Small Upgrades for Your Tiny Kitchen
No matter the size of your abode, most homeowners share a similar wish list item: 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 12 smart (and small!) installations, upgrades, and DIYs to make that tiny kitchen feel full-size.
How Things Stack Up
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. Available at IKEA; $5 each.
Related: 16 Sneaky Storage Ideas
Far from a Hang-Up
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. This one, by Cooks Standard, includes a shelf above the rack for spices, books, or even more cookware! Available on Amazon; $57.
Return to the Fold
If you're too cramped on space to fit a standard-size table and chairs, you can still enjoy the full convenience of an eat-in kitchen when you mount a fold-down table to the wall. Prop the table up for mealtime, and when you're done simply collapse it so you can feel less claustrophobic in your kitchen. Available at IKEA; $39.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Undercabinet toe-kick drawers are a sneaky way to squeeze an extra five to six inches of storage into your small kitchen. Perfect for stashing seasonal serving ware, trays, baking sheets, or virtually any flat item, toe-kick drawers take advantage of untapped space without adding any visual clutter to the room. Available at Thomasville Cabinetry.
Related: 8 (Truly) Unexpected Storage Spots
On the Hook
Hooks and towel bars offer countless customizable ways to take advantage of the unused space on almost any surface. Attach one to the inside of a cabinet to hold dish towels or pot lids, run a few across an empty stretch of wall to hold coffee mugs or often-used cooking utensils, or stick magnetic hooks on the side of the fridge to keep your favorite apron or oven mitts close at hand. Available on Amazon; $10.
Window Herb Garden
Get a fresh-grown 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 keep your kitchen feeling bright and vibrant.
Corner to Corner
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 Magic Corner 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. Available on Amazon; $1,135.
Make a Multipurpose Surface
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. Available on Amazon; $50.
Related: 10 Extras to DIY for Your Kitchen
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 be-all and end-all solutions. Try this instead: Purchase a couple of dozen airtight magnetic canisters from a home goods store, transfer spices into the new jars, then turn the outside of your fridge into your new pantry.
Give Yourself an Extension
Treat your tiny kitchen like the cabin of 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. Here, in a modest kitchen featured on Apartment Therapy, the owners did so in a way that manages to emphasize the view. You might do something similarly artful or, particularly in the case of base cabinets, choose a more utilitarian approach.
Hang It Up
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. Available on Amazon; $8.
Shelves on Shelves
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 shelf above them, leaving inches unused. Insert undershelves to transform once-dead space into functional storage. Available at The Container Store, starting at $7.
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