Kitchn Love Letters

This Simple $20 Find Saves Me So Much Counter Space

published Jun 24, 2022
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Credit: Sarah Crowley

I don’t know about you, but I had a really hard time finding a paper towel holder that I liked. First off, they’re all not so nice on the eyes. As someone who prides themselves of neat countertops and stylish kitchen essentials, traditional, sterile-looking options just weren’t cutting it. But aesthetics aside, I was dealing with a bigger problem: Lots of versions out there just did not work. They scooted across the counter as I tried to rip off a sheet. Or, they had no arm to rip the sheet off with, in which case the roll would just unravel itself in a sad slump. Other holders caused the roll itself to shimmy up the poll as I attempted to grab a sheet, sometimes even pulling itself off.

So, I settled for a clunky, heavy, stainless steel holder with a retractable, rubber-backed arm to hold everything securely in place. It was fine, aside from the fact that it cluttered my counter top. Most importantly, it didn’t go with the streamlined design in my kitchen. I had given up hope, resigning to an unattractive, but functional option. That is, until I discovered a brilliant and sleek holder from Umbra. I have no idea why I didn’t think to check out their site in the first place because it’s chock-full of functional, design-forward options that look as good as they work.

The Squire Wallmounted Paper Towel Holder is no exception to the form-meets-function Umbra ethos. Its low-profile, bent metal frame can hook under any shelf, over any cabinet, or alternatively can be drilled into the wall. Because I’m a renter, and prefer a hassle-free install, I opted to slide mine over a shelf. The roll of paper towels suspends steadily, never unravelling, and essentially functions like a roll of craft paper. It easily dispenses multiple sheets for frying projects and big messes alike.

The tool-free accessory is backed with a thin, foam strip. This extra padding prevents scuffing and simultaneously keeps the mount securely attached, even with some substantial tugging on my part. I love how easy it is to slide a roll onto the Squire, too. Plus, once it’s time for a replacement, I just angle the empty tube and it dislodges with ease.

The mount is available in black or white (I opted white). No matter which color you choose, you can bet on the sleek frame blending into its surroundings. Mine feels like a permanent fixture of the kitchen. It’s so much better than the clunky thing that had been taking up my precious counter space for years.

Credit: Stella Totino

I love that you can hang it multiple ways, so I tested out different spots. Because my kitchen cabinets are rather low, I ruled that option out (I’ve got enough back pain without having to reach down every time I need a paper towel, thank you very much). I tried placing it on a shelf inside an upper cabinet for a while, beneath a stack of plates. I loved this option — if you’re aiming for a minimal look, storing your paper towels out of sight is game-changing.

While I liked the option above, my paper towel roll is currently out in the open inits Umbra holder, fastened below my microwave shelf for easy access. After all, most of the time I’m reaching for a sheet is when my hands are covered in soap, batter, or (more often than not) some form of chocolate.

The best part? The solution is just $20, which is cheaper than other less functional (and less attractive!) options out there. IMO, there’s absolutely no reason you should be using anything else to store your paper towels.