Why Your Kitchen Needs an Appliance Garage

Trust us—and some of our favorite designers.

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Courtesy Amy Sklar

First there was the Crock-Pot. Then the Instant Pot. Then the Vitamix sensation. And, of course, we've always loved our stalwart KitchenAids. As each year seems to bring new cult-favorite kitchen appliances, we have just one question: Where do we put them all? You see, though we may love—and use—our toaster oven, Nespresso machine, or any other countertop appliance, a countertop full of electronics isn't exactly beautiful or functional. This is especially true when, for better or worse, the kitchen is becoming more and more of a hangout spot. Well, as they so often do, some of our favorite designers have devised a solution. Enter, the appliance garage.

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In this appliance garage, Amy Sklar added an unexpected pop of color with yellow tile.
Courtesy Amy Sklar

The appliance garage is—well, exactly what it sounds like: a designated storage spot for your appliances. But, unlike the garage that stores your cars, bikes, and whatever else you stash in there, this one is known for its accessibility. As designer Amy Sklar, the self-professed "queen of the appliance garage" explains, "it started for me when I was actually designing my own kitchen. And I was like, okay, the least sexy things in my kitchen are my toaster and the soda dispenser, but we use them every single day. So I thought, all right, I have to find a way to have the kitchen be beautiful and not see these things."

Enter, her two appliance garages, custom cabinets that flank her sink and house her less pretty accessories—all at countertop height but hidden from sight. "One has the coffeemaker and the toaster and two drawers of kids school supplies, and the other has the SodaStream, the charging station for all the devices, and two drawers for mail," Sklar explains. Since then, she's taken to designing garages for clients, creating custom homes for all their favorite appliances that slide easily out of view.

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An appliance area by Matthew Ferrarini.
MICHAEL PERSICO

CQ Next Wave designer Matthew Ferrarini takes a similar approach in his kitchens, which are always neat and streamlined—not exactly the words you'd use to describe a lineup of mismatched electronic accessories. In one family home, the designer created custom wooden door panels that slide over a prep station, which houses appliances and provides extra counter space.

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Ferrarini’s appliance area closed.
MICHAEL PERSICO

"This particular client was a food enthusiast, and with that, she had every small appliance that you could imagine," Ferrarini reveals. "Literally dozens. And she would just have those spread out across the kitchen. So instead I designed an appliance area, so she can stack them all there and that can be as messy as she likes on a regular basis, but within three seconds she can close those doors and have it feel very clean." A design decision that makes for easier cleanup? We're in.

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