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Using Over-The-Range Stainless Steel Shelves To Store Your Spices And Make The Most Of A Small Kitchen.

Graham is a former magazine stylist with a passion for crafts. She writes for various magazines and blogs when she's not playing with glue.


When my husband and I first purchased our home, we accepted the fact that it had a small kitchen. We were able to re-design it to increase the usable footage, but it still remains a petite space. I enjoy cooking and I wanted access to all my spices so that I could reach for them quickly. What I didn't want were piles of spice bags and a variety of mis-matched spice containers crowding my countertops.

With the able hands of my husband and help from my local sheet metal fabricator, I came up with a working and attractive solution.

What was once a blank wall above the stove was to soon become stainless steel shelves along with a stainless steel backsplash. I decided I would have three shelves made to fit above my range.

I contacted my local fabricator and told him what my plans were. We decided upon a certain thickness so that each shelf would be weight bearing.

I provided the measurements for the shelves and the sheet of steel that we would be used as a backsplash.

Pre-fabricated shelves are available in several different styles to choose from.


To visually balance the space, we constructed open shelving on either side of the stove which could display plates and cakestands. Using simple pine boards, we secured the boxed shelves to the wall.

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I have had many people tell me they chose not to purchase stainless steel appliances because they are difficult to keep clean. I couldn't disagree more. Certainly, greasy little fingers make a mess of most surfaces, but with a quick swipe of a clean cloth and few tricks, your stainless will look fabulous.

As with any appliance, it's best to clean food spills immediately. With a damp cloth, spaghetti splashes are wiped away without any scrubbing or cleaners. To shine and protect the stainless, I often use WD-40. There are many commercial brands that say they clean stainless, however, they can be pricey and they don't work nearly as well. Here are a few tips on using WD-40:


Overall, I've been pleased with this design and the ease of using my spices giving the rather small space in which I work. I've received many compliments from friends and visitors asking how they, too, can display their spices in a similar way. In general, this was an easy concept to design and a rather difficult concept to execute. We had difficulties securing the shelves because our wall was opposite our fireplace and there was nothing to anchor the shelves to. What began as a weekend project quickly became a week of construction. You may not have the same problems.

In order to gain kitchen space, we moved our range to this wall. It was our original plan to insert an exhaust hood that would remove steam and grease up through our chimney. However, we later decided to abandon those plans when we learned the cost of the masonry far exceeded our budget.

Without a hood, as you would expect, grease will eventually film the tin lids and require a good cleaning. This is a rather tedious task. If you are a fastidious individual, like myself, you will need to wipe down the shelves and spice tins once a month in order to keep things clean.

Deep Metal Tins -Where You Can Buy Them

Please Leave Your Comments Or Questions Here. Thank You.

Graham Gifford (author) from New Hamphire on January 25, 2012:

Thank you for reading, Twigsadream. ;)

twigsadream on January 24, 2012:

Great ideas for a clean look.

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