Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines Shares A Cabinet Upgrade That Reduces Counter Clutter

Kitchens might be utilitarian spaces where we get messy cooking dinners, but that doesn't mean we don't want them to be aesthetic. Once the messes have been cleared and the counters have been wiped down, you want your kitchen to look like something out of a magazine. But you'll be hard-pressed to pull that off if all of your small appliances are cluttering the counters. Nowadays, it's no longer stylish to have everything from your microwave to your blender to your air fryer displayed on your counters since it interrupts the design of the space. Instead, people hide them away in under-the-counter island nooks or store them inside cabinets until they need them. However, Joanna Gaines has a simple tip that will help permanently keep your counters clutter-free, and that's installing outlets inside your cabinets.

By installing outlets in your cabinets, you're able to permanently house your small appliances inside the units, negating the need to bring them out and onto your counter. This is especially true for larger and heavier appliances like microwaves. By hiding them behind closed doors, you can ensure your countertops are clean and clear, allowing the quartz, marble, or granite you chose to take center stage instead. Here is a closer look at her tip.

Joanna Gaines recommends hiding small appliances inside cabinets with outlets

In Joanna Gaines' bestselling book "Homebody," she recommends storing appliances like microwaves and immersion blenders "away in the pantry or a cabinet along with any other small appliances that aren't used every day." However, while it might be easy enough to put your unplugged crockpot or rice cooker on a shelf or inside a sliding drawer, it can quickly become cumbersome to take them in and out of storage. This is especially true if you use them every day. So, to make this tip more convenient, Gaines recommends installing an outlet in that cabinet and plugging the appliance directly into it. Specifically, she advises you to get "an electrician to install an extra outlet in these spaces."

This clever outlet location will allow you to toast your bagel or blend your smoothie inside the cabinet, and then close it once you're done. The prices can vary to hire an electrician to install an outlet in your pantry or cupboard. Typically, it costs $75 to $485 per outlet, with $300 being the average. This includes their labor, which usually costs $50 to $100 per hour. The price can increase depending on what kind of outlet you want — such as a standard 2-prong, 120-volt outlet or a more complicated GFCI outlet — and where it's located. For example, it can cost more to install an outlet that's in a hard-to-get area, such as the floor.

Considerations to keep in mind

One consideration to keep in mind when installing an outlet is that you will need to cut into your cabinet to allow for the new wall plug. This can incur an additional cost, or the electrician will ask you to hire a contractor to do it. Once done, the electrician will add a box extender to the wall, which houses the faceplate in non-combustible metal. This is an important safety precaution, since the cabinet is flammable because it's made from wood or MDF. If the wires behind the wall ever spark, the metal surrounding will contain it.

If you are currently renovating your kitchen and are able to pre-plan for outlets, consider creating extra hidden appliance storage by designing an appliance garage. This can take many different forms. It can be a cabinet that sits on top of your counter and whose doors swing open and inside the cabinet. The appliances sit directly on the countertop, allowing you to use gadgets that generate a lot of heat, such as an air fryer. (It's not recommended to use such an appliance in a confined space like a closed cabinet since it can overheat if there isn't air circulation.) There are also garages that have a cabinet door that opens upwards, much like a garage. Then there are tall skinny cabinets with each appliance sitting on a pull-out drawer, which you can pull out when you want to use the gadget. You can choose the design that best fits your kitchen.