Great Idea: Use a Dictionary Stand as a Cookbook Holder

This clever idea from Berkeley-based musician Ayla Davila solves two common kitchen challenges: more counter space and cookbook storage/preservation. By repurposing a dictionary stand, Ayla keeps whatever cookbook she's using held open and supported at a good reading angle. This frees up precious counter space and saves the cookbook from spills and splatters. But it has another use as well. Can you guess what it is?

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The slanted top also lies flat, creating an additional prep area when a chopping board is placed on top. While Alya's kitchen isn't small, this space-saving use still comes in handy when working on big cooking projects. Alya also appreciates that she can store all of her cookbooks on the shelves underneath, keeping them handy and in view. Her father reinforced the joints, so it's safe and sturdy enough to support her large collection.

Ayla purchased her dictionary stand on Craigslist one year ago for about $125. It's a Smithsonian reproduction of a Chippendale which unfortunately is no longer made. Still, it's not too hard to find the same concept out there. Keep an eye on Craigslist or search school or library supply websites.

Related: What To Do with a Big, Pretty, Expensive Cookbook

(Images: Dana Velden)