13 Bite-Size Projects to Rescue Your Tiny Kitchen
If two cooks in your kitchen is one too many, it's time to explore ways to make the most of every available inch of counter and storage space.
No matter the size of their abode, most homeowners wish there were just a few more square feet of storage in the kitchen. When ingredients and utensils flood onto working counter space, one of the most used rooms in the home can become pretty—well, unusable. If you, too, feel cramped when cooking, take on one or more of these smart (and small!) installations, upgrades, and DIYs to make that tiny kitchen feel full-size.
1. Stack Your Stools
Stackable seating is a lifesaver for small spaces all around the house, in the kitchen and beyond. With stackable stools, you can set them out when you need them and stash them when you don’t. Pick stools that fit under your dining room table or kitchen island to free up even more floor space. MARIUS stools from IKEA are inexpensive and available in basic black or white, which means they’ll go with just about any style of decor—and will look as at home in your workshop or kids’ playroom as they do in your kitchen.
2. Clear Your Countertops
If you’re not using your cookware, it shouldn’t be eating up space on the counter or stovetop waiting for duty. Get pots and pans out of your way when you install a wall- or ceiling-mounted pot rack. OROPY’s wall-mounted pot rack has a shelf above the rack for spices, books, or even more cookware.
3. Hang a Fold-Down Dining Table
If you’re too cramped for space in your kitchen to fit a standard-size dining table and chairs, you can still enjoy the full convenience of an eat-in kitchen by mounting a fold-down table to the wall. The Bekrvio wall-mounted folding table can be propped open at mealtime and collapsed when you’re done eating, so you feel less claustrophobic while you’re cooking and cleaning up.
RELATED: 15 Fresh Takes on the Eat-in Kitchen
4. Add Toe-Kick Drawers
Undercabinet toe-kick drawers are a sneaky way to squeeze an extra 5 to 6 inches of storage into your small kitchen. Perfect for stashing seasonal servingware, trays, baking sheets, or virtually any flat item, toe-kick drawers take advantage of untapped space without adding any visual clutter to the room. Handy carpenters can DIY the project; Etsy seller AlansCreationsUS can also make custom toe-kick drawers to your specifications.
5. Store Go-To Gear On Hooks and Racks
Hooks and towel bars, such as iDesign Store’s over-cabinet towel rack, offer countless customizable ways to take advantage of the unused space on or behind almost any surface. Attach a towel bar to the top of a cabinet to hold dish towels or pot lids, or run a few across an empty stretch of wall to hold coffee mugs or frequently used cooking utensils. Sticking magnetic hooks on the sides of the fridge, too, can keep your favorite aprons or oven mitts close at hand.
6. Grow a Window Herb Garden
Get a fresh-grown indoor garden without sacrificing any valuable space when you craft an in-window vertical gardening setup. This slim wood structure fits up to six varieties of herbs to enliven your meals all season long, and keeps your kitchen feeling bright and vibrant.
7. Keep Your Corners Organized
No matter how tidily you organize a corner cabinet, it’s still inconvenient to reach for something way in the back—that is, until you install a Rev-A-Shelf cabinet organizer to aid your efforts. What looks like an ordinary cabinet when closed opens to reveal rows of baskets that swivel out. At last, an easy way to access those hard-to-reach, hardly used items.
8. Stick Up Spice Storage
Some people favor countertop spice racks, while others store their herbs in cabinets or on wall-mounted shelves. But for those of us with more cooking prowess than space, these aren’t particularly practical solutions. Instead, store your herbs and aromatics in magnetic containers, like these HEFANTU magnetic spice tins, and turn the outside of your fridge into spice central.
9. Create More Counter Space
If there’s a primary symptom of a too-small kitchen, it’s the counterproductive dearth of counter space. Even a bit more countertop real estate would benefit your overall effectiveness (and sanity) when preparing meals. That’s why the Camco Silent Top Stovetop Cover is so brilliant. No more sophisticated than a cutting board on legs, it sits over the range and instantly creates a few extra square feet of usable counter space.
10. Build Out From Your Cabinets
Treat your tiny kitchen like the cabin of a sailboat, and strive to make the most of every spare inch. One clever trick for the storage-starved: Where cabinets leave space to either side, install open shelving to fill in some (or all) of the gap. In this kitchen, homeowners added custom floating wood shelves to maximize storage around their window and bring some warmth into the space.
11. Suspend Supplies From Tension Rods
An ordinary tension rod can be put to great use in the kitchen, whether over the stovetop, above the sink, or in a tall cabinet. Simply suspend the bar between two surfaces, and then attach S-hooks like these to hold baskets, spatulas, or even cleaning supplies. The setup keeps essential items at hand, all without junking up your countertops. This Bali Blinds tension rod is adjustable, and doesn’t require hardware to install.
12. Install Undershelves
If you have kitchen cabinets and no shelf dividers, you may be wasting valuable space behind closed doors. Most pantry items and dishes stored in cabinets don’t reach the bottom of the shelves above them, leaving precious inches unused. Undershelves can transform once-dead space into functional storage: These Simple Houseware under-shelf baskets are 5.5 inches deep, which is more than enough room to organize your foils, wraps, and Ziploc boxes—or corral boxes of tea bags and bags of coffee beans. The best part? No hardware is needed.
13. Opt for a Pegboard Wall
One of the easiest ways to save space in a not-so-spacious kitchen is to install a pegboard. Whether you want to hang a spice rack or pots and pans, or create a designated space for your go-to kitchen tools, a kitchen pegboard, like this 4-foot by 2-foot pegboard from Handprint, is a great way to create storage in a space that would otherwise be wasted. (And hey, if a pegboard worked for Julia Child’s kitchen, it works for us!)