Surely someone has found an attractive solution to this problem! How does everyone else deal with this problem?
John, we're so glad to hear you're cooking more at home. And yes, this is definitely a problem that we've had too.
The classic answer would be a fruit bowl: an arranged still-life that brings both fruit and good looks into your kitchen. Any large, attractive bowl can be a repository for apples, oranges, lemons, bananas, and other fruit. Most fruit will be fine at room temperature for a few days; just buy what you need and use promptly. We like to keep a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table; it's pretty, and it helps us remember to snack on fruit instead of crackers or chips.
The slightly offbeat fruit storage option at the top of the page is a prototype from UMAMY, and the Peach Storage System above is from an Australian designer - seen on designboom. It's designed to help us get closer to picking our produce from trees. We find this funny, odd, and yet rather well-designed for small spaces. We also like this Lien Fruit Bowl.
Vegetables can also be stored in baskets on top of the fridge or in separate bowls. Just remember: don't store potatoes and onions together.
The only produce that we regularly keep in the refrigerator is lettuce, as well as other greens, and delicate vegetables like scallions. If you live in a dry, cold climate most things will keep at room temperature quite well.
OK - readers chime in - any attractive fruit bowls, vegetable baskets, or other small-space kitchen storage tips for John?