This Genius IKEA Buy is a Must-Have for Small Kitchens — 'It's the Hidden Solution to More Countertop Space!'

A clever contraption that offers extra countertop space when you need it, but discreetly tucks away afterward? It's a yes from us

A small kitchen with light wood cabinets and white walls
(Image credit: deVOL. Photo credit Ellei Home)

As someone with a tiny kitchen, surface space is at a premium. Being limited to such a small countertop means that my toaster, microwave, and coffee machine take up almost half the available room, and meal prep becomes a nightmare. As you can imagine, I'm always on the hunt for smart space-saving solutions, so when I came across this clever IKEA pull-out system I knew it would be a game-changer. 

There's nothing more frustrating than having to juggle your appliances and kitchen utensils just to find enough space to plate up your evening meal. This has long been the story of my life. Combined with my slightly chaotic approach to cooking, you can imagine the lack of countertop space when I need it most. 

Luckily, though, IKEA has an answer to every modern kitchen problem, and this time it comes in the form of a clever pull-out system that offers extra 'hidden' surface space without the need for renovations. Keen to learn more? Here's why this genius space-saving system should be a staple in every small kitchen. 

It might seem counterintuitive, but preparing the evening meal is a far greater undertaking when you're working within a small kitchen. When you're juggling hot pans, multiple plates, and cooking more than one dish, sometimes you just need that extra few feet of kitchen countertop space to chop your veggies or simply put down your utensils. 

Well, that's exactly what this clever contraption from IKEA offers. The UTRUSTA pull-out work surface is a hidden pull-out system that nestles inside your drawer, coming to your rescue when you're in need, but discreetly sliding back once you’re done. It might sound technical, but it's really quite the opposite. It's easy to install, fixing either to a drawer front, or behind a drawer front or door, and it's suitable for both base and high cabinets.

A kitchen countertop with a pull-out drawer for extra surface space

(Image credit: IKEA)

If you're planning a kitchen redesign, this IKEA buy should definitely be on your wishlist. It costs less than $50, and the extra 22 inches of space could be a real gamechanger in your kitchen. Even if you don't plan to renovate any time soon, it's easy enough to add one of these space-saving additions into an existing drawer or cabinet with just a few simple tools, too. It's one of the best ways to make the most of a small kitchen countertop

Ben Soreff, professional organizer at House to Home Organizing also sings this praises of this nifty appliance but he's quick to remind us that it won't rid your space of unnecessary clutter, a job that should always be the first port of call when you're looking to gain space. 

'Not only do kitchens with a small footprint have a lack of counter space they usually also have limited storage,' he says. 'One of the central tenets of organizing is the items we don't use often should be stored more remotely. Appliances like juicers if not used at least once a week should not take up valuable counter space. At the end of the day, we want the counters to be as clear and as open as possible to be more productive in the kitchen for food prep.'

However, if - like me - you'd benefit from an extra sliding surface when you need it most, IKEA's UTRUSTA is one of the best investments you can make. Meal prep has never been easier!

Other essential buys for a small kitchen 

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.