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stevedenver
I like the eighth photo down with the shelf above the counter. Nearly every property I've purchased has had builder's grade cabinets with 10-20 inches of dead space above. A simple solution: MOVE THEM UP and install a shelf where the bottom cabinet used to be. Keep often-used items on that shelf and clear as much as you can off your counters. Yes, a blender will fit on the shelf if you remove the pitcher from the base. Coffee makers can be found that are side-oriented instead of top-heavy.

I keep two plates; two cups; two mugs; salt and pepper grinders; stacks of towels (I try not to use disposable); collected tins containing a zip-lock bag full of coffee, tea bags, sugar packets and vitamins; toaster oven (it is lifted onto the counter when used and unplugged then replaced when cool; and a small basket with the dry spices I use most often.

At different times, fresh fruit, winter squash, and a basket containing onions/shallots/garlic appear.
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Dura Supreme Cabinetry
misterhoyle – Thank you for the backsplash complement! Also, about your question on open shelves under the upper cabinets getting cluttered or being useful… I see this set-up quite often and most of the time it’s used for items that are used daily like glasses, coffee cups, cereal bowls, etc. Then making sure you have just enough of the items that each person in the home can grab one to two of each kind of item so that you don’t have items sit for too long before they are used.

If you plan to store items like that that are washed frequently you won’t have to worry as much about dusting. If you are placing décor on the shelf you would treat the area just like any other open shelf in your home with routine dusting.

Here are a couple of examples, you can see in these rooms they chose items that are used on a daily basis for the open shelves…

https://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/7871aaf2037fa126_9-3260/contemporary-kitchen.jpg" src=" https://st.hzcdn.com/fimgs/7871aaf2037fa126_3260-w240-h160-b0-p0--contemporary-kitchen.jpg" data-pin-no-hover="true" width="240" height="160" onmousedown="preventImageDrag(event)" ondragstart="return false" onselectstart="return false" oncontextmenu="PhotoContextMenu.show(event,12522849);return false;"/>
A Brush with Brass Lofty Kitchen · More Info

https://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/3f310612037a5467_9-5931/contemporary-kitchen.jpg" src=" https://st.hzcdn.com/fimgs/3f310612037a5467_5931-w240-h193-b0-p0--contemporary-kitchen.jpg" data-pin-no-hover="true" width="240" height="193" onmousedown="preventImageDrag(event)" ondragstart="return false" onselectstart="return false" oncontextmenu="PhotoContextMenu.show(event,12398377);return false;"/>
A Perfect Blend of Texture and Simplicity · More Info

https://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/53517eea0fa9858b_9-5767/contemporary-kitchen.jpg" src=" https://st.hzcdn.com/fimgs/53517eea0fa9858b_5767-w240-h160-b0-p0--contemporary-kitchen.jpg" data-pin-no-hover="true" width="240" height="160" onmousedown="preventImageDrag(event)" ondragstart="return false" onselectstart="return false" oncontextmenu="PhotoContextMenu.show(event,895336);return false;"/>
Urban Loft Living Kitchen by Dura Supreme Cabinetry · More Info

https://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/c41143ff01816cfa_9-6544/contemporary-kitchen.jpg" src=" https://st.hzcdn.com/fimgs/c41143ff01816cfa_6544-w240-h160-b0-p0--contemporary-kitchen.jpg" data-pin-no-hover="true" width="240" height="160" onmousedown="preventImageDrag(event)" ondragstart="return false" onselectstart="return false" oncontextmenu="PhotoContextMenu.show(event,3753424);return false;"/>
Urban Loft Living Floating Shelf · More Info
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Barbara Mulroy
Suggestions on backsplash with dark granite countertops tops?
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