Best of the Lazy Susans... Er... The Busy Susans!

Best of the Lazy Susans... Er... The Busy Susans!

Maxwell Ryan
Apr 12, 2014
Where's the Lazy Susan in this pic? Why it's the whole kitchen island. Head below for more info.
(Image credit: Lonny)

Lately "Lazy Susans" have been popping up in my life with people asking about them, and me needing to do more research on them. It's a trend. So let's begin.

Lazy Susan evolved as a common term in the late 19th century - around the time of the "dumbwaiter" - as new devices emerged which seemed to replace the work of servants. How the word "Susan" came to substitute for "servant" is a mystery, and sometimes attributed to one of the two Thomas's daughters, Jefferson and Edison, but historians have never confirmed this. In short, we don't know who Susan was, but we do know that our readers take umbrage with the term and would prefer it to be called a BUSY SUSAN. Read on...

(Image credit: Maxwell Ryan)


What's amazing to me about the lazy susan is that it was a discovery not unlike the wheel itself. Basically a circle proving its power over the rectangle, the lazy susan allows a full rotation within any cabinet so that front and back are perfectly interchangeable. This means that with any situation where items get stuck in back or are hard to see, you can easily spin them to the front and double the discoverability of the contents of your cabinets. Lazy susans are particularly effective in corner cabinets as well, where the depth and difficulty with reaching the rear is greater.

(Image credit: Wikipedia)


"It is likely that the explanation of the term lazy Susan, and who Susan was, has been lost to history. Folk etymologies claim it as an American invention and trace its name to a product – Ovington's $8.50 mahogany "Revolving Server or Lazy Susan" – advertised in a 1917 Vanity Fair, but its use well predates both the advert and (probably) the country." and more via Wikipedia


First of all, I think this was the post that started all the hubbub. By Tess Wilson and titled: Hardworking Lady: The Best of Lazy Susans, here you will find a really nice roundup of lazy susans being put to good use in a few different rooms:

  • Picnic Basket Organize Your Stuff Now made a handy-dandy picnic caddy with spots for all your outdoor dining essentials.
  • Lending Library Our own Katie Steuernagle created the Merry Go Round Book Caddy How-To to corral her kids' library books. So sweet and little-user-friendly.
  • Shoe Carnival An impressive collection of shoes and an awkward closet situation practically demand a lazy susan for shoes. Home Depot has the full how-to.
  • In Disguise The Kitchn featured a great idea from Lonny magazine: a lazy susan that's also a kitchen island!
  • Craft Command Center A few years ago, we featured The Crafters File Box's DIY Lazy Susan Craft Station, and it is as charming as ever. They still have those adorable buckets for $1 at Target!
  • Lazy Susan Sink Need I say more? Obviously, we all need one right away. The Kitchn has more information on this sadly discontinued model from Kitchen and Bath Artisans
  • Computer Access Somehow I missed the Lazy Susan Laptop Edition from a few years ago, which is a shame because it's a great idea. It makes it easy to share what you're looking at with others, adjust for different viewing situations, and keep your precious laptop up and away from spills.
  • Spring At Last Finally, 'tis not yet the season, but I had to mention my friend Leah Rosenberg's Modern + Minimal Seder Plate, made using an IKEA lazy susan and a label maker.


    (Image credit: Royal Doulton)
    (Image credit: Rakuten)
    (Image credit: Uncommon Goods)
    (Image credit: Etsy)
    (Image credit: Target)
    (Image credit: IKEA)
    (Image credit: JK Adams)
    (Image credit: The Makerage)
    (Image credit: Frontgate)
    (Image credit: Overstock)
    (Image credit: Marble Lazy Susan)
    (Image credit: Wayfair)
    (Image credit: Crate & Barrel)
    Apartment Therapy supports our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.
    moving--truck moving--dates moving--dolly moving--house moving--cal Created with Sketch. moving--apt