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18 Ways to Maximize Space in a Small Kitchen in [2018]

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Let’s face it; everyone could use a little more space in their kitchen.  I have yet to encounter a person that is 100% satisfied with the number of cabinets, counter space and seating they have in their kitchen.  With more and more entertaining happening at home these days, it only makes sense that space would be a growing concern.  As a result, I have come up with 18 ways to maximize space in a small kitchen for 2018.

1. WHERE POSSIBLE, INSTALL PANTRY CABINETS
With pantry cabinets, the 18” of space between the upper and lower cabinets is utilized to allow for more storage.

Small kitchen with pantry

Photo Credit: Modern Home Design

2. TAKE UPPER CABINETS UP TO THE CEILING
By installing cabinets all the way up to the ceiling instead of standard height you can gain a significant amount of extra storage space.

Small kitchen with ceiling height cabinetsPhoto Credit: Pexels

3. STORE INFREQUENTLY USED ITEMS ON TOP OF UPPER CABINETS
If ceiling height cabinets are not in the budget, store infrequently used items on top of cabinets to free up more accessible space. Note: Keep this area as tidy as possible so that you are not contributing to clutter and if possible, choose items that contribute to your décor rather than take away from it. 

Above cabinet storagePhoto Credit: House Beautiful

4. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NARROW DEPTH CABINETS
Another great way to maximize space in a small kitchen is to use narrow depth cabinetry.  If there isn’t enough room for a standard cabinet at the end of cabinet row, install a narrow depth end cabinet perpendicularly or install a narrow depth open shelf to maximize storage space.

Narrow End Cabinet in Small KitchenPhoto Credit: Home Depot

5. ADD OPEN SHELVING ABOVE THE SINK 
Shelves are not as deep as cabinets so they won’t get in the way of tasks.  Use the bottom shelves for frequently used items and the top shelves for lesser used items or display items. Open shelving can be also be used anywhere a cabinet doesn't make sense.  However, a reminder that it’s important to keep these areas neat and tidy so as to not distract from the overall design of the space.

small kitchen with open shelf above sink

Photo Credit: Pexels

6. OPTIMIZE YOUR 5TH WALL (THE CEILING)
When all else fails - use the ceiling for storage. There are some pot racks on the market that not only provide storage for pots and other cooking utensils, but also provide additional lighting to help with tasks such as food preparation.

make small kitchen bigger using a pot rack

Elegant Design Kitchen Pot Rack with Down Lights

7. USE COUNTER SPACE
Place small appliances such as toasters, coffee makers, blenders, etc. on the counter. If it’s cabinet space that is lacking, use the counter to maximize space in a small kitchen.  By placing every day small appliances on the counter, there will be more cabinet space for other items. Note:  choose appliances that are attractive, easy to clean and have a minimalist design so that the kitchen doesn’t appear too cluttered.

Counter space in small kitchen
Photo Credit: Pixabay

8. BUY A TRANSFORMING, COLLAPSIBLE OR FOLD-DOWN TABLE 
Transforming, collapsible and fold-down tables are perfect for maximizing space in a small kitchen. Use them as a counter when collapsed or folded down and extend when needed for seating. Resource Furniture is an amazing place to source transforming tables and other space saving furniture. Check out this Voile table that extends from a console table to seating for six.

transforming table for small kitchen

Voile Table 

9. GET AN OVER THE COUNTER CUTTING BOARD
If you’re short on counter space, an over-the-counter cutting board can be a great way to maximize space in a small kitchen because it temporarily provides extra counter space so that you can carry out tasks such as food prep more easily.

over the counter cutting boardVance 20" Surface Saver

10. INVEST IN A ROLL-AWAY KITCHEN CART
If you have the space, a roll-away kitchen cart can serve many purposes; an extra counter, storage for cookbooks or dishes and even a bar or serving tray when entertaining guests.

roll-away kitchen cart for small kitchenBaxton Lancashire Wood & Metal Kitchen Cart

11. GET MAGNETIZED
Buy small magnetic containers to place spices in and place them on the side of your fridge to free up cabinet and counter space.

Magnetic spice rackGneiss DIY Magnetic Spice Rack

12. MAKE USE OF THE INSIDE OF CABINET DOORS
Install hooks, cabinet caddies or narrow wire racks to the inside of cabinet doors for extra storage of lightweight items. Command has loads of options for organizing the inside of cabinets so that you can fully maximize the space in a small kitchen.

Cabinet CaddyCommand Large Cabinet Caddy

13. THINK "INSIDE" THE BOX
Buy stackable/collapsible shelves to organize the inside of kitchen cabinets. Often times there is too much space between shelves. Getting a simple, stackable shelf will provide more shelving so that space is better utilized.

stackable shelvingSeville Stackable Shelf

14. GET A TIP OUT TRAY
Install a tip out tray in front of your sink for sponges, cloths and dish scrubbers. Not only is this an effective way to make more space, but is also hides unsightly items as well.

tip out trayRev-A-Shelf 28" Tip Out Tray

15. INSTALL TOE KICK DRAWERS
This idea is one of my favourites.  It’s so rarely used, but so effective. Toe kick drawers are perfect for storing low profile items such as cookie trays, bakeware, trivets and table linens, etc.

Toe kick drawerDiamond Toe Kick Drawer

16. LET NO CORNER BE WASTED
Install a Lazy Susan or a blind corner organizer inside corner cabinets to ensure that the corner space is easy to access and effectively used for storage.

Blind corner organizer
Rev-A-Shelf Blind Corner Organizer

17. USE PULL-OUT CABINETS FOR NARROW SPACES
When there isn't space for a standard size cabinet, install a pull-out cabinet like this one by Rev-A-Shelf. They're perfect for storing spices, canned goods or canning jars. Make every inch of space count.  

Pull out cabinet
Rev-A-Shelf Pull Out Cabinet Organizer

18. DECLUTTER
If you haven’t used an item in two or more years, donate it to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore to help someone in need and free up more space. Clearing out old, unused items will not only provide more actual space, but it will also make your kitchen appear more spacious.

Decluttered Minimalist KitchenPhoto Credit: ErikaWittlieb

Alright folks, there's my take on 18 ways to maximize space in a small kitchen for 2018.  I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any additional ideas that you think I should add to the list; I'd love to hear them. Please leave them in the comment section below.  As always, if you would like assistance with any of your space planning or design challenges we'd love to help. Contact us for a free phone consultation. 

Val Malnar
Val Malnar
Principal Designer | Orangetree Interiors

DISCLAIMER
Unless stated, I do not own any of the images posted on this blog. If you see your work on my site and I have not given you proper credit or you would like it to be removed, please contact me.  This post may include affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more information. 

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