Jennifer Ott, Houzz Contributor and Interior Designer
I remember when having a microwave or an electric can opener mounted under your wall cabinets was considered state of the art. Now you can attach your smart phone and tablet, and even hide the necessary outlets out of sight. Curious what today’s cabinet additions can do for you? Check out a few of the latest and most useful offerings in cabinet-mounted gadgets and accessories to see what will work in your kitchen.
Even if you’re a minimalist who prefers to keep the area under your wall cabinets clear, consider installing some lighting. Undercabinet lights provides crucial illumination for food prep and, if dimmable, work well as a nightlight once the kitchen is closed for the evening. My current preference for undercabinet lighting is low-profile LED (light-emitting diode) strip lights. LED lighting technology is continually advancing, so check with your local lighting retailer or electrical contractor to see what is the best option for your kitchen. Prices vary depending on size and quality, but you can currently get 12-inch strips starting around $20.
You’ve spent time and money selecting and installing the perfect backsplash tile, so don’t mar the beautiful surface with outlets. An under cabinet outlet strip gives you a plethora of plugs — and always one right where you need it — without a line of receptacles all across your lovely backsplash. If, however, you tend to keep your countertop appliances plugged in, you may not enjoy seeing the cords dangle down from underneath your cabinets.
Watch a cooking video, refer to a recipe, check your email or call your mom on Skype, all while keeping your device up and away from any countertop messes with an undercabinet tablet mount. If you have multiple devices that you want accessible in the kitchen, check out this modular under cabinet lighting system. You can get docks for all of your devices, along with the receptacles to power them
I realize under cabinet knife blocks aren’t exactly new technology, but this model from Rev-a-shelf is notable for its slim profile.
For those who struggle with opening bottles and jars, here’s a clever gadget that’s easy to mount under your wall cabinet. This would make an excellent gift for someone who suffers from arthritis, or anyone else who could use some assistance with tough-to-open lids.
If you are tight on kitchen storage space, you’ll want to make use of every nook and cranny you can. Here’s a great option for storing your stemware under a wall cabinet. I’ve mounted a similar rack inside a cabinet, and I really like its functionality — you can store a good number of glasses in a small amount of space without the risk of having them tip over onto one another like dominoes. I should note that this may not be the best storage option if you don’t use the glasses very often, or if you don’t have adequate ventilation in your kitchen, as the stemware is likely to attract grease and dust.
Display your wine bottles next to your stemware, all underneath your wall cabinets. Just be sure to mount this away from your range or cooktop, so the bottles don’t feel the heat