchens

For those of us whose kitchen may be a bit smaller, a shelf right outside the doorway may be the solution for cookbook storage.  Perfect for grabbing a book on the way in, a shelf in the hallway has the added bonus of bringing some colour into what is often merely a transitional space, a tactic that helps to pull the warmth and friendliness of the kitchen further out into the home.  

Prized possesions

Old-Meets-New:  Kitchen by Krantz Designs
Krantz Designs


Krantz Designs

In this kitchen, the books are in full view, along with some prized dishes and the wine collection.  Here, the designer has cleverly switched the shelves that house the books from the maroon of the drawers surrounding them to plain, unfinished wood.  This colour choice serves to draw attention to the contents of the shelves and also ensures that the books will not blend with maroon and make the space seem small or dark. 

The main attraction

In this home, the owner has chosen to cover one wall of the dining room with books, allowing them not only to be on display, but also to be the main attraction. This is a look that works best if shelving is limited to one wall with the rest painted white; otherwise the space can become too dark or imposing, a feeling you want to avoid in a room where you eat.

Discreet storage

White Gloss & Latte Oak:  Kitchen by Creative Designs
Creative Designs

White Gloss & Latte Oak

Creative Designs

In this kitchen, the centre island holds small storage area where books can be discreetly tucked away.  The height and placement of the shelf means that its contents are visible only from certain angles, and some home owners may appreciate the slight hint of colour that this collection of books brings into the white kitchen. For those who would prefer that their books stay completely hidden, a cabinet door could easily be added, and dinner guests would never know that the chef had to follow instructions!

Making space

 Living room by Pickawood GmbH
Pickawood GmbH

Raumteiler aus höchster Qualität

Pickawood GmbH

In this home, the lack of space to store books has been solved by constructing an interior partition that divides the room into separate eating and living areas.  Notice how the books are shelved according to colour, a technique that keeps the room from feeling cluttered or busy.  Instead, it is now the perfect space for the chef to sit at the table, leafing through recipes and planning a menu.

Take a look at our other solutions for kitchen storage.

Where do you keep your cookbooks? Tell us about your great solutions in the comments.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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