Cabinets are, of course, the most common storage area, but there are many possibilities for imaginative and practical storage in the kitchen. Here are a few suggestions:
- Use the walls. The space between wall studs is great for storage of many varied common household items—ironing board, shelves for canned goods, cleaning materials, etc. Leave open, close with bi-fold doors, curtains, or window shades. A full 24-inch (61-cm) depth is not necessary for pantry and broom closets.
- Plan around obstacles. Do not let the chimney, clothes chute, heating ducts, or pipes interfere with storage plans. Locate a cabinet to house these necessary things, but let it also be just a bit larger for valuable additional storage—a broom closet, tray rack, or liquor cabinet.
- Add an in-between cabinet. The space between wall and base cabinets is often wasted. Shallow cabinets with sliding doors are available from several sources, Many of these fine units have lights built into them for even better value.
- Use roll-around carts. Such carts can slide under a counter and provide extra storage space, as well as an additional work surface.
- Use sliding doors. Cabinets with sliding doors may be installed between the underside of the wall cabinets and the countertops, to store the appliances close at hand. A heavy appliance, like a mixer, may be set on a rolling stand, making it easy to pull out and use.
- Use display shelves. Open shelves can be used to display attractive dishware. Use walls to hang utensils, a spice rack, or a cutting board.
- Free-standing cabinets. If the kitchen adjoins another room without a separating partition, such as a kitchen-dining room, additional storage can be obtained by installing sections of free-standing cabinets, which could include a peninsula or island base cabinet and a ceiling-hung wall cabinet.
- Add an island centre. An island activity centre can be used as a work surface (cooking, mixing/baking, preparation clean-up or serving) and as an area for storage. Ideally, the island should’ contain everything needed in that activity—work surfaces, appliances, and storage for foods, utensils, and supplies. For instance, if the island is to be a real “cook’s table,” by all means design a ceiling rack above it with hooks to hold pans and large cooking tools. Add storage facilities for other basic utensils and supplies and perhaps a wooden, marble, or ceramic glass top section.
- Install a drink or wet bar cabinet. Entertaining is fun and much more convenient when the drink ingredients, glasses, and the rest of the necessary supplies are right at hand in a single storage unit. This area would also be a nice place to put a wine rack.
- Pull-out worktops. If the kitchen is short on counter space, add pull-out work tops just above the drawers to solve the problem.
- Soffits. The soffit area, the space between the top of the wall and the ceiling, can be utilized as extra space. It can be left open for plants. Add shelves or rails to display china, or close it completely, either with drywall or more cabinets. Many soffit areas are closed to hide duct work. Check to see if that is the case before tearing them out.