I am obsessed with baking centers. There is just something magical when the cabinet door opens and unfolds, revealing the arsenal of baking supplies - they're like the Swiss Army Knife of the kitchen. Do I own one? No, I just lust after them.
My love affair with baking stations started when I caught a glimpse of Martha Stewart's baking pantry (see "Pantry Cabinets With Charm"). I was still living in a world dominated by soffits and standard stock cabinetry... the world was about to change.
A baking station is a dedicated spot in the kitchen for performing tasks and storing supplies related to baking. Typical ingredients include flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder, as well as spices. Prep equipment is often included for convenience, such as a stand mixer. A baking station may include a special countertop (marble) for rolling out dough. Storage for baking sheets, pots, and pans are stored nearby.
There is a lot of variety when it comes to baking stations. I've included many examples below.
Baking centers are often given more prominence in the kitchen, on purpose. This baking station cabinet is deeper than the adjoining side cabinets. Besides an emphasis on detail, the deeper cabinetry provides more work space to store small appliances.
Remember that countertop appliances take up space. There isn't much room left to perform tasks comfortably unless you plan for it. The clever cabinet maker includes a pull-out shelf to provide additional space.
Who says that baking cabinets only go on the top? This base cabinet stores easy access for mixing bowls, baking pan/sheets, and small spice bottles.
There are no hard and fast rules for how big or little a baking station cabinet needs to be. This station has been prominently given its own separate space in the kitchen, clearly defining the baking zone.
The owner of this baking station wanted to include a microwave. Microwaves in baking stations don't have to be full-size, you can purchase small ones just for doing small tasks, like melting butter. Note the additional task light installed in the top of cabinet and extra outlets on the back walls.
Who knows if this baking station started out as a closet? Bi-fold doors are an easy way to cover up a baking station.
Who would have ever dreamed there was a hard-working baking station hiding behind this buffet? Again, there are no rules, think of unused spots in your kitchen or nearby that could be turned into baking stations.
The drawers in baking centers are perfect for storing measuring cups and spoons. One organizing guru told me that it takes too much time to perfectly re-stack nested measuring cups, always store them separated. I doubt any of us can afford to spare any more space in our cabinets, but here... it looks like you could.
See that thing-a-ma-jig holding the mixer stand? That's called a kitchen appliance lift. A massively strong, spring-loaded mechanism lifts the stand mixer up and out of a base cabinet. This is often seen in baking stations and kitchens, especially when the kitchen owner doesn't want the mixer in everyday view.
Notice the white baking center cabinet station, sandwiched in between the cherry cabinets. If you are seeking out transition ideas, here is one of them - you might want to scroll through this page for other examples where transitions were done well.
Note the small cabinet doors that open out of the way. When deciding the width of your baking station, be sure you have allowed enough space to comfortably work in after the doors have been opened.
This baking station put an emphasis on providing the baker with a view out the window when working.
Details are everything! The gorgeous colored wall tile extends through the back of the baking center.
I prefer a baking counter about this wide to spread out on. After enjoying an extra-deep counter in this kitchen for rolling pie dough out, it would be hard to return to a shallow counter like the one in this picture.
Baking stations can hold a lot of equipment and supplies, just like the one in this picture.
Spice racks are anchored in the back of this kitchen baking station. Notice the gap on each side of the upper nook shelving - that's for special cabinet doors called "pocket doors." Pocket doors open outward, like a traditional cabinet door, but then retract into the cabinet space.
If you feel that bumping into the side of open doors would bother you, definitely consider a pocket door install.
Though the shelves are not full, it's easy to appreciate the simplicity of the cabinet design. Don't miss the detail that the baking station itself is a completely different style and color then the rest of the kitchen cabinets.
Mixing styles and cabinet colors are great solutions for remodeling challenges.
Ah, I grew up with one of these "step-downs." All I remember is that it was a bit of a clutter catcher. Having the counter at a lower level is supposed to make it easier to roll out dough if you are of shorter stature - or maybe it brought the mixer stand to a lower level - that would make more sense.
In my experience, a tall oven cabinet blocked it on the left, and the refrigerator panel blocked in on the right. I don't think any of us kids liked working in the space, it felt like it was in a hole. This design is not looking into a wall, but rather open to the room on the other side. You will have to make the personal choice if it's the right design for you.
Another baking station built big enough to be a stand-alone center.
Although the upper storage shelves are not full-depth, they guarantee a pleasurable user experience. Gently scooped away to the depth of one jar deep, nothing will be lost on these shelves!
Cookbooks! Baking stations are perfect for cookbook storage. No matter if you utilize a paper cookbook, or a digital tablet for recipes, having your recipe resource in the baking zone makes your life easier. This is another example of a "step-down" counter that makes baking tasks more ergonomic for some people. Also note that the counter material differs from the adjacent countertop - it's marble, a cool-to-the-touch material that is friendly to rolling out pastry dough.
This is what I call a shelf grid - to learn more about this shelf choice, visit "Pantry Shelving Ideas - Grid Style." As mentioned in the article, there is often a higher degree of responsibility in keeping the grid orderly.
I'm eyeing that very low microwave. I would not recommend for ergonomic purposes having it placed that low. As mentioned earlier, you can purchase an inexpensive, small microwave for baking jobs, such as melting butter or baking chips.