Kitchen Storage Solutions

Kitchen Design

Kitchen Storage Solutions

A kitchen is a place where you spend a considerable amount of time cooking, dining, and socializing. There are lots of things required for cooking such as food supplies, cooking utensils, spices, and sauces. Not to mention all the pots and pans that also need a home. This calls for a lot of storage space in the kitchen. Most homeowners struggle with their limited kitchen storage space or aren’t aware of all the solutions out there to make their lives easier. With so many things that need to be included in a kitchen, it’s understandable to want this space to be as large as possible and maybe even part of an open floor plan.

Kitchen storage is no joke. The challenge is real and the search for the perfect combination of open shelves, closed cabinets and functional layout can be long and tedious if tackled alone. A lot of thought and planning goes into designing an efficient kitchen storage space and at Drury Design, we understand what your needs are and come up with a suitable design for them. The answer is out there and in order to find it you need to do some research, see what others have done, and determine which kitchen storage solutions are a must-have for your own space!

Optimizing your Kitchen Storage

When remodeling, many homeowners want to put their money toward visually appealing aspects of the kitchen like beautiful countertops and flooring. But what you’ll enjoy most about your kitchen is daily usability. This means placing labor saving appliances and tools within reach for efficient meal preparation and easy cleanup. It’s important to discuss practicality with your kitchen designer and review your options. The kitchen is essentially a giant storeroom.

To effectively store specialty items, they can be organized into sub-zones: perishable and nonperishable groceries, dishware and cookware, linens, cleaning supplies, paperwork, etc. The amount of cabinet storage you need for your kitchen depends on what and how much you have. The more items your kitchen will need to store, the more forethought you should put into the organization and storage options for your new space.

Conversely, the fewer items you have, the more flexible your design options. Small household of two? You might consider replacing wall cabinetry with open shelves and larger windows.

Maximizing Kitchen Storage Solutions

There are many ways to design a kitchen layout. From galleys to U-shaped kitchens, there’s a lot of variety. But all designs are going to have the three main work zones in common. Optimizing kitchen storage is all about efficiency. When you’re at the stove, what do you want the surrounding area to do? The stovetop is where the magic happens. It’s where you spend time preparing food and transferring it to the table. Ideally, you’d dedicate one cabinet next to the oven for stovetop pots and pans, and one cabinet for things you use in the oven. To save space, you can install a narrow kitchen cabinet to store baking sheets sideways. Did someone say custom pantry? More than any other storage solution, our clients dream of a perfectly organized walk-in pantry. Thanks to the endless options available such as, pull out baskets, pocket doors, and abundant shelf space, a homeowner’s dream of an organized pantry is well within arm’s reach. Even adding just a few more shelves in a pantry can make all the difference and possibly reduce the clutter that would have otherwise been taking up counter space. People love pantries because they house everything all in one place. You can see it all, so you don’t end up buying something you already have.

How to Store Your Pots & Pans

Another very practical and attractive storage option is Pull Outs -and using roll trays to easily access pots and pans. It is much easier to roll out drawers that hold larger items than to reach down and try to navigate the under-cabinet abyss. Rollouts can take many different identities as well. Rollout spice drawers are an effective, efficient use of space. Dress them up with unique hardware (and custom door fronts), as shown in this design, and you’ve got yourself what looks like beautiful built-in furniture. Creating a pullout cooking utensil station for spoons, spatulas and oven mitts is an ingenious use of this same rollout storage idea. Going off that same idea, pullout drawers like this are also great for trash and recycling storage. Out of sight, out of mind (and smell) Another popular kitchen storage idea is optimizing your deep drawers -typically, lower cabinets are two feet in depth. This can cause the opportunity to lose your items or for it to get unorganized. Drawers can offer dividers so it’s easier to keep your items organized and with the added depth that these drawers offer there are various ways you can organize the items you choose to store there.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Doors don’t always have to go out; they can go up too. The ultimate in innovation is right here: a slide-out shelf behind a pull-up cabinet door. Keep unsightly small appliances (blender, mixer) or small spices and such stashed neatly but still accessible.

Another similar solution for when you desire to keep your appliances out of sight until needed is an appliance garage. Use a smaller section of a tall cabinet if you don’t have a large closet or pantry space for these appliances and add doors that can move completely out of the way, or a roll-up. Another option for your appliances is to place them on a roll-out shelf for an added ease of accessibility. With an outlet or two in the back wall, the appliances will be ready to use when needed and hidden from sight when not.

Purpose-built cabinets. You can also dedicate a cabinet for a particular small appliance. One of the most common uses it to store mixers. Having the mixer on a pullout or lift-up shelf keeps the appliance handy and easily stored away. This is a very useful bit of cabinetry for an appliance used often. “In this kitchen, it was crucial for the homeowner who was an avid baker to have easy accessibility to her mixer and other large items. We used a pull-up shelf that holds her mixer and comes right up to the island, so she is ready to roll (literally)” Gail Drury, CMKBD.

Kitchen Island Storage Ideas

Your kitchen island has the possibility to be equipped with some serious storage solutions if done right. Standard door cabinets. Whether or not it’s practical to have cabinets accessible from both sides of your island will depend somewhat on your layout, but especially on the depth of the island itself. Typical lower cabinets sitting against the wall are 24 inches deep. When cabinets get deeper than this, the back becomes very hard to reach and items become inconvenient to access.

Door cabinets with stools. Another smart option is to use either an extra-deep island or shallower cabinets on both sides to allow space for stools to tuck in, balancing storage with seating. The trade-off here is that the doors will be less easy to access quickly when blocked by stools.

Whether having to move the seating to reach certain items is a significant inconvenience or not is mostly a matter of preference and what items you would store in this area. For items that aren’t used often, this can be perfect, as they will be easy to find in the shallow cabinet the rare times they need to be accessed, rather than being lost in the back of a deep cabinet.

Half doors, half seating. Some islands don’t have enough depth to include two-sided storage cabinets with seating in front like the past few examples do. Also, in many open-layout kitchens, it isn’t really necessary to include a large number of seats at the island when a larger dining area is available just steps away.

Open shelves. Of course, we can’t forget about possibly the simplest form of storage you can have on the back of your island: open shelving. To those who oppose any form of clutter, this option might be too busy. But for others, it’s a great way to give a kitchen some personality. Open shelves give you a place to stash items you may want to grab easily, without any doors in the way that need to be swung open, which makes them an especially perfect option for tighter kitchens or busy spaces with multiple chefs.

More Storage Ideas

Add a lazy susan! Today there are numerous options for lazy susans and we love seeing how they change our client’s homes and add unexpected storage to an otherwise cramped space. We’re not sure why she’s dubbed “lazy” because this rotating organizer is one of the hardest workers in our pantry. Give her a twirl and the items once pushed to the back of your cabinet are front and  center. 

Including drawer organizers in your cabinetry design can drastically impact your kitchen organization. There are different inserts you can add and this way you can pick and choose which utensils go where. For example, maybe you need your spoons closer to the sink and your forks closer to the countertop, you can rearrange these inserts however you please and order as many or as few as you need for optimal storage of your utensils.

Curious how your kitchen could be transformed with creative and unique storage solutions? To get started, we’d love to send one of our qualified professional designers to your home and explore the options with you. Contact us HERE or chat with us below to find out more. 

About Drury Design Kitchen and Bath Studio

Founded by Gail Drury, CMKBD in 1987, Drury Design’s Client Focused Design™ approach integrates design recommendations, materials selection, and construction management into one seamless customer design, project management, and build experience. For kitchen, bath, and home remodeling ideas view Drury Design’s design portfolio or stop by the studio at 512 N. Main Street in downtown Glen Ellyn, Illinois. 

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