After our post on 7 Ways To Make Big Space In Your Small Bathroom, I got quite a few requests to do a similar post on kitchens. And for all the same reasons that I did the bathroom post, it makes perfect sense to do a kitchen post too. Big, crowded cities = small apartments with smaller rooms. This collection of space saving ideas will definitely help you create more space in your small kitchen. So let’s get to it right away.
11 Ways To Make Big Space In Your Small Kitchen:
I’ve organised the ideas by different areas in the kitchen that you can work on. (Yes, blog posts about kitchens need to be as organised as the kitchens themselves! 🙂 ) So you can start with one or two and then work your way through your whole kitchen and use whichever ideas suit you the best.
(1) Around The Door:
Why not start creating space at the entrance itself? Do you have any unused gaps and space around the door? It’s a great place to get some built in storage for bigger or smaller items, depending on the space available. You can also use it for display and prettify the kitchen as in the pic below. Even if there is no space on the sides, the space above the door is usually empty and available. You could put in a shelf or a closed cabinet depending on your requirement.
(2) Open Shelves on Walls:
This is a really useful idea especially if you’re in a rental apartment. I remember when I got married and moved into my husband’s apartment, I had to convert the bachelor’s barely-used-kitchen into a fully functional one. It was a rental and had a counter with storage on one side, which wasn’t nearly enough. The opposite wall was completely bare. So I did something like this.
Got simple wrought iron brackets and put rows of glass shelves along the entire length of the wall. All the boxes of groceries and spices fit neatly in lines on the shelves. And the counter storage was then enough for the cooking utensils.
This is a very cost effective idea and versatile, because however wide, narrow, big or small your area is, you just use the same brackets and size your shelves accordingly.
(3) Above Your Cabinets:
Now assuming you have cabinets above your counters in the kitchen, there is usually space between the cabinets and the ceiling, unless you have a second row of loft cabinets. (In which case you have fewer space issues anyway! 🙂 ) This space can be used effectively too. Use baskets or boxes to organise the storage. The wire mesh baskets are great if you want to be able to see what you’ve got in which basket. In case you’re using thicker baskets, use labels to identify what has gone in where.
If you’re worried about the dust, use large cardboard or plastic boxes, and label to organise.
(4) Below Your Cabinets:
There is usually a minimum gap of 2 feet between the kitchen counter and the cabinets above. This is a great area to use to increase space in a small kitchen. You can put shelves similar to the ones described above for small spice bottles, tea, coffee, sugar and other often used items.
Or use a simple stainless steel rod, like those used for curtains, and some hooks to hang utensils.
I loved some of these unusual ideas too. Make a slot to house your chopping board and trays easily under the cabinets. Or stick magnetic strips to hold all your knives.
The magnetic strips can also be used to hold small bottles. You need bottles that have metallic caps, or you can stick magnets on the caps of the bottles with the same result.
(5) On The Sides Of Your Cabinets:
The sides of the cabinets are again usually ignored but can help to add space to a small kitchen. Depending on your requirement, add a wire basket to house napkins or trays, or even onions and potatoes.
Or rods and hooks, similar to those we used below the cabinets, to house utensils and ladles.
Or a simple spice rack to organise your small bottles. Place this on a cabinet near your cook-top and all the spices will be easy to find and within reach.
(6) On the Insides of Cabinet Shutters:
A lot of stuff can get organised on the shutters too. You could put in a small basket for lids and chopping boards.
Simple rods work for lids with knobs on top. Putting the lids separately has another advantage. Boxes and utensils without lids usually fit into each other well and take up less space on the shelves. But what to do with the lids is always a problem. Either you put them on the shelves next to the utensils and they take up shelf space. Or you put them in drawers separately and then have to find the right lid every time. This way the lids go in a basket or rod right next to the boxes and they’re easy to organise.
Small bottles also fit in well on the insides of shutters, so a bottle rack on the inside is a great idea too.
When using shutters, make sure the shelves or racks are in the spaces between the shelves so that the stored items do not hit the shelf when the shutter is closed.
(7) Above the Fridge:
Another great space to use in a small kitchen is the space above the fridge. If you are planning a kitchen renovation, remember to add a cabinet here. It could have shutters like your other cabinets…
… or be open to house items you can just reach and pick.
Else you can add a large open shelf on brackets as above and use baskets for storage.
(8) Beside the Fridge:
There is always a little gap between the fridge and the wall to allow for movement of the fridge and the opening of its door. This space can be used in great ways. My favourite is this bottle rack on wheels that fits in perfectly in that narrow gap and can store so many bottles and cans. You can find the tutorial for it here.
If you’re not doing any major work now, you can get some ready basket-on-wheel stands which can slide into that space and can be used to store onions and potatoes, for instance. I have put towel rods on the wall next to my fridge. The kitchen dusters and mops go there. It keeps them out of direct sight and yet gives me a place to hang and dry them.
(9) Above the Sink:
A simple shelf above the tap and sink can help make space for your dishwash bar and liquid, sponge, duster and basic cleaning requirements.
In a bachelor pad with a small kitchen, a larger one will easily take care of most of your crockery.
(10) In the Window:
Small spaces on the sides of your windows can house small shelves for kitchen basics.
Or place open shelves right across your window to give you lots of storage.
Because the shelves are open, they will not block the light and air. You can easily open and close the windows, whether sliding or openable, at the counter level.
Again, you can use shelves, rods, or any of the other options mentioned above.
(11) Sliding Counter:
And in a really small kitchen, a sliding shelf like this one helps to increase your counter space when you need it. Whether it’s extra space for chopping, or putting the food into your serveware, just pull, use and slide back inside again.
I’ve seen this used in a friend’s kitchen, and trust me, it’s really useful.
That pretty much wraps up our list of space making ideas for a small kitchen. Some of these can be added at any stage. Some will be more easily added when your kitchen is undergoing renovation.
Many of the ideas are interchangeable. For example, you can put magnetic strips on the sides of your cabinets instead of below them, to store small bottles or knives.
But all these ideas are useful. So do go through them and pick the ones that suit you best.
Also, even though this is quite a comprehensive list. I am sure there are so many more good space saving ideas out there. Do write in the comments below and tell me yours. Send me pics of how you have created space in your kitchen and I’ll feature them.
Until next time,