One might easily say that the space under the cabinets has been abused. Think of all the gadgets and appliances that can fit into this precious space.
Yet manufacturers bet there's room for more as they continue to squeeze new goods into the area. A Canadian company is utilizing the wall between the countertop and the bottom of the kitchen cabinets. Called "Match 1," this new modular storage system is being distributed by Desco Marketing Corp. in Los Angeles.
"It's very high-tech, a fun thing in plastic that's going very well for us," said Milt Chalice, the company's marketing director. "Because of its flexibility, it allows you to change and rearrange spices, mugs, towel holders and storage boxes around to create a new design to your kitchen."
The system was designed by internationally renowned Canadian designer Andre Morin. The company calls Match 1 a gift collection because parts or matched sets can be purchased individually, and each is attractively packaged. All the materials are made with high-gloss, super-resistant acrylic.
The basis for all the accessories is the modular panel ($9.95), which can be mounted on the wall with anchors and screws. Measuring about 11 1/2 inches tall, 16 inches wide and three-quarters of an inch thick, the panel has six horizontal bars, which can be used with every product of the collection. For instance, the paper towel holder, which is made of polycarbonate for extra strength, has hooks in the back so it can easily slide into one of the bars in the panel.
Another optional accessory is a tall utility kitchen canister for storing tea, coffee, flour, rice, beans or pasta. Four of these can fit in one modular panel. There is a foil or wax paper holder with a cutting edge on the hinged cover.
A Useful Addition
One accessory that's useful as an extra drawer in the kitchen is the covered box for tools, bread, cookies, pasta or whatever. There's a set of six spice containers, which comes with 20 self-adhesive labels. (Eighteen spice containers could be mounted on each modular panel.)
The remaining options include a utility shelf, cork display panels, a battery-operated kitchen clock and a set of six utility hooks. The hooks hold odds and ends such as kitchen tools, utensils, paper pads, keys, cloth towels, coffee mugs.
Miniature modules ($7.95 with six hooks) that feature one horizontal bar are also available. The Match 1 system comes in red, white, almond and cobalt blue. Yellow, which was originally available, was phased out of the line because it was too strong in most kitchens.
"We've done well with cobalt blue, especially as accent pieces," Chalice said. "However, because it's a strong color, you couldn't have a lot of it around."
Aside from under the cabinet locations, the modular storage panels can be installed in bathrooms, wardrobe closet, the pantry or the sewing room.
Another product dealing with kitchen storage and organization that was just introduced is the Blade Holder box from Cuisinart ($20).
Made of high-impact plastic with a smooth surface and a see-through cover that can be locked, the Cuisinart blade holder is designed to store the metal blade, the dough blade and detachable stem. Aside from safety and convenience, the blade holder was developed because the manufacturer has always insisted in its instruction booklets that the blade or disc should never be stored on the motor shaft unless the processor is in use. Sometimes, in humid climates, the shaft can expand, making it difficult to let go of the blade if it is left on for long periods.
Previously introduced, the Cuisinart Disc Holder ($15) can store seven discs securely with the cutting edges protected behind a plastic barrier. The discs can slide in and out, and self-adhesive labels are provided for disc identification.
The Match 1 modular storage system is available at Container Arts (Topanga Plaza), Contain Ware (Costa Mesa) and Hold It (San Diego). The Cuisinart Blade and Disc Holders are available at most major department stores and specialty cook stores.