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  • Writer's pictureLea

Maximizing Storage in a Small Kitchen

Most of you know by now that we built our home and we built it to be our forever home so that meant that we scaled back on size for the days when our two twenty-something year olds no longer live at home and we won't need a ton of space. The tricky part is we currently ARE a family of four (plus two cats and a dog) so the house is full, BUT, I wouldn't have it any other way. A big part of building a home or maybe redesigning a home or renovating a home is addressing the kitchen which is often the heart of the home, right? Our kitchen is very modest in size and our design is very open concept so while we do have "upper" cabinetry they are shallower than the lowers to give a sort of "step back" look.

These two upper cabinets flank our kitchen window and they hold things like our dishes and glassware, pitchers and serve ware. We also installed an outlet inside each one and that is where our toaster lives (and one day, my dream espresso machine).

When designing our home, there was to be a closet in the laundry room that butts up to our kitchen. Instead of keeping it there (which I wouldn't have used) I turned it around to face the kitchen side, this became our pantry.

Back to our modest kitchen. It is an L shaped kitchen (originally designed to have a peninsula but I tore that out of the design and committed to an island). While fully functional, after we moved in, there was one big, blank wall that drove me crazy because we never went with the peninsula so it stuck out (to me) like a sore thumb. Our problem is that there isn't enough clearance to install full-sized cabinetry on that wall and still have the ability to walk around the island. Determined to create a well flowing kitchen and turn our L shape into a U shaped kitchen, I turned to Ikea. First, budget was key, we could not afford custom cabinetry and this job would've called for just that. Second, when it comes to small spaces that work well, Ikea is the jack of all trades!

My solution? I found these cabinets that are only 9" deep, allowing plenty of walking space between them at the island. I float, mounted them on the wall and at a higher height than the adjacent island to give some visual height. The floor space below we use for the cat dishes, and it's the perfect space for them to tuck under and dine while staying out of the busy traffic flow in the kitchen.

Next, I installed some vintage brass knobs I thrifted to amp up the flat front cabinet doors a little. I have always been a huge fan of open shelving so I also picked up three floating shelves from Ikea (I'll list all items below) but with the Ikea wall mount bracket, it was recommended they don't hold a lot of weight. No one wants to wake up to the sound of dishes crashing to the floor because someone slammed a door too hard, so up went these brackets, also Ikea (no, this post is not sponsored or affiliated with Ikea) and now, these shelves aren't going anywhere and a small human could stand on them.

Lastly, (because I'm big on smart storage solutions) I installed this brass towel bar underneath the lower shelf and using S hooks they hold our coffee mugs while still looking pretty.

Why dedicate a broom closet when you can display your broom by storing on a beautiful wall hook. (That door leads to the pantry that otherwise would have been the laundry room closet).

So what do we store in those 9" cabinets? Things like pet food, food storage bags and lunch bags, kitchen towels, etc. They actually come in very handy!

Looking to carve out a space in your kitchen for smart storage? Here's what I used:

Again, I am not affiliated, nor sponsored by Ikea or any of these sources and will not receive a commission or pay based on your purchase or click.

Six Sandshult Shelf Brackets (I turned mine so the longer side was under the shelf).

For the mug holder:

Four Brass Hooks - I used the small size

For the broom:

Similar broom - mine was from Homegoods

And that's it! Function and beauty all in a small space!

Thanks for reading!



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