Small kitchen storage ideas – your space-saving guide
The very best small kitchen storage ideas for when space is at a premium
When mulling over your small kitchen storage ideas, do you choose cabinets to hide everything away, or open shelving so everything is on sight and within easy reach? It really is down to personal choice and you will probably end up with a combination of cabinets, open shelving and drawers.
Larders are great for storing huge amounts of stuff from food to cookware but you may not have space for one. If installing wall cabinets, use the full height of the space and fit cabinets that go up to the ceiling, then incorporate pull-down shelves inside the units so everything is easy to reach. Open shelving can be tailor-made to fit any space, no matter how small.
1. Super Storage
Doesn’t everyone dream of having a pantry? You can get so much in them and it’s all in one space. Utilise the space inside the doors too for smaller shelves for herbs and spices. If you don’t want to buy a purpose-built pantry, find a large cabinet, maybe vintage, and create your own.
“In terms of storage for small kitchens, I would usually try work out if a larder cabinet can fit, as this takes away from the need to have lots of wall cabinets which can overcrowd the room and make it feel cramped," says Matt Baker, Kitchen Designer at Harvey Jones. "Adding shelving can be a clever way to still add height and give the room an open and airy feel without looking crowded.”
2.Turn a corner into a pantry
Not convinced you've room for a standalone larder? Then give a corner into a pantry-feel with open shelving and Kilner jars. Even in a small alcove you could create this with shelving, and by decanting ingredients into jars they look pretty enough to have on display.
3. Slim Pickings
Slimline storage is the perfect solution when considering small kitchen ideas, especially shelving as super-narrow as this one. It takes up hardly any space but is SO useful. You can use hooks to hang things from it too.
“Adding open shelves creates additional storage for everyday items and keeps your counters clear,” says Bettina Oshiro, Interior Design Leader at Ikea UK and Ireland.
4. Slide Out
Pull-out shelves are great in a small space and because they come right out, nothing gets lost at the back. Clear uprights on the shelf edges stop food from falling off and makes it easier to see smaller jars. These cabinets work well at the end of a run of tall units.
"Pull-out and pull-down cupboard designs are highly efficient," says Daniela Condo, Designer at Life Kitchens. "The pull-out larder is great for tidying away herbs and condiments, whilst the pull down offers greater accessibility for those with high set cabinetry, so that you don’t have to over stretch or grab a stool to access what you need."
5. Box clever
Instead of drawers, think about crate-style storage, it’s ideal for keeping vegetables in prime condition. This version is part of the Haddon kitchen by Kitchen Makers but you could make your own by building a frame around re-purposed crates or putting crates underneath a freestanding unit.
6. Make Use of Corners
This is a great use of a corner of a kitchen, it’s a deep space so useful for storing bigger items or small appliances like juicers. It includes a marble slab for making pastry with shelves above for, well, anything. There is a custom-built wine rack too.
“Built-in larders, essentially mimicking an old-fashioned pantry, are becoming more and more popular as the centre of the house gravitates more towards the kitchen as a family room," says Jayne Everett, Design Director, Naked Kitchens. "The Brancaster Marshes pantry boasts ample storage with bespoke bottle storage, floating shelving and open lower cabinets.”
7. Tall order
Use cupboards that go up to the ceiling to make the most of the space. This kitchen also has wall-mounted base units which makes the room look more spacious. And stylish U-shaped wall shelves are a great design feature.
8. Slim Jim
Lockers are brilliant as they are so narrow, at only 35cm wide, and can be used in any room of your home, so won’t look out of place if the kitchen is part of the living room. Plus, pink kitchens are very on trend. They are made from powder-coated steel so they are sturdy and are in a whole range of lovely colours. They come with four adjustable shelves and hooks and you can buy more shelves and also baskets if you wish.
9. Awkward Space
A classic example of a tricky area. Even a tiny space like this can be integrated into the kitchen. Slot deep shelves between the wall and a tall cabinet and paint them to match, then use them for cookery books or displaying favourite accessories.
10. Simple Colour Scheme
To keep a small kitchen looking neat, choose a colour and use it for everything – china, vases, serving dishes and accessories. One colour palette means it looks cohesive and nothing jars – to pardon the pun.
11. Tight Gap
If you have space left over and need to fill a gap, install a narrow pull-out drawer. It’s great for storing oils and condiments near the hob, and slides back in, so you don’t know it’s there. Or you could use similar spaces to store trays.
“Spend a good amount of time thinking about what storage you need," says Chris Webb, Senior Kitchen Buyer at B&Q. "There are so many cabinet sizes now, its easy to utilise all available space. Drawers are essential – use shallow ones for utensils and cutlery and deep ones for pan storage. Shelves can be a feature for your favourite accessories.”
12. Layer up
The best use of drawers - a deep, sectioned one at the bottom for pans, a smaller one in the middle for tableware and an even shallower one at the top for cutlery and utensils. Everything is to hand.
Alison Davidson is well-respected British interiors journalist, who has been the Homes Editor of Woman and Home magazine, and the Interiors Editor for House Beautiful. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, and many other titles, and often writes about kitchens, extensions, and decor ideas. She is the go-to for information about green energy, sustainable home improvement and eco design ideas.
Could the new Apple Vision Pro change the future of our homes? Here's how it might alter the way you live with tech
Is this the dawn of a new type of smart home? Here's what we know about Apple's latest tech announcement
By Lilith Hudson • Published
One simple layout tweak transformed this once-dated Santa Monica townhouse – it now works so much better
The original 70s interior has had a much-needed modern uplift
By Lilith Hudson • Published
25 bathroom trends for 2023 - from the color to the quick buy that is making a big design splash this year
The bathroom trends for 2023 include the warmth of honeyed tones to the quick storage fix everyone needs now. Design experts explain how to use these new ideas in your own space
By Pip Rich • Last updated
Interior design trends 2023: the 31 decorating looks for the year
This year's most key colors, textures, accessories and moods have been decoded to help you shape your space
By Roddy Clarke • Last updated
Design-forward living room ideas to give your home a refresh
Living room ideas from our favorite homes, filled with designs and trends to inspire
By Amy Moorea Wong • Last updated
Bathroom tile ideas – 23 creative ways with color, pattern and installations
Use these bathroom tile ideas to add texture, pattern and even a touch of glamor to this very important room
By Hebe Hatton • Last updated
16 living room wallpaper ideas that'll convince you patterned wallcoverings are the way to go
These brilliant living room wallpaper ideas offer up inspiration for how to apply print, pattern and texture to different areas of your scheme
By Hugh Metcalf • Published
Crittall-style doors – 20 ideas that prove this timeless trend is here to stay
Fall for the charm of crittall-style doors, windows and room dividers all over again with our gallery of the best ideas
By Lotte Brouwer • Published
Florist Angela Maynard on how to care for dried flowers and how to style them in a modern home
Knowing how to care for dried flowers means you can have stylish arrangements that last for years. Author and florist Angela Maynard shares her tips
By Angela Maynard • Last updated
15 cozy living room ideas – how to create a stylish den-like space in your home
These cozy living room ideas are sure to make you want to curl up, surrounded with throws and cushions, no matter what the time of year
By Hebe Hatton • Last updated