Because We Love Cookbooks!
As we enter this holiday season, our cookbooks play a big role. Let’s look at all the different ways to store these beloved collections and ponder a Cookbook Exchange this season. After all, a cookbook is the one thing surrounded by food that does not have to watch it’s calories!
To start off, I’ll share how we store our cookbooks. Let me say, most of the day to day recipes I use now are in digital format. However, there is nothing better than stealing an hour here and there to simply “read” cookbooks. Some of the books I have are really old like the Vincent Van Gogh one that is the story of his life thru the peasant pub food he ate. I also enjoy foods of other countries. Many of the recipes require ingredients I may never buy, but the photos are worth keeping these cookbooks. We have a Goodwill bookstore which I use kinda like a library. For $20 I can get 5-6 used cookbooks and make a habit of donating the equal number back to Goodwill at the same time.
Onto our cookbook storage. See the small cabinet in the corner of the open floor plan dining area? (blue arrow) This is a record cabinet we have toted around for years. Every time we move it becomes storage for something new. For years it had cassettes, then CD’s and now the rotating cookbooks.
Interior of Radio Cabinet Cookbook Storage
16 Year Old LBD Mascot Guarding Our Cookbook Collection
(see dogs know how nice it is to curl up with a cookbook)
There is no question that many of us have a passion for scouring cookbooks. Therefore, in many design projects, we get asked to help plan cookbook storage. Because we are all pulling out our cookbooks at holiday time, we thought it would be a nice time to do this post. Some of us have too many cookbooks. But WE LOVE THEM!
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Planned Cookbook Storage
In 35 years, LBD has designed a lot of kitchens. We’ve been suggesting open shelving, for items we all used often, forever. However, even with the popularity of open shelves in kitchen designs today, 80% of clients nix the idea because they think open units are for display items only. What if the “display” items are the cookbooks we all cherish and dream we will use more often? This example from The Vintage Object is done very nicely.
Wire Basket Wall Storage
This cleaver shelf idea can work in so many places and is not only for books. These baskets could be mounted upright and make great wall storage for kids rooms, mudrooms and garages. Rain On A Tin Roof provides the “how to” in the link below.
Bench Storage For Cookbooks
We all love a window seat! The first notion when planning one is for storage inside. Typically this is done with a lid access (of course you have to remove anything stacked on top to access) or drawers underneath. Below is an old photo we’ve had archived from This Old House. We are currently working with a young family who’d like a bench at their table. Why not a free standing bench, like the one below, with the cubbies facing out for easy access to cookbook storage? Multi use items make sense for so many homes.
Food for Thought
Instead of a new gift exchange with your best buds, how about a Cookbook Exchange? That’s right, you can part with one of yours. You can make up the rules to fit your group. A White Elephant might be the worst cookbooks you have and everyone can get a good laugh. Or you can do a Secret Santa and sincerely tailor your regift to fit your draw. Do some pretty gift wrapping and plan a casual evening at your house or favorite restaurant.
Spine Cookbook Tower
In this great design plan, enough depth was allowed at the end of a tall cabinet run to install a spine tower. What about placing one of these towers nearby and grab a cookbook with a cup of tea? In our house, current magazines and newspapers might also find a home here. The shelves are spaced far enough apart we might even incorporate a charging station for each of us. However you think to use these towers, they can offer a lot of vertical storage.
Wall Mounted Ledges For Cookbook Display
This blogger uses a photo ledge for cookbooks. This idea allows a beloved collection to be transformed into art while “storing” the cookbooks. See how she even has current food magazines tucked in? Nice.
An Idea To Store Small Cookbooks
Large cookbooks, what I call the perfect coffee table books, are easy to store in many ways. However, the “benders”, the soft back books are tricky. These books never stand up unless they are wedged between bigger books. In a stack, the spines are too skinny to see at times. A simple cardboard magazine holder can hold quite a few small cookbooks and can be placed on pantry shelves, in cabinets and on bookcases. Pinterest has oodles of ideas of how to decorate these boxes and even make your own out of cereal boxes! We at LBD will probably stick to the black and white ones below.
So many recipes are digital now and my iPad can get a little grubby on the combo Victorinox knife block/iPad stand below that I currently use. However, this one with the splatter guard may be on my Christmas list. Just about anything Good Grips makes has proven to be well thought out and withhold the test of time in a well used kitchen. This one can be used for both tablets and traditional cookbooks. This cookbook stand looks nice enough to leave out with our always pending recipe, or to charge the iPad. A plus is it does fold up skinny, almost like a book, and can be stored with our cookbooks if desired. Once again, good job Good Grips!