We have a large kitchen, roughly 12x14 feet of floor space, which is larger on two walls for cabinets (L-shape). However, the counter space is minimal.
Between the fridge and stove is about a foot of counter space and we have a pretty crystal tray with our Vitamix base on it. (The containers are in a lower cabinet.) The tray makes it easy to slide it out to use it. The base fits easily under the cabinet above and we use it often, but the full Vitamix - base + container - is too tall to be slid to the back of the counter. We need the space in front to set things taken out of the fridge and/or for food prep/cooking. This is where we set the crock pot when in use, for example. Otherwise, the crockpot is stored in a cabinet.
In the corner... between the stove and the sink... is the only real work space. The space next to the stove is just under a foot wide and we keep a glass cutting board there for food prep. The knife block is just to the right of it back against the wall. (The toaster oven is mounted to the cabinet above the cutting board and the knife block doesn't fit under the toaster oven.) That is it for that entire wall! Turn 90 degrees and there is counter space about 2 feet wide between the corner and the sink. In the far back corner is the KitchenAid stand mixer. It won't fit inside a cabinet and it matches the kitchen decor, so I'm okay with it out all the time. We do have to lift it up in order to pull it out to a usable position due to those darn rubber feet. We currently have it on another glass cutting board just because we already had it and were hoping the feet wouldn't stick to it as much as the countertop, but they do and I just haven't tried something new yet. Also on this counter is the utensil crock (next to KA), hand soap, hand lotion, and little handmade sponge holder that I use to hold steel wool for cleaning our stainless steel cookware (all the little things look neat and tidy next to the sink).
Between the sink and the doorway is a counter as big as the dishwasher. That is all that is below it and there is just a wall above it. Oh, how we wish the builders had installed a cabinet there!!!! It would have made our large kitchen that is currently a "one butt" kitchen into a "two butt" kitchen simply because one person could handle dishes in that space while someone else handled food prep/cooking in the other usable space. As it is now, only one person can really work in the kitchen at a time and has to choose between dishes and food. (BTW, we tried to match our cabinets many, many times to add one to this space. No can do without replacing ALL the cabinets, which isn't in our financial plans for awhile, or having an obvious mismatch, which is not okay with me, or installing a custom cabinet in this space and painting all of them the same, which is not okay with DH. He hates painted cabinets and stains don't work for these cabinets. We've seen sooo many kitchens in our development!
) Anyway, this countertop only has the liquid dish soap in a pretty bottle on it when it is clear. I also put a barmop towel here for dishes to dry after handwashing once a day after dinner. It is cleared off most mornings. Since this counter is right by the entrance to the rest of the house (which has very few flat surfaces), it is a constant battle to keep it cleared off. At this very moment, a plant is on it along with extra furniture protectors and a decorative tile and something just purchased that goes up in a high spot in the laundry room (around the corner). The other items are there because we just finished months of home repairs after a MAJOR flood and haven't quite gotten the project room back to order. All these go in there and don't have an official home yet. When DD wants to help cook, we clear this counter off and set her up on a stool in the walkway and one of us stands in front of the dishwasher to assist her as needed. The main food prep area doesn't work for little helpers. We didn't like to use the kitchen table for food prep when we had tile floors because of the higher chance of something falling and breaking getting it between the table and counter/stove. Now that we have cork floors, though, we've been using the table for DD to assist in food prep. Things still drop, but they don't break anymore!!!