I've wanted a GOOD mandolin for a long time - but yes. They scare the bejeezus out of me after a bad run-in with a cheap one.
I've been doing zoodles with a julienne peeler, but it keeps getting clogged and then becomes dangerous.
I confess, I've had naughty dreams about the Kitchenaid spiralizer attachment and their food processor attachment that slices and DICES. I'm wondering if I could convince my husband that after hand surgery on both hands that these are "necessary" - ahem. I nearly did Bad ThingsTM with a regular hand-held vegetable peeler a couple of weeks ago.
I live in an apartment myself, thankfully a fairly good sized one. I have a bar between my kitchen sink and the dining area. That's pretty typical of many apartments. I'm not sure if you have the same set up or not? If you do, you could also consider those 3-tier hanging fruit baskets. I've got one (which I can raise and lower on one of those "As seen on TV" hooks they make for planters) that I keep things like the lids and rings to my ball jars in, as well as a few small, often-used gadgets like the can opener that are bulky enough to take up a lot of drawer space.
We've been looking at house plans for when we retire. I've decided a walk-in pantry to store all the gadgets may be a necessity as I have a huge electric pressure cooker taking up my counter top along with the kitchenaid, and I'd love to get a food dehydrator as well - you know, for sugar-free/cheaper beef jerky.