Let’s start off this blog by letting you know that drawer storage is so much more practical than shelf storage. If you have lower (or base) cabinets in your kitchen, then you should only be thinking about drawer storage. If the design calls for door fronts instead of drawer fronts, then there should be pull-out drawers in behind those doors. Drawer storage allows you to see easily into the back of the cabinet without having to get down on your hands and knees and pull everything off of your shelves. Today, there is no reason to settle for anything other than drawer storage. Do yourself and your knees a favor and ditch the idea of shelves in your kitchen for any cabinet deeper than 15”.
There are many options when it comes to pantry storage. In keeping the drawer storage in mind, it’s important that at least the bottom 5 shelves within your pantry function as pull-out drawers. I prefer getting pull-outs all the way to the top in order to not have to remove anything from the shelf if accessing items in the back. Pantries can also function as one unit where the shelves slide out with the door as you pull it toward you. This allows you to see and access all the shelves at once from both sides.
Small left-over space storage
Often we are left with small spaces when planning out a kitchen. This tends to happen when we are using prefab kitchens or when we’re trying to create breathing room around a vent hood. Small pull-out units can range in size as small as 4” wide to 15” wide. These are great for housing spices, oils, and other cooking needs. These pullouts also exist for your upper cabinets as well. If you aren’t into the idea of the pull-out, consider creating a small book nook for your cookbooks or even wine storage.
Today there are so many options for corner cabinets. There are options for upper corners, lower corners, and full height corners. There’s no reason to kill the corner space in your kitchen. Gone are the days of the lazy Susan where you still had to bend down to see everything crammed into your corner. Today they have engineered your corner cabinet to display all of your items with the easy tug on your corner shelf. Bear in mind, sometimes these corner units may conflict with your oven or fridge if it’s in close proximity, so leave yourself enough room to clear any handles that may be protruding close by. If this is a problem, just switch to a corner unit where the door is connected to the pull-out and doesn’t have to swing open more than 90 degrees to allow the shelves inside to clearly come out of the corner.
When it comes to garbage there’s a solution for every kitchen. Today, we need multiple bins that keep our garbage and recycling sorted. When working with a small kitchen, I like to keep the garbage and recycling under the sink. This works best as a drawer unit that can house multiple bins. Bear in mind that the bins will need to clear the sink and the plumbing of the sink, so eitherthe drawer has to be built with one bottom shelf, or it can be built 12” deep. If you have the space, it’s great to use a pull-out garbage center situated next to the sink. These units range in size from 15” wide to 24” wide. Either can house multiple bins. In very small kitchens, sometimes the corner garbage unit works really well. It allows significant disposal for tiny kitchens, provided there’s a corner.
Go as High or as low as you can
Even though you may not access high storage areas regularly, it will still make you very happy to store off-season items away even if they are out of reach. Don’t opt to build a bulkhead above your upper cabinets to fill in empty space. Choose to add another bank of cabinets. You’ll never regret building the extra storage. If you don’t have the ceiling height, but are still looking for some extra storage, consider adding some storage in some of your kicks. A 4” drawer at some kick locations can really give you the extra storage you need. Bear in mind though that these drawers should be recessed back a little to allow your toes to fit in under your counter.
Whether you have a large or small kitchen, it always benefits the user to have excellent storage mechanisms in place. Your kitchen is likely the most well-used room in your house. Make the most of your time there by planning it out to accommodate all of your needs.
If you liked this post, make sure to check out our last article on what an Interior Designer does.