A kitchen bookcase can be filled with your favorite cookbooks and magazines. It's also a great place to keep a cookie jar, dog treat container — anything that eats up counter space. • Most of us can't afford to devote a lot of valuable kitchen "real estate" to a bookcase, but a great thing about a bookcase is it can tuck in almost anywhere. It only needs to be about 10 inches deep, and it can be narrow and tall, or short and wide. You could even leave the upper or lower shelves in a shallow pantry open to be used as a bookcase, or take the doors off a shallow cabinet. • Generally, it should be finished to match the kitchen cabinetry, or the bookcase could be a contrasting finish if you want to turn it into a focal point. But if you have open shelving, it shouldn't become cluttered. The last thing you want to do is create chaos in your home, and especially not in the kitchen. Chip Vogel
Chip Vogel is a licensed interior designer with Interior Spaces Inc. He can be reached at (813) 251-8862 or on his website, intspacesinc.com.