Want to see a magic trick? After dinner, ask who's helping with the washing up and you're likely to see a whole family disappear before your eyes. OK, so it's not like that in every home – and some of us are lucky enough to own a dishwasher.
But if you never have anyone to towel down the dishes as you wash and don't have space on your countertop to leave crockery and pans to air dry, take a leaf out of the Finns' book and get yourself an 'astiankuivauskaappi'.
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Otherwise known as a 'dish drying cupboard' and also called a tiskikaappi, this snappily monikered bit of kit was first introduced in 1945. You'll find them mostly in Finland, but the Swedish and Italians have also succumbed to their charms.
The idea is simple enough. Once you've washed your plates and mugs, pots and pans, you give them a quick rinse and place them in the cupboard, where they can drip dry over the sink.
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You'll need to leave the cupboard doors open until drying is complete to avoid and musty smells or mould building up, obvs. But once everything is dry you can either leave it there until you want to use it, or transfer it to another cupboard or drawer.
Want one of your own? It is possible to have your own astiankuivauskaappi at home thanks to Ikea. Just buy a Metod wall cabinet and Utrusta dish drainer kit, and build your own. Three widths are available – 80cm, 60cm and 40cm.
If you're looking to free up prime real estate on your worktop, it's genius! We just wonder why it hasn't caught on in the Great British kitchen? Or perhaps that's about to change?
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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