Like many of you, our kitchen is too small and we don't have enough counter space.
The main weekly PITA is when the wife and I return with groceries. To avoid using plastic bags, we shop using a duffle bag and a backpack that we pack to the gills. If we place them on the counter, there's no room to unload the stuff--our countertop is that small. So I pull two stools over to the counter, set the bags on that, and unload. It's inconvenient, as the stools have to be stored and retrieved from a different room due to space constraints.
What we need is simply a disappearing surface on which to set the heavy bags down. I looked around to see what others with this need have come up with. The first I found are these pivot-out surfaces:
I'm not crazy about either, because as far as I can tell, the single leg in each design has to be folded in and out each time you use it. If I'm going to go to the trouble of redoing my cabinets to integrate this thing, I want the experience of using it to be minimal-interaction each time. Not to mention the single legs look like they'd be wobbly under load.
This variant on that design has a much sturdier-looking support, which appears to be two casters spread apart:
However, the more I look at that, the more I realize the pivot point probably consists of some funky wandering mechanism. If it was a single point of rotation, there's no way you could just rotate the entire thing in and out of the base cabinets, unless there's some unsightly vertical gap when the thing is closed.
The next type of design I found is this simple roll-out table:
However, I'd never be able to get that length of table--our counters are too shallow, front-to-back, to store something that size. Realistically, ours would have to be shallower front-to-back, like these:
Those seem acceptable--but then I found an even more minimal design, which is just a flat surface on drawer slides:
The only problem with that one is, our counter surface isn't much wider than what's in the photo. In order for the surface to hold both of our bags, it would have to be as wide as what's in the photo--and we'd effectively be blocking ourselves from accessing the counter.
Finally, I think I've found the perfect design for us, which is a variant of the one above:
No, we wouldn't be using it as a pull-out wine-and-newspaper table. In fact I'm not even interested in the center unit. I'm thinking of the two lower, red-covered surfaces. Whereas this design intends them as seating, I think those would actually be the perfect height on which to place our fully-laden bags (I'll just throw some heavy-duty drawer slides in there). Since the bags are top-loading, we could lift things straight from the bags to the counter.
So, I'm thinking that's the best design for us.
Any thoughts? Do any of you have something similar to any of these in your kitchen, and if so, are you happy with them?
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