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Storage Solutions for Small Kitchens

This article originally appeared in Kitchen and Bath Design News.

Favorite Small Storage Solutions

When designing a kitchen with a small footprint, what storage elements are go-to, favorite choices for you?

One thing that’s critical when considering small kitchen storage ideas is to keep as much off the countertop as possible, to free up space for food prep.  In that vein, there are several custom cabinetry elements that I’ve developed that we use all the time.  The built-in paper towel holder is one item — it keeps paper towels off the countertop and within reach of kids, who are often the perpetrators of spills anyway!  It’s great to enable them to clean up on their own.  When I don’t have a lot of drawer space for utensils, I love the pullout utensil holder.  It does double duty to hold oils and spices on the lower rack but can pack a ton of utensils into one spot.  

Storage Challenges

What are a few of the most difficult kitchen storage challenges you’ve faced, and how did you solve them?  

I think some of my favorite challenges (and best small kitchen storage ideas) are in using every inch of space within each cabinet.  Any amount of “airspace” is wasted space!  I find the sink cabinet to be one of the most challenging and often underutilized spaces.  I’ve designed cabinetry for under the sink cabinet that can fit one or two waste cans and cleaning supplies, while still leaving room for plumbing, garbage disposal, and the sink.  Clearances can come down to fractions of an inch, but everything fits!

Storage Trends

What storage elements are trending right now that you think are valuable when designing a small kitchen?  

It’s critical to make good use of corner cabinetry in a small kitchen.  I’ve been using the Hafele Magic Corner II unit on almost all my kitchen designs, big and small.  It is super easy to pull out, and really maximizes the utility of the blind corner cabinet, which used to be the “black hole” of kitchen storage areas!  Another product that is a client favorite is the Docking Drawer.  A UL-listed in-drawer charging station, it takes all those electronics and their cords and puts them in a tidy drawer, leaving your kitchen counter space clear for…cooking!